Camino del Norte | Deba to Markina-Xemein to Gernika | Days 4-5

Camino del Norte | Deba to Markina-Xemein to Gernika | Days 4-5

Jun 14, 2024 | All Blog Posts, Camino del Norte | 2 comments

What started out as a good day, took a rough turn, but ended up being our best evening thus far!! Oh, this Camino del Norte, she remains a painstaking, action packed adventure. 

The view from our lodging

It started with a late breakfast which always stresses me out because that means we finish our walk later. We stayed at this Casa Rural that I thought would be pilgrim friendly but the prices were high and they didn’t start serving breakfast until 8:30 a.m. Most pilgrims like to be walking by 7-8 a.m., depending on the weather, sometimes earlier if it’s going to be really hot.

We left the ocean views today

The climb wasn’t too bad before our first stop for a snack but then we made the mistake of looking at Google maps. Our map did save us time, meters of climbing, and mileage but there was a cost. We had to walk through a closed fence that, fortunately, wasn’t locked and then we had to climb through some barbed wire. It felt like we walked through a private compound. There were at least 6 vicious-sounding dogs, thankfully they were chained up. Then there were, we will call them, deer blinds but some could call them guard towers. Fortunately nobody was around but we were thrilled to get the heck out of there!! But no, we weren’t about to turn back and climb down the hill only to climb up a different, bigger hill! Plus, if you know me at all, I have been told I can be intense. So, we were fine. 😆🫣

The route we went on was a bit easier according to the pilgrims we talked to in the evening but – yikes – it was intense!! No, there are no photos of the “compound” as we didn’t need evidence we were there.

We listened to the stream water most of the day

We walked about 15 kilometers on the blacktop which is brutal on the back, hips, and knees. But we only gained about 400 meters (1312 feet) of elevation, as opposed to the main route which gained almost 700 meters of elevation. It was a killer of a day! Brian hit rock bottom, I’m just thankful we both didn’t because I’m not sure we would have made it to our accommodation. We could still be on the side of the road. 

An area for pilgrims to visit, meditate, and just relax the afternoon away

But it was the most perfect evening! I can’t believe a day could have so many highs and lows but that’s the Camino. We stayed at this most wonderful Casa Rural (rural house that provides lodging). They did more than provide lodging! We had cocktails, a washing machine, perfect weather for clothes to be dried outside on the clothesline, and best of all, we had our first communal dinner! 

Plenty of places to dry your clothes

We spent the evening with our toes in the lush green grass, sipping cocktails, and talking to people from Germany, France, England, Switzerland, Scotland, Ireland, and the United States. We enjoyed the best meal with produce from the garden. It’s truly the biggest blessing of the Camino. Nights like that remind us why we love the spirit of the Camino! 

The sunrise from our lodging

We slept like babies in the most comfortable bed! We woke up to a delicious breakfast including gluten free bread and homemade jam. Seriously, I pray we have so many more nights like this one. 

The first climb of the day

Today’s walk was uneventful, no barbed wire. 😆 We followed the route. Though it was quite hilly we had lots of little villages to enjoy.

Unfortunately we had to climb down 7 flights of stairs today

We made the decision to bus ahead so we only walked 13 kilometers and took a bus for 12 kilometers. We needed the rest after yesterday. Tomorrow is going to be another big day of climbing so it’s time to nap. Bilbao will be here soon with 2 rest days. We’ve never needed them as much as we need them now. 

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  1. Prado Candace

    Oh, my…adventure will find the two of you without a doubt. Travel on my favorite wanderers.

    • Cruisin Michelle

      The adventure finds you too!! ❤️
      Thinking of you!! ❤️


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