Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I arrived at King Shaka airport at 2.15 and checked in after having my small suitcase plastic wrapped. "You must collect it in Johannesburg " said Finn.  I disagreed. I didn't want to have to go through to baggage claim and then to departures when the case could be checkted straight through to Santiago. He was worried thst the case would go missing snd never make it to Spain but I checked it through.  My Camino clothing and paperwork was in my backpack which I took as carry-on luggage. Odile was on the same flight. She said that Robyn was on an SAA flight.

I phoned Gail after landing at Oliver Tambo airport and we met at Capello's where she was having lunch.  We checked in together, asking the ground crew to seat us together even though we both already hsd seats assigned. They were very accommodating and found us seats at the back of the plane. We were told that we must collect our luggage in Madrid and check it in for the onward flight to Santiago.

Whilst waiting at boarding we met Hillary, Gwen, and Odile. Robyn arrived and then I saw Sandra and we exchanged gifts - hers to go to Angela in Logrono and mine to San Anton.  Nice new aircraft - we had a three seater to ourselves so Gail was able to lie down and sleep across 2 seats most of the night.

When we arrived in Madrid at 7.30am we went to baggage claims but none of our stuff was on the carrasol.  The Iberia desk told me that in Europe one collects luggage at the final destination so it had gone to Santiago.

We parted ways with the amaWalkers ladies and got our flight to Santiago while they all flew to Pamplona.  When we landed at Lavacolla  airport only my pink case arrived. Gail's wasn't  there.  I took mine through customs and found Sonia (Santiago taxi driver) waiting for us as arranged.   I told her that Gail's case hadn't arrived and after reporting it to Iberia we left the airport at 11 am together with Nick from Connecticut who had also reported a piece of luggage missing.

Sonia dropped us off close to Pension Escalinata and we checked in, warmly greeted by Jose and Be lin the owners. Gail needed clothes so after a hot drink and toast, we went to Pregrinoteca to look at hiking pants, shirts etc. She couldn't find anything there but the Chino shop across the road had black tights a cheap t-shirt, socks and panties. We got Spanish Sim Cards at Moister and bought salad, cheese, chips, rolls, yoghurt and cold drinks at a Froize supermarket and cherries and peaches at a fruit and veg shop.

After a rest in our room we went back to the river and had a couple of drinks. We went  back to the pension and had chips and guacamole and drinks.  Jose had phoned the Iberia help desk to enquire about Gail's missing case but it was one of those automated reply numbers where you didn't speak to a person.  I sent a whatsapp  to Jon and he said everyone had collected their luggage in Pamplona.  So, only Gail, who had checked hers in at Johnnesburg, didn't have her luggage. At 9.30 we showered  and went to bed. The door to our room had glass panels and the light from the passage shone in.  We were too tired to care.

Gails  suitcase with her special stash!

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