Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day 38: Deba to Markina-Xemein (24kms)

The bridge out of Deba

Today would have been a good day to punch the pillow, and enjoy a little more sleep. Light rain was falling, and the thought of setting out into it just needed some more processing. We roused, lingered over breakfast, and eventually outlasted the rain. We crossed the bridge out of town, on damp streets (but no rain), at 9:00. There was no easing into our departure. The climb started right away and put a damper on the conversation for the next 45 minutes. We initially had some sea views but quickly we turned inland to the peace and (later) the mud of the forest. The scenery as moved into the interior valleys was pretty dramatic. Low clouds, and mist topped the hills, but. The valleys were green and lush. Quite spectacular. Robin and I moved up and down following the folds and creases of the terrain until arriving in the very small village of Olatz, where the local taberna was open. The lady inside tending the bar, was a delight. She had quickly had two cafe con leches in front of us, while we eyeballed the tortilla and sausages on the bar. Soon they joined the coffee at our table. I don't know what it was (we were starving, perhaps), but everything we ate and drank was utter perfection. So with a nice lunch warming our insides, it was time to carry on. We walked along a flat stretch for a few minutes and the the road started to rise again. Yes, we were going up. No doubt about it. This climb was steep at first and then eased a bit and then steepened again. It played with us a good part of the afternoon. We did encounter a few brief rain showers, but nothing serious. We were wet from sweat not rain. The temperature today never topped 55 F. Which was great for the terrain we were walking. Today's real story was the beautiful scenery. Hard to imagine it getting any better. The path we walked was quite varied but after Olatz, it seemed to be quite wet and muddy. We spent a good bit of our time looking for rocks, or vegetation to step on. We squished through the mud only as a last resort. But, we made reasonable time, and arrived in Markina about 4:00. We have checked into the private albergue Pitis. We are currently enjoying a very good menu del dias. We will be heading off to mass at 7:30, at the church just across the street. A great way for Robin and I to give thanks for another safe arrival, and to remind us that this is in fact a pilgrimage, not just a long walk. That's it for today hopefully the wifi is up, to sending this. Bye for now.

Deba looking out to sea
Pilgrims ahead
Barnyard report
Our steep path
Go left
We've got goats
Looking down at Markina
Sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel, 11th century


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