Travel Date: Tuesday, April 15 2014

My flight from Roanoke, Virginia to Madrid, Spain had a stop over in Atlanta. The first flight had a hiccup where the airplane door would close but a sensor would not trigger. Nothing like a good welcoming sign to start your trip. Eventually after staying on the tarmac for about 20 minutes past schedule, the pilot got out and fixed the issue from the outside, came back in and we were on our way.

When I got to Atlanta, I grabbed a quick Qdoba meal, and went to my gate. 

I look at the screen at it is real. Since watching the movie The Way in 2012, and immediately committing to the idea of doing it then, this is slowly starting to feel more and more real. I notice a woman with a fully loaded backpack standing near me. I wait for her attention and eye contact and then say “Camino?”. To which she gleefully responds “Yes.”

I just made my first friend and fellow peregrino on the Camino in Atlanta.

We meet another peregrino, and chat for a big and board the flight. I always get a window seat. I still look out the window on departure and arrival and reminisce about skydiving. The heart is still willing. 
One the flight I made friends with my neighbor Amparo, and older Spanish woman who doesn’t speak any English. We start chatting as best we can understand each other and become quite conversation. Her aisle neighbor Adela gets involved since she speaks Spanish well and has some English knowledge. I explain my trip on the Camino and we are all engaged in good conversation. Both women have big beautiful hearts of gold.

Amparo (middle) is my new Spanish teacher, translating everything from coffee, soda, hot, cold, toilet, etc etc. Adela (far right) is my window watcher. She keeps peering into my window, and I keep teasing her by getting my big fat head in the way when she attempts to look outside. All in good fun though.
Watching the window as I enter Spain is amazing. The landscape whizzes past me as we fly from Portugal to Madrid Spain.

After we land, I clear customs easily within 10 minutes of waiting in line to going to the baggage claim. The only part that slightly concerns me is when the airport announces that they took one of the baggage trucks and delivered it to the wrong terminal. But after 30 minutes, the situation is resolved. I have my bag that contains my poles and knife (hence the checked bag) and I’m heading out to figure out how to get from Madrid, Spain to St. Jean Pied de Port, France.

Expenses: $29.01
Round trip ticket: $1100 without the $400 mile waiver I had.
Gas: $20.00
Lunch: $9.01 (Overpriced Qdoba at the airport)