Basque Country: Beautiful, Natural!

August in Zelaieta, Basque Country, Spain, our 9th month of full-time, long-stay travel

This ended up being a very different stay for us: we didn’t do many cultural, museum-ish day trips, we didn’t explore any major ruins. It became what I thought Sovicille (Tuscany) would be: long local walks, developing a feeling of the surrounding beautiful area. (Sovicille, in contrast, found us taking tons of day trips in order to flee our no-airflow, bug filled cave-like Airbnb in the 105 degree heat—the car has AC!— to lakes, mountains, where we could get a cool break). I also spent a week of this month in the US (supply run!), during which time I heard that some sort of Bridgerton marathon happened… We’re learning that our ideal spot is in the outskirts of a town, and this is not that. We have two very local bars, a pharmacy and a privately owned totally rebuilt 8th C. castle not open to the public which solely functions as a wedding venue;  it’s hard to call this a town.

The valley is dominated by a 1,368 ft peak with Ermita de San Miguel de Ereno Basezila on top.

Nine months in, we found ourselves wanting to pause and soak up the trip so far, to take stock, get back into healthy routines: exercise, yoga, writing, working, and for me, practicing piano. A time to reset, rest, reflect and recoup—and, if you’re Turbo, keep your eye on things.

We love walking here, the air, the vistas. It’s a very meditative pastoral setting. But, like the Pirate, the area is filled with outstanding, quirky street art, funky lawn decor, barking dogs, and an array of farm animals in a unique mash-up:

Other than local walks, our entire month consisted of 2 long hikes, 2 beach days, two walking tours: one was in Bilbao (which will forever be known as the place where Sarah accidentally locked herself in this public toilet):

And for the other one see Sarah’s post about San Sebastian here. A tourist could have accomplished all that in a week. Even so, for us the beaches and hikes we had were epic…

We bid you bye-bye Zelaieta…we’re on to Scotland!

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