Camino del Norte: Getting There

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Camino de Santiago del Norte
Day 1 of Our Adventure: Getting There
Saturday September 2, 2017

Seattle, WA to Madrid, Spain

We’ve been preparing for this trip for many months. Mike convinced me to walk across Spain during our first few months after his retirement last year. I finally agreed, with the stipulation that we’d walk the Northern Route (“Camino del Norte”) and that we’d spend a few days with my cousins who live in El Pais Vasco, The Basque Country.

We’ve clocked over 1000 miles of training walks in Manhattan Beach CA, Camano Island WA, Lake Tahoe, the Jersey Shore, and many more stops during our travels up and down the Pacific Coast. We’ve worn out a few pairs of sneakers and trail runners, tried out various clothing layering options, made lists and spreadsheets to the nth degree, read several inspirational books and more than a few guide books, and watched the movie “The Way” half a dozen times.

Every once in a while one of us starts humming or singing the Proclaimers’ song I Would Walk 500 Miles… happened on our 12-mile walk last week-end, and I’m sure it’ll happen a few times in the next few months. We’re planning to walk about 400 miles on our Camino, and I’ll bet we’ll clock more due to wrong turns (my specialty) and side trips to see historical, religious, and other interesting sights.

Our flight to Madrid left an hour late, but due to tail winds we’re expected to land on time (9 AM local time (midnight PDT, 3:00 AM EDT). Total flying time will be about thirteen and a half hours, via Dallas. Since I have WiFi on this flight and I’m not tired (YET!), I’m using the time to post my first official travel update. We had an AWESOME American Airlines ticket agent, Brunilda, at Sea-Tac this morning. She was able to do a baggage connect between our American flight to Madrid and our Iberia flight to San Sebastian. It will save us a lot of time when we land in Madrid. On my to-do list: send a note to AA thanking her.

As we were getting ready to leave our hotel at Sea-Tac this morning I discovered that my prescription sunglasses were nowhere to be found. I searched our Cedarbrook Lodge hotel room, our rental car, and my backpack. No luck. I called my optometrist’s office to ask them to email me my prescription. I called Seastar in Bellevue, where we had dinner last night, to ask them if a pair of sunglasses had been found. So far, no luck. I bought a pair of non-prescription sunglasses in the DFW airport…. I won’t be able to see, but at least I won’t get more lines around my eyes from squinting! I think the Universe is nudging me to be flexible, and to go with the flow. “Planning to be spontaneous” isn’t quite the same, eh? No wonder my stomach is churning!

We have a guided walking and tapas bar tour of Madrid tomorrow after we clear Customs. What else would we do during a 10-hour layover?

Time to use some of my Isagenix Sleep Spray so I can be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed tomorrow.

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