The day started early. I was wide awake at 3 am and listened to the church bells strike the quarter hours. By 6am I had had breakfast, packed my bags and was ready to roll. I then made my way through a crowd of young people recovering from the night before. Is there no school or work in Spain? School returns in 4 weeks my informant tells me.
The metro plan had been worked out: how to put money on the Metro card, which station ,which direction, where to change… I got to my first leg of the journey when to my dismay there was a sign over my first changeover indicating that the station was closed for a makeover.
A travel card
Then an attractive young lady came over and indicated (spoke no English but was a whizz with Google translate) that she wanted to assist. When we had worked out a solution she asked where I came from. When I replied, I got a very English response, via Google Translate, “What about all the dangerous animals and insects?”
I assured her that as an expert surfer, crocodile hunter and bushman, I had never had a dangerous encounter. Finally, she was agog that man so young could have six daughters – all older than her. At that point I left the train.
The landscape north of Madrid is so reminiscent of Oz with its wheat fields and dryness. Bailed hay lies waiting in the fields. In the bus everybody was glued to their devices and nobody sat next to the old bloke so I had to entertain myself. We went over the Moron river which gave me some lame ideas for puns.
Just south of Logrono the scenery is quite rugged. Hills, valleys and forests predominate and every now and then you spy a herd of cattle in a little clearing. Closer to Logrono the rock formations and towering cliffs are especially spectacular and the bus took particular care around the numerous hairpin bends.
In Logrono I caught another bus for Urbiola, the closest bus stop to my final destination – Villamayor de Monjardin. On this journey I met a Scot who lives in France and had just finished a portion of the Camino. We spoke about Brexit, Boris and faith and he said that he was optimistic about the last, especially with the end of “Christendom”.
The view from my bedroom
At the bus stop my beloved was there to greet me and once again all was right with, my world, at least.