Up to my eyeballs in travel: Toulouse to Madrid

Here I sit, soaking wet on a train from Toulouse to Barcelona. An unfortunate sequence of events has lead me to be here, all of my own doing.


Let’s start with why I’m in a train and not comfortably on my night bus which, had I not been such an idiot, I should have been sitting, high and dry.

Ok let’s work backwards. I missed my night bus. Why did I miss my night bus? Because I agreed to go and see a lake near Toulouse at 10.30pm because I felt bad saying no to the hostel driver who had proposed the idea.

Why was I requiring a hostel driver last night? Because I missed my train from the hostel to the bus station. Why did I miss my train? Because I, Kaitlyn Lawrence, am an idiot and misread the train times, only finding that the last train leaves Colomiers at 9.15, when I arrived at the hostel at 9pm.

Why was I back at the hostel so late I hear you ask? Now, this is where I admit to being a fool. I had left some food and containers there (unimportant ones at that), so…bored with the weather and being alone for the whole day, Kaitlyn decides to go back to the hostel, collect food and containers, have a beer with the fellas at the hostel then get on the night bus at midnight.


I get to the hostel, find out the train is leaving, instead of asking for a lift, I run the 2km back to the train station with my 20kg pack on my back. It was like the movies… I am running up the steps of the station as the train is pulling away… WHY!?

So… for the fifth time today, I haul myself back to the hostel… at least I am getting fit. working off some of this beer.

One of the guys offers me a lift, tries to convince me to stay the night… while I explain to him that I have a non-refundable bus to catch, I am also feverishly glancing at the clock and the GPS… I think I am going to miss this bus.

Getting to the station 5 minutes after the arrival time, it becomes very VERY apparent that I have missed this stupid bus, it is midnight, I have just thrown away 60 euros and I am facing another night at the hostel in Colomiers. No buses leave the following day, the best I can do is catch a train to Barcelona then a BlaBla car to Madrid… 175 euros later.

So that brings us here… completely soaked because it was pouring with rain when I walked to the train station.

I am going to be completely honest… it left a little bit of a sour taste of Toulouse. What happens next perks me up a little. I get my two trains… Toulouse to Narbonne, Narbonne to Barcelona.

After a tense 20 minutes trying to contact my BlaBla car driver in Barcelona, I find him. 40-something year old Spanish man with two gold teeth… sorry mum.

The next five hours was hilarious. Why?

Me: No hablo espanol

Driver: No hablo ingles

So for the drive from Barcelona to Madrid we each pointed at things and exclaimed the name of them in our own language.

Exhausted, in desperate need of sleep and the prospect of a six hour journey from Madrid to Lisbon the following morning, Kaitlyn dragged herself to bed in her little hostel in Madrid… partially ignored the two sexy French rock-climbers that were in her room… and went to sleep.

End of Ordeal: despite my stupidity I think I was never meant to get on that bus… who knows. Everything happens for a reason and it is frustrating at the time but that is what travelling is all about… bending and swaying and being flexible.

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