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    • Day 42

      PUENTE DE Vizkaya

      November 17, 2022 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

      Nachmittags erreichen wir Bilbao und ich fahre durch die quirlige Stadt und wir suchen mühsam einen Parkplatz.
      Dann geht's auf Richtung Meerenge zur Brücke von Biskaia. Wir gönnen uns ein Mittagessen und fahren dann mit der Schwebefähre ans andere Ufer, da auf unserer Seite der Lift nicht funktioniert.
      Die Brücke ist ein Erlebnis und als wir wieder unten ankommen und wieder mit der Fähre ans andere Ufer übergesetzt haben, fängt es richtig stark zum Regnen an.
      Patschnass erreichen wir müde unser Wohnmobil.
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    • Day 18

      Larrabetzu to Bilbao

      May 28 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      This actually was a pretty easy day. There were some hills, but they were mostly in shade and it wasn't anywhere near as hot as yesterday. I walked most of the day with Kasha from Poland who I met a few days ago. It only took me a few hours to walk the short distance to Bilbao, so this was mostly a tourist day. When I did this route back in 2018 I didn't stay in Bilbao and only stopped long enough to have breakfast and take some pictures at the Guggenheim museum.

      After checking in to my hotel, showering and washing my clothes I received a message from Edna and Janice, two sisters from British Columbia who I had met in Markina. They came over to the old town area where I was staying and together we walked around the city, including walking all the way around the Guggenheim. We found a large plaza with pintxo restaurants all around and chose one that offered 10 pintxos and a bottle of wine for 30€. We ended up supplementing that with a few more pintxos for a total of five each. Each one is several bites, so it was plenty of food.

      Then we had to have a dessert that's a specialty of Bilbao called a Carolina, which is a small custard tart topped with meringue which looks like a soft serve ice cream cone. It was delicious!

      Sadly, many of the people that I've met so far are either ending their Camino this year in Bilbao (many people, especially Europeans do a section of a Camino every year), or they are spending two nights in Bilbao, so I'll no longer be in the same schedule.
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    • Day 17

      Gernika to Larrabetzu

      May 27 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      I thought that this was going to be a pretty easy day, since it wasn't a very long distance - about 16.5 km, or a little over 10 miles. In fact I planned to start a little later than usual because I had planned to try to get a bed at the municipal albergue, and it didn't open until 3 pm.

      So I slept in a bit (until 8) and then had some breakfast with the Canadians. It was already starting to feel warm, so I started to wonder if a late start was such a good idea. Then I decided that maybe I should reserve a room somewhere since the municipal albergue only had 11 beds (or 20 depending on which guide I was reading). There was nothing available on, so I decided to send WhatsApp messages to the nearby Casa Rurales - there were no pensions or hotels in the area.

      Before I could even send the second message the first place replied that yes, there was a room available. So I set out for what I thought would be about a 4 hour walk. I immediately encountered some steep climbs, and the temperature was also rising. Just the day before I had been thinking about sending my umbrella to Santiago since there's a lot more shade on the Camino del Norte than on the mostly treeless stretches on the Camino Francés. I was so happy that I had it with me to protect me from the sun! By the end of my walking day the temperature had soared to 90°F. 🥵

      Adding to my exhaustion was that there were no little towns or other places to stop and take a rest. Though at one house I passed a woman had slices of watermelon and other fruit for sale. She invited me to sit while I ate my watermelon, but I was afraid that I wouldn't want to stand up again if I did!

      The casa rural where I had booked was very lovely, and the owner was really nice. But of course it was at the top of a steep hill! The owner provided dinner so at least I didn't have to walk down and then back up to eat.

      A couple of my Camino forum friends, Laurie and Clare are together on another Camino route, and they called me on a WhatsApp video call. It was great to see their faces and chat a bit, and Laurie confirmed that I had made the right choice by not staying at the public albergue since the dorm is in an attic type space with poor ventilation, which would have been horrible on such a hot day.
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    • Day 11

      Day 8 Reat Day - Portugalete

      September 29 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      Had a great sleep. Woke up early to say goodbye to Bernadette and Anna

      Anja decided to stay an extra night. We went out for a delicious lunch I had Sea Bass !
      Lots of bones so had to be careful.

      I met Anja in Bilbao. She was carrying so much stuff that a homeless person saluted her😅

      She bought a new backpack there and walked 10 km. She Stopped and decided to take the bus. She didn't know how so asked a garbage collector who in turn led her to the warehouse where about 50 men were gathered. No one aspoke English and only one spoke German. He was able to help her👍

      Today I helped her arrange her luggage transfer. She will do less km tomorrow than I.
      We will set out at 7 at the latest It looks like another scorching hot day.

      I must mention this Viscaya hanging bridge thing it transports people and vehicles over the channel in a suspended team for 50 Euros.....or you can pay 8.5 Euros to walk across the top of it!!! I could have taken it but didn't realize what it was. I thought it was just an ugly crane like structure Anja took it and had a blast😅

      There is an alternative route for tomorrow by the water so we will take that . I don't know how it will affect my kms for the day.

      A man in our Albergue got lost just trying to find this place. So many pilgrims go off track The Camino is very poorly marked and there are so many other trails as well. The GR trail is one marked by red and white stripes . It is used all over Europe. At this point I am navigating with a screenshot of a map/ downloaded map from All Trails app Google Maps, and the Wise Pilgrim app. I will be a pro with navigation after this experience for sure😉😅💪
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    • Day 19

      Bilbao to Portugalete

      May 29 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      There are three ways to leave Bilbao and none of them seem great. The official route is quite a bit longer, and my Camino app warned of a steep 1 km hill. My calves wanted a rest so I chose one of the shorter, flatter options. When I walked this route before I walked past the Guggenheim on my way out of town and stayed on a pedestrian walkway along the river for most of the way into Portugalete until finally crossing the river on the Vizcaya Bridge, also known as the Puente Colgante - hanging bridge. It's the first of its kind, built in 1893. It carries vehicles and passengers on a suspended gondola.

      The route that I ended up on today was not very scenic, and didn't have the advantage of going past a stunning museum. It was basically city streets and an industrial zone. So I decided to take pictures of some public art and graffiti (of which there was plenty!)

      The overcast skies kept the temperature just right for walking and I arrived quite early. I was able to drop my backpack off at the pensión, and take a couple of trips across the river on the bridge.

      I saw only one other person walking the Camino on this route, I'm hoping to meet some other pilgrims tomorrow.
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    • Day 11

      Day 7 Bilbao to Portugalete 163.44

      September 29 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      Oh my goodness! So hot today! It is supposed to stay this way for 10 days or so.

      Met a lovely girl from Winchester as a bunk mate. Her name is Julie and she was hilarious. I had the buffet breakfast at our hostel this morning with her. Then we walked together to the museum and parted ways She had been on a 5 day kayaking/hiking vacation with 12 of her friends. They were close to Santander a place called Llanes.

      Very dull walk today. Not many pics. I have been spoiled. A lot of people skip this part🙄

      I rode another Pickle boat. A guy on the boat tried scamming me for 50 Euros😳 Then the driver of the boat got into a shouting match with him. I had thought I was to pay him to go across but he was keeping the mone y. The Spanish get very excited when provoked😱

      Took my time walking today I stopped for lunch and bought a belt to keep my shorts from falling down.

      Love the Albergue here. Very nice Pilgrims. One of the ladies started from Holland 2 months ago Bernadette.

      I met a new friend Anja from Germany. I will tell you more about her later.

      Oh yes check out the guy with the 12 foot rod. I wish I knew what kind of fish was trying to catch.

      Going to bed now😔
      Rest day tomorrow😎
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    • Day 3

      Sicedio En El Puente

      December 10, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Wir wollen mit der Metro zur Schwebebrücke an die Küste.
      Was wir nicht wussten, um 14:30 Uhr ist die Bahn total überfüllt. Für 13 Stationen bezahlt man pro Person nur 1,80 € , aber statt 20 min braucht die Bahn 60 min. Kein Sitzplatz, im Gedränge stehen, nur keine Panik.

      In Portugalete steigen wir aus und müssen noch den Berg runter. Dann sehen wir „Die Biskaya-Brücke (spanisch Puente (de) Vizcaya, baskisch Bizkaiko Zubia) ist eine Schwebefähre und als Weltkulturerbe von der UNESCO anerkannt. Sie ist die älteste Schwebefähre der Welt und noch heute in Betrieb.“

      Absolut beeindruckend!!!!
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    • Day 11


      September 7 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 91 °F

      It was all urban. Very hot. This is a normal Cafe/cafeteria for them. Everything from coffee/latte and food to a drink and food.
      Guggenheim museum in the morning and off along the river.
      Some breezes off the river. We stopped at 13km to take shoes off ( daily bliss) and one pair of socks- no blisters yet! Then on to Potugalete
      Two of us missed turn for a bridge/ferry more like a gondola that takes cars, bikes and pedestrians across the river. And walked on 2.9km to Getxo. Absolutely beautiful and worth the mistake! Photos don’t do it justice. The beach was huge and gorgeous! The building architecture stunning!
      Ok clothes are hanging to dry. Time to have a glass of wine and water then find food.
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    • Day 4


      May 17, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Immer am Ufer des Nervión entlang, durch Hafen- und Werftanlagen, haben wir unsere erste '10 km Etappe' nach 15 km beendet.

      Wir haben uns kurzerhand entschlossen, hier für heute Schluss zu machen. Nochmal mindestens 10 km bis zur nächsten Herberge könnte ganz schnell zu viel werden.

      Zusammen mit unserer Mitpilgerin Caro aus Freiburg haben wir uns in der Herberge 'Bide ona' eingemietet. Ein Schlafsaal mit 18 Betten, der Großteil davon belegt, und Privatsphäre nur in der winzigen Dusche ist allerdings gewöhnungsbedürftig. 🥴
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    • Day 9

      Verrückte Brücke

      July 19, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Nach einer Stärkung in der Form eines „bocata de chorizo“ und einer Cola bin ich weiter nach Portugalete. Da überquert eine verrückte Brücke die Nerbioi Ibaia (was immer das heisst): el Puente de Biskaia. Gebaut um den Schiffsverkehr möglichst geringfügig zu stören, wurde eine hin und pelndende Gondel realisiert. Auf der Welt ist das eine der wenigen solchen Konstruktionen.Read more

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