April 27-28 We arrive in Madrid
Morning came ...
I waited in the airport near the arrival area where there is an all night snack bar, tables and benches - many travelers in transit catch a bit of sleep. When I woke up I found a neighbor with backpack and shell - a sign of the pilgrim. After he woke up we chatted. Antonio from Verona, Italy was headed home after completing the Camino. In true pilgrim fashion he shared a tip about an "albergue" (the Camino term used for hostels along the pilgrimage path) in Santiago.
When Kathleen, Trish and Jackie arrived, we caught a taxi to the train station and after a short time boarded a train to Pamplona. Our excitement was high as the pilgrimage we had been planning for a year and a half was becoming a reality. Once off the train we needed to get transportation to our starting point, St. Jean Pied-de-Port, France in the foothills of the Pyrenees. We noticed two young women with backpacks and asked if they were also heading to St. Jean. They were, and we agreed to go together in a van, another pilgrim moment of sharing, and their knowledge of Spanish helped us with the cabbie. We passed his home on the way and he honked for his family!
In time we found ourselves in the beautiful town of St. Jean Pied-de-Port and walked up the cobblestone street to our albergue and the pilgrim office.
... And it was good.