Day 6 (coast – Guernica)

For the second time, I walked to Deba. Since I was a bit short on time and I heard Guernica is a place to see, I decided to take the train. It is not a truh hike, it was never supposed to be one and I want to give my body the rest it needs.

As I waited for the train, I packed out sleeping bag since it got a bit moist last night. A few people walked by me and as they were used to hikers due to the Camino, they were familiar with it. I greeted everyone with an “Aupa” (hello in Basque) and a smile. Most smiled and greeted back.

I arrived in Guernica in the afternoon, after a lunch quick coffee and croissant break where I took some time writing postcards. After checking in at the harborage, I walked through the town. The name Guernica sounded familiar to me. Later I realized it was due to the painting of Picasso and not due to the destruction during WWII.

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The whole town is beautifully built, rebuild after the bombing of German planes but more on that the next day. I found a peaceful park where I took some time to meditate and soak in the vibe of the town. After buying food for dinner I sat on the balcony where many more pilgrims of the Camino sat together. A group of females talked about the trail and a group of Germans drank beer and were a bit louder. They all talked about the last day, how hard some parts were, bruises on their legs, etc. I felt uncomfortable, not because I was not really hiking the trail, more because the conversations were just about achievements, situations and not about feelings and emotions. I wished all a nice evening and decided to retreat back to the city center to drink a glass of wine and read/write.

As I left the harborage, another girl from the group left as well and she as well wanted some quieter place. I asked if she wants to join me and we went to a small wine bar where we started to have a great conversation. I learned from her that she traveled with her boyfriend, now husband for many years around the world. One time, they did a tour through the Amazon in South America. As she was a nurse and interested in the native culture, they were invited to join to live with a native group in the Amazon. They both stayed there for a month, learning about finding food, eat what nature provides and getting an understanding of their lives. After a month, they left due to physical issues (due to the diet) and also because they felt that there were not welcomed by every one of the tribe. She thinks it was as well because of her background as a nurse, that locals were scared she wants to know about special plants/treatments and that the pharmaceutical industry comes, take their lands and uses those plants as medicine.

I definitely understand their concern, since the same thing is happening with foreign investors buying and taking away farmland to build huge field for soy and corn for the use of our society. Argentina is the leading exporteur for soy to europe, which is only used as food for kettle, so we can have cheap and an ovesupply of meat in our supermarkets. The local farmers gets nothing from it or in cases even looses his land and has to live in slums aorund the metropoles.

She now lives with her husband and son in her hometown in France and works together with her dad in his doctor’s office as naturopathist. She explains to me also a lot of her energy yoga practice, which helps also the patients with pain issues in the hips and back.

It is again one of those great conversations where I feel comfortable, learning from others what they are excited about and experience in their life and has this feeling, we are contributing to a better world. All this because back on the balcony, I listened to myself to leave and spent the evening how I knew was right for me.

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