Camino del Norte Day 6, Gernika to Lezama

Tuesday September 6, 2022

Gernika to Lezama: 24km / 15 miles / 7 hours
Sunrise 7:40
Weather: 63°F / 17.2°C, Sunny
Start: 6:40
Total Ascent: 2076 ft.
Arrived at 13:45
Difficulty Rating: Terrain 3; Waymarking 4
Scenery Rating: 3

Getting out of cities is always a challenge, and today was no different. We’ve been trying to start as close to 6:30 as possible in order to arrive at each day’s destination before it gets too hot. So far, it’s been very hot in the afternoons (high 80’s). Mike was wondering how to say “my wife is grumpy” in Spanish. Making a wrong turn first thing isn’t the best way to start the day’s hike. Thankfully we had a relatively easy day, no steep hills, no knee-breaking descents.

We got to Hotel Rural Matsa earlier than expected. On a hot day we were bummed to discover that the room had no a/c. “Mi esposa es gruñona.” We took a taxi 2½ miles to a restaurant and then sat outside at the hotel before meeting up with my cousin Mikel, his wife Ainara, and their 2 gorgeous daughters Lucia and Malen.

Seeing my “little cousin Miguelito” (I met him when he was 7 and I was 17) with his daughters was fun. The girls are smart, charming, and smart-asses like their father. They were curious about exactly HOW we are related.
My grandmother Bernardina and their great-grandfather Gallo were brother & sister
My father and their Abuelo Julian were first cousins
And then we can argue about whether we are 2nd cousins once-removed, third cousins, etc. It doesn’t really matter. We are all “family”.

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