Well I’m just back from my 10 day trip to the Camino de Santiago – 7 days walking, 3 days not. This time was different to last time as I had decided to “rough it out”, stay in albergues and carry my possessions as I walk. The starting point was Hospital de Orbigo, outside of Leon and the finishing point was Sarria. This is where I started the last time and conveniently enough, the same hotel I started in. I had a plan to work from but the good thing was I could change plans, depending how I felt at the end of each day. Time was not something I depended on and I based my day on where the sun was in the sky.
Day One – 24th May 2012 – Getting there
Dublin to Leon via Madrid
My flight to Madrid from Dublin was at 1.50pm and I was eager to get going. My bags had been packed for over a week and the sooner I was in the airport the better. After 8 months of planning, the day has arrived. The plan was to be get to Madrid, take two metros to Chamartin Station, a high speed Avila train to Leon and then arrive at the Hotel Posada Regia. This was a long day and one I would cherish. The transport in Ireland is pretty poor compared to that in Spain.
I stepped off the flight after 4pm and gathered my bags. After a twenty minute walk to the metro station in Terminal 1, I found the metro station and took a deep breathe before getting on one metro to Nuevos Ministeros. I get off and jump on a 2nd train to Chamartin Station. 30 minutes is all it takes, and for €4.50! I did struggle with the Spanish language, it is tough going and my best attempt at putting a sentence together comes out stumbling and I resort to English, saying each word slowly so the person can understand me. My question of choice now was ‘Hablas Ingles?’ to which I get a response of Non 😉 I didn’t have to wait long before I got on the 8.20 Avila train to Leon. A high speed train!..one that travels at 150km per hour! Epic! It was fun. A meal and wine included..I was spoilt rotten! I forgot to ask if this is normal practise on Spainish trains. If so, I will be back.
I arrive at the Hotel Posada Regia just before midnight, settle down, and try to get my head ready for the next day.