His ‘n’ Hers

At 7am this morning, as the sun was breaking over the foothills of Mount Igeldo in San Sebastian, I had the bright idea that it might be a nice thought to text Tiff a picture of wherever I happened to be each morning to accompany her morning cuppa. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten that she’d already been up since 5am having been keeping her customers at Hotel Bell Tent happy all weekend at Port Eliott in Cornwall, and I think the picture I got back might suggest it wasn’t such a great idea…

But whilst I’m in insensitive prat mode, here’s last night’s sunset in San Sebastian:

Today’s walk was from San Sebastian to Zarautz – at 20.4km around 7km shorter than the first leg and thankfully also a little less challenging; the brevity of yesterday’s post was partly to do with the fact they obviously don’t believe in breaking you gently on this journey, with the route rising and falling by about 500m from sea level with fairly alarming frequency, which is also no doubt largely why I ended up having a whinge about the rucksack weight.

But after a good night’s sleep – well, as good as you can have in a bunk bed in a dormitory in a hostel surrounded by snoring Pelegrinos (pilgrims) – the rucksack felt much less daunting and I set off at a fair lick along the coastline, which was generally flatter, although rising to 300m at times just to keep me on my toes.

This stretch is also renowned for the locals’ friendliness towards Pelegrinos, and there seemed to be endless free opportunities to rehydrate, just a couple of which below made me smile – the top one because it slightly tempered the appeal of free refreshment with a reminder about just how far was left to go to Santiago, and the bottom one because it was absolutely in the middle of nowhere in a stretch of dense woodland. The water spout you can just see in the background of the picture on the left was piped straight from a mountain spring.And without rambling on too much, I should probably mention that a bit of instant karma kicked in as a result of my early morning texting decision; the most challenging part of the day was entirely my fault as I managed to do the steepest climb of the day twice. This photo was taken from the top of a path that you can see winding down below. On reaching the summit I couldn’t see any yellow arrows so asked some Spanish cyclists if I was going the wrong way and they assured me I was, so I got two thirds of the way back down again, only to meet a group of Pelegrinos beginning the steepest part of the ascent. Call me paranoid, but walking up again I’m sure I could hear laughter echoing over the next mountain ridge…

But not much point complaining really when the scenery looks like this…

Looking a bit shabby already

Filed under: On The Road Tagged: El Camino del Norte, Photograph, San Sebastian, Walking, Zarautz

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