Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Now in the province of Palencia. While it is still on the meseta, the farmland is flatter, with better soil, some irrigation, and much more productive. Too cold in the winter for orchards, it is still wheat, sugar beet, alfalfa area. This area was the breadbasket of the Roman empire.
An old roman bridge.
16 relatively easy miles. There was just one steep ascent and descent on a meseta outside of Castrojeriz. By midmorning, I entered the province of Palencia. The farmland here is much nicer- flatter with very few rocks in the soil and much of it irrigated, which has not been the case until now. I walked most of the day alone, but did talk briefly to German Peter along the way. I also saw Sean in Fromista, but he decided to go on to the next town. I was one of the first in the albergue here so it will be interesting to see who else shows up.
By the way, I did find some pepper seeds in Belorado, a few days ago. They are not padron and the shopkeeper told me that I would be able to find padron seeds closer to Santiago.
I had one of my blog followers email to say that I must be carrying a computer and a large battery pack to be posting most every day. Actually, the equipment is very light, but does the job. I am using my iPod touch, which can do most anything on the internet if you can find a wi fi signal that is not password protected. Most wi fi's are password protected, but I find that a bit of walking around town and scanning the available networks almost always reveals an unsecured signal, sometimes more than one. I then hitchhike that signal to mostly check email and post to my blog. I figure the small amount of badwidth that I need will not even be noticed. Last night I even downloaded three free podcasts from WGBH Boston's classical music series, which I can listen on the itoch when I want. I also have the Amazon Kidle reader on the itouch, so have my reading material on here too. A few days ago, I bought Dan Brown's latest, The Lost Symbol. It took about a minute to download and I am now reading it. The itouch weighs only a few ounces, the charging equipment just a few more ounces. Since the itouch battery needs frequent charging, I also have a battery pack that uses four AA batteries and can recharge the itouch 3 times, in case I can not charge it directly. Another few ounces. I have a lightweight charger for the AA batteries. I also use AA's in my digital camera and minimag flashlight. All in all everything is well under two pounds, but does the job. The biggest problem is that I have not yet been able to get photos on my blog. I have had access to a regular computer a few times, but they always block the needed USB ports or require administrator privileges. Also, entering text on the itouch is slower than on a regular computer, but I am getting faster at it. So the marvels on modern technology are enabling me to stay in touch a half world away. Now I just need to figure out Spanish phone cards and pay phones so I can call Kathy!