Hey friends- Sorry for the lack of planning posts, but, you know, pandemic life. It’s now early January, about three weeks later than when I started planning for my first camino, and I realized I had better start putting the pieces together if this birthday camino is going to happen. Yes, I know the world is burning in this latest flare up of COVID infections (thank you, #antivaxxers), BUT I also know that things change quickly. Since I am on a very specific timeline — to walk into Santiago on my birthday May 8 — that means I have to start walking by a certain date to get there. I also know that if I don’t make at least an effort to have plans in place, when restrictions are lifted I could find myself in a position of not being able to purchase nor afford flights. So here are the requirements I’ve been working with (besides price):
- Depart Seattle around March 30
- Return to Seattle around May 15
- Flight can be cancelled or changed
- One stop max
First, I must tell you I was completely lost starting my search. I used to be an export pro at finding international flights, but the last time I traveled was summer 2019, with the flights booked no later than February that year. So early 2019 was the last time I tried to book an international flight. Any flight, really.
I was totally lost!
FNorwegian with whom I have tons and tons and tons of loyalty/flight points — no longer flies to any US city. Egads. OK. Every other search tool I used to rely on is either gone or has been taken over by ads and sponsored content, making them clunky and frustrating to use. Ugh.
I finally zeroed in on the flight I want: Virgin Sea-LHR and back for $896. Perfect.
I saved it, printed it, then moved on to the next portion of the travel arrangements — getting to the continent, preferably Bordeaux again so I can do the bus-train journey to SJPDP (which of course last time ending up being creeper taxi-bus-walk-taxi).
No flights available at all between UK and France. Or as one very official site put it, “forbidden.” This:
I’ve spent the rest of the night scratching my head over this. I think the only way I can possibly do this without waiting for the world to open up again in the spring (please before March 30, please before March 30, please before March 30…), is to plan to fly directly into and out of Spain. Being a Seattleite, I’ve had to access the EU via London my entire adult life. Ack. Mind blown.
So really this post only as two purposes: to let you know that I am still hoping to walk the Frances again and reach Santiago on my big 5-0, and to record my frustration at suddenly feeling like a novice at international travel planning in this still-not-post-COVID-world.
It’s a post about nothing. I wish you all well and hope that you are safe, healthy, and happy.