I woke up on June 12 at 5 am then rode to Chicago to get on our first flight which went to Newark. There we had a 6 hour layover until we boarded the plane for Madrid. We landed there on June 12 at 9 am. Let me be clear – it was not 4 hours after waking up!
In Madrid we took a taxi to the train station then took that to Leon where we had a few hours to explore the city including the cathedral. Then we took another train ride to our destination, Ponferrada. I think in total we were on the trains for 4-5 hours. I tried so hard to stay awake in order to sleep well that night but I kept finding myself waking up when my head would jerk up.
I’ve lead and planned many, many group trips. The perk of this trip is the lack of planning and leading that I have to do. So, when we arrived at the first albergue and our reservation was for the wrong night, I sat back and let others handle it – I am with a group of pastors. They have no problem taking control of a situation 😉
It turns out the problem had already been resolved but none of us had Wi-Fi to check the Group Me app to read where we were supposed to go next. Thankfully someone bought a SIM card and was able to call our leader to get it all sorted out. It was then we discovered that there are different levels of albergues… option 2 wasn’t bad by any means, but it definitely had a different feel from the one we first stopped at.
Our friend who started the Camino in France met us there and helped us get situated. We made our way to dinner which was quite an experience – lots of laughter and confusion which always leads to good inside jokes that will continue throughout the trip.
After dinner we made it back to the bunk room and finally – FINALLY – the day that kept going and going and going finally came to an end. I was in the same clothes I started in at 5 am back in Indianapolis as I laid my head down on the pillow. And, I was grateful!