June 7: Tom & Sue travel to Lekeitio & Shrine of Saint Michael

Bueno Dias:
Sure you thought we were going to take the day off, we almost did but  it’s Sunday and going to Mass every day doesn’t count as much as we just wanted to stay in our apartment.  We woke up fully refreshed, as Susan slept on the large sofa and I had the bed. I think she got the better  deal.   I made breakfast with the vulture eggs we bought and some ham and cheese and toast and a pot of coffee and we headed out at 9 AM  in order to make the 10:30 Mass.
This shrine was only 24 miles away but we didn’t know what to expect as far as the drive.  It was a good thing we left early, the road was awful although the ride was beautiful along the northern coast of Spain. The narrow roads were treacherous and the bikers and walkers didn’t make it any easier.  Susan developed a headache early on and I  also did 1/2 way through.
This ride made the Amalfi Coast look tame with so many blind corners,  S-Turns and the like …  that at the end I just wanted to jump out of the car. We had to park over a mile from the Basilica of Our Lady  of Lekeitio and walk back.  I didn’t care, I was out of the car yet,  I was plotting our course back for the next 2 hours, there had to be a  better way.

Today was first Holy communion
Today was first Holy communion

The church was quite spectacular and old, right near the  ocean.  Today was their First Holy Communion Service and the children were precious…..The adults, another story.  Mass was hard to follow  since the priest kept stopping at the most important parts and would talk for 5 minutes.  We were hoping he was instructing the children if not  he needs a friend to talk to.
The children went to receive Communion the same time everyone went to  the side altars to receive from the EMOCH’s.  They needed some guidance  from some of the ushers to pull this off properly but Susan and I kept  our mouths shut and sat there.

The Corpus Christi Procession through town
The Corpus Christi Procession through town

At the end of Mass they began the procession of the Blessed Sacrament into the town.  We took a couple of photos before the church emptied, saw the famous miraculous statue of sailors and made our way along the route. We snapped a couple of photos in the Basilica Plaza but we  didn’t want to spend anymore time than we had to because we had another 2  stops so we made our way back to the car and headed out, gratefully via  another route. 

Winding roads, once again
Winding roads, once again

The next stop was only 12 miles away in Markina-Xemein (The Parish  Hermitage of San Michel the ArchAngel and Saint Pallonia (the local Saint).  But it took forever with construction and treacherous “S  Turn” (Welcome to Basque Country roads).  I think we were both thinking it’s time to go home to our cozy apartment. 

Tom standing under the giant rocks
Tom standing under the giant rocks

We were glad we went to this famous shrine, where it is said that St. Michael cast Satan into hell and placed the rocks on top that are believed to be 40  million years old.  As I walked under them, I was hopeful that they had  at least another 1/2 hour to go before they crumbled.   
(See  Photos.)
Our next stop that we had planned … we skipped.  We were done for the day.  We headed back to our “hacienda apartment” and arrived by 2:00 P.M. after 5 hours it took us to attend Sunday Mass and drive a total  of 60 miles.
Our first line of business after arriving “home” was a Sunday cocktail  to get rid of the terror shakes from the drive up and down.  Susan then  began to expedite the drying of our laundry via the hair drying in our  apartment. Our laundry had been out on the “dry rack” for two days and  was still wet.

Susan typed our daily trip report while I chilled out on the couch.
Susan typed our daily trip report while I chilled out on the couch

I began preparing for our dinner this evening before I “faded” and Susan continued trying to type as I lie here on the couch “chilling” after a  grueling drive.  I realize I love this sofa … maybe I’ll let Susan have the bed tonight and I’ll take the oversized couch with my “body  pillow”.

The makings of a great dinner
The makings of a great dinner

We had a great dinner of steak, mushrooms (for me), corn (for Susan on her potato), nuked potatoes and a nice bottle of 2008 “something Tinto”. 

After cleaning up, we locked up our apartment for the last evening, sat and tried to find English speaking TV for about 30 seconds and retired for the evening … looking forward to tomorrow.
In the morning, we are back in France.
So, Au Revoir … Adios from  Espana!

Hail, White Lily of the ever peaceful  and glorious Trinity! Hail Vermilion
Rose, the Delight of Heaven, of whom, the  King of Heaven was born, and by
whose milk He was nourished! Do thou forever  feed our souls by the
effusions of your divine influences.
Love Susan &  Tom