Camino Del Norte - Day 6June 14, 2017 in Spain
Camino Del Norte - Day 6
Gernika to Bilbao
Distance 35.5km (9 hours)
Total ascent 835m descent 825m
Our merry band of 3 set off at 06.30am this morning. I didn't sleep much overnight as I was disturbed by mosquitos buzzing around my head and a very loud thunder storm overnight. It did help to dampen down the noise of snoring.
Thankfully, it was cool and the storm had passed. We walked through Gernika past a copy of Pecaso's famous work.
We were joined by a young Dutch kid who couldn't pick up the Camino signs leaving the town. We got her to join us. We continued climbing a very steep hills through eucalyptus and pine trees.
Facilities were very limited on the Camino. We meandered our way into a village called Larrabetzu. By this time, we were 17km into our long day and we were starving. Our refuge, a small cafe, was closed. We ended up sitting outside eating our fund rations from our pack. This was near a bus stop where several buses bound for Bilbao stopped. We all looked at each other daring the other to say that we should simply take the bus.
We didn't and carried on another 3.5km to find a cafe in Lezama packed with peregrinos including a number we have got to know when I started this trip.
We were now just over halfway through the day but the heat was building up. Suncream, glasses and sun hats applied.
We carried on paved roads to Zamudio where we watched planes land at Bilbao airport. We then had a 400m hill to negotiate before catching our first panoramic view of the city.
Spirits were raised as we slowly made our way into the city. We passed the Cathedral in the old city and appeared to attract a lot of attention as peregrinos. It really was a wise move staying away from us. We reeked after 9 hours of walking on the Camino.
We parted company with our American friends Mickey. He checked into a pension and is spending a few days in Bilbao catching up with old friends and hopefully his host family from 1999. Hopefully he will rejoin me afte that. His knowledge of the Basques is fantastic. Each day, he has come out with nuggets of information.
Three of us are staying in a basic Albergue near the train station in Bilbao. We are all very tired and footsore. We have made arrangements to have our clothes washed and dried which takes a lot of pressure off us.
My feet are holding up well. My shoes, on the other hand, look worn out. The sloes are wearing away. Ah well, time will see.....
Tomorrow should be an easier day but I may have stiff muscles. I walk to Pobena along the banks of the Rio Nervion.
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