Tag Archives: solo traveler

Life Throws Curveballs

14 Oct

…..but that doesn’t mean you have to cower.

My Camino hasn’t gone as planned. That was hard to come to terms with. However, the Camino takes and the Camino gives. I’ve finally welcomed the changes with open arms, and it has been a godsend.

Am I still a bit unhappy? Sure. Like 8%. The other 92% is having a fantastic time. Remember, it’s all about the journey. Sure, the destination is nice, but the journey is the bulk of the adventure. Don’t let blinders keep you from seeing life happen.

Why this post? I’m sitting in a café in O Mesón do Vento. It’s raining and 49F outside. I’m pretty much soaked, and the café con leche hits the spot. My left leg has started hurting again, and I’m weighing pros and cons on the next choice (mainly how much more soaked do I want to be).

To quote Grace and Favour: “…..but she was happy!” And I realized, I am. It’s taken over a year to get back to this point, and I know the time it took was necessary. Was I impatient? Very much so. Did I realize the time needed prior? Of course not.

Life’s not perfect. Don’t try and force it to be. Let it run its course, adjust where you can, and everything will work out in the end, even if it’s not the way you expected or initially wanted.

Life will throw you curveballs. Question is: will you catch them, or will you cower?

xox

Jess

Camino Inglés, Day 1: Ferrol to Neda

10 Oct

Stats:

Starting Point: Hotel Silva (previously walked from hotel to starting point on Monday)

Ending Point: Pensión Residencia Maragota

Steps: 20,271

Miles: 8.86

Overall thought: beautiful country, but why was this on my bucket list again?

Seriously though, I thought I was going to die at the 7mi point. Out of water, no fountains, I was overheated and dehydrated. The only place to sit was on the ground, but if I did that there was no guarantee I would stand up again.

I never quit.

I never called for a taxi, or caught a bus.

I made it to Neda.

Then I slept for an enternity. Woke ul at 1930 and contemplated dinner, since all I had eaten was a few strawberries, some nuts, and a cliff bar. Said nope, rolled over, and went back to sleep.

I hope Day 2 is a bit more smooth. And I still need to find a poncho, or a bin liner, or something, because rain is still in the forecast for the next few days.

Anywho, here’s some photos from Day 1.

xox

Jess

And so it begins

Well, if it’s THAT easy to get home…..lol

Pilgrim arrow! Pilgrim arrow!

When the tide is out……

No clue, but they’re cool looking. Reminded me of Harry Potter, tbh.

A hot pink house!

The church after a hideous hour of walking uphill

Its cemetary.

Goats!!

Donkey!!

Which way do I go? Which way do I go? (I went left)

100km to go!!

Neda

Wrapping up my off-day in Ferrol

9 Oct

So, you already saw the post on the Naval Museum. What else did I do before the Camino? Well…..

I had this rainforest rain on me from the inside out. Don’t ask.

Saw these cool post office mail slots

Then……

I went by the Tourism Office to get my credencial stamped for tomorrow.

After that was hotel check-in time. I stayed at Hotel Silva. It was perfect for the price (€29), was near a bus stop and a grocery store. If you’re wanting to stay here and then start at the official start of the Camino in the morning, you’ll be doing a lot of backtracking. I avoided that by finding the official start today and walking the route to a certain roundabout of which I will walk to from my hotel tomorrow. Cutting to those fotos now, because excite!

The official start mojone!

Camino marker and info stamp

The steps Irish and British pilgrims would ascend once they arrived to Spain.

Older ones submerged

That aside, back to the hotel. Here’s my room:

Simple. I don’t need much for a single night stay. And like I said, perfect for the price.

The rest of the day flew by, and now I’m in bed, about to start Day 1 of my Camino. Here’s a few more fotos and I’m signing off. See y’all tomorrow!

xox

Jess

I have zero clue

Quesos!

Dinner, and snacks for tomorrow.

Museo Naval Ferrol

9 Oct

Not going to lie, my plan for the museum was to whip in, look for a bit, get a sello in my credencial, and then leave. What ACTUALLY happened? I spent almost 2hrs there, and forgot to get the sello. Sigh. Worth it though.

Upon arrival at the Ferrol train station.

Going on walkabout.

Latrine from when the building was a prison.

Are you my mummy?

That’s a wrap on the Museum, kids. Hope you enjoyed some of the highlights. Okay, a LOT of the highlights. If you ever find yourself in the Galician region of Spain, keep this museum in mind.

xox

Jess

Trenhotel: Madrid a Ferrol

8 Oct

Mainly a photo post, as I climbed aboard, was shown my compartment, showered and passed out. Tidbits may or may not be dispersed throughout.

Not bad. And he put the top bunk up for me. Mine folded up too, if you wanted to sit on stools.

My compartment key

Toiletries kit that was included

Glow in the dark emergency signs

When I woke up (and I slept hard), I got dressed and went to the cafeteria car for a couple of cafes con leche, and a croissant.

After that I repacked, enjoyed watching towns roll by, and relaxed. Not a bad way to travel. I’ll make sure my flight is a bit closer to train departure though.

Next post: Museo Naval Ferrol

xox

Jess

How NOT to spend 10hrs in Madrid

8 Oct

Seriously though, arriving to Madrid beyond worn out was the worst thing I could have done. I had zero energy to do anything except hang out at the Chamartín train station, and even that was pushing it. I’m surprised the Police didn’t question me being there so long since we kept crossing paths the whole time. But really, if I had arrived rested, I would have gone to the Real Madrid stadium for a tour. Instead, let me enlighten you how to have a non-touristy day in Madrid.

First, get a train ticket you can’t read and no one can help you out. Like this one.

Everything on the ticket makes sense, but nothing matched up to what I saw on the platform, so after 10min I decided I’d risk the fine and play the overly ignorant tourist card if metro police said anything.

Leaving the airport

31hrs traveling at this point.

First Spanish doggo! They love their dogs. They’re everywhere!

At this point, I hear the announcement that the next stop is Estación de Chamartín. Since my trenhotel was leaving from there that night, I figured might as well get off there and get acquainted with it. Yeah, there ain’t anything around.

Decided that as it was 1030a, I needed to grab breakfast.

The juice was freshly squeezed, iberico ham is as smooth as butter, and the cafe con leche? Never drinking that swill starbucks sells again lol. I also picked up my first Aquarius of the trip. Might be my last. I know it’s supposed to be like a gatorade, but it isn’t. At all.

Then came 5hrs of ppl watching.

People run around the station catching trains. People make out in the station like it’s their last goodbye. Families cried saying bye to loved ones. Tourists walked around confused.

But allllll the doggos! I wanted to pet them, but better safe than sorry.

Then it was dinner time. Tried another restaurant this time.

Simple and to the point. Nothing to write home about, but still good.

I left the restaurant and people watched for another hour. Then I wanted another cafe con leche, so went to yet another little cafe area, enjoyed the coffee. Saw some cool artwork down a stairwell.

José Lucas, whoever you are, it looks cool.

At this point it was like 2000, so I knew we were down to the final 2hr wait (told you this was lame and boring). Then finally my train landed in the queue. Excitement began to come alive (mainly because I wanted my boots off after being in them almost 48hrs)

Ferrol!!!

Paper ticket

Then the time came: our platform number appeared and we were off!! Got to the train, was given the key to my compartment, et voila! Wanna see inside my room? That’s the next post!

xox

Jess

Travel to Madrid, part deux

8 Oct

This probably shouldn’t even be a post on it’s own, but you can’t have a part 1 without at least a part 2, right?

Our flight to Madrid was uneventful. I had hoped for more sleep, but managed almost 3hrs between the dinner and breakfast services, which isn’t bad considering the flight was only 6hrs. I swear, going to Newark threw everything off for me. I’m used to 10hr international flights, so having it split into 2 30%/70% ones threw a wrench in my routine. Life, right?

I did end up with no one next to me, praise be! Lol. Extra room for my rowmate and myself!

As far as the rest goes, here’s a few fotos and then I’m signing off. Love y’all!

Can you tell I’m half dead to the world lololol

And so begins flight numero dos!

Because Mia loves them (yuck!)

Almost there!

Goodbye plane that hit the worst turbulence ever

Madrid Airport, groovy all day.

Random shuttle shot as we head to Terminal 4 aka the airport metro station

Til next time,

Xox

Jess

Travel Day to Madrid, part 1.

6 Oct

Word of the Day: Fatigued

Got up before my alarm went off at 0230. Got to the Parking Spot 30min before my reservation. Only had to wait behind 1 person at TSA. Timing was on my side.

Then I get to Newark only to find out my layover went from 6hrs to 8hrs. Le sigh. But hey, it can only be worse. Like the woman handling an overseas flight by herself with 4 kids? She earned those 2 beers she had at lunch. The woman with the screaming kid? She earned the 10min nap in her chair once her child fell asleep. The older couple being pushed in wheelchairs? Well, idk what they are traveling to or from, but kudos to them for not letting any health issues stop them. So yes, having to wait an additional 2hrs? No biggie.

But here I am, sitting at my gate, charging my phone, and writing in my Adventure Book. As busy as this airport usually is, I’m happy I’m here during non-peak time. It’ll be interesting to people watch once like 1600 rolls around.

(Oh, and my knees are still sore from being crammed into the back of the chair in front of me.)

Stay tuned for part two, coming your way sometime tomorrow, along with my “First Day in Madrid” recap.

xox

Jess

It’s 4a on a Saturday. Even on my schedule I should be asleep. At DFW.

Obligatory “shoes and airport carpet” foto.

Awkward bathroom selfie at Newark

6 days! (and no order to the thoughts in this post)

30 Sep

I leave for Spain in less than a week! I’m ridiculously excited, even if I am exhausted from this work project. You can always sleep when you’re dead, right?

Ever feel like you’re too prepared for a trip? I’ve been going through mental checklists the last few days: accommodations? passport? euros? clothing? backpack? blister kit? extra bandaids? both pairs of wool socks? I know I have everything ready, but my anxiety kicks in, so I just deal with it. Though, I do need to decide on what kind of waist wallet to wear. I could use a money pack to go around my neck, but the thought of walking with it like that already makes my neck react. It also doesn’t help that the weather is going to be a mix of partly cloudy and rain (that reminds me, need to buy a poncho now). It may come down to how I feel the night before I leave and just choose the waist wallet based on that night’s mood lol.

I still have people asking me why I’m doing this. Then, when they hear “pilgrimage”, they get *that* look on their face, and I shut down, because I’m not trying to get in a religious chat with anyone. I’m doing this for me. I need a spiritual retreat; a time for my soul to heal. It also doesn’t hurt that both the Camino AND Spain are on my bucket list, so 2-3 birds with one stone.

Spinning the wheels for a moment, as I was sitting at my altar at home a couple of nights ago, I did let my mind wander to how I’m really feeling towards the start of my Camino. Am I nervous? Of course. Nervous and anxious to about the 3rd level. Scared though? Nope. I’m excited, and can’t wait to have this adventure. Fear doesn’t control me, and I won’t live with any more regrets (still regret not doing one thing in Mexico, but c’est la vie). I kept my must-see list to a minimum this trip: the Camino, the “end of the world” in Fisterra, and then in Madrid, the National Archaeology Museum and the Temple of Debod. There is a lot more I would love to see in Spain, but that will have to wait until my next trip.

That’s it for this rambling mess of a post 🙂 I leave you with two quotes that speak volumes for/about me:

 

xox,
Jess

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