Saturday, 18 June 2016

Santander to WHERE? (Escalante, Cantabria, along the Chemin de St. Jacques or St. James Way) Under Construction

When we went shopping last night, we were also looked for a bank machine.  Zu was all excited when she spotted the words INERO on this tall building and was convinced that it was a partially blocked DINERO (Money), a sure sign of a bank machine. She was partly correct.

Like 3 old ladies looking out at the sea 

The weather forecast has changed from rain all day to rain sometimes, so we waste no time to get going in the morning, just in case the rain decides to come back.
This bike now officially has been pedaled in 3 countries .
I have no idea what to expect from Euskadi. Level roads meandering between tall mountains, or roads going constantly up and down the hills?  So we only planned 50 kms for the first day, to see how that goes.

Abbey Road in Santander ?

Das Trampeltier, das trampelt hier ....

If you have to ask about the following pictures, DON'T ASK ;-)

Time to recharge those batteries and stomachs. We stop at one of those country restaurants around 11 am and are informed by the amazing owner that he'll cook something for us now, even though lunch officially only opens at 1 pm. When we start locking our bikes outside, he insists that we roll them into the restaurant. He even moves table coverings so we can sit right next to where our batteries are charging.  

Wine???? You better drink that all by yourself !!!
Then comes the next surprise. 10 Euros gets EACH person a bottle of water OR WINE, a first course, a second, course, dessert, and bread.  WHAT????  I kid you not !  Next day I see men at lunch, each of them working on a full-size bottle of wine

The HUGE 'apetizer' ensalada con polvo (octopus)

This medieval bridge is not only nice to look at; we actually have to cross here

LOVE these see-around-the-corner mirrors ;-)


Isn't that the chick from The Matrix ?  Does that make me Neo ?


Going to the local self-serve market to get his dinner

We didn't want to CATCH our dinner, so we went to the local SUPER market (note that it owns a total of 4 (four) shopping carts. I'm not sure they fit into the store all at once ;-)

Then we notice that we are on the Camino de Santiago, or Chemine de St Jacques, or St James Way.  We are going in the wrong direction but will make some time to play pilgrim tomorrow!

Small towns are perfect for early morning walks.

First 2 walks of the day done. Time for breakfast, which is included, fabulous by Canadian standards but average for around here.  Time for a bike ride!

Yes, that dark grey stuff is the ocean !

I visit the above and then see the below. Have my prayers been answered?  A liter-box of wine for 0.69 Eurocents.  At today's exchange rate that corresponds to EXACTLY 1 (ONE) Canadian Dollar.  Imagine buying wine at the $-Store .....

And yes, of course we get wet again !

This time it's not as bad riding in the rain and getting utterly drenched. The hotel is only 4 km away and we know that a warm room is waiting for us.  After yesterday's binge eating I make the mistake of doing the same again when we get back and pay the price by being forced to hug the porcelain queen for the rest of the day and part of the night.  Garfield never had to pay for over-eating !
The next morning I am fine again, but vow to be very careful with the quantities of food I'll consume. Difficult in a country where even the plain butter has TASTE!  We were going to extend our stay at Los Gallos, but all 4 rooms are booked for the night, so we book another hotel in town, just around the corner (this town is SMALL).

Waiting for the receptionist
Getting our bikes out of the restaurant's storage room, I again notice the nicety of the people here.  Seems the cook had noticed our e-bikes, so he follows us from the kitchen to the storage across the street to proudly show of HIS e-bike AND his huge heart surgery scar, while mumbling something in Spanish.  The 'receptionist' of course knows the place where we are moving to and offers to store our bikes in the coming night if there is a problem at the new place.  Nice people!
The new room: Zu likes Holly Golightly

The forecast promises a sunny afternoon (WOW!), so we decide to return by bike to the beach. Along the way I notice this old gun emplacement and stop in my tracks.
Something in my head says "There was something ....".   Guernica !   

It's in the Basque Country. (There are reasons why Picasso became famous; it's worth scrolling through the below image).

Another one of those times that Germans didn't know when to not step over the line.  But where in the Basque Country is it?  Have we passed it? Is it completely out of the way?  Visiting Guernica would be another kind of pilgrimage ....    I have to look up its location when we get back to the hotel.

Who say's you have to WALK it ?

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