Adventures in travel!
After a day and a night like that, you need a very large cup of bold coffee. Since the last you knew of me, I have trekked from Lagos to Lisbon, Lisbon to Madrid and Madrid to Bilbao. Wow, that sure is easy to read. If you have a map, it even looks like a relatively short distance. Doing this, over Easter holiday (which is no small holiday in Europe) on a budget, was an experience. Life is after all, basically a collection of your experiences with your perception.
Some night trains are called sleeper trains because they have sleeper cars and travel during a time when the majority of people would normally sleep. Based upon this definition and my experience on past trains of this nature, the trip from Lisbon to Madrid would be defined as a no-sleeper. Yes, this train fit the part where it commutes during the night -- however we secured ourselves seats because the sleepers were booked (holiday, remember).
So again, being 6´5", sitting in a small seat facing another... sleep just doesn´t come. When we sat down, Dan and I had one of those moments where things look dire... so what do we do, we had a laugh. One of those laughs that you must have... to release needed endorphines so that your internal string doesn´t snap with a resounding crack. We laughed so hard that the girls sitting next to us first looked at us like we were crazy. When we continued, then began to smile, and laugh as well.
In the end, I spent the night on my feet, between two cars chatting with a black frenchman from Paris, a man from Portugal who worked in Switzerland and my travellmate Dan. Mix together conversations with some french, spanish, and english... throw in a few stops with policemen boarding randomly checking passports... toss on the feeling like you have been on a train for days with all the sounds and movements on the rails at around 5am, and you can begin to understand my experience. When all was said and done, we found ourselves in Madrid.
My perception? That is travelling on a budget! What kind of fun would it be if I had all sorts of funds to take a plane and in less than a few hours be at my destination, staying in a 5 star hotel? Well, probably fun in a more relaxing way, but there is no story there!
This is adventure. Out of the comfort zone? Check. Lost? Yep. Agenda or Plan? Nope. Living it up? For sure!
(sorry there are no pictures of this experience for your viewing pleasure, but here are a few last shots of Lagos, the paradise I left behind to board the no-sleeper)
The chimneys in Lagos