Exploring Orio, Deba and Getaria — or Mike and Charlie’s Bad Day

The day is cold and misty — a great day for touring in the car. We strike out, hoping the weather will clear. Orio and Deba turn out to be drive-throughs as the weather still stinks. We stop in Gataria, which hugs the coast and offers great views for those in the mood for strolling. We spy a couple from France, doing that thing couples do when they travel alone — first you take my picture, then you take mine. We offer to help so they can both be in the same picture, and they are grateful. Merci!

This is a town of fisherman with a history of exploration. Various monuments guard the town squares, including one to Juan Sebastian El Canno, who completed Magellan’s trip around the world. Steep streets are picturesque and tippy. Cold and wet, we find a warm seaside restaurant that smells wonderful and stop in for a fine meal. The daily menu is a good deal, and we all dive in.

We set the the GPS for the “scenic route” home, but then the dashboard of the rental car lights up with warnings, lights, gizmos and exclamation points. We fish the manual out of the glove box, but unfortunately, we can’t make heads or tails of it. We lose Jim, Jane, and Charlie in the roundabout. Our car lugs and lurches and the engine light goes on.

Magically, a Mercedes dealership appears out of nowhere, and we turn in. Second lucky happenstance — a woman there speaks English. She recommends we drive to the next dealership, where they repair cars. Instead, we call Hertz. They direct us to the Hondaribbia airport for a new car. Once there, we park and go inside to plead our case. The answer: a new car will be delivered to the airport in one hour. So we decide to go home first and come back, but can’t figure out how to get out of the parking lot, which is a two-step process that involves first going to one kiosk, and then to another.

Back at the villa, Charlie and Jane G are engaged in lengthy, sequential conversations with Max, Paloma, and Jeremy from ATT, trying to get the Lentz phone to work. This effort lasts an hour and a half and also includes several texts to New York City. Finally, after a successful activation, Charlie relaxes by sitting on a chair that collapses.

Having no food at the villa, we make a meal of tomatoes, crackers, goat cheese, Spanish fritos and Nutella. It’s time to give up and start over tomorrow. But life is still good.

San Sebastian


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Exploring Orio, Deba And Getaria

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3 comments so far

  1. Kiki Lunderoy

    Indeed you are seasoned travelers, staying in good spirits despite some setbacks. As the Spanish say, “¡ánimo!” Or “courage” if you are still thinking of the French couple. Thank you for sharing all this with us!

  2. Linda Harvey

    Pretty picture of Liz. I remember how “rare” the beef was in Spain…. oh, yes! How is Jim’s Spanish? Did he translate the plaque?

  3. liz

    Linda, Jim was reading the English translation of the plaque. His Spanish is good, though!

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