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A really hot and hard day! In the Ciccerone guide it says 13k with at least 8k on the road, not very pleasant in the heat. Fortunately since the guide was written, the path has been redirected off the road but it appeared to be much longer. Not sure how far we actually walked but as temperatures reached 30C and there was a lot of uphill again, we were completely exhausted on arrival in Gernika.

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The first part of the walk was pleasantly shaded. We stopped in Muntibar for coffee and bought tortillas and bananas at the bar for lunch.

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Anticipating no further shops or bars until Gernika, we were surprised to find another one a couple of hours later. We stopped for Cerveza y Limon (Shandy) – very refreshing and the patron brought us out 2 bowls of spicy lentils and bread ‘to keep our strength up on the Camino”.

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We met and chatted to lots of bods – an Australian girl doing an MA in Gregorian chanting in Limerick, another young women studying economics about to attend a conference in London, informing us about the federalised government in the Basque region which refuses all foreign investment.

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It is by now VERY hot and there are mixed opinions as to how far we have to go ranging from 5k-11k. I think it was more like the latter and it was really hard going. Peter rescued a young girl Erica who was really struggling and carried her bag. She had bad blisters which she had burst and sown up herself!

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Long hard slog on a hot road for last couple of kilometres.

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Exhaustion and elation when we finally arrived

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On final arrival in Gernika we flop in the first bar and meet a handsome basque character who speaks great English and tells us a bit more about the Basque psyche and what to do in Gernika. He is a teacher and says wages are equivalent here to France unlike the rest of Spain where they are low. Possibly down to regional government promoting strong economy.

Derek had decided not to walk with us today as his blisters are bad. He went on ahead with the luggage and got us booked in the youth hostel when they opened at 3pm.

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We are stuffed in a small room all together impossible to move around but manage to shower, rest and get out again for evening meal. The 15€ pilgrim meal is marred only by the industrial cheese and membrillo which is inedible.

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