We wake up early knowing that it’s going to be a hot day and that one of the hardest days of the Camino is ahead of us. The distance from Deba to Markina is 24 km with long steep ups and downs. It will be necessary to carry with us water and food for the day since there are no villages on the way. During breakfast I tell Doron that the pain in my hip is rather strong. I’m afraid that it will be too difficult for me to go through such an effort.
We hesitate and finally decide to skip the first ascend of the day (350 meter). We decide to take a taxi to Olatz and start from ermita de San Isidro.
Ermita de San Isidro to Markina
The Chapel of San Isidro is close. We follow the sign to “Arnoate 5.5 km “, up an asphalt track that goes into a forest. In only three kilometers we gain 300 meter and reach the height of 495m which is the highest point of the day. The sky are blue and clear with some beautiful clouds that give the feeling that we are inside a postcard. The camino advanced along the river, into a valley, and we continue to ascend till the top of the hill. The path is lined with purple and yellow wild flowers and a wonderful wind blows and accompanies us on the ridge line. There are lots of ups and downs and still, at the end of the day, after a long descent on a gravel road to the town, we feel that it was a suitable day for our ability. It starts raining when we are on the road leading to the city, a small church on the side of the road and here we are in the center of the old city and entering the apartment (Arriaga) where we will spend the night and tomorrow.
Our apartment is on a street where the houses are four hundred years old. They are beautiful and well-kept and the balconies have ancient iron railings. The streets are paved with smooth and rounded stone. Some of the houses have an ancient stone shield on the front, others have columns with carved petals.
In the evening, the shops that were closed until now wake up and shoppers enter them or sit in nearby cafes with a glass of chilled white wine or beer. A light rain falls again and then stops. suddenly cold We are sitting at the door of a small restaurant, already nine in the evening. A good home-cooked meal in an amount that is enough for four people is placed in front of us and we eat and immediately feel how our eyes close. Tonight we can sleep as much as we want. Tomorrow is our day off