Today was a challenging day, and it all started with breakfast. We were served breakfast on wooden trays containing so many things to open that I wondered how the staff washed it up once we were finished. Plus, I wouldn’t say I like food served on wood. Overkill, give me a bowl of cereal and some toast without all the containers! Anyway, it was a good walk today but challenging because we found it taxing on our bodies walking so close to adjusting to the timezone, the jet lag, and the pack on our backs. Today was walking out of Portugalete and finally into some country and seaside.
We had a steep street outside our hotel that we had to climb, but luckily the council had put in a few travelators to get us to the top of the hill—thank you, council. Once up the top, we had to walk down an avenue, and it wasn’t long before we hit the countryside. The council had installed a very long coastal path that took us a good chunk out of town and to our destination. Watch out for cyclists, though, as the course was divided between pedestrians and them. A few times, I strayed onto their side to take photos or read a sign and copped a gob full when I got in their way.
It was balmy weather heading out; although a little humid, there was no need for a jacket or sweater. Clouds were overhead, with the sun peeping through now and then. The hat came out a few times.
We followed this path for quite some time. It meant we were pounding the pavement, which became hard on our feet. Because I’m not used to carrying weight on my back and walking the long distances we’re doing, the feet are feeling it and screaming no more, but I push on.
We could smell the ocean before we got to it and we finally stumbled into a beach town with cafes and surfers and the like. Not any swimmers, just the surfers catching a few waves in the water.
Thankfully we didn’t have to get sand in our shoes, and the council once again provided a boardwalk for the locals. The town behind Ron in the image above is where we entered and once walking through the carpark this the yellow arrows pointed us down this track towards the path that would lead us along the coastal track. There are very old mines along this coast, a lot established by the English long ago so remnants of days gone by can be seen along the walk.
Today’s walk was mostly flat with a big hill we had to climb at the end. That was a challenge but I’ll get to that. This path was paved with bitumen so no uneven surfaces to catch our feet or cause any issues with our feet. My feet were feeling it though and I found it challenging getting through the day.
Along the coast up near the middle right of the image, you can see a strip of white which was our destination for this evening, Castro-Urdiales. A long way off at this point.
The path took us through some old mining tunnels, which I wasn’t too keen on when I heard from the hotelier the previous evening. It wasn’t too bad, maybe 50 metres long, and you could see the end light shining, though, so there was nothing to be afraid of. I envisioned a traipse through some dank and dark tunnels poorly lit and with the sounds of ghosts from long ago.
I spotted this gum tree along the path and took a photo of it with the coastal track we’d walked in the background. Smacks of Australia and the South Coast a little.
After walking through this small village, we see a sign pointing us in two directions. The official way or the faster way, so with my feet screaming and Ron’s, we opted for the quickest route to get to our home for this evening.
The fastest route did take us along a road shared by cars and did have a steep ascent at one point, which gave us some beautiful views of the coastline and where we had come from. The ascent was about 350 metres. This was a challenge for us as it was hot and humid, and we weren’t used to it with the weight on our backs. Watching out for cars was a nuisance as well. The road became relatively narrow, sometimes without much shoulder, if any, to walk on.
Our town for the evening still seemed like a long way off; by this stage, we’d already walked about 23kms and had had enough walking for the day. Feeling knackered, we took a bus that stopped for us and rode into Castro-Urdiales.
That pretty much wraps it up for today. We had a tapas meal at the restaurant as the kitchen wasn’t going to open until 8:30pm and there was no way I was going to wait up that long. Tapas it was but it was very rich and a heap of olive oil so quite heavy. Anyway I can’t complain we got some food.
See below for a map of today’s walk.
Thanks for reading and Buen Camino. 😀