Another taxing day of 24.1 km (15 mi) of up and down with intense heat in the afternoon. And what’s worse is that three of us missed a turn and ended up adding some 5 km to the distance–the receptionist tells me that most everyone does that. Many of the uphill segments I took sideways to spare my Achilles’ tendon from overstretching. It all worked out in the end–last of the ugly hard sections for a while.
We were so grateful to find water sources at four strategic points to be able to rest, cool off with splashing water and rehydrate.
Guernika (Basque spelling is without the “u”) is best known (according to Wikipedia) to those residing outside the Basque region as the scene of the April 26, 1937, Bombing of Guernica, one of the first aerial bombings by Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe. It inspired the painting Guernica by Pablo Picasso.
A couple of high points: the secluded Hermitage we encountered on the way in Ziortza-Bolibar, which is or was a monastery and allows pilgrims to stay over; a steep down hill section was completely modernized with wooden steps and railings; and countless Basque farm houses with the red geraniums.