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Video From Vermont to the Camino

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
The trip from Vermont was much like my trip from Maine.

I used AAA Travel to make my airline reservations as well as to purchase trip insurance. I would fly Jet Blue from Portland Maine to JFK on February 29, leaving at 12:35 p.m. and landing at 1:52, which cost $119 one way. In New York, I would have to go to the luggage claim and retrieve my backpack. I had put my Osprey Talon backpack inside a big green duffel bag as a precaution to protect it against the straps getting snagged or damaged.

The flight from JFK to Madrid was Iberia 6250 on an Airbus A 330-300 which departed New York at 5:35 p.m. and landed in Spain at 6:40 am. There is a seven-hour time difference, so that made it a six-hour flight, and even longer coming home flying against the wind. The cost on Iberia was $462 and it was an additional $108 for trip insurance from AAA.

It seeming like miles from Iberia’s international terminal—walking and taking elevators—to the main terminal where I picked up my duffel at baggage claim and then breezed through Customs.

It was a bit dramatic taking my backpack out of the duffel in front of three security police. I did not want to be seen leaving a bag unattended. Putting my backpack on, I shifted into Spanish. “No necessario…Camino…peregrino,” I sputtered, pointing at the green duffel which I would simply leave behind. One of the policemen, seeing that the bag was now empty and contained no explosive device, casually tossed it into a nearby baggage room.

I got a SIM card for my iPad mini right there at the airport and paid Lebara Mobile for a month’s worth of service. If I did it again, I would not waste my money, since nearly everyplace I stayed on the Camino had free WiFi, as did virtually every cafe I stopped at when I took a morning break to write and send my daily email journal.

You need to get to Terminal 4 or T4 at the Madrid–Barajas Airport where you get your subway ticket out of a vending machine. The subway is 2.60 euros, and you catch train C1 in order to go the Atocha Train Station.

Renfe operates several high speed trains daily from Madrid to Pamplona. I got the 11:35 am train with a special rate of 43.50 euros which took just over three hours, arriving in Pamplona in a timely fashion at 14:40.

Pamplona is, of course, the first city on the Camino Francés, located in the center of the province of Navarre, of which it is the capital city. The charming, historic old quarter of the city lies along the left bank of the River Arga. To the north rise the Pyrenees Mountains as well as the Basque city of Bilbo. Pamplona is considered to be in Basque country, but not in the Basque Region.

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