A good night's sleep and full breakfast - on the road at 8am.
More rolling hills; I'm enjoying walking alone and the encounters it encourages- human, animal and vegetable. In the end it all becomes encounter - a blue egg shell on the road, a meadow of wild flowers, deep blue columbine growing amongst ferns, a chaffinch who flies ahead of me for a few minutes just a few meters away and a chat with a couple of German cyclists on their way to Santiago.
I've noticed a lot of animals wear bells around their necks here- sheep, cows, horses and donkeys. The sound is lovely- a sort of hollow 'donk' noise whenever they move, so a heard of goats sounds very melodic hidden in the woods.
The weather is perfect walking weather, cool with a breeze. A few distant sea views with larks and winding paths through woods, ringing with bird-song.
First stop is Itziar, where the verger of the church welcomes me at the door to stamp my credencial and then shows me a small chapel with a stained glass window of a ship and an exquisite painted timber statue of the Virgin. He spent a lot of time trying to tell me about of band of 5 explorers who sailed the ship - but I didn't understand- some thing to do with the discovering the Philippines perhaps?
Finally made it to Deba by 12ish. A steep descent into the town made easier by a series of public lifts. The albergue is housed in the old railway station and you have to register and collect the keys from the tourist office. Very nice inside- neat and clean. I'm in a room with 7 men- Stan the Canadian is in the bunk below. I'm glad I was allocated a top bunk- I've got a bit more privacy up there!
After unrolling my sleeping bag I stroll down the the beach to find a cafe with wifi and tackle my photos with a glass of cidra and a bowl of olives.
At 7pm Stan and I, go the the Cathedral for mass. A group of about 30, mainly women, are gathered in a chapel- ornately panelled with dark wood and lots of pictures of burly Basque looking saints interspersed with mirrors. Wonderful singing again -and then off for supper to a bar near to the hostel. Delicious baked hake with salad, with a glass of the local fizzy white wine called Chacoli. Then a well earnt sleep.
24km 500m elevation 37000 steps