DAY 7. 15 MAY 2016. ORIO TO ZUMAIA
A good night's sleep- thanks to the wine and those silicon earplugs! Up to a cool misty day with a distinct Scottish feel! But a good breakfast with my fellow French, German, Italian and now an English pilgrims. I was sure it was going to rain so I put on my gaiters....
On the way out of town I hear singing from the church and creep in at the back. The up-lighters on the stone roof flood the place with a golden light and the singing in Basque is beautiful. I couldn't understand a thing of course, except a list of place-names, so I think the Gospel was the reading about everyone being able to understand each other's languages at Pentecost. I crept out after that...
A truly glorious day. I walked along the coast in brilliant sunshine to Zaraurtz and then onto the next town Getaria; joining the holiday-makers on their way along the board-walk and promenade, and accompanied by the sound of the sea. I think I heard a nightingale? The birdsong is really lovely here.
I stop for 11-ses and meet up with the English guy and his Italian girl friend in a seafront cafe. It turns out they live in Southfields and he works as a picture-framer in Richmond!
Getaria is the home town of Vasco de Gama, who was the first person to sail around the world. Apparently he set off with the words "solo Dios lo sabe...". It's a nice old town with winding streets and restaurants cooking fish on charcoal. Out of my range, so I settle in a bar for a small glass of the delicious local cider and more anchovies!
I've been pondering some alchemical musings.
Yesterday, as I was walking along the phrase "all is resolved..." came into my head and I've been thinking about the process of re-solving and what the solvent might be. According to the Etymology Dictionary online, it comes from OF/Latin resolver: "to loosen, unyoke, set free, make void, dispel." I suspect one of the best solvents might be love; allowing what was stuck to flow again.
Then this morning on the seafront there was a sculpture trail, mainly with works by the Basque sculptor Salazar. Two caught my eye: one depicted a shoot unfurling and the other was a still for distilling.
Lots of hills today, but less gruelling than yesterday so I decide to walk further to Zumaria; a port town thinking I would stay in the convent there. So off I go... but the convent is closed until July! So on I trudge, up a very strep hill to Pension Santa Clara, but there's no one at home.... 4pm.
I stop, rest, chat, have a shower... 6.21pm still no one at home.... to be cont....The owner turned up at 6.30pm - I got the last bed (Her website says there are 22 beds, but there are only 3 pilgrim spaces available!), so 6 others were turned away and had to walk back into town :-(