4 November

Itís about 1430 on Tuesday, November 4.

I am at the albergue in Ourense where they have an internet terminal which is free.  When I arrived here there was one other person here. He is from Belgium and he has been here for 3 days because he has been ill with flu symptoms.

He is only the third peregrino that I have seen since I left Salamanca. I have been alone at virtually every albergue.

I am in Ourense where for the second day in a row I am drying out, not from too much wine,  but from hours and hours of rain. I have had precipitation in some form for each of the last four days but the last two have been the worst.    But, a bit of hardship builds character.   I swore that I wasnít going to get a ride after the 50 km bus ride to Salamanca in the pouring rain, and I havenít.  Now that I have a cover for the backpack and can wear the poncho underneath the backpack it helps.  Of course I scare small children when I walk into these villages.

Yesterday, it started to rain as I was starting up the last of the passes on the trip and of course I got wet both inside my poncho (from the sweat) and those parts of me that were exposed.   I tried to find a tuque and sweater for the cold weather but itís almost impossible to find those things in the little villages in Spain.  The worst part is walking in wet shoes and socks for hours on end. This morning I stuck plastic shopping bags over my socks and that really helped as I stayed relatively dry although the rain was pounding for the full 4 1/2 hours of todayís short walk of 22 km.  There is another use for plastic bags!

So with todayís walk finished,  I have completed 896 km with 111 km left to go.  (1,087,000 steps).  The next four days of walking will be a piece of cake. It's a bit warmer now that I am over the passes so I don't have to worry about dealing with the cold. The only thing that can create a problem is rain and frankly that won't be a problem. I have learned a lot about walking this time. Lessons that will serve me well should I do some more.

I have received the OK to stay at the albuergue, which is gorgeous, for a second night.  I just have to vacate in the morning and then show up again at 13:00 but I can leave my backpack here. This means that I should arrive in Santiago de Compostela on Sunday afternoon, November 9, one day ahead of my original plan.

I will probably get a hotel for one night in Santiago de Compostela.

Right now the schedule looks as follows:

Ourense: Nov 4 to 6 at the albergue
Walk to Santiago over 4 days arriving on Nov 9
Santiago Albergue: Nov 9-10
Santiago: Attend Rotary meeting Nov 10
Santiago: Nov 10-12 Accommodation TBD
Train/Bus to Madrid  Nov 12
Madrid:  Hostel  Nov 12- 14
Fly to London: Nov 14
Fly to Canada: Nov 15