Breakfast at the Albergue was a shambles. Not much to eat or drink unless we pressed the only chap available and he exploded into a Spanish diatribe which roughly translates as this is not a ****** hotel!
There followed an exchange about payment and luggage which was unnecessarily aggressive. I was allowed to buy a loaf of bread for 3€ for our lunch. This is a new Albergue run by an inexperienced couple and it comes across as predominantly a money making venture. Anna thinks the Señora may be all fur coat and no knickers!

It is cooler today but uphill nearly all the way. There is not much opportunity to stop but we were lucky to find an isolated taberna open for café con leche. There a lamb roasting slowly over hot coals.

So it’s onwards and ever upwards.

Views were few and far between because we walked mainly through managed forest but there were occasionally some gems.


Apple and nuts stop in an old Lavanderia – see picture below.

We arrive at Markina-Xemein about 3pm and have instructions to ring our hospitelero on arrival at the outskirts. He arrived in 5 mins and very grateful we were too. We are getting very tired now and 4 of us have blister issues. It is a strenuous walk and in the Ciccerone Guide today is marked as 5 – very challenging!

It is a lovely Albergue and the hospitalero attends our every need while preparing an amazing smelling dinner – we recognise garlic and mushrooms. This is SO different from last night. The ambiance is palpable. So relaxing. All showered. Clothes washed. Cup of tea and cake. Red wine.

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The name of the place we are staying is Casa Rural INTXAUSPE.

The hospitalero is joined by his wife and young son. Lovely family. Lovely meal. We are joined by a Swedish female walker. Later by young Americans. This is how it should be. So relaxed. No sense of each man out for himself. If you get the chance come visit.