13th September, 2019
- Day 6: Zenarruza to Morga (Eskerika)
- Distance: 28km
- Weather: Sunny and hot
- Accommodation: Albergue Eskerika, €14
I have another good night’s sleep using my ear plugs and feel like I’m getting into the groove now. I leave in the dark, in between pilgrims, and need to use my headlamp for the first 30 minutes or so. The trail continues to constantly ascend and descend, but the sunrise and Basque countryside is so scenic, it’s all worth it.
After 4km, I arrive in the small town of Munitibar and can’t help the disappointment wash over me when I realise the cafe in the main square is closed. A local sees me and gestures down the road. Not quite sure I understand him, I hesitantly follow his directions and around the corner I’m delighted to find a cafe that’s not only open but it has a counter full of food 🙂 Nothing beats the first coffee of the day and slice of tortilla on the Camino!
I’m so impressed with the arrows thus far, especially considering the amount of forest trails. There’s an arrow at every junction.
I speak too soon. As soon as I enter the bustling town of Gernika, I lose the arrows and have to refer to an app on my phone. Most of the pilgrims I’ve met are staying here tonight, but I’m planning to continue for another ~11km up a lovely big hill, because I’m feeling stronger and it’s too early to stop. I’m hungry again though, so I search for a bar where I can get a salad and I find the perfect place.
Cyndi passes and joins me for a coffee. She’s staying here and then meeting a friend in Bilbao so I’m not sure when we’ll meet again, but I’ve enjoyed her company. I make a quick stop at the supermarket for dinner supplies as there’s no restaurants near the albergue where I’m headed, and then I leave Gernika, all prepared for the mountain (Alto de Morga) that I now have to climb.
I’ve read that the albergue is slightly off the Camino but well way-marked, but I didn’t read that it’s down a steep hill off the Camino… anyway, it’s a beautiful place with a friendly dog and when I arrive, there’s only one other pilgrim, Guido from Germany. Considering up until now everywhere has been full and overflowing with pilgrims, where is everyone? Guido and I get talking and decide to share a bottle of wine. Due to the remote location, the albergue has a small shop where you can buy supplies for dinner and alcohol. Guido buys ingredients for a salad and I pop my ready made vegetable quinoa packet (bought from the supermarket in Gernika) into the microwave for 60 seconds 😉 The wine is Rioja (my favourite red) and the conversation flows easily. It’s a fun night.