Up to Spain: Camino de Santiago Trip, 2020 main page

Friday May 6: Leave Boston

Sunday May 8: Portomarin

Saturday May 7: Lugo

A Walled City

We're safely in Spain. We're still in the Madrid airport. Our flight to Santiago should start boarding in about 30 minutes. It has been a long 4-5 hour layover.

I got us seats at the back of the plane, figuring that it would be less crowded. The person on the opposite side of the plane from me had a brilliant idea. The plane was arranged 2-3-2. There was no one in the 3 middle seats in this row, so she raised the arm rests, and lay down across all three seats. She looked so comfortable. I wished that I had thought of it.

When we first deplaned after arriving from the USA, we got into a long line going through passport control. It was still dark, but the sun came up as we waited in line. They did not have too much staff on hand, so the line made slow progress. At 7:00, some more people came on duty, and we probably got through there around 7:05 or so. There was no drama there, and they didn't check our Covid status. As we proceeded past that area, I was wondering whether they checked at the origination airport (e.g. Boston) and not at the destination. But a bit further we ran into health check.

I gave them the Spanish Health forms, and they said that I needed to show my vaccine record to some medical type people nearby. Apparently they picked people at random for this check, because Sam didn't have to get his form checked.

The connections board just said that we needed to go to gate HJK. We took an airport subway train rather a long distance and emerged into a very large concourse, filled with people and shops. Unfortunately, there was no reasonable place to lay down. We wandered around a bit and killed some time. We were getting a bit hungry, so I got some Euros, and then we got a pair of ham sandwiches, and Sam got a cafe con leche. Unfortunately, the ham was salty, and the cheese was salty, and the sandwich was very salty. We got that because they had smoked legs of presumably pig hanging there, complete with the hoof, and they were hand slicing strips off for the sandwiches.

An hour and a half before our flight, the board still didn't list a gate number. We tried again an hour before the flight, and we finally had a gate.

This plane is a smaller one, arranged 3-3. I got our seats at the rear of the plane again, and my plan worked. No one was sitting next to us.

 - -

We are now in Lugo. There is a historic old town surrounded by a Roman wall. As advertised, the hotel is literally next to the wall. The weather is warmer than I expected--it is verging on being too hot.

Wall Around Lugo

We had no trouble getting here. We were about the last people off of the plane, and when we got to the luggage carousel, our bags had not yet come out, but they came out soon after we got there. We walked outside, and there was a guy there (one among several) holding a sign with my name on it.

The drive to Lugo probably took about an hour, but I was nodding off for most of it. The motion of the van seemed so much more sleep inducing than the motion of the plane. It is a scary thought that we have to walk back all that distance.

The hotel is a well done older place. Fortunately, it has A/C.

Hotel in Lugo

We went out and wandered around a bit, but we were very thirsty, so we came back and got some water. Sam opted to nap for a bit, but I went out and did some more wandering around.

Lugo Cathedral
Pooh Eager to Get Going (on the Camino Primitivo)
Praza in Lugo
Lots of Outdoor Restaurants
North Side of Wall
Neat Art on Side of Building

My hope was to get something to eat around 6 and crash really early. Unfortunately, they have what is to us a strange schedule. Lunch is typically from 1 to 3:30, and dinner is from 8:30 to 11. I'm not sure how early we're going to be able to find food.

It is now almost 6. I think I'm going to try to drag Sam out to do some more wandering around, and see if we can find somewhere to eat.

Tomorrow morning, the real adventure begins. They will drive us to Sarria, where we will start our walk to Portomarin--22km, which is estimated to take 5-6 hours. At least I will get some sleep before doing this.

 - -

We went out exploring and looking for dinner. We wandered south, but most places we found tended to be variations of bars. We saw a "burger bar" that caught Sam's interest, but when we checked it out, we were told that the kitchen didn't open until 8:00.

So we went back to a place that I had seen that was about the only place that had a (chalkboard) menu that was in English. Sam got a burger and a Caesar salad. I ordered a combination plate that ended up being a chicken leg quarter on two fried eggs on some French fries. Then there was some lettuce leaves and slices of tomato as a salad.

We ate outside, and I grabbed the table that was furthest away from all of the others. The problem, we found, was the temperature. Previously, it had been very warm to hot, and we were walking around in tee shirts and looking for shade. But at 6:30, with the sun going behind some clouds, and with us being in a pedestrian way that was shaded by the buildings, the temperature had already noticeably dropped. To make matters worse, the walkway seemed to be a natural wind tunnel, so we were feeling quite a breeze to chill us further.

Since we had been so warm earlier, neither of us had thought to bring warmer clothing. Apparently this is par for the course, as most of the other people seemed to have brought heavier clothing and put it on.

So we ate while we tried not to get too chilled. Afterwards, we found a stair to the top of the wall, and then walked along the wall until we got to our hotel.

My stress is not completely gone. Previously, it was about whether we would make it to Spain, or whether something would end up scuttling our plans. Now that we are safely there, I'm wondering how I will sleep tonight, how I'll do on the first leg, whether I'll pack the right things in the day pack, etc.

We opened the windows to let the cool air in, but there is a *lot* of noise from people outside. We'll have to close them when we hit the sack, otherwise it will be too loud to sleep.

That night, I slept poorly. I had two or three bouts of insomnia. I think that these are stress related, but I would have thought that now that we were on the trip, the stress would be gone. The last one, I think, was due to me stressing about the possibility of having another one--a self-fulfilling prophesy. I was sleeping well when the alarm went off.

Up to Spain: Camino de Santiago Trip, 2020 main page

Friday May 6: Leave Boston

Sunday May 8: Portomarin