Day 5 – Deba – Markina
After Gerry woke from his slumbers yesterday, we decided to be rebels and leave the dirty laundry for another day and went window shopping with the rest of Deba instead.
This little town may lack some of the tourist glitz of our earlier stops but its charms are still there. We again saw lots of banners supporting Basque and ETA members still imprisoned. It felt wrong or inappropriate to take photos of a large group of silent protesters all holding photos. Later there were bands and groups of singers and we wonder if maybe this is a Basque day of some sort?
We stopped for a drink and a pinxos. We’d had a pilgrim lunch today so we didn’t want much. I tried a sip of Gerry’s wine and had an instant reaction… So I won’t be doing that again! Once we finished we decided to wander to another bar and see what little temptations they had to offer.
It’s Friday and the streets were really busy, in the main square we bagged the last table inside and the waitress handed us a menu. I saw a hamburger for 4 euros and thought of a small pinxos size bites I’d had a few times with Maggie on the Via de la Plata… That would do me. Gerry picked from the bar choices and we shared a Russian Salad. Well… All was well until huge plates of food arrived! I had a huge plate with a huge hamburger, complete with all the trimmings and an equally huge portion of chips… And then Gerry’s bacon roll and a double portion of the salad… Plus bread! Whoah! I ate 2/3rds of the burger… A bit of Russian salad and my cola… Gerry did his best with the chips and his bacon pinxos and had a nibble at the salad. But we were defeated in the end… My burger was only 4 euros and again I’m staggered they can ever make a profit! It was very tasty though.
As we’d eaten way too much we decided to go for a wander. Through the busy streets bursting with the good people of Deba. Children ran and played, friends parents and grandparents walked, talked and drank. Friday night in downtown Deba is actually pretty lively. We left the town centre and headed down to the seafront. It was surprisingly quiet, a few groups of teenagers were playing football and a dog chased a cat up a tree but generally it was peaceful. We walked from one side of the bay to the other and back again before heading back to our hotel and sleep.
Today we planned another deviation. Gerry’s cough is no better, he feels he’s getting a cold as well and he’s got blisters on both heels and his toe… You could say he’s had a few problems with this pilgrim lark! Anyway, in order to avoid a really tough day in the mountains we did a bus hop tour instead. We took the local bus along the coast first to Mutriku and then onto Ondarroa. Both of these towns is picturesque but not touristy. They felt like real working fishing towns. We watched the local youth team score a goal in one and another group racing row boats down the estuary in the other. Just like last night it really felt as though everyone was promenading or sitting over a coffee and a few nibbles. The streets were busy and the street cafés all full. You have to admire this part of the Spanish culture… We could learn a lot from how their communities all mingle and relax together.
We walked around the old centres, along the beach tracks and paths and back again. Indeed we managed to spend several hours wandering before heading back to find another bus that would drive us inland to our stop at Markina. We’d booked a hotel 1.5km out of town as it looked rather swish…. And the view from the loo is rather nice too! We had a drink and a wander around Markina before meandering up the hill to our stop for the night… Suckling pig is on the menu and we’ve reserved our table already!
We’ve caught up with our washing and we’re going to take a walk to a local mediaeval site not too far from here. We’ve decided we quite like the walking, touring holiday… Not quite pilgrims… Not quite tourists!
However, we do have a very long walk tomorrow so I hope Mr S is feeling a bit better… See you in Gernika!