- Backpack packed
- Bumbag loaded
- Lovely long hot shower taken (a treat even at home because we are very water conscious here)
- Hair straightened from its natural curly frizz
- Teeth electrically cleaned and water jetted until danger of what little enamel remains being washed down the plug hole
- Toenails polished in pretty pink as my only vanity
- Dog cuddled to near strangulation
During the last few days I have been treated to my ‘last supper’ with lovely friends and walked my farewell hike in our beautiful mountains with great walking chums.
I have caught up with latest episodes of ‘The Good Wife’ and downloaded a multitude of podcasts.
I decided at the last minute to check my backpack as hold luggage. Although I know it is an acceptable size for Ryanair carry on, I have my walking poles packed and was not confident that they would get through security. I didn’t want the various straps and belts to get caught in the conveyor belt so spent a good while this morning wrapping it in cling film (which reminded me of my ridiculous antics at Gatwick airport a couple of years ago (you can read just how ridiculous here)
This Camino has given me an unaccountable number of waking hours in they middle of the night, but now the time has come I’m feeling remarkably calm…que sera, sera – particularly as far as the weather is concerned (although the forecast for tomorrow has just changed from lightning storms to light rain – yeah. Maybe the Camino Angels will be on my side again this year?
And now I am sitting in the departure lounge at Malaga airport awaiting my flight to Santander, where I will board a bus for the three hour ride to Irun. I will stay my first night in the municipal albergue (assuming there is a bed available) and I can remind myself of the joys of communal bunking.
Now sitting on the aeroplane I must confess that I almost didn’t make it. All seats were taken in the departure area of gate 30, so I took myself to the adjacent gate and sat there whilst writing the above. I did notice some movement at the distant gate, but as there were still crowds of people waiting, I assumed it was the preferential boarders. It was not until a couple came flying past me at full speed pushing a hysterical toddler in his buggy, closely pursued by a young woman attempting to beat the 200 metre world record that my brain began to click into gear and I swiftly followed them to desk 30 where the ground staff ushered us all through, and even knew my name, so presumably had put out a call that I had not heard. A quick dash along the boarding arm brought us to an abrupt halt at the back of the queue of passengers waiting to board.
Well, the plane landed as scheduled at 16:15. I had a plan (A) and a plan (B), depending on how long the baggage handlers took to deliver my backpack. Plan (A) was my original plan to catch the bus to Irun from the airport at 19:00. This was not an entirely satisfactory plan because it is a three hour journey which should deposit me at Irun bus station at 22:00 – the problem being that the albergue closes its doors at 22:00 and I didn’t fancy spending my first night sleeping in the bus station. Plan (B) only occurred to me yesterday when I thought about looking to see if there was an earlier bus from the city centre. There was. It left at 17:00. But that didn’t leave a lot of room for mishap with the timings. But as it happened plan (B) worked a treat and I am now sitting on the bus looking out at the lush green fields and wooded hills, with a glimpse of the coast every now and then.
I found the donativo albergue easily and I am sharing a two bunk room with two women, a German and Italian. I have also spoken with an three guys, German, Colombian and Mexican. There is a small but well equipped kitchen and some sofas in the office/breakfast area.
Let the camino begin…