The Road to Santiago.
Journal.

November 6, 2002
Wednesday

Ponferrada

After breakfast in the hotel, I worked through the morning. The hotel had a computer room with an Internet connection which I used to answer some email. Unfortunately, my laptop doesn't have a data port with which I could network with the hotel's computer.  So I had to return to my room for the painfully slow process of transmitting via a dial-up modem.

Many people have questioned the fact that I am carrying a laptop in my backpack. Why not just go to a cyber café? Well, that's fine for answering email. And that assumes that the towns I go through would have a cyber café. Many of the towns along the camino are so small that they don't have even cafeterias for coffee let alone a cyber café.  Another problem is that when I write, I do a first draft on my computer. Then, I change the piece-mold it, refine it, cut it, or lengthen it until I feel comfortable with the end product. After I'm satisfied, I send it to my partner who does the final editing before relaying it to the web master. Thus, I would either have to download onto a disk and take it a cyber café or take my machine with me and connect machine to machine. Well, I have already mentioned the problem of the second option. But either way, at most every cyber café that I visited they would not allow either a connection or the use of a floppy disc. Perhaps they are afraid of viruses. Or, perhaps they feel it cuts into their business. (It's kind of like taking a tea bag to a coffee shop and asking for a cup of hot water.)

Later in the day, I went to el correro (post office) to mail a second batch of postcards. When I handed the clerk a stack of about 30 cards, he said, "¡Tiene muchos amigos!" (You have many friends!) How right he was!

On the way back to the hotel, I decided that I shouldn't take the time to go out to eat since the transmission was so slow. So, I bought some cheese, boiled ham, and a bottle of wine which I could eat in my room, I also gave in to temptation and bought a small piece of a chestnut tort for a postre (dessert). My little picnic made the whole process less boring. Suddenly around 10:00 p.m. the transmissions started to go through without problems. Now it was just a matter of time. This night I went to bed at 2:00 a.m.

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