It’s a small world after all
As said yesterday, I ended up staying in a nice hotel cause I had no other option. My bike had two broken spikes next to each other, I was tired, and there were no other choices. The hotel stopped to be nice at around 3am when I realized I had been eaten by bedbugs all over my body. I could not sleep cause my back was itching, but also my mind was drafting the letter to the director.
At 6am I decided to take a shower after spending the night hunting all over. I came down and dumped my complain to a fresh graduated receptionist. He offered free breakfast and ensured me this would be the first issue the manager would take care of. She came and handled pretty good, I requested all my belongings to be washed and she took care of that and did not charge obviously for the room. I moved to another room and they let me check out in the afternoon.
I did not sleep much, did not have a bike and had a bit of pain on my left knee from a recent fall (nothing serious). So I had no other choice but take the day off. This was my Sunday. I left my bike for repair and looked for a charger for my hair trimmer.
A multimeter showed that the charger (110-220v) was working but the trimmer wasn’t charging. At Media Markt a guy pulled out a new trimmer and proved that my trimmer was charging with a new charger. I asked him to leave it there charging for a while. I had no idea why it didn’t work but did not want to pay €79 for a product I had purchased already for $50 or so back in the US. I updated myself with electronic product reviews and prices in Europe, picked up my trimmer and went back to my new -clean- room for a nap, a hair cut, and a shower.
I picked up salsa from the workshop. Recapping from yesterday, I had two broken spikes and decided to stop in this town and from the many bike repair shops randomly picked one. The guy who was delivering my bike sounded and looked very familiar, but did not pay much attention to that and kept assessing salsa’s repair.
Finally he asked what was my trip about, I shortly told him where I came from and where I was going. “Will yo do the Camino at some point?” He asked taking for granted I would know what camino he was talking about. “That’s how I started my trip” as I replied I finally identified him. He was one of the hospitalarios (volunteers at the hostels) at Roncesvalles. I remembered him cause he was nice enough to take Lauren’s bike out of the box and assemble it while we were having dinner before D-01 of the Camino. “We receive around 150 people per day and its hard to remember all faces, but I now remember having a quick chat with you”.
Went to the train station decided to catch up by train the time lost over the day. Where to start? picking up a city risking that no accommodation would be available or start by the hostel. I could not find booking for hostels on the same day and the two bookings I did through airBnB did not reply yet. I decided to purchase tickets to Eindhoven. My card did not work, someone passed by and offered helping wight the ATM like ticket machine. He ended up paying with his own card and offered me to pay him by cash in exchange, which I did. At the same time another guy stopped to look at salsa asking questions. Now that I had tickets I needed to find which platform was my train on, he helped me in doing that out. Salsa was a breeze to ride with the panniers but it was a medieval torture to carry with the stairs. He carried my panniers, even when that wasn’t his direction, and I took salsa up. Hopped on the train, started talking to the couple next to me who also had bikes and we got out of the train at the same town. As I started to think on the stairs out of the platform the couple conversed with one of the train station workers, they were ex-coworkers and he was guiding them -and me- to a service lift for official use only. The lift doors opened and we were right at the street. Nothing could have gone smoother, no carrying panniers or salsa was needed.
The best gift the universe provided me at that time was a public toilet, no needed to lock salsa nor going anywhere. This is the best invention ever and there were hips of them in the city for anyone to use. (Check the grey module on the right side of the picture.) It will take like 5 centuries for this device to make it to Latinamerica or the US.
Both my requests from airBnB were rejected and luckily found a hostel close to the city center.