September 15th came. The day had finally arrived, my countdown app finally showed Zero days after starting at 288. I as nervous and excited, will I cry, didn’t cry. I said goodbye to my cousin, passed security and soon I was walking down the ramp to enter the plane. Even the plane was different, I had never been on a plane that size that had so many seats, ones with individual seats that incline like a bed and others that are normal. The flight did not seem long, I was tired so I slept most of the way, I was so tired that I hope that I didn’t lean my head on my neighbors ha! Houston-London-Madrid-Porto. I arrived late and had to wait for 3 hours for the next bus to take me to Valenca where I would spend the night and begin my Camino the next day. I was so nervous once I got off the bus, it was 11pm, I didn’t know where the hotel was and I was in PORTUGAL!!!! Omgoodness, I was in Europe, by myself, it was dark and I wasn’t sure where to go.
So I walk away, at a small distance I saw some people and I walked towards them but then I changed my mind, I got scared and stopped, I stood there for a few seconds and turned the other way, back towards the bus station. You know, I use my GPS all the time, with the nerves I couldn’t even make out the directions on my phone. I walked a few steps and there was a girl with her own suitcase so I asked if she knew where the Hotel was but she only pointed towards the street that was on the map. So my first walk began, like I said the GPS wasn’t helping me, I think it was in shock too, now it was giving me directions in Europe and not in the US lol. Since it was late, as I walked, I saw a few men and yes, I felt a little scared, but they didn’t even turn to look at me, I just kept walking. After I walked which seemed like forever, I came to the Hotel which was RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE BUS STATION…you know those people that I saw and walked towards and turned around…yes, you guessed it, the Hotel was right there!!!!
I had my reservation so it was an easy check-in. My room looked just like the picture above. It was funny because I put my bag down and walked towards the balcony and the door was slightly open from the top part so I thought to myself, “geez, they gave me a room with a broken sliding door”, but as I carefully moved it I realized that you could close it and open the whole door to walk outside to the balcony. Don’t judge me, I’ve never seen doors like that ha!! I was soo tired and there was really nothing to see that late. I checked in with my daughter, told her I arrived safely and was in the hotel room. I sat there for a few moments in silence, it felt weird to sit there by myself. I thought, this is it, I’m here on my own, I don’t have any plans with anyone tomorrow to start the day. A mixture of emotions surrounded me, I took a shower and tried to get some sleep, I don’t think I slept a wink that night!!
NIGHT ONE DOWN!!! Not too bad right? Ha, just getting started!