Today began earlier than yesterday. Just before daybreak, so light but cool and with no direct sunlight. I still put on sunscreen, however! My nose and cheeks have become a bit pink in the past few days, despite the morning sunscreen. Perhaps a reapplication is necessary due to how much I’ve been sweating. Which is more than I have in a long time! Therefore, I am grateful for the cooler weather and no rain until tonight. Possibly slippery going in the morning.
More ups and downs today, but started off flat along the beach. The book offered an alternate, higher route, but I stuck to the flat. I thought it was 4kms to the next town and figured that on the flat, I could do it by a certain time. Then I got to the town in time and re-read the guidebook and had actually gone 6.5km! First success of t h e day.
I had left T and E (the Australian girl and Irish lad) in Zarautz to have a coffee. The coffee shop was 100 meters in the opposite direction from where we were headed and it didn’t seem right to walk back to go forward. I ended up following 2 ladies who spoke French for a while and caught up to them after they had tasted grapes from a vineyard (too sour, they said) and when we both wanted photos of the same view. One lady was from Paris and the other was Belgian living in Provence. We all walked together to Zumaia and then I continued on with the Belgian lady – F – as her friend was taking the bus the rest of the way.
We stopped in a shop and F showed me the packages of smoked ham for only 1€ each – yum! I also picked up some other things and we headed out of town to picnic at a park on the hill. The weather looked ominous and the previous weather report had forecasted rain, so we stopped early on a cement square of some sort to have our lunch. It was quite pleasant, never ended up raining, and she shared a Belgian chocolate as we had previously discussed European chocolate and how much I liked it.
It was quite a nice walk. Pretty hard again, but that will be the story for at least the next few days. More ups and downs, but nice bits of scenery and some surprises, too, like all the animals and the homemade cider stand that had bottles of cider, jars of honey, some homemade calendula cream, and an honor box for payments.
The best surprise that wasn’t really a surprise was the elevator system in Deba. Intense downhill, lots of steps, sore feet, and then an elevator! It took us down the equivalent of at least 5 stories. And then there was another one! This put us at ground level, at which point we headed to the tourist office to wait and register for the hostel. Which is in the train station! But more on that later.
While descending into Deba, 2 girls caught up with me and I overheard them speaking German! I didn’t say anything until we are in the first elevator and then they were surprised I spoke German. One is from Germany and the other from Hungary and both speak English as well as German, so the conversations have been a mixture of both. Really fun, but has messed me up even more when I need to respond in Spanish to someone!
We waited about 20 minutes for the tourist office to open and just before we were yo head over, T and E walked into the square. We’d already met the other pilgrims that were waiting, so the 8 pilgrims in this square at this time were from 7 different countries!
We all got our keys and directions and headed over. Only 5€ for a super clean, brand-new hostel built in the two rooms above the train station. And the train has gone by and isn’t loud, so it is really nice. Tomorrow we will not be passing towns with services, so I went shopping for dinner and food for tomorrow and then I went to Mass. I had seen the church when coming into town and was grateful for this evening opportunity as their only Sunday Mass is at 11 or 1130. I was one of 3 people there under 40 and the Mass was bilingual Spanish and Basque. Really interesting.
Now back at the hostel. Ate dinner, packed for tomorrow, chatted with people, etc. Really grateful for today.
Food for today and tomorrow: 11€
Though the walks are challenging at times you have met some lovely people along the way. 🙂