Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Elorriaga to Markina (el Camino del Norte)

After a blissful night's sleep at Behatokia Point, we said a message of thanks for our sanctuary and set off again at 08:00 am in the chilly morning air.

Presently we were accompanied by another Gabriel from Italy and enjoyed exchanging stories with him for a couple of miles until we parted ways. 

Today's hike was not easy. We climbed so many steep mountains and had so much elevation gain and descent over 20 miles/32km that my legs and feet feel hammered. 

Josh has about four blisters developing in his toes and we're hoping that they don't get much worse.

Unfortunately we missed a trail marker just after the seaside town of Deba and hiked an extra 3 miles along and up an extremely dangerous highway that felt suicidal as there was no shoulder and huge trucks were hurtling past us at high speed. It just didn't feel right and after about a mile and a half we realized that we hadn't seen any trail markers for awhile. I checked my Camino app and discovered we were way off course. 

Josh had even asked a bus driver who was parked along the way whether we were going in the right direction or not and he answered "Si. Si." Yeah right! The lesson learned was how easy it is to miss a marker and we're going to be more vigilant from now on.

Lunch was at an extremely nice Albergue with very friendly people working there. Our use of the Spanish language is improving daily due to necessity.

At some point we said to each other that if at an intersection and one wondered which path to take to be on the Camino, the correct choice would be the steep one going up!  I would not recommend this trail for anyone wishing to walk along an undulating path. This is a strenuous hike.
Our message today spray painted  on a large pipe was "Free your mind"

As we neared the town of Markina we walked past an extremely creepy abandoned house which made us speed up our pace. It gave us the willies and exuded a very awful energy. We didn't even want to look back at the windows once we had passed it, for fear of what we might see.

At about 8pm, as we reached the outskirts of a town we found an awesome spot to "wild camp", sheltered from the wind, in a pine forested area.
Josh couldn't wait for his Mountain House pasta again and we settled down to sleep at about 10 pm, just as it started getting dark, grateful for another day of a great experience on the Camino, keeping up our mileage goal and another wonderful campsite. 

Buen Camino!
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