As I continued to walk the Camino del Norte from Olatz, I realized that I was getting progressively weaker during the hot Summer afternoon. The steep climb and heat zapped my energy. My periods of walking were getting shorter and my breaks longer. At one point, I laid on a nice, soft patch of grass under shade in the forest. Many pilgrims stopped to see if I was okay, and it was here I befriended an Italian pilgrim. Although he was much older than I was, he was also among the pilgrims in the best shape that I had seen. We would walk together at times over the days ahead.
I left my last post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Ermita del Calvario to Olatz, outside the bar in Olatz. Now, let’s continue as the Camino leaves Olatz with about 300 meters of sometimes steep climbing ahead. Please make sure you carry water past Olatz, as when I walked, there was only one drinkable fountain along the way.
We’ll go left here. Not quite sure if “Isasi-Mendi” refers to a village.
Although I was very tired, I enjoyed the walk through the forest.
There were many roads and trails but the Camino del Norte is well-marked and easy to follow!
Climbing past another homestead…
A fine view over the farm and countryside.
On days like this when I wasn’t feeling well, I would take advantage of any available shade for a break. There were long stretches in the open later on the del Norte, and I welcomed the shade from every tree.
Off the road onto another path through a young pine forest.
A Basque house in the forest. There were tiny communities in this area; some that were long abandoned.
Pilgrims were much fewer than on the Camino Francés.
Starting to descend gradually into Markina.
I remember this dog crawling through a hole in the fence to greet me. Initially, I was startled , but thankfully, this guy or gal was very friendly.
Okay, maybe the climbing wasn’t over…
I hope someone didn’t get to Markina and realize they were missing a shoe.
One path that I would not want to walk on when it’s wet!
The final descent into Markina-Xemein was along the country road ahead.
I’ll leave my post on the outskirts of Markina-Xemein where I arrived in the late afternoon. I didn’t know at this point that, but just ahead, would be a very unsettling experience. Please join me on my next post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Markina-Xemein to Bolibar, for more.
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