Spain
San Martin

Here you’ll find travel reports about San Martin. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

13 travelers at this place:

  • Day52

    SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN

    May 21 in Spain

    I liked it from the moment we stepped in the taxi.

    We are staying in Miraconcha, at an AirBnB overlooking La Concha beach. This huge, old flat has a gigantic terrace, so we can have dinner outside, overlooking the bay. The boys are thrilled because they each have their own bedroom.

    The first day was spent exploring streets of the old town, swimming at La Concha, and climbing Mount Urgull to the Castillo de la Mota, a 12th century fortress with amazing outlooks over San Sebastian and its beaches. Today we tried out Zurriola beach, famous for its surf. The boys rented boogie boards and spent a very happy hour catching (and getting pummelled by) big waves. They came out exhausted, with bellies red from sand-scrape and purple/white skin from the cold (only 16C today). I was happy to laze on the beach and watch a bunch of French high school kids at surf-school. Also simultaneously tried to avoid seeing (but it was so hard not to look, too!) the big, naked man walking up and down the beach, Borat style.

    Buz and I started a few morning runs, which brings back memories of the old backpacking days. Glory days. The only downside to Basque country is how much they like their ham. There’s even a ham museum in Spain. Everything has bread and ham... not my thing. Luckily, Jesse and Zach have been cooking for us at nights, getting to be the talented little chefs. We are contributing to the local economy in our excessive consumption of baguettes and gelatos. It’s a very relaxed, easy place to stay.

    MONDAY NIGHT
    San Sebastián (now aka ‘Ham Sebastián’ to us) has given us just the right amount of playtime. Loads of boogie-boarding at Zurriola, the ‘epic’ surf beach, until our fingers were white & numb with cold. We were bruised, battered, and ‘smashed’ by some rather fierce & large waves that often took us by surprise, breaking before we had a chance to escape. Good fun comparing surfing wounds. Some calmer plays in La Concha beach. Lots of hiking up to El Castillo, ‘rock wall climbing’ on the cliff face, frisbee whenever and wherever (thank goodness it broke). Zach had the clever idea of trying to get the frisbee looped around the finger on the Jesus statue. Good thing his aim isn’t that advanced. Pottered around the old town and generally enjoyed this laid-back city that is surprisingly non-tourist focused, despite the great number of tourists they get. In some ways, that is super refreshing. In other ways, you wish that the stores would open on Sundays and you could buy something from the restaurant that does not have ham. On the bright side, I feel like I’ve become good friends with the check-out lady at Spar who I buy groceries from twice a day. I bet she will miss me as I will her.

    Tomorrow is the train to Madrid, and en route to Reykjavik. Adios, Espana!
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  • Day2

    Appreciating the simple things

    September 13, 2017 in Spain

    The waves were huge this evening on La Concha beach. As I enjoyed the childish pleasure of swimming into each one and being thrown around as if in a washing machine, I realised how lucky I am to get such enjoyment from the simple things in life. Swimming in the sea, walking all day, laughing with new acquaintances .... and a hot cup of tea when it's most needed. Thank you @Laurie Reynolds for introducing me to this wonderful little gadget that boils a cup of water in no time at all. Truly life-enhancing!Read more

  • Day48

    Day 45

    July 15, 2017 in Spain

    Just another bus trip today so nothing to report there haha. We had a really good guide and bus driver so I'm going to miss them hopefully I meet them at some stage on the network again. Ciara (the Irish guide) and Didea (the Portuguese driver). Just really lovely people

    We went on a pinxcos crawl last night which is basically a smaller form of tapas which was lots of fun😊

    Photos are from the view along the boardwalk at night (San Sebastián is a very pretty city)Read more

  • Day2

    And here we are again - San Sebastián

    September 13, 2017 in Spain

    We got up nice and early this morning and took the 6.30am airport bus. Within 25 minutes we were hopping off just after Irun, ready to start walking. We met Heather from Canada who was hunting for the non-existent arrows and we all walked together for most of the day.

    As happened last time, I was determined to take the so-called Alpinista route, but we somehow ended up on the boring flatter one. We eventually decided to forge our own trail up the side of the hill, and ended up bushwhacking through some difficult terrain. It felt like a major achievement when we reached the top and saw the amazing views of the Bay of Biscay. Well worth the exertion and the badly scratched legs!

    We lad lunch in Pasai before taking the little boat across the river. After that, we took the GR alternatives to San Sebastián. A great day of walking, conversation and laughter. Time for a swim now!
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  • Day3

    Hobdarribia to San Sebastian

    May 10, 2017 in Spain

    Today's walk was about 25kms, on natural trails and country roads. It even included a little boat ride, across the river at Pasajes. My plan was to take the 'alpinista' option, but I accidentally missed the turn and took the easier (and somewhat boring) route from Gauadalupe to Pasajes.

    When I arrived in San Sebastián, I had a swim in the sea to ease the aches and pains. It felt great, although the water was colder than I expected!

    Blisters on day 1 - not good! Because of all the reports of rain and mud, I'm walking in my favourite hiking boots. I should have known better - my feet get too warm when I wear boots in Spain. I should have brought my lighter walking shoes.

    Early night tonight - looking forward to a long sleep.
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  • Day1

    Camino Del Norte -Day One

    June 9, 2017 in Spain

    Camino Del Norte - Day One
    Irun to San Sebastián
    Distance 26.5km
    Total Ascent 710m Descent 720m (And don't my legs know it!)

    First of all, thank you very much for supporting me in raising some money for the BIRD charity. See my just giving page for details.
    Today began with catching a 7.30am bus from Bilbao to Irun on the French/Spanish border. A great journey but made me realise how hilly this route is going to be. The bus wound it's way through the narrow valleys with villages, farms and industries all jostling for space. There were lots of low dark clouds hanging on top of the hills.
    Finally arrived at Irun station at 9.15am so after a quick cup of coffee and a croissant, off I went on my merry way trying to find the yellow arrows to begin the Camino Del Norte.
    It is only 860km to Santiago De Compostela. I must be off my head.
    I promptly got lost until a friendly alberque manager found me and put me on the path.
    The guide book makes it sound easy. It's not!
    It does say that the first day is probably the most spectacular. It offers incredible views from the high ridge and passes Neolithic dolmens, medieval towers and castle ruins.
    The only problem is that you have to get on the ridge. Almost 700m straight up.
    Thankfully, it was slightly overcast which kept the temperature at around 21c. I, however, was at gas mark 6 for most of the day.
    It was an amazing day with stunning views. A long climb out of Irun followed by a long descent into Pasal Donibane where I caught a small ferry (70 cents) across the harbour with some other perigrinos.
    The numbers of pilgrims are increasing on the Del Norte as the Camino France's appears to be getting busier. 368,000 walked the Camino France's last year.
    After crossing the harbour, it was another long slog up the other side for 700m. I dragged my sorry body up another ridge and back down the other side into the beautiful seaside town of San Sebastián/Donostia. I wound my way through the town trying to find the Albergue with no luck and finally decided that life was too short and I was too tired, so I have checked into a lovely hotel.
    Washed and admin done. I am about to go and find ANYTHING to eat.

    Don't expect future blogs to be so long.

    Do donate to my just giving page for B.I.R.D. It may encourage me to post more pictures etc. Thank you for your support and messages of encouragement. I have a feeling I am going to need them.....😎
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  • Day5

    Walk to San Sebastián.

    September 2, 2017 in Spain

    I got up at 6 and left the hostel at 7.05. It was not raining and quite cool. I felt confident enough though lots of "what ifs" went through my mind last night.
    Most of the town was walking up the first hill to go to a mass in the Santuario . From there I briefly chatted with a young Polish man who had walked from Poland, 90 days,, and counting.
    We took the advice of two old men, to follow the left arrow, and then I got off track. I was not worried, at first, as I headed for the water., seeing that it is a coastal walk, I deduced. Bad choice, down, down and down the trail I went,.oops, big cliff, so up, up, up I went. Phew, then I was walking along a road and a man pulled over and said what are you doing walking here. Lost says I, lost says he. He set me on the path, which was just above the road, and it turned out I was back on track after an extra 2 hours of up and down a pretty long and rather steep hill. The walking sticks in the garage in Lincoln would be handy. . I felt much better seeing yellow arrows, let me tell you., and I kept tellinh myself that too, as I got a bit stressed when I was off track. I told myself to remember that they say the Camino takes care and provides. I am so glad to be able to talk, and ask for directions in Spanish. .
    The cliff walk was very scenic but when I got to the part where there was cables in the rocks to hold on too cause it was steep, I had a meltdown. I got stuck on grandfather mountain in SC many years ago, relating to a steep rock and cable. At that time I was terrified, so this time I was too. I did not appreciate the beauty of that part. I just put one foot in front of the other and went between fear, anger and telling.myself to just do it. So I did, and then had a tortilla and a coffee and a magnum. Ice cream bar in the little harbor. Rejuvenated and feeling fresh again, even though I had been walking for 6 hours, I set off for San Sebastián. I thought it was really far. I asked a walker who was at a bench on the prom if this was indeed San Sebastián. "Oui" he responded and then spoke at length to me in French. Hmm, says I, this is Spain now, so I am not as bothered that I do not understand. He had no English so we did a couple of Japanese type bows and I hit the beach. I was so happy to know I had a room booked, as that is the next leap of faith for me, to just walk and get a room when I am tired.
    After all that, going in to a bar full of people, ordering pinxtos and vino tinto was a piece of cake.
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San Martin

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