Day 7 Gernika – Lezama (Zamudio)
Arriving at our hotel yesterday ended up being a bit of a palaver. It was closed on a Sunday. Instead, it had an automated check in. You enter the last 6 digits of the phone number you used on your booking… That took a few attempts. Then it scans your passport and takes your money and spits you out a key… No Sello though and no other information. We got through that hurdle ok but the key didn’t fit the front door. It had a code combination and we tried every combination we could think of to no avail. Gerry was getting peeved. I could tell by the way he was pulling at the door… And by the number of times he used the F word in one sentence.
Another pilgrim came by and tried to help as his hotel had had a similiar system but his help was of no avail. The door would not open. I rang the 24 hour number but an answering machine said ring another number. Just as Gerry was about to kick the door down… Or even possibly cry… He looked on the back of the key ring and hey presto… A door code!!! WTF!!!
Anyway we arrived. No Sello. Peeved. But in one piece. The room was pretty basic for our 60 euro, a little bit grubby and came complete with its own mouse traps. No matter, Gerry climbed into bed and slept for almost 3 hours.
Sunday night in downtown Gernika offered little in the way of food. I learned on the Via de la Plata that Sunday nights aren’t the best time to find food. We talked ourselves into wishing for a Deba style burger but in the end found the only restaurant in town open was the Chinese. It was nice but uneventful. We ate. We walked back. We slept.
I’m feeling pretty good this morning but my coughing Misty Hillock is still feeling under par. We slept late and we didn’t rush to leave. Apart from his cold, one of his blisters is looking a little angry… I do feel sorry for him! He’s been looking forward to this trip for so long.
We tried to check out of the hotel that opened at 9:00… but it was still closed at 9:20. We wandered back into Gernika centre, we knew that the bus station was opposite the Chinese. Rome2Rio said that if we wanted to lose a few kilometres from today’s walk we had a few options but we would need to take two buses… One into the outskirts of Bilbao and another out again to rejoin the Camino. However the old chap at the ticket desk seemed convinced otherwise and as he was the expert we trusted him. So we let our bus go and went for breakfast whilst waiting for his. He was wrong. When we boarded his bus the driver told us… No no you want the 3513 or the 3523… Mmm! We waited another 30 minutes for our bus to arrive and we chatted to a German pilgrim who we’d passed a few of times. His walk was ending in Bilbao and he was going home but he told us that Bilbao to Santander was easier… Yeah!
We took the 3523 to our stop. We knew we had to change there for the 3631. I joked and said I hope were not on the wrong side of the road… yep! two minutes later our bus flew by on the other side of the road. We retreated to a bar to wait the hour for the next one.
It was a short ride back into the hills. As we walked into the centre of the village we bumped into three English guys we’ve been following for a few days. They set off as we went to explore another closed church. I understand why they’re closed but it’s very sad that we never get to see inside the more remote churches.
We walked onto the next town where we decided it was lunchtime. By chance we grabbed a table next to the other three English guys. They all worked together in Hong Kong and said they met up each year and walked a little bit en route to Santiago. They started in Le Puy a few years ago and I think they’re walking a similar distance to us.
After lunch, as we prepared to leave they learned Gerry in an accountant so they quizzed him about UK taxes before heading off… I have a feeling that they might have a few more questions for him when we next meet
We had about another 6km to go after lunch and all was along a road. There was a nice wide walking area and it wasn’t too busy but it was a little souless. The sky was grey for most of the day, it threatened rain too but it never came. But those grey skies sort of matched the path… nice but a bit dull. But it’s cooler now which makes the walking easier.
Our hotel is in Zamudio and as Gerry likes his little ditties, whenever he saw the name he’d sing s,s,s,sudio… I had no idea why but oh… wait a minute… he’s playing it on Spotify… So now I do know why!
The hotel was a bit of a nice surprise. As we walked along our road it grew more and more industrial/commercial so we were happy to see, just a few metres from the road, hidden from sight our little haven that could be anywhere up in the hills. We checked TripAdvisor to see if we hould visit anything… the number one attraction is the cemetery! Number two is Urban Beer… I think you know where we might be heading!
Washing is done, blisters sorted and oh the bed is comfy! AND… There is a kettle so we broke out the emergency tea bag ration and we’re enjoying a nice hot cuppa… Complete with saucer and everything. Gerry is officially happy and whistling! All is well with our world… Thank God for tea!
Next stop Bilbao!