Our trip to Madrid was free of glitches. All flights were on time, the weather was clear, flying was smooth. And we were actually treated with a full dinner meal with complimentary adult beverages, a snack breakfast and a nice selection of free movies to occupy the time, in Economy class!
We used the AA app to confirm the loading of our checked backpacks along the way and were pleasantly relieved to find our duffled backpacks waiting for us in the Madrid T4 terminal baggage area after clearing through customs.
Rather than add 3+ lbs to our backpack weight for our 500 mile walk across Spain, we talked about discarding the duffles in the Madrid terminal.
A gentleman in the baggage area overheard our discussion and asked if we were just going to throw them away. George was from Louisiana and after retrieving his checked trekking poles was planning to catch a plane to Porto, Portugal to walk to Santiago on the Portuguese Camino then take a train to Pamplona to walk as much of the Camino Frances as possible in the time remaining of his 4 week vacation. We saw his interest in our duffle bags and offered them to him which allowed him to consolidate and check his backpack and poles on the Porto flight. George was all smiles as we wished each other “buen Camino”.
So George and we both have had a positive experience before our Camino even begins… or perhaps it has.
We found a Renfe (train) office before leaving T4 and changed the departure time on our internet purchased tickets (27 July -Madrid to Pamplona) from noon to 9:40 a.m. This will give us more time in Pamplona to get checked into our room and organized for beginning to walk our Camino 2019 on the 28th.
Finally we took a taxi to the Madrid Airport Hilton, where we will spend the next two nights acclimating to yesterday’s 6 time zone passage.
And topping off a great start for Camino 2019 was arriving at the Hilton at 9:30 a.m. and being able to immediately check into our room. (normal check-in is 2:00 p.m.)
“The Camino provides”