Spiritual Counseling from The Irish Hiking Machine

We walked 14 miles, meeting dozens of perigrinos as we left Redondela and reached Pontevedra today. These albergues are set up so that each evening’s visitors check out by 8 AM. A little army of walkers exits these ancient stone refuges each day as we try to cover our miles before the heat of the sun makes travel miserable. The days of sparse contacts with other walkers are passed as we near Santiago. 
We walked all day with Karen, from Ashville, North Carolina.  She is a physical therapist who has the summer off and started from Porto as well. Today, I picked up a few key Spanish phrases from her, as she speaks that language pretty well. I wish I could.   
We had two steady climbs today, and ended our day earlier than ever. It helped. 
Marcia and I made excellent time, reachinge here at 1 PM, just as the Albergue was opening.  
When we settled into our €6 lodging, I was pleasantly surprised to find a vending machine in the lobby that not only offered fresh brewed cups of espresso, but also tall chilled cans of German beer. Would you believe €1.60 each?

 When I was thru hiking the Appalachian Trail and rented my weekly motel room, I picked up a habit of purchasing a beer and taking it into the shower with me and extending the ecstasy of rinsing off a week’s worth of grime down the drain. While I have been no where near as slimy of this trip, it was a real treat.  

I ventured out into the busy city and struggled around to find a supermarket where I bought veggies, spaghetti, cheese, and eggs, along other items for our dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow. Thankfully , we secured lower bunks right next to each other even with a dozen people already ahead of us. This alberge is modern, clean and huge. Unfortunately, the guy who was above me was a serious professional snorer and I was woken up a half dozen times.   

Wifi has been a bust in our lodgings. They say they have it, passwords connect l, but then the download speeds are so slow that nothing really comes through. We do better at the little coffee shops. I am so careful with accessing international data after racking up ,$75 in overage fees. I called Verizon again and hope to do better after my plan refreshes again in 2 days.  
I had great contact in talking with David Rooney, the Irish Hiking Machine. He is 73 and is on his 4th Camino. We clicked. He told me that his life finally came together after quitting drinking 30 years ago. He is one of most witty, perceptive, and funny guy. He shared how to get the most out of our Santiago stay, offered some spiritual insights, and advised me in how to make to most out our side trip to Finisterre.  

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