Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Journey Back to Scooby, November Visit 2012

Lovely Day, Lovely Galgos
Paddock 4 Galgos are All in New Homes Now

The Journey from California to Madrid
On Saturday, November 10, had an early flight from San Francisco through Philadelphia, and then on to Madrid.  Arrived 7:45 a.m. and running on vapors, as it is one full day to get from California to Spain, and I didn't sleep much the night before because of my excitement and never did sleep well on an airplane.  Somehow the adrenaline kicks in and "boom" you're ready to go another several hours because of the thrill of being back in one of your favorite places. 
The Journey from Madrid to Medina del Campo
Because I was shlepping a gargantuan suitcase, full of donated supplies from other Scooby volunteers and also from us, plus a duffle bag with my stuff and a backpack, decided to take a cab to the train station.  For those who have never taken the train from Madrid to Medina del Campo, words of advice.  Make sure they take you to the correct station, which is Chamartin.  The taxi driver and I both misunderstood and he took me to the main metro station. 
Gargantua Suitcase and My Other Stuff
Mondo bag full of Scooby Supplies
The station was very nice, and everyone was extremely helpful.  I finally found my way to the main ticket desk where the young woman explained that I had to first take the metro to the Chamartin station, then I could change trains to get to Medina del Campo.  My other advice is to print those train schedules or have them handy on your phone, as that is how I successfully got on the right train to the correct city. Apparently, there are two Medina's, and one is much farther away. 
Once I arrived at Chamartin, waited for about 90 minutes for my train. Had a wonderful cafe leche and did another Facebook check-in.  Asked to make sure that I had boarded the correct train and sat across from an elderly couple.  I wanted to triple-check one more time to make sure that I was on the right train, so I showed them my ticket. They tried so hard to explain something to me in Spanish, but I just wasn't getting it. So the woman told the man to show me. He took my ticket and then gestured for me to grab my bags, and he took the mondo suitcase, and then we walked through four cars to get to what he was trying to show me.  Low and behold, the ticket had an assigned car and seat, and he had shown me to it.  Muchas Gracias, Senor! :-) It was at the very back, near the ticketmaster and driver's booth. It was actually kind of silly to have an assigned seat because it was Sunday and there were only a handful of folks on the train... All was well. I was off and on my way to Medina del Campo.
Madrid: Metro to Train
Easy, Inexpensive, Fast
It was a very nice day -- mostly sunshine and about 60 degrees. The scenery along the way is really beautiful.  The skies were stunning. There was snow on some of the taller mountains.  We stopped at many small cities along the way and just a few people got off and on. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable trip, and would recommend it for anyone traveling to Scooby from Madrid, especially if they don't want to deal with driving. Total cost was around 29 Euros, and it takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes (because of the stops on the non-Express trains).

Spanish Countryside
Beautiful Scenery, Relaxing Train Ride
I eagerly anticipated meeting my hero volunteer and now fellow Scoobette, Melissa Beamish, who I had planned to work with on this trip.  Somehow, my overtired brain couldn't get Melissa's cell phone number correct to text her.  Thank God she texted me while I was at the train station, and was keeping tabs on when I would arrive around 2 p.m.  She drove the Scooby Volunteer vehicle to pick me up, which I greatly appreciated. When we met, I felt like I was seeing one of my life-long friends right from the moment we met.  She is beautiful inside and out, and her photos, stories, blog, videos, etc. don't even do her justice. They don't show that gigantic heart and soul that she has for all animals. I'm so glad we met via this blog!  My mondo suitcase had to ride in the front, while I rode in the back. It was only about five minutes from the station to Scooby. 

Back in the Saddle at Scooby! :-)

When we pulled up to the potato chip factory, in front of the Scooby grounds, Melissa said to me, "Can you believe it? You're actually here!" We were both so excited to think about the wonderful times to come over the next several days. 

Since it was Sunday, which is the day that Scooby Volunteers normally take off, we decided to take this day to visit as many animals as possible.  Melissa took me around and introduced me to many, many galgos and other dogs, including the most beautiful Hacinta, her heart dog who she returned to see off to France. (More on that later.)
Melissa Beamish with Hacinta
Our visit with the Quarantine Dogs in Hacinta's Kennel

I had the entire dorm to myself and Melissa was right next door in one of the caravans where we could hear, "The Song of the Galgos" ring out several times each day.  She had looked after me in so many ways before I even arrived: making sure that I had sleeping quarters, heaters, food, space in the kitchen and fridge, and so many other things. I can't thank her enough!
 Melissa Does A Happy Dance Exercise with Hacinta and the Galgos
I love this video of Melissa doing her dance with the galgos for exercise!

Melissa with the Pajama Club
These were some of the sweetest dogs in the bunch.  The UK Scoobettes fondly named them, "The Pajama Club", as they loved to snuggle up together in their jammies/warm coats.

Left My Heart with these Sweet Puppies
Took care of them every day while there. They grew before my eyes!

Scooby Sunset
Red Sky at Night, Sailor's Delight - Promise for a Beautiful Day Tomorrow

That first evening, Melissa cooked me and Nilcelio, the Scooby groundskeeper who lives on site, a very delicious pasta dinner. We talked and talked until I couldn't stay awake. Went back, settled in and had a good night's rest. 

I knew that this was going to be a very special visit to Scooby. It was my third, and I had no idea how many wonderful things would unfold.  I didn't mean to let so much time go before letting you know about my trip, but had lots of Facebook and YouTube postings to take care of. Quite frankly, it's very difficult to let go of the pull on your heartstrings when you leave Scooby. Help me! I have separation anxiety!
Scooby, I Can't Leave You!
OK, so I have to leave, but will leave my Heart so that I can return. OK?

Please watch for my future postings, as I will be sharing lots of updates about my trip.  It was magical! :-) Can't wait to return.

Hasta Luego! Thank you for reading my blog! More to follow. Bless sends her blessings.

Our gorgeous Galga, Bless!

Please support Scooby!
Know an organization that will donate dog food? Please let me know.

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