Staying in Quatro Vientos

Posted from Seville, Andalusia, Spain.

After my short jet lag rest in Leon I headed west to a small town on the outskirts of Ponferrada.  The town is Quatro Vientos (four winds).  I found a nice room on Airbnb.  This is a room rental as opposed to an apartment rental.  However, I had actually met the man that lived there.  When on the camino a fellow pelligrino knew him and we had drinks in the old town near the albergue.  His name is Bruno Santin and he is an artist.  He has a relatively large apartment.  He will be in the apartment for a couple of days then will be off to an art exhibit so I’ll have the place to myself.

The apartment has a nice terrace overlooking a square with a nice view of the mountains in the distance.

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The apartment has two bedrooms, a living room and a studio for his drawings.

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Bruno has his art spread around the apartment.IMG_2897

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On the day of my arrival he had a great empanada and salad for dinner.IMG_2867

Delicious!!

Technology is Still Amazing

Posted from Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country, Spain.

Today I am headed to Europe for 6 weeks.  No specific plans but to spend some time in northern Spain, Italy (Rome and Florence) and London.

Normally when it is time to depart I have someone take me to the airport.  But in an effort to be a bit more self supporting I thought I would utilize technology to help get me to the airport.  At 1:00 p.m. I turned on my iPhone and brought up my Uber app.  It knew where I lived and I told it where I wanted to go (the corner of Center and Border).  My app said ok, Emmanuel would be there in 7 minutes to pick me up.  It showed me a map of where Emmanuel currently was located (somewhere along Cooper street).  As I gathered my things I watched on my phone as the map showed Emmanuel getting close enough.  then 1:07 my phone made a sound and gave me a message that Emmanuel was outside of my home.  I looked out the window and sure enough there he was.  I went out, loaded my things in the car and off we went.  In no time I was at my destination.  I got out, thanked Emmanuel, took my things and he left.  No dollars changed hand, no tip was expected or offered.  How easy.  As Emmanuel drove away my phone sent me a message with a receipt and a map of my journey.  How easy.

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As I sat and waited for my next leg of the journey to begin.  Again, I pulled out my phone and started a different app.  I said that I wanted to go from the Arlington bus stop to the TRE train station.  I selected my ticket type.  A ticket appeared on my phone just as the but pulled up.  I picked up my things, go on board and showed my iPhone to the driver.  He smiled and waved me on.  Again without any dollars changing hands I was on my way to the airport.

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I often feel that technology is passing me by.  These technologies have been around for several years so it was nice to know that I could still master them and put them to use to make my travels easier.

At the airport I boarded a plane to Spain (fortunately in Business Class) and took the 10 hour to Madrid.  I didn’t spend any time in Madrid but made my way to Leon on the train to recover from jet lag before continuing on my journey