Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Buen Provecho on the Camino

A person can eat a lot over the course of a week of hiking up and down the mountains of northern Spain. And I'm not talking about trail mix. Last week, while my sis and I were covering about 140 miles of the famed Camino de Santiago from Hendaye, France, to Bilbao, Spain, we did consume our share of nuts, dried fruit, Babybel cheese and ham sandwiches. But at the end of the day, without fail, we rewarded ourselves and gave the local economy a boost by checking out the offerings at whatever bar we could find. And in Basque Country, the bar is often covered in food--specifically, pinxos, one-serving appetizers, eaten in a few bites, washed down with a glass of Rioja, a caƱa (glass of light beer) or, my personal favorite, the clara--a light beer mixed with lemon soda. Knowing we'd find refreshment and some sort of delicious food made lugging an 11-pound backpack through some tough terrain totally, totally worth it.--S
Note the beer teetering on the edge of the bar, to the left.
Most pinxos cost about 1,20 euros--sometimes more than a glass of beer.
These were in Lezama, at the town's annual fiesta. We ate while watching a wood-chopping contest and listening to a local band.
Cafe in Gernika.
Celebratory pinxos at the end of our journey, in Bilbao.
Basque doesn't seem to resemble Spanish at all--all those x's and k's. Thankfully there are usually Spanish translations. But even if you don't know what you're ordering, it's going to taste delicious.

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