June 8:  Markina-Xemein   Rest Day   No Steps!!!

Today is our first full rest day.  After a late morning start of a great cup of Spanish coffee con leche, we joined the locals at the public market.  Fruit and veggies were high on the list of needs to fill be pack tomorrow, so having the market set up in front of the hotel was very kind of the town!!

Note here:  our hotel:  It is a two star hotel that seems to be the center of the action for this town.  The woman who owns it is about 80 years old and speaks no English.  No problemo!!!  My Spanish, which started out this trip as only "por favor",and "gracios" has grown considerably.  It is amazing what survival will do.  The woman and I have become fast friends.  Last night as we were all returning from dinner she met us at the landing (this is a four floor walk up!) and rattled off something that none of us understood.  The tone was very friendly which has been the case of everyone to date, but still we were lost to what she was telling us.  Nancy tried her French which worked some, and I tried my limited Spanish.  Instant friendship!!!  She and I talked for several minutes while the others scrambled for their rooms.  She then invited me into her apartment and gave me the grand tour before hugging me good night and sending me on my way!!!  Now I am not sure what I will do with a 80 year old best friend in a small town in northern Spain, but the experience was delightful.

Another example of the friendliness of this land:  This morning, while out shopping Mary accidentally left her money bag on the counter of a store.  About an hour later we were returning to the hotel bar for a coke and the bartender brought it out from behind the bar and asked which one of us did it belong to.  He explained that the proprietor of the book store had brought it down knowing that we probably were staying here.  Never would have happened at home!!!

The days now are heating up, so tomorrow the departure time has been set at sun rise.  The route is be long, but this time with cafe/bars along the way to restock the packs.  It will be early to bed tonight. 

Medieval Church in Markina-Xemein

Altar of Three Rocks