26 October update

26 October update:

It took me two days to walk the 68 km from Salamanca to Zamora. Walking conditions were ideal although it is really cold first thing in the morning, about freezing. But by noon the temperature is in the mid to high teens which is great for walking. I may have to look for some gloves or mittens if this cool weather is going to continue.

Unfortunately yesterday, out of the 36 km of walking, more than 20 were along the shoulders of a heavily travelled two-lane highway, N360. This is one of the things that I donít like about the Via de la Plata as compared to last year.  To this point there has been a much higher proportion of walking along or on tarmac. It creates a lot of problems as well as being hazardous.

 - hard on your feet and legs
 - dangerous
 - noisy
 - vehicles can throw up sand and rocks
 - drafts from huge trucks almost stop your forward momentum
 - you have to constantly focus on the traffic rather than on your surroundings
 - boring

Today only about one km was along a highway and that was a lightly travelled road.

I didnít see another peregrino all day yesterday or today. Thatís about 15 hours of walking without seeing anyone including bicyclists.

Last night I stayed at the albergue in a little village called El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino. When I got there the albergue was closed but there was a sign on the door in five languages with instructions to call a telephone number. Well, I donít have a phone, so being resourceful I went to the bar in the village and after some confusion got the bartender to call the number for me and voila soon thereafter I was showering and feeling a bit more human.

The albergue had 14 beds.....there was no need for snoring protection as I was the only resident. Later I made myself a dinner of Garbanzo beans, chorizo, tuna and stale bread. Dessert was a few squares of dark chocolate......YUMMY.

As the sun was setting I sat outside writing in my journal and watching a father with his young daughter, about 3 years old, using the playground equipment next door. Reminded me of doing the same thing 30 years ago. Later a local dog came by and laid down beside me....it was good to have some companionship.

I arrived in Zamora at about 3:30 p.m. this afternoon but the sign on the new albergue said that it didnít open until 4:30. So, I waited and wrote in my journal. As promised, someone arrived on time and let me into the brand new beautiful facility. Later a young lady from Germany arrived....I hope she doesnít snore.

Iíve been listening to the iPOD in the evenings....but today for the first time I had it on for a couple of hours while I was walking. I was listening to the US country singer, I canít think of her name right now......®Girls of the Eighties® is one of her great songs.

I have about 17-18 days of walking to go and am looking forward to coming home 3 weeks from today.