Camino de Santiago, 10-18-17: My tent is beginning to fold



I’m low on gas. This long trip has consumed outsized quantities of my physical, mental and emotional reserves. Those resources were focused squarely on the big goal and with it done, what now? I’m not running on fumes – not yet anyway. Cranky can’t be far behind, either. 

But it’s not all about running out of external juice. There are imternal factors that add to fatigue and for that there’s only one person to blame. It’s time to pile on myself a little bit. 

Travel organization is apparently not a personal strength. I keep proving that to myself in very hard, painful and energy-sapping ways. Book easy plane connections? Nah. Lock down advance lodging on the Camino (causing me to sweat bullets on occasion about finding a bed)? Uh uh. Then the real zinger came Monday. 

I don’t know why I thought I could just show up at the train station and grab a seat. It had been a solid two days since setting foot in Santiago and you’d think 10 seconds of foresight/planning could’ve been spared to secure a seat. But no. Instead I waffled between a bus to Finisterre (Lands End) with my Italian friend, Georgio, a train to San Sebastián or eastward to Madrid. Options one and two were my top picks with a full seven days to spare. 

My delay cost me dearly. Imagine showing up early on Monday morning to find every seat on every train to every destination was already sold. And for most of Tuesday, too. All that was left: 5:15 a.m. on Tuesday to Madrid, the Spanish version of a red eye. And the penalty: one entire day wasted. I can walk 791 kilometers but can’t make a damn phone call? My play-it-by-ear and wing it approach backfired. Again. 

But five hours later I was in Madrid, found my way to centre cuidad, spent four hours at the Prado and slept in a dumpy hostel. Tomorrow it’s on to a few days in Barcelona before heading home. Oh, as for the Madrid – Barcelona ticket that was Job 1 after I stepped off the train. Maybe it’s not too late to turn over a new travel leaf.  

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