Sunday, September 30, 2018

Madrid to Burgos, España, September 30, 2018

What a shit show today!  I had a great sleep, finally, but then had to redo my blog so that took some time.  It was 11:00 by the time I left the hostel with the intention of taking the metro to the bus station and getting a ticket for the 1 pm bus.  The metro is only a 3 minute walk from the hostel so that was perfect.  I also had a final visit to Puerto Del Sol-


Gone are the days of little single paper metro tickets.  I had to by a plastic card (tarjeta) for $3.75 and then put more on it to go to my station.  The man at information suggested I take a bus because it only costs $2.25.  First mistake.  He showed me where the bus stop was - only a couple of short blocks away.  He tried to give me a map but I refused, saying I knew where it was.  Second mistake.  So I walked and walked and walked.  I needed bus 52 and finally saw one so went to that street, Gran Via actually-


and walked some more.  I found bus stops (paradas), but none that were for #52.  I asked a few bus drivers and they all had different ideas where I might find my stop,  So I walked.  Finally, a concierge in a hotel showed me on the map and I had been oh so close before I turned up Gran Via.  So, I went back and waited at least 25 minutes ... finally I was on a bus.  It was a short ride and once at the terminal, I couldn't find the ticket office.  I saw a long line up and with 10 minutes before departure, thought I'd made it.  Third mistake.  I started talking to a woman in line and she told me I was in the queue to get ON the bus, not the ticket line.  She then explained where the ticket booth was.  Off I ran.  Unfortunately, the 1 pm bus was full so I had to wait until 4 pm.  That turned out to be okay because I was able to go for lunch and a beer.  I had el menú del dia again and that meant Ensalada Ventresca- tuna on top of roasted red pepper, skinned raw tomatos and slightly cooked onions, drizzled with balsamic.  It was excellent-


The second course was lacón Gallega- baked ham on boiled potatoes, sprinkled with paprika.  Paprika is gross and this dish was nothing special.

Back to the bus terminal.  You wouldn't even know it's there - the bus and the metro are all underground.  So, the neighbourhood isn't disturbed by noisy diesel buses night and day.  Once on the bus, we drove underground a long way until we came up on the freeway.  What a smart idea!

Madrid to Burgos-


took almost 3 hours and arrived at 7.  My wasted day only confirmed to me that I should rent a car when I leave Santiago de Compostella and keep it until November 4 when I get to La Linea de la Concepción, which is the Spanish town across from Gibraltar.  I was looking yesterday and hesitating but I will spend so much time trying to find this bus station and that train station and walking aimlessly looking.  I think my time is too valuable to be wasting days like today! 

Along the way-


Harvesting sunflowers.  They are the only crop left in the fields-



It looks a lot like Saskatchewan but the soil is a yellowish white color and it's very very dry-


Luckily, the bus stop was NEXT to Hostal Burgos but I still wandered up and down the street a few times looking.  There are no numbers on the outside of the buildings.  I thought I had my own room but was disappointed to find I'm in an 8 bed dorm - at least I have a bottom bunk.  I also found my bike in storage at a local bar so once I figure out how to turn the handle bars around, I'll be good to go!

Not sure if I'm looking forward to this or not.  I'm a bit apprehensive but usually once I get going I'll settle down and it will be awesome!  Just have to get going!

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