I have thought and re-thought every aspect of my adventure a hundred times over. Just yesterday, I researched changing my plans for arrival at St. Jean Pied de Port, France. I am booked with a small airline called Ryanair on a flight from Dublin, Ireland to Biarritz, France. I have since found out that Ryanair is earned the reputation of being a rip-off airline because of their many restrictions which if not complied with cost the traveler excessive extra fees.
So I figured I would change my original flight from landing in Dublin to land in Madrid or Barcelona, Spain and make my way to Pamplona, Spain from there. I spent the better part of my Sunday afternoon looking for flights and connections that would get me to Pamplona, where I can meet up with another pilgrim and then proceed to St. Jean on the 4 pm bus with her. All of the time I spent researching revealed that I was unable to make the necessary connections without changing the day of departure and spending a night in Madrid or Barcelona. This added significant cost to my trip because to leave a day earlier at this short notice would be costly as well as the cost of the non-refundable ticket on Ryanair, the cost of the train to Pamplona, the bus to St. Jean and the hotel in Madrid or Barcelona.
After all was said and done, I have decided to remain with my original plans. I land in Dublin at 6:55 am and catch the Ryanair flight at 12:25 pm. I think the 5 hour time span between the two flights will allow me enough time to fully comply with the restrictions of Ryanair as well as time to pass through Customs. I do not need to make the arriving part of my trip a scene from the TV show “The Amazing Race”!
I still have a few last-minute things to pick up before my departure like vitamins, waterproofing for my shoes and a luggage tag for the duffel bag, but all in all I think I am ready. The Camino is awaiting my arrival and it is calling me!
I will try to keep this blog updated along the way but can’t make any promises; we will just have to wait and see. I do, however, plan to send out update emails of my progress along the Camino. If any of my readers would like to be included in the distribution list, please let me know.