We arrived in Madrid at about 2:30am this morning (Wednesday) and finally the motley crew had to say goodbye to one another. A few got dropped off at the airport, determined to catch earlier flights out. I was the last to be dropped off and made it to my hotel at 3am. I was hoping to save on the cost of yet one more night at a hotel, but with 4 more days of traveling ahead I thought I should grab some kip wherever I could!! For a bargain price of 97CAD, I had a room for the next 6 hours… Brilliant. And even better, the hotel was fully booked so I got my own suite! Two bathrooms, two beds, and a living room. Shame I had to sleep and miss all the fun 😉
Before I checked out this morning I got a stroke of genius and grabbed the fuzzy bathroom slippers from the hotel room. In my midnight packing frenzy on Sunday, my flip flops for wearing around camp didn’t make it into my bag… But I figure if I cut the toes off the bathroom slippers that will do the trick! And they are lightweight too! SCORE!
I got to the airport SUPER early – almost 4 hours before my flight – and as I was standing in the check out line I suddenly became overwhelmed by the past few days of journey and, okay fine, the tears started coming… I crumpled purely out of relief. And then all of a sudden I heard a noise behind me… IT WAS SALVADOR CALVO!!! My partner-in-crime from Racing the Planet Vietnam (the male winner and also the winner of RTP Namibia)!! I threw my arms around him and squeezed him tight, much to his, um, surprise I’m sure! I was so happy to see him. He had been writing me on facebook about how desperate he was to get out but couldn’t get a flight. BONUS!!! Ana and Lourdes (volunteer) showed up about half and hour later and we spent the next few hours chatting in spanglish. Well, they spoke in English and I chickened out trying to use Spanish. I’m not sure what we chatted about all of the time, but I did pick up ‘cajones’, which I think says it all.
Salvador is not only one of the best runners I know, but also THE most humble. More on that later.
We made it to Doha and are now stuck here for about 6 hours. Once we get to Singapore we will split ways. The three Spanish fighters will go onwards to Perth and Kununurra, arriving at 12:25pm on Friday. Unfortunately I have another 6 hour layover in Singapore and then a 24 hour layover in Darwin, arriving finally in Kununurra at 7:15am on Saturday. BUT WE’RE MAKING IT!!!!