Madrid 5 October 2022
Tuesday was initially spent rebooking my Madrid accommodation due to my credit card being not accepted (probably an excuse as it works everywhere else), walking Freddy and packing before Rebecca drove me to the airport. On completion of packing my backpack weighed an acceptable 7.4kg. This will increase to around 9kg when I add water, a few snacks and add the small amount of hand luggage that is travelling with me.
Melbourne airport included a couple of challenges due to a full pat down search as a result of my new right knee and a fail by the automatic registration system probably due to my new hair style and pony tail.
The flight out of Melbourne left an hour later than scheduled without ice for my scotch. A definite fail for an airline rated number one in the world for 2022. I managed to watch Top Gun Maverick twice (would love to see it on a big screen) then slept until woken for breakfast. Notwithstanding the transit through Doha was short (50 minutes due to the late arrival) and uneventful apart from your another full pat down search. Seating on both flights was excellent with a vacant seat beside me on each flight.
As I had plenty sleep prior to Doha I was wide awake for the flight to Madrid. Luckily there was ice on board.
I arrived in Madrid at around 7:30am, disembarked, picked up my pack and caught a bus into the city getting in before 9:00am and located my accommodation. I'm staying in a room with 8 others and luckily have a converted bottom bunk.
I spent the day wandering around Madrid, organising a Spanish SIMM for my phone and visiting the starting point for this Camino, the Church of Santiago and John the Baptist. I arrived just befor midday, believing it would be easy to get the first stamp on my Credential. As the priest was busy, I had to wait until after the 12 o'clock Mass to get the document annotated. The end result was attending the Mass with the typical small congregation (5 elderly women) and 7 other pilgrims. After the Mass the priest called the pilgrims foward and we all received the pilgrim blessing.
Tonight is definitely going to be an early one.