Very satisfying day. After the (ahem) early start we didn't wait for (ahem) breakfast but instead headed off into the (gasp) dry morning. It was a lovely if slippery wander down through forest to the first town. With a somewhat empty belly after last night I was really praying that a bar would be open. Happy day - the town was buzzing (literally, with a motocross race on), the bar was open and the pinxchos were still warm from the oven, and among the most wonderful things I had ever eaten.
The main stint of the morning was a long haul up hill and down dale through warm moist countryside. We took a proper break - with 3 course pilgrim lunch - in Guernica. Famous historic town, razed by the Germans with Franco's blessing, seat of Basque independence etc for centuries.
I was feeling a bit achy and tired this morning but two glasses of red wine and a super-strength Spanish ibuprofen saw me right and the last two hours were steep - as always - but pleasant.
This camino is so different from last year. It's basically just really tough, gradient-wise, the whole way. The few minutes of flat come as a huge surprise, and a 20 or 30 minute slog uphill seems par for the course. It is gorgeous countryside though and the view from every hilltop is glorious, even if it is generally accompanied by a feeling of 'oh bugger I bet we're about to walk down there... And then up there...'
Tonight, a lovely private hostel albeit with all the craziest snorers etc from last night. And still no dinner...
Tomorrow: to Bilbao.