Tuesday, August 27, 2019

At home in Los Nuñez again

Saying goodbye to my Trascasas cousin Mercedes and her husband Jenaro in Toro this morning was emotional.  I have grown to love these sweet and generous people, along with Cintia, Mario and Dario, their precocious five year old, who has a grin to melt hearts.

After a three hour bus ride to Madrid, I had the silly idea to walk to the Atocha train station instead of riding a taxi.  My GPS assured me it would only take me twenty minutes and my train didn’t leave for another 2-1/2 hours.  Pulling two suitcases was a trick but I mumbled that I could do it.  The GPS directions didn’t make sense and after pulling them along under the hot sun for three long blocks, I asked a woman where Atocha Station was located.  Ugh.  She pointed behind me.  The way I’d just walked...so I turned around, grumbling now and pulled the cases back up the hill (much easier going the wrong way).  And yes, I hailed a taxi.  So, I paid 30 euros to get to the bus station a week ago to the guy with the limo and 9 euros today...for the exact same distance to take me back to the train station. When the taxi driver let me off and rolled my suitcases toward me with an hasta luego greeting, I noticed people were entering a door next to me.  What?  When Caroline and I got out of our taxi last week to ride the train to Madrid, we walked all the way down the sidewalk, across six lanes of traffic at the cross walk and into the station...

Today, I followed the crowd and stood, dumbfounded.  I was exactly where I needed to be!  After I piled everything onto the security belt, walked around to get my bags and pulled them off the belt, a security guard was on the other side.
Man: Su maletas allí?  (Your suitcases there?)
Me: Sí.
Man: Sacaste su equipaje por el cinturón de seguridad? (Did you put them on the security belt?)
Me: Sí
Man: He smiled and nodded me through the door, where I saw three policemen coming toward the area; one held a machine gun, one held a shield from shoulder to knees and the third man had a large gun strapped to his thigh.  Id seen them there before, but at that moment, it was a bit unnerving.
I imagined how the American TSA would’ve reacted and I chuckled.  Letting me and my luggage pass through without their eyes on it wouldn’t have happened, I’m sure.

Three hours later, after watching travelers of various sizes and nationalities, I kept watch on the monitors to see which numbered door I would go through for my train to Malaga.  When door nine popped up, so did I.  You see, I know by now you must get in the line fast, even though you have an assigned coach and seat, because I wanted to be assured of a spot for my luggage.  I knew I’d never be able to lift it up to the carry bins above my seat.  Perfect timing.  Window seat.  No companion next to me.

Another three hour ride through vast farmland, grapevines-laden fields for miles and Atocha Train Station came into view.  The air was warm, a soft breeze welcomed me and Lyn pulled her car up beside me in our designated meeting point.
Lyn: Did you come back for a rest?  Your blog was exciting for you, but.”
Me: Yes.

It was good to see my friend again, catch up with news and zip through the small country barriadas again.  Scally and Scamp, her dogs, seemed excited to see me.  It’s always so nice to be missed.

Wine, spaghetti and good conversation later and the delicious boon of a beautiful sunset from the balcony here at la casa redonda was exactly what I needed.

No comments:

Post a Comment