Camino de Madrid

Camino de Madrid
Camino de Madrid

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Day 7. September 20, 2015. Lezama to Bilbao. 17 kms

All's well that ends welI 

I had bacon and egg, orange juice, and a large coffee this morning, all for 3€. I have now had breakfast, dinner and tea, so to speak, at this restaurant, and the proprietor seems to really care about his pilgrim clients, so I recommend it. On Egin, on the right of the highway, just as you arrive at Lezama.

After walking about five or six kilometres along the highway, I took off across the fields towards the hills. According to the sign, it was only five kilometres to Bilbao. (As it happens, it was, but to the outskirts, not the centre.) Then it was a long climb up a hill, through the woods, down the other side to the outskirts of the city.

I haven't waxed effusely about animals for a while, the donkeys heehawing in the field, the contented cows chewing their cuds, the pigs wallowing in the muck, or the chooks clucking about in the yard, so I will tell you now about the capricious gathering of goats I encountered just after leaving the highway. There they were, a line of them, happily munching at some bales of hay. And one was lying on top of a bale, as goats are wont to do. I noticed that the one tree in their field was stripped bare; goats normally prefer leaves to grass. But what struck me most was their gentle goatherd, who looked at me amicably, curiously, advisedly, not warily. Clearly he was un perro and not un chien. Were he the latter, a sign on the gate would or should have read: Chien Gentil.

I have a great respect for goats as I was once a goatherd myself in a very 20th century way. But if you want an animal to mow your lawn, get a sheep, not a goat. Otherwise you'll have long grass and short trees. Very short trees!

This is now a very short post. It was once a very long one, but I have just deliberately deleted half of it. There is nothing so boring as someone else's tale of woe, and why should I present myself as the fool in my own narrative?

Suffice it to say, I walked five unnecessary kilometres, climbed up 396 unnecessary steps, and disturbed a tavern full of Spaniards watching a football game. And my guide book now has good reason to sing the third line of "Amazing Grace". And I have resolved to be more careful and to learn some Spanish.

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