Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Lekeitio to Zarautz (or uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill)

My stomach upset of last night has much diminished and when I wake up at 5:45 am I am greeted by an orange horizon.  Saint Malo, Da Nang, and this place have made me realize what people have lost who can no longer see the sun rise in the morning. Watching it rise over an ocean is particularly amazing.  There is a reason why the old ladies dig themselves into the beach of Da Nang every day an hour before sunrise..

I'm also realizing that the continuously decreasing KM numbers on the posts along the road indicate that it is less than 100 km to the French border.  In a way I am glad about the hills, because they force us to keep our daily travel distance short, which means that tonight we will get to stay in yet another Basque seaside town, Zarautz.  I love this lifestyle.  Working all day to get to a place I know barely anything about, except what Google Maps and some hotel-booking website tell me about it.  I'm in my element again.  Being back in Vancouver will be like being a fish out of water again. 

Today is not Friday but it might be Fry-Day. The high this afternoon will be 31 degrees Celsius and the colour of Zu's face already shows some of the same colour tones as that of a freshly boiled lobster.  Don't mess with the Spanish sun ;-)

I think we could have handled a few more days here.  Both the comfortable apartment living and the relaxed town is growing on me.
Alas, we have set our sights on far-away destinations, so it's time to roll again.
But that's the only way of seeing something new....
... and as long as the 'new' is as pretty as around here, no complaints !

The little villages around here have a sewage-treatment plant.  The capital of BC, Victoria,still pumps its sewage into the OCEAN !!!  OH CANADA, SHAME ON YOU ! (Although it puts another spin on the 'Supernatural BC' commercials LOL)

And NO, I won't whine about steep hills.
I prefer wining to whining, and in addition ....

... how could any sane person complain about having to cycle along this road ???

Then it's time to take a battery and stomach filling break. Ideally suited for this is the town of Deba with it's beachfront cafes.  Deba is also the location of the STEEPEST incline of the whole trip so far, as shown by Google Maps.

To prepare ourselves for the HILL, we fill our stomachs (yes, those are anchovies ;-) and our batteries.

Then we use Google Maps to find the route to the extremely steep hill  (Google maps gives you an indication of how steep hills are)
Now what is this?

Good idea ;-)  Hong Kong might have its Escalator, but Deba actually has an Elevator !  

It's not big enough for 2 bikes and I end up going up first.  On top I wait.

hang on. That's NOT Zu!

wait wait wait

That's Zu !

The elevator sure helps, but against all hope, we're far from done with the hill.  And it's STEEP !

But every hill has a peak ;-)

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A less than optimal route chosen by Google Maps

Die Leiden des jungen K. LOL  
SO hard to imagine that most people keep spending their travel funds on the newest iPhone or other crap, not realizing that they're chaining themselves to the life that they're trying to escape !

I remember telling Zu to always include a white cloud in a picture because it would make the sky look bluer.

No idea what this town's name is (no point looking it up).  When we enter the town my cell phone goes bonkers with a myriad of noises. Seems I haven't had reception in quite a while and the world and its demands are catching up with me.  Including my mother.  I last talked to her from the ferry to Santander. When the connection collapsed, she apparently had assumed that the ferry must have sunk. 



We check into the hotel and the strangest thing happens at the reception.  We are in Spain. The French border is exactly 40.4 km away.  Guests from France are also checking in but the receptionist does NOT speak French.  The French guests do NOT speak any Spanish.  So the receptionist asks this German resident of Canada to translate the parking instructions of the city of Zarautz so that the French tourists will not have their car towed.  WTF???

After eating our way through a few plates of tapas 
we walk though town, trying to discover its centre.   I end up buying an expensive T-shirt in a surfer-shop along the endless beach promenade.  

And after a previous attempt on the ferry, I make use of Zu's excellent skills as a smell consultant by trying a few smells in a perfumery.  After sniffing way too many little paper strips, Zu and I agree that Gaultier's classic Le Male is the nicest smell that also best goes with my nutty personality.

And NO, this is NOT a picture I took. If I was in the business of taking pictures like that, I'd be too busy to write this blog ;-)
AND: My new smell bottle has Boo-T !!!
After returning to our hotel with hurting feet, we conclude that this square IS the centre of town.

people sit in cafes and restaurants until VERY late (or, early). This is the country that invented Siesta, so that should be no surprise !  Unfortunately we didn't have Siesta, so we're dead tired
youth hanging out at the beach


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