Spain
Amute

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    • Day 1

      Irun

      June 10 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      I'm in Irun, the first town on the Camino del Norte, a Basque border town separated from a French town by to the Rio Bidasoa. This pleasant town was rebuilt after bombing in the Civil War.

      I'm intending to walk the Norte route and turn left at Oviedo to continue on the Camino Primitivo to Santiago de Compostela. But plans can change.

      My flight arrived in San Sebastian about 1pm so I had plenty of time to walk from the airport to the town and hang out in a cafe before the albergue opened at 4. Then I had a rest on my bunk and partially recovered from my 2am start.

      It's a modern, purpose built albergue with 60 bunks, built on a hexagonal plan around a hexagonal stairwell. We are bees.

      The albergue has a well appointed hexagonal kitchen where I cooked pasta for my dinner. I ate with an Italian couple and a French man, conversing in a mix of French and English. It looks like I'm going to need a concise response to the "How is it in the UK after Brexit?' questions!
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    • Day 100

      Endlich: Spanien!

      June 8, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

      Auf den nächsten Kilometern kommt der Atlantik immer näher und meine Aufregung wächst mit jedem Schritt. Spanien rückt plötzlich in greifbare Nähe. Es ist unwirklich, obwohl ich so lange darauf hingearbeitet habe.
      Erst erreiche ich Hendaye, die letzte Stadt in Frankreich, dann stehe ich auch schon auf der Brücke, die mich nach Spanien hinüber führen wird und die passend Pont Saint-Jacques oder Puente de Santiago heißt. Ich bin für mich alleine, als ich endlich die Grenze zu Spanien überquere, nach 100 Tagen und knapp 2500km. Ich mache ein Selfie und dann kann ich nicht mehr aufhören zu lachen. Ich hab's wirklich geschafft!!

      In Irún fühlt sich alles vertraut an und das liegt nicht nur daran, dass ich schon zweimal hier war. Es ist die Sprache, es ist die Atmosphäre, es sind die Namen an den Geschäften und so viele Dinge, die ich nicht benennen kann. Kurz gesagt: Spanien heißt mich willkommen. Es fühlt sich an, wie Heimkommen.
      Beim Warten auf das Öffnen der Pilgerherberge komme ich mit ein paar anderen Pilgern ins Gespräch und auch beim Abendessen mangelt es mir nicht an Gesellschaft: da sind ein Franzose, ein Amerikaner und ein Südafrikaner, allesamt junge Leute, mehrere weitere AmerikanerInnen, eine Australierin und natürlich ein paar Spanier. Alles, was mir in Frankreich so gefehlt hat: junge Leute und Internationalität. Endlich etwas Abwechslung zu den Franzosen über 60. Jedes Mal, wenn jemand neues dazustößt, muss ich wieder erzählen, dass ich schon seit 100 Tagen unterwegs bin. Jedes Mal ernte ich dieselben ungläubigen Blicke. Am Ende stoße ich mit ein paar Pilgern sogar noch mit einem Bier darauf an.

      Morgen beginnt er also: der letzte Abschnitt des Weges nach Santiago, der Abschnitt, der mich durch mein geliebtes Spanien führt. An meiner geliebten Nordküste entlang. Ich könnte mir nichts Schöneres für den letzten Abschnitt vorstellen.
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    • Day 19

      Was für eine Nacht…

      July 29, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Die letzte hatte es in sich. Ich habe kaum geschlafen. Der Gefäng… ehm, meine der Hospitalero hatte mir gestern ein unteres Bett eines Etagenbetts zugewiesen, was grundsätzlich gut ist. Kein klettern, komfortabler zum Beziehen, soweit so gut.
      Ich komm ins Zimmer und praktisch das erste, was ich von meiner Bettmitbenutzerin höre, ist das Klagen, dass die eine Seite nicht gesichert ist, sie könne herunterfallen. Klar, kann passieren. Ich also, praktisch, wie ich bin, stelle das Bett so an einer Wand hin, dass die Gefahr gebannt ist. Da ist sie sichtbar erleichtert.
      Schon bald geht sie schlafen, ich Abendessen.
      Ich komme irgendeinmal zurück, mach mich Bett-ready und leg mich hin.
      Kaum liege ich so da, geht ein erstes „Erdbeben“ los: die das obere Bett nutzende Dame hüpft sich in die richtige Schlafposition! Ich denk mir, meine Güte, die hat aber Energie. Nun ja, um es kurz zu machen, meine Bettgenossin hat mir tatsächlich den Schlaf geraubt, dass sie dieses Procedere alle 15-30 Minuten wiederholte.
      Und geschnarcht haben auch zwei oder drei, der eine mit Apnoe, Schnappatmung oder sonstwie komisch. ÜÜÜBEL!
      Am Morgen, resp. als der Hospitalero um 6:30 Uhr Lich und Musik einschaltete, war ich gerädert und von ihr oben lagen Decke, Fixleintuch und Kleidungsstücke am Boden; alles heruntervibriert. Zum 🤮.
      Ich geh jetzt ein Kaffee trinken.
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    • Day 46–47

      Day 46 - Irun to Errenteria

      June 6 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      After a fairly noisy night in our Irun city centre pension, we darted in and out of the toilet we were sharing with other residents! Unfortunately all the madness of the last few days had taken its toll on Mary’s stomach- which was definitely playing up 😳
      We headed for breakfast at a nearby bakery and attempted to work out what was what as our Spanish is still extremely elementary. With the locals all queuing up to overhear our attempts 😂
      We collected up our rucksacks and set off on the Camino del Norte with Trevor in full swing. Helpful/unhelpful locals telling us when we had gone wrong! Getting out of Irun was fairly challenging with roadworks blocking paths and signage of the way not as clear as we are used to, or hidden behind vans!
      We started the great ascent, oxygen masks on and off we went.
      We climbed through woods for the majority, until we got through the tree line and into a clearing with a little church and fantastic views over Irun town and beyond.
      Little did we know the climb had only just begun and continued for the next hour or so. We were both in Plodicus mode and at times Mary felt quite exhausted- she usually loves the challenge of an uphill.
      As we climbed the views became more and more amazing, with some to open sea and others to mountains and towns in the distance. There were eagles soaring overhead at points.
      Along the way there were small castles and tors where people gathered for photo opportunities.
      On one of these a little chit chat befriended Mary and kept her company for a good 10 mins.
      The climb down into Lezo and Errenteria was full of moon rocks that were very dodgy on the ankles. As we descended and ascended we kept hearing grunting and heavy breathing as a whole tranche of fell runners were running this route! 😱
      We stopped in Lezo, a cute little town and had a drink as we were only half an hour away from our room for the evening.
      However finding this place was a nightmare through huge roadworks, canals, railway lines and strange communal lifts that take you from the lower to upper parts of town - Trevor was having a meltdown, we were having a meltdown- but we made it in the end - a nice calm room for the evening- and a buffet breakfast to look forward to in the morning 👍
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    • Day 40

      España

      September 20, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      I was a little bit disappointed there is no sign to say you're entering Spain. You walk across a bridge, over a river, and then posters and signs are in a different language. And that's it. I was expecting a bit more but hey ho.

      Tomorrow I start on the final path to Santiago and I was starting to get pains in my tendons so I've invested in a new pair of shoes. I've also got my hair cut which is a bit of a trauma for me in the UK nevermind abroad. I tried to get it cut in France but they wanted me to make an appointment and I'm more of a cheap and cheerful walk in guy. I found a place in Irún with prices on the window and zero pretence so I went for that. I told a German guy I was talking to about it and he joined me and we're both out unscathed. It was really no big deal. I just need to wear a hat for a few weeks.

      Finally, I had a very special moment this morning. A young French boy asked me if I was walking to Santiago. I said yes, his face lit up, and he ran to tell his mates. A really small thing but it made my day.

      Photos - Irún was obliterated during the Civil War so it's not photogenic hence I took a photo of the main square. Yesterday was my last night in France so I drank my first and last bottle of wine there. Unfortunately a slug marred the occasion slightly by crawling up the bottle. The fifteenth century Chateau D'Urtubie is the last chateau I'll see for a while and the last photo is St Jean de Luz this morning. It's a charming town.
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    • Day 4

      Ahorá somos en Espana

      February 16, 2023 in Spain

      C'est fait ! Nous avons passé la frontière après un départ de Biarritz plus que long. Bon en même temps il faut faire partir 1200 4L.
      Nous sommes en compagnie des Framaritals et de la team 4L HS 🤙🏻

    • Day 7

      Arrival in Spain. Camino check in

      July 28, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Today i slept in i am a little bit sick but im hoping that walking alot of water and rest will help me recover! On my way to the train in Biarritz i sae my first signs for the camino, i took the train to Hendaye and from there walked across the border into Irun to find my hostel. It is a public hostel for pilgrims by donation. I was able to get my credential here (a camino passport that gets stamped alomg the way, proof that you did and are doing the camino). I meet Pete here, he is a middle aged Irish guy that has walked the camino many times. He works with people with substance use disorder and we connected on ideas about spirituality and personal care. I got the sense we did not agree in things like vaccines but it wasnt an issue. He was a lovely man, people here are friendly and excited to meet other pilgrims. In town i had dinner at a place that had a special for pilgrims, 11.50 euro and i had a 3 course meal and a bottle of wine, this im told is normal for northern spain. It wasnt fine dining or anything but it really hit the spot. Packed it in around 930 lights on in the public albergues is 630 am and everyone must be out by 730.Read more

    • Day 2

      First stamp in my Pilgrim Credential

      June 27, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Decided to just walk to Irún from the airport rather than take a cab. I wanted to see where I will be staying tonight so figured I’d stop by and check it out. While I was taking pictures a volunteer asked if I had my credential. I pulled it out and he gave me my first stamp!Read more

    • Day 7

      First Camino sightings

      July 28, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      First time seeing signs for the walk im doing! Also found the public hostel for "pilgrims" with people waiting to get in. Today i took the train to Hendaye and walked across the border into spain. Ill settle into my hostel early and see if i cant sleep off this cold!Read more

    • Day 2

      Erste Etappe

      July 12, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      So jetzt bin ich dann mal richtig weg. Wollte um 7 los und ich hab’s fast geschafft. Vor dem Hotel standen schon ein Paar in leichter Bekleidung und Wanderstöcken. Sahen ganz nach Amis aus. 😵‍💫 Vielleicht tue ich ihnen unrecht…

      Zufällig komme ich bei der Pilgerpension vorbei. Da wäre ich abgestiegen, wenn ich einen oder zwei frühere Zuge gehabt hätte.

      Vorhin haben mich schon zwei Pilger, junge Leute, angequatscht. Fragen nach dem Weg nach Frankreich und ob der Weg begehbar sei. Keine Ahnung! 🤔
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