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-
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!