Jul 27, 2004
Dec 13, 2006
Flying to Madrid on my own was very strange after 2 years of almost constant travel with Mandy. Getting lost on the subway system into the city centre also immediately disproved my theory of me being the one with the sense of direction!! I checked into Cats Hostel which was a cool building with decent dorms and a traditional courtyard area to relax in. My first job was to replace the contact lenses which were in the bag that British Airways had lost the week before. Luckily the Madrid opticians were much more helpful than the English ones which had refused to sell me anything without a prescription. It was nice to be able to see again properly for the first time in 3 days!! After lunch in the centre and a walk around I spent the evening having a few beers and playing cards with some people at the hostel. A friendly Spanish guy called David has kindly given me his email address and offered help with the language if I need it in the months ahead - I'm sure he doesn't realise how much Spanish help I am likely to need but a very kind offer all the same! The following day I headed back to Madrid airport to fly to New York. Before checking in I called into the Varig office to re-confirm my New York-Rio de Janiero flight for later in the week only to find that the airline went bankrupt a month ago!!! They told me that I should (should?!!) get a refund but then I had to board my flight to New York hoping that on arrival in the USA the immigration officer didn't ask for any proof of an onward ticket (luckily they didn't). But now I had to find another way of getting to South America....