It’s Tuesday 18th September, the planned Day 1 of our Camino walk and there are storms over Barcelona.
I say ‘planned’ because as I’m learning, the Camino can challenge you in more ways than you expect. Today is when we had a 6.30am flight, departing the beautiful Seville, Spain heading toward Porto, Portugal. Where we would meet up with Maggie and the rest of our group and begin the Spiritually-guided Camino Walk.
We set out early and begin our journey – but those storms? Oh, they’re going to cause a lot of problems. Every flight into Barcelona is delayed. We eventually arrive, but well after our 12.20pm connecting flight to Porto and there are no other flights to Porto today.
What are we going to do??? Lots of scurrying around and waiting in lines, but we are given boarding passes to Lisbon, where a bus will be waiting to drive us the 4-hour journey to Porto. Fantastic!
Except, this new flight doesn’t leave on time and is delayed even further due to the storms. 9 hours of waiting at Barcelona airport, and it looks like that by the time we reach Porto, it will be well after midnight, and only a few hours before we need to be back up again and ready to start the Camino! We’ll be exhausted before we even start walking!
Throughout all of this, I am trying to see the positives, find the silver lining. I have a cranky, short-tempered husband and I’m sitting in the airport wondering, “Why didn’t we go directly to Porto! Why did we come to Seville!” … I’m looking at Facebook messages from the other Camino walkers – Porto looks amazing and I’m so disappointed to think that we won’t be able to see any of it!
I’m sitting at the airport, thinking back over the booking process. I was doing my best to try and dodge Mercury in Retrograde, I check back through my emails to realize that instead, I’ve ended up booking everything during the shadow period! The cursed Mercury in Retrograde strikes again!
Note to self, take the shadow period seriously! Only 6 days difference between my bookings and the end of the shadow period. Lesson #1 from the Camino walk!
We finally depart for Lisbon, on a flight whose seats are little more than deck chairs. Then a time zone change – 2 am becomes 1 am – hang on! Does this mean we lost an hour of waiting time? I am still looking for any positive or silver linings I can!
We finally arrive – thank god! Time to get in another long line and wait for our luggage …. which never arrived. It’s lost. The airline doesn’t know where it is and makes no promises to find it. Arrrrgh! “But!” they say – if we do find it, we’ll make sure to ship it straight to Porto! Hang on! We’re not in Porto, we’re in Lisbon! Where you redirected us, and now with only the clothes on our backs and what we had in the carry-on!
It’s now 2 am, no public transport is available and we have to find some kind of accommodation. Thank you Hotels.com!
We reach our hotel (after a high-speed taxi-ride, featuring no seat belts and a driver who definitely took us around the block a few more times than necessary!) to find that we’ve booked the attic room of a 6-story building. So up we trudge, 6 very steep flights of stairs – this is an adventure and we haven’t even started the walk yet!
We’re grateful for the complimentary toothbrushes, get cleaned up, settle in bed and the fun begins! No, not that sort of fun. Lights flashing on and off, unexplained noises – oh no, did I book us a haunted hotel room!?
I check in with my Spirit team and find that yes, this place is haunted by a man who had hung himself in this attic room. I quickly call in protection for myself and my husband – there’s not much sleep for me, but after 34-years my husband is used to this sort of thing and manages to get to sleep.
We awake and I feel dizzy and nauseous – the after-effects of the haunting. Thankfully, as soon as we leave the hotel, I’m in good health again!
A positive – this is a new day and we’re on our way to the rest of the group! Only to immediately find that we need our hotel to arrange a private transfer as every taxi driver in Portugal is on strike! Oh no! We make it to the train on time and take full advantage of the free WiFi.
Booking a hotel in Porto, update from the airline (still no luggage!) and checking in with our group on Facebook – our ‘Spiritually’ guided Camino walk has had to set off on the first day without us. That was tough to take. I set up tasks for them on our Facebook page and stayed in contact.
I took time to meditate on the train. My team told me that when you work for Spirit you do it their way. The best way. All is as it is meant to be. You will be at the right place at the right time. Trust! Well, I’m not going to share that with my husband.
We arrive and Porto is lovely – we go exploring, and silver lining, we visit the Porto Cathedral to pick up our passports and get them stamped. A place I really wanted to visit. I take the time to pray. It is a beautiful building and the energy is amazing. I want my luggage back and I want to get on the Camino walk, I plead. You are on your Camino walk, we all do it differently and get what we need. You needed to be in certain places at certain times.
I keep reassuring my husband that we will get our luggage. He says “Have you booked tomorrow nights accommodation yet?” “No, not yet I have faith the luggage will turn up.”
We meet a couple of Aussies in the bar and enjoy their company. One of them mentions the words that more or less were what my Guides’ had said.
“You are on your Camino now. You’re doing it the way you need to do it. You have nothing and you’re surviving, you’re having an adventure”.
‘Spirit’ always gets the message through!
It’s now the morning of Thursday 20th September – Day 2 of Camino walking – and as I write this we receive a message that our luggage has been found and we can expect to receive it here in Porto. Yay, a positive! Hopefully, we are now on our way.
Now just to find out how to get to our Camino team while there is a taxi strike on. The Camino brings up challenges and helps you to find your way in life. We were having to find our way to the Camino. One step at a time. One breath at a time. We can do this!