Thursday, August 8, 2013

Where to camp?

Today again we camped - the second night in a row. Except this time was the most difficult terrain I've had to place a tent in before. 

Past the town of Markina the terrain was very wooded and unpopulated - we had heard this from our guidebook and other peregrinos, so we made sure to buy enough food for dinner and breakfast. Out of Markina after our menu del día and a 3-hour nap, we only started out from town at 3pm. 

That means that after the small hamlet of Aldaka, we stopped at the top of a hill to find a place to camp. We didn't feel comfortable pitching a tent and hammock in the middle of the hamlet, so we walked into the woods. What we realized quickly was that there were a number of small prickly branches everywhere

Exhausted and running up against dark, we decided to pitch our tent amidst a field of prickers about 0.5 km into the woods after clearing out a small area. The only "flat" spot we could find was a slope of about 10% grade, resulting in Leah and I sliding slightly in our sleeping bags at night into each other and the tent wall. (Kayla woke up the next morning completely content in her hammock setup, and we were a little jealous). At least it didn't rain this time. However, my hypothesis about waking up with the sun at 7am was foiled once again, since we were sleeping in thick wooded brush...

The facepalm of it all was that when we emerged from the woods to eat our breakfast in the morning (narrowly missing hitting our heads on the branch at chest-level outside the tent door) was the group of hikers who walked by telling us that they had pitched tents in the town square in Aldaka and taken showers in the town hall. Go figure - from now we knew that we should always ask about pitching tents in public places for the possibility of a shower.