For two weeks running, my plans have changed the second I arrived at my destination. Both times, the detours turned out to be better than the actual plan probably was.
Last week, my original plan was to visit the village of Balmaseda in the south of Vizcaya. I’ve seen it from the train, and it looked like the type of quaint, medieval village I’ve come to love. I was excited, expecting a tranquil sort of Sunday afternoon exploring the village and it’s mountanious surroundings.
If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. It turns out the peaceful afternoon I wanted here had to be postponed due to the fact that they were having a festival for the Basque public schools. That’s fine, but the town was almost as packed as Chueca in Madrid is during Pride. I wouldn’t be able to have the infamous relaxing cup of café con leche in their Plaza Mayor, meander the streets and explore like I had wanted.
I decided after seeing the town’s famous bridge to hike to the next train stop. The next village was 4 kilometres away, and I needed to get back into hiking. I found the backroad to Zalla, but I never made it. Discovering a trail along the river took me to some cool views of “Euskadi profunda”, or Deep Basque Country. Green and cloudy, exactly how God intended Euskadi to be.
It was a peaceful walk, and I found my calm, Zen zone here before heading back to the hustle and bustle of the self-proclaimed “capital of the world”, Bilbao.
Yesterday, I made plans with a friend to go for a hike between two coastal villages reachable by the Metro of Bilbao. As we approached Plentzia, we saw a weird misty cloud that appeared more like smoke. We decided to go for a walk along the beach of Gorliz, the village next to Plentzia, instead of trying this hike. We actually stumbled upon a hill and a trek to the lighthouse of Gorliz. Incredible views of the coast and Gorliz awaited us along the way.
Sure, we got lost a few times along the way before we found the actual trail. Thanks to the advice of some strangers coming from the lighthouse, we found the trail and then the lighthouse. The lighthouse was nothing special, but we could see a small island in the Bay of Bizcaya of the Cantabrian Sea. It was the perfect end to the walk. And I have to say the walk was much greener than anything I saw on my recent trip to Ireland.
I am learning more and more that as much as you try to plan something, some of the most amazing things happen due to last minute changes. I’m sure the walk from Plentzia to Urdiliz is also beautiful, but the stunning views of the sea couldn’t be topped. Getting lost can be kind of fun, as long as you have a lot of time and a semblance of orientation of how to get to the main road. The more flexible one while on the road, and the more open-minded one is to detours to the itinerary, the better the trip can be.
What have some of your last-minute plan changes been, and how have they worked out?