We received our first pilgrim “sellos” (stamp) in our passport as we set out from Loyola this morning. Today is a long walk, but relatively easy terrain. We were accompanied the whole way by the sound of the Urola River which gently flowed alongside. The region is still experiencing a heat wave (it is still over 100 degrees), so we soaked up the refreshing sound of the Urola. Every few miles we were treated to a blast of cool air that we experienced as we went through the old stone train tunnels.
We are in Basque Country so we encounter the Basque language everywhere. Our guide, Ignacio, explains that linguists believe that there are Iberian roots to the language, as the Roman passed through, but never conquered the people of this mountainous region. But whether one speaks Spanish, Basque or English here, all great us with the universal welcome, “Buen Camino”!