June 7, 2006  Deba to Markina-Xemein  35,248 steps

Blisters are beginning to win!!  Each one of us have found places on our feet where we never knew blisters could develop.  The Spaniards have invented a bandage named Compead that is wonderful  A true blister pack that adheres to your foot like super glue and medicates while protecting the area.  Some of us look like each foot is totally encased in the stuff, but who cares.  This is not a glamour trip.  Matter of fact, we each are creating our own personal "look" as we go.  I am convinced that Glamour magazine or Vogue will be seeking us out when we return.  No where in the world can one find such a fashion statement. 

Because of the placement of a blister directly under the ball of the foot, I chose to ride this day out.  Angela and I assigned ourselves the "scouts" of the trip and volunteered to take all the duffel bags to the next hotel in a taxi freeing the others from a heavy load.  The day's route was to be a 450 meter rise over very difficult terrain surely to create a bigger blister and possibly prevent several days of walking.  Markina-Xemein is our first full rest day, so adding the "extra" seemed smart.  So we wished the rest well and set out in a loaded cab for the next hotel.

The rest forged on up and up over the usual pathways -- only this time with no sight of a town, much less a human being for over eight hours.  The days before at least there had been an occasional Cafe/Bar where one could buy a coke or tapa.  This day there was none.  They could see the villages down in the valley as they trudged along the ridge way, but the option was if they descended to get the coke they would have to ascend to get back on the trail.  Decision -- stay on the Camino.  By the time they reached Markina-Xemein their water supply was drained, their energy gone, and their hunger great.  The "scouts" were prepared.  We had delivered their duffels to their rooms, had arranged tables in front of the hotel to rest and a bar to supply the tapas and cokes.  Frowns of fatigue turned to smiles of relief almost immediately.  The 20+ kilometers in the heat was over for the day.  Now each can rest until Friday, the 9th!!

Scout Angela at the city fountain