We left through the centre of town right past the peace museum. Then carried on through more sub urban sprawl until we arrived at a hermitage and suddenly Gernika was gone.
Then we had a pleasant walk in the woods, not for the last time Viv commented “just like Delemere”. After 7k we crossed under a main road, a cycle race flashed passed and Viv took some pictures of them as they passed. We noticed some strange markings on the road here, arrows going in the opposite direction. Then we saw a runner then another soon they were passing regularly. At the top of the hill was the Church of San Estaban, by this time we were being passed by many walkers as well. The church entrance was blocked by crew from the walk giving out water, so we passed.
In need of a rest now we stopped and sat on a log while more of the walkers passed. There was a lot of sharp climbs after this and some quite muddy. Fortunately the rain that had plagued us had not affected these paths so at least we were saved the heavy boots. It was a long time before we were free of the walkers coming the other way and we were back on our own to enjoy the quiet.
At the next town we stocked up on some brioches and chorizo, it was due to be a long day so we needed to be prepared.
We crossed a main road and were into a steady climb. We bumped into the two Spanish guys from Markina again and from here we kept passing them as they stopped and we stopped. The climb was interminable with no place to rest. In the end we put our mats down in the grass to eat our brioches and drink gasiosa.
The book promised us an “Uphill into an enjoyable park with Views of Bilboa”. It did not quite work like this, we had already crested the hill and taken a punishing downhill section before we came to the park.
We may have already stopped but the bar at the exit to the park was too much of a temptation and as we sat outside we could finish our brioches with the beer. We were joined again by the two Spaniards also rehydrating on San Miguel.
You would think as we are in a park that we were there, not so. Still another 7k to do and some more punishing downhill, steps this time, the book describes this as “a long series of steps”. We found ourselves in the centre and Viv was excited to see a frozen yogurt shop, closed, but possibly later. The tourist office was also closed so we were on our own.
After a couple of loops we found a decent hostel and got ourselves washed and free of boots and rucksacks.
Later the frozen yogurt was a disaster. There was a queue of about six people, and the girl serving thought she was an artist. Fifteen minutes we waited and watched as she created a master piece of yogurt sculpture and high art. Two others joined the queue and left and as not one person had yet actually received a yogurt, so we left as well. Around the corner we found an ice cream parlour, so we had ice cream instead. Free cactus if you bought a kilo, well we could not eat a kilo and what would we do with a cactus anyway. Besides, as I sat with my ice cream, they were annoying me. Every time I moved I got stuck by one.
There was a bar just by our hostel, so we had a beer but no food and no wifi. We explored the Plaza Major again no one was cooking.
We never did get to see the Guggenheim after a long day we were just too tired and running too late. Still at 31.1k we somehow managed to be 4.4 k short and although we are probably 1k short of the youth hostel, it is far better than exceeding the distance each day.