Sunday Oct 2. Deba to Markina-Xemein. 8 hrs 40 mins. Total ascent 851m; total descent 771m; 25.2km.
We left the Pension at 8.05am as we were outside Deba town. A staff showed us a gravel path down and gave us verbal and sign language directions. It’s amazing how effective sign language can be in communicating an underpass. It took us 35 mins to get into Deba town.
We met an old gentleman on his walk, and again through sign language we got the gist on where to cross the railway tracks, and back track to the bridge over the river. The Yellow Arrows started appearing once we reached the railway station.
We met David back tracking to town (we met him yesterday, he’s an American who lives and works in Berlin, Germany). He realized there was nothing open on the route ahead. He was backtracking to a bakery that was opened in Deba.
As our guidebook listed the locations for where the various water fountains/taps were, I decided that I would just fill one 32 oz/1 liter bottle container for both of us. This worked out well as I was able to strategically replenish. I left the other bottle empty to lessen the load.
Today’s ascent of 851m was similar to yesterday’s 850m. It was a mix of stony trails with muddy pools of water, and paved roads. One stretch that had an elevation gain of 300m was 2/3rds along a paved path that sloped gently upwards. This was much preferably than a steep incline over rocks and stones.
But the final stretch of descent of 200m was murder, involving inclines of 15 to 20 degrees (estimate). We had met a Spanish man, Denis and his Peruvian girlfriend, Celeste. They were carrying more than full backpacks. At this final descent, she had to walk backwards, holding onto his hand. It was that brutal as one’s toes kept coming up against the toe of the shoe to stop the downward momentum.
Early night at Casa Rural Intxauspe, which is 750m outside Markina. We will have to backtrack.