Camino Portugues, the sequel, starts today!

In transit – on foot, train and bus, 10th October 2016

Hello friends!

I hardly slept a wink last night. You know how it is when you have to get up early to go somewhere. I kept watching the clock until it was time to get up at 6.00am. I was out of the house by 6.35am after having checked my luggage several times to make sure I had packed my passport, copies of e-tickets, money etc etc and they hadn’t somehow mysteriously extricated themselves from my backpack during the night. Yep, I’m a bit OCD, when it comes to travel prep! Always have been and I guess I always will.

I thought I might as well begin my Camino from home and start out how I mean to go on, so I launched myself out into the frosty morning air. It was still dark but the glow from the street lights along Church Road in Long Itchington was surely ample so I didn’t need to wear a head torch! Off I tramped up the road and on to Stonebridge lane, a one lane country track I have known all my life. The early morning mist clinged to the fields and hedgerows and I felt exhilarated to be on the road once again.

My back pack didn’t pose any trouble at all, even with the additional weight of my laptop and charger on top of the 9.6kg I had packed the day before. I’m taking it along because I’m in the running for a short term consultancy, which may materialise sometime this month or next, a follow on piece of work from a home-based assignment I carried out for the World Bank, while I was on Salt Spring Island. Well see if this one materialises…Still it’s good to be prepared (I am beginning to sound like a Scout).

I walked on accompanied by a cacophony of birdsong by the verges, the long grass dusted with frost made the blades loom strangely like porcupine quills, whereupon the song from the children’s TV show Bagpuss started running through my head “a friend of mine, a porcupine went up in a balloon…”. So according to Bagpuss even porcupines live to travel. I picked up the main Leamington Road then the verdant Offchurch Greenway onto the Canal path into Leamington Spa. Seven miles later, through the magical, mist rising from the canal, bathing the narrow boats in a Rivendell kind of glow, I reached the train station. My first walk with my Camino pack felt great. It was a good test run.

Brett met me at Marylebone Station and we hot footed it down to Victoria to catch the National Express to Luton Airport. The airport looks like a building site and we had to hop in a cab back into town to check into the EasyHotel. If EasyJet and EasyHotel are to be believed the future is orange…but suffice to say we were not impressed with the hotel. Not quite SleazyHotel as our claustrophobic box room was clean enough, crap mattress though and certainly not worth the price considering the add on to and from cab fares. It was probably cheaper to stay at the Ibis Hotel at the airport instead. Ah well you live and learn!

Luton town centre reminded me of Coventry, a place that had seen better days but looks quite run down and full of ugly, concrete buildings. However, we did enjoy hot choc and tea at the funky Connors cafe in the Hat Factory and a fabulous evening meal at the Monna Lisa Italian restaurant, which fairly warmed my heart! And so early to bed for we had a mega early start the next day.

Peace, love and light,

Sarah xxx


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