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Day 37: A Fresh Start

Today we started the second of our two conjoined caminos, this one the Camino del Norte across the northern coast of Spain. It’s about as long as the French camino we just finished. We made a steep climb into the hills to the west. We’ve heard there are amazing views of the seas from the ridge that make the effort well worth it.

Those who said that evidently didn’t hike this section in a driving rain.

Our day off was great. We were supposed to be staying in Irun, the normal start of the Camino del Norte. By accident I booked an Airbnb in Hondaribbi next door. A great unit in the heart of the old town. Those who stayed in Irun said it was a lucky mistake on my part.

We also had a chance to reconnect with Sebastián whom we met weeks ago on the French Camino. He left in order to go back to work. Because he lives near Irun we decided to meet up for dinner. We had a chance to meet his girlfriend, Marie-Laure. He bailed us out—again—by getting the special rubber tips we need for our trekking poles. I brought a spare set but they are wearing out much faster than expected. He managed to special order them for us. The first time he bailed us out was by giving Laurie a French blister prevention cream called Nok. Despite the long distance hiking and backpacking we do, we haven’t had any blisters. But the heat and distances on this hike caused both of us problems. Nok seems to have knocked out the problem 🙂

Dinner was at a local creperie. In the US we think of crepes as something for breakfast. But this authentic place had excellent dinner choices, as well as the local cider which is traditional. Was great reconnecting and meeting Marie-Laure.


From Jacqueline K: Because you said you didn’t see wild life, I’m curious if you saw or heard any birds?

Whoops! I should have known our birdwatching/twitcher fans would ask about birds—and I totally whiffed on the topic. We saw lots of birds, including an unusual swallow tailed hawk. There is one special bird to which we are going to dedicate a future post. It’s a bird that is either mocking us, or greeting us. More later. I also neglected to mention the hundreds of lizards and raw escargot.

Our Walk Today

The hike up the ridge made us glad that we train in the mountains and have had some challenging days recently in the Pyrenees. The weather improved late in the morning and the driving rain gave way to clearer skies and some decent views. We’ll be following the shoreline off and on for weeks so hope for some better scenery.