As usual we were up early, ready to go by seven. Then by the time we had locked up and buried the keys in my rucksack it was already ten past. So we had little time to wait for the bus at twenty four minutes past.
At the bus stop we already got comments “You look well prepared” “just a day’s shopping in Chester” I replied. At the station some guy nearly missed his train when he saw my shell. He simply had to come and ask about our camino. “It will be hot this time of year” he had said.
Virgin trains, not as good as Arriva, I’m afraid. Not trolley service and the wifi needs registering and paying for.
Once in London things did not go too well either. I knew that we should not disconnect from railway buildings to get from Euston to St Pancras but somehow we got lost. We had time to spare though. We wandered the streets, eventually doing a full circle and coming almost back to where we had started. The direction arrow at the exit of Euston was simply pointing the wrong way.
The departure lounge was packed. It seems that a train was delayed. Our train also was delayed, domino effect. Then we met someone else had seen the shell and wanted to talk Camino. This helped pass some time.
Then we met up with a fiddle player who talked about playing with the same passion that we have when we talk about tango. It was very interesting.
By the time we got on the train we were on our third boarding pass nearly an hour late and had no reserved seats. Still we managed to get a table seat and were quite comfortable. Travelling under the sea is not very interesting so we travelled almost in silence. We still managed to arrived in plenty of time for our next train. It was parked and waiting for the gate to open.
When the gate opened we walked the length of the train looking for our carriage, an American woman passed us in the opposite direction. We turned and walked back so did the American woman, After the third passing we decided to just get on and sit together.
Our coach never did exist. So we enjoyed each others company and decided that we would face the next problems together.
Due to French strikes our journey was to terminate at Bordeaux and not continue to Bayonne. We had no idea what lay ahead for us, so moral support is all we could give each other.
At Bordeaux there was no sign of help and there was scaffold and boarding everywhere. We decided to look outside. We found a coach office, but it was closed. So we decided to find a room and wait until morning. We managed to find a three bed room at a reasonable price, so we would all bunk up together. Linda decided that as we were going to sleep together then perhaps we should introduce ourselves. Then we all went off for some pasta and beer. This was the strangest beer I have ever drank, Monaco, it was like fizzy Ribena. Still it hit the spot.
In the morning, there was still no sign of help in the station, so we had some breakfast and waited for the Eurocoach office to open.
When it did finally open we found we would have to wait until five o’clock, so we set off to explore Bordeaux. With two women in tow it was inevitable, I suppose, we ended up in the market.
After that we found ourselves in a bar called Inglorious Bar Star. We did not see any German soldiers in there though.
Eventually we caught our bus and arrived at Bayonne. Here we had to part, our hotel had agreed we could still have our room, a day late, and Linda set off for her room, after thanking us for rescuing her.
Our hotel was quite snug, we shared a bathroom and toilet. The room was all clad in wood paneling and painted white. We found a bar fitted out like an American diner and had a hamburger. Sat with us were plastic facsimiles of the Blues Brothers, so Viv took my picture with them. Off to bed then ready for the first of many early starts.