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21 July 2024
Alan Morris on a train from Madrid to Torre Pacheco.

I arrived back in Madrid, Spain today & then made my way back to Los Alcazares.

Madrid to Los Alcazares.

I made my way off of the plane after arriving in Madrid & began walking through to immigration. I checked which way to go with a security person, I didn't want to queue in the wrong line, I am a Spanish resident but a UK passport holder. She told me that I had to use the non-EU line but then opened up a separate line & took me straight through so I didn't have to queue. People have certainly looked after me on this trip & I have been lucky with all the help I have had everywhere.

As I approached baggage claim I saw Gail waving to me. When I got to her I realised that she had taken my case off of the revolving carousel for me & was now just waiting for her luggage. I sat down & waited & when she had collected her luggage we walked towards the exit before saying goodbye to each other. She was taking a flight back to Alicante & I was to catch a train back to Torre Pacheco.

I walked to the train helpdesk & asked to change my train as the one I was on wasn't for another six hours. I had to pay an extra €60 because the only seat available on the earlier train was in first class. They had given me a slightly cheaper ticket as it happened, my seat was in first class but didn't include food & drink. I asked which way to go & the ticket seller just pointed behind me to an entrance to the train station.

I walked through to the train station & joined the only platform I seemed to have access to. I could see other platforms but no way to get to them. There was no guidance to show what platform I was on & no guards to ask for help. As I wondered what to do I saw an air hostess from the plane I had been on & asked her if I was on the right platform. She explained that this was the right place & that I could get on any train as they all went to the main station I had to go to in Madrid.

A short time later a train pulled in & as I struggled to get my case on the train a young man helped me onto the train & to a seat. He asked where I was going & I told him. He told me how many stops I had to go & told me to call him if I needed any help. He was Spanish but had lived for years in England whilst at college & spoke perfect English. As we arrived at the station where I had to change to my main train the young man appeared again & carried my case off the train for me & pointed out the way I had to go to the next train. He then got back on the train to continue his journey home. What a wonderful example of how kind people can be to each other he was.

I got myself a sandwich & a drink at the train station & was disgusted with it, it was dry, tasted horrible & for a ham sandwich & a can of coke, it cost me €20. I walked to the gate where my train was to depart from & as the guard checked my ticket he told me I was at the wrong gate. I pointed out that the information above his head said I was at the right gate & he told me that it was incorrect & pointed me to the right gate. A short time later, breathless but happy to be on the right train, I was sat in the first class section of the correct train.

The journey was comfortable & my seat was great, I had plenty of leg room & it felt like I was sitting in a big easy recliner rather than a train seat. We hurtled along at over 330 km an hour in places & I was sorry to get off in Murcia to change to a rickety old train for the last leg of the journey. I messaged my friend June to tell her my arrival time in Torre Pacheco & when I got off the train she was parked right outside the station waiting for me. It didn't take long for her to drive me home & drop me off at my apartment. I left my suitcase unpacked & went to bed straight away, I was tired & happy to be home after around 36 hours of travelling.