Euskadi II – Duct tape, Keys & Rifles

The weather kept on raging the entire week and I was able to fix up my shelter a little bit with duct tape and some plastic bags, They made the shower a pretty nice place actually since they were already sheltered with a little roof. I mean it wasn’t exactly warm but then again it also wasn’t really cold. My biggest concern was just the endless rain that even blew inside the cabin during the first night. It was alright now though.

I went by Luis and he still recognized me, he asked if I still recognized him lol and I said yea of course, youre a legend. Luiz owned the local bar where all the Basque people go during the day (and during the evening). I also met some friends here that I kept in touch with a couple of years back but sadly they were in India for a couple of months, coming back somewhere in April. I did come across their father a couple of times and it was good that I was able to talk a lot more with him this time around since my French had improved. The other Basque people that went there were pretty nice and curious, me sitting there in the corner typing and writing away, sometimes calling friends and trying to look natural in all my abnormality. Its fine. 

The slipper people were sadly letting me up, they couldn’t find the slippers I needed and also forgot to look a couple of times, I remember this Swiss guy buying weed there and I think that has something to do with it, not judging haha.

Some really apocalyptic weather was coming in about halfway through the week, luckily I found a restaurant that had their terrace door open to their toilets, the keys were even in the door lol, maybe this could be an opportunity. They were absolutely spotless and why the fuck not.. They were even so nice as to put a piece of paper on the door saying when they’ll be back.. This could create opportunity I hoped but I was long glad I found a clean/warm place to sleep and a place to charge my electronics. 

The spread of COVID was beginning to show, stores were beginning to close, less people in the streets. Still it was allowed to move around but something was definitely in the air. Also news from other parts of Europe wasn’t really looking good. Italy was on lockdown and my buddy Francesco (whom I met in France) just had his flight back to Venice cancelled.. He was planning on taking another flight towards Austria where his family lived and I wished him all the best.

When chilling/walking around town, looking for some backup place to sleep I found an abandoned house. It was gigantic. A small trail leading through the garden was cluttered with tentacles of prickly bushes and it seemed like it hadn’t been visited in quite some time. I couldn’t resist going in since Im basically a ghost hunter at this point anyway, not afraid of things that aren’t real. Real things including fucking ticks, freezing to death, dropping to my death in some janky trailer off into a river. Yea another abandoned house is not going to make a change.

I found that the garage door on the bottom floor was open. The garage had thick spider webs in multiple places and found some wooden statues. Probably cursed.. Up a stairs that was broken, resting on a propane tank with a piece of plywood and yea! REAL DANGERS.. Still I was undeterred and continued up the stairs for a quick peek. Things seemed empty for quite sometime but definitely not the longest abandoned house Ive entered during this trip. 
The house was massive. Lucy and me looked around the most of the furniture was still there. The front door was locked and I couldn’t find any keys when looking around, I tried to lockpick the door and damn, had to rotate it twice so it fell back in the lock. Still 1 rotation closer than I was before though and it didn’t take that long to get the 2ndrotation as well. The front door entrance was completely covered in shrubs so I had to keep using the shitty stairs into the basement either way. Upstairs the rooms were empty, some were full of junk and some stuff had been thrown around. Its funny how these abandoned houses all start to look the same after some point. Always a lot of papers, always thrown over tables, always a big layer of grime over everything, always little gems hidden here and there and I intended on going back there in the next couple of days and do some looting.

Looks fine to me

I went back to my spotless domain and I had about a day left before the owners would be back. I kept the keys with me at this point (since I had my laptop and powerbank charging there). More rain although (it was improving), more good food, more wine and tea at Luiz and yea, pretty nice all in all. Feeling sad about rushing to the border evaporated over the week as did the bad weather luckily and things were looking up. The water in the river was thick and the temperatures went from jacket / freezing to hmm, nice and gloomy in the evening. Patches of snow were still on top of the mountain but I had good hopes. 

At some point the owners of the restaurant came back, I packed up everything in a slight rush and slipped out through the back alley through their terrace. Intending on returning the big bush of keys later after I installed myself in the abandoned house.

In the house there were some mattresses that I could use to sleep on, also found a few candles and I decided to use the daylight to do a little further scouting. Starting on the lower rooms, the kitchen area was just full of papers, bills and choir books. Nothing really special. I went room through room and found a nice pendant here and there but nothing really interesting. Upstairs was a completely different story however. 

Birds had been nesting in the house and it wasn’t hard to see why, a ladder up to the attic was open and I decided to take a quick look there as well, a few holes in the roof and I was glad I had a good light. There was only one big chest standing there and no japanese ladies with long black hair giving me a haircut as soon as I popped my head into the attic. Found a couple of dead birds throughout the house that fell out of the nest into a vase, or a bowl and were unable to get out, pretty sad, still fascinating to see their completely conserved skeletons however. 

Dead Bird

One of the upper rooms had a box standing in the corner and when I picked it up I felt immediately I hit the jackpot. A hunting rifle.. Where are the bulletssssssoohhh no wait, theres a full box over there next to the tv.. Weird. Couldn’t help but take a few pictures and send them around to some friends. I had the thought of firing the rifle but then again, maybe not that handy lol, don’t think the neighbors take too kind to a weapon discharge in the abandoned house that has been an eye sore since forever. The rifle itself was rusty and it wasn’t that heavy of a caliber, still a very cool find though and I had flashbacks to just about every video game I’d even played. Now I know what you’re thinking but no, Im not going to carry around a hunting rifle the size of my leg and around 5kg, maybe in the apocalypse, but that wasn’t quite happening yet.

Lighter for reference

I went back to the restaurant and they just had their briefing, I knocked on the window and they looked at me like dafuq you’re doing here, were closed. I held up the keys and they reluctantly opened the door. I told them I found them in the door and guess what I got? NOTHING, no thank you, no questions and certainly no free pizza. Also no police so Im not really complaining, I just hoped for a little bit more. The keychain had some pretty fucking expensive keys on em and the chain itself had like 25 keys on it. At least a thank you would have been nice.

I returned to Luiz and I asked him if he knew anything about the house, he didn’t.. I decided not to tell him about the rifle or that I even went into the house but he went on to another topic of some squatters raping a girl in town a month ago.. HMM yea, pretty glad I didn’t went with the guy I met on the first evening when I just arrived. I also told him I was going over the mountain, he laughed and said that I would probably be back, I said nahhh dont think so. We said our goodbye’s that I was more confident about than him. I slept in the abandoned house that night and I had a pretty good sleep, I was planning on leaving the next day if the weather was as good as everything predicted.