Took another rest day and cabbed from Gernika to Lemarza. But did the walk from Lemarza to Bilbao, which was shorter. It was basically up one big ole hill, then down the other side. I’ve had the chance to meet several other pilgrims and share our stories. One nice gentleman from California is doing the entire Camino del Norte. He expects to be in Santiago by the middle of May.
Passed by many lovely homes along the way.
But here’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in Bilbao yet…..
Just a few blocks from my hotel! It is good to have clean clothes!
Another brutal walk. We got a little rain along the way and that made the paths muddy. Combine rocks, mud, and steep slopes and you have some very slow going indeed. But it was mostly in a lush green forest with a stream nearby. Very beautiful indeed.
Caught these two “basque - ing” in the sun!
I cannot tell a lie. After two exhausting days of hiking, I decided to skip this leg and take a cab to Markina. I still have not been able to get a solid night’s sleep, which isn’t helping. So, being 65 years old, I know my limits. I enjoyed a relaxing day around Markina and took a long nap in the afternoon. I woke up refreshed and ready to walk to town for some dinner. And I met this fine young lady!
First cat I’ve seen since I got here! And she’s a beautiful calico, like my dear sweet Clara! She was friendly and sweet and didn’t care that I don’t speak Spanish.
Another grueling day. Straight up and straight down. Northern Spain is mountainous and I am crossing every mountain! Shorter than yesterday (14 miles), but harder terrain. More like climbing than hiking. But…the countryside is incredibly beautiful. I feel as if I have walked into a fairy tale filled with green meadows, ancient castles, and wildflowers everywhere.
After a particularly rough trail, I happened upon this:
A self-service cider stand! I put three euros in the mason jar provided. I used the corkscrew that was also provided, and took a sip. WOW! It was pretty tasty, but pretty potent also. I took a few more sips and left the rest for the next person to enjoy.
Coming to you barely alive from Getaria, I’ve just finished my first day. Brutal is not an overstatement. 18 miles of mostly steep hills. Not being a particularly athletic person, this pushed me to my limit and beyond. But I made it to my lodgings in Getaria! Everything hurts, but a good night’s sleep should take care of that. I hope.