Day Four – Zarautz to Deba

Wednesday 23 May 2018

The guidebooks say this is around 22 kms but we took an alternate route. I had my GPS turned on today and we walked 27 kms with an accumulated elevation of 810 metres.

Last night we enjoyed a meal by the beach with a couple of German Pilgrims, Jorge and Silke, who taught us how to pour German yeast beer. It was a wonderful evening on the beach they call Spain’s Hawaii.

Our hostel host recommended that as the weather was nice, to take the alternate coastal route which was also a little easier. As we would be heading inland for a few day we thought this an excellent option and also give the blistered feet, sore heels and every other thing that ached a bit of relief.

So we headed out along a pleasant coastal walk from Zarautz to Getaria, a historical fishing and whaling town. It is also the home of San Sebastián  Elcano who took over Magellan’s fleet after he was killed.  Elcano then went on to complete the first circumnavigation of the world

The easy walk from Zarautz to Getaria

Getaria

After leaving Getaria and climbing a few more hills – there are always hills and more hills – we filled our water bottles at a fountain next to the Akixu Parish of San Martin. What an inspiring place to worship perched in the hilltop overlooking the mountains and valleys.

Onward and upward and then downwards to Zumai where the beaches are set on the longest continuous rock strata in the world. We stopped here on a Park bench for some lunch.

About 4 kms past Zumaia we found the red and white markings to take us to the coastal route. The host in Zarautz didn’t tell us that there were two coastal routes so obviously we took the first. WRONG very WRONG. We took the most difficult of the two and nearly died on the way. My stomach sank when we came to the bottom and looked up at the Flysch cliffs, a section I was planning on avoiding at all costs, due to my fear of heights. By now thee was only one way to go.

The path we had to take was at the top of the cliffs not the lower one. That came from a different direction.

It was tortuous but so spectacular.

The paths were not only very steep but very tough goat tracks with lots of wash outs and slippery loose gravel. There were three of these huge cliffs to walk over as we looked down at the road of the second coastal option we should have taken.

We have never been so happy, at the end of this climb, to walk for a kilometre or so on blue metal which was along an abandoned railway track.

A few more steep climbs still lay ahead of us before reaching Deba. One section was so steep there was a rope you had to pull yourself up. A bit like abseiling uphill with a full backpack!! By this time we were both so focused on just getting to the end that there were not too many photos.

This photo which says it all was taken in jest earlier in the day but was how we both ended up more than once. Basically collapsing in the dirt, mud, grass – we didn’t really care.

Just when we thought we had another 300 metres of steep down hill a set of elevators magically appeared to take us down to Deba. Even the locals find it too steep to walk. Finally our home for the night appeared right above the Deba railway station. A lovely hostel for only 5 Euros a night and good spacing between the bunks and each with their own storage and power point. Lots of cafes close by for meals.

Our German friends from last night in Zarautz, Jorge and Silke were waiting across the road with a nice cold beer.

  1. This dormitory felt like luxury to us after 9.5 hours walking.

4 Comments

  • Tracy September 20, 2020 at 18:19 Reply

    Very well written and done!
    Ibrgan writing myself in the last few days and have seen many writers simply rework old content butt add very
    little of benefit. It’s great to see a beneficial article of some
    genuine value too myself and your other readers.
    It iis on the list of details I need to replicate as a new blogger.
    Reader engagement and material value are king.
    Many good thoughts; you’ve most certainl got on my list of writer to follow!

    Keep up the fantastic work!
    Congratulations,
    Delinda

    • Ron and Susan October 13, 2020 at 09:01 Reply

      Hi Tracy
      Thank you for commenting on my post. I hope to start posting again in the coming months. With the lockdown it will all be from Western Australia . We are so lucky here as we have had no community transmission for over six months and are free to travel within our vast state.

    • Ron and Susan October 13, 2020 at 09:01 Reply

      Hi Tracy
      Thank you for commenting on my post. I hope to start posting again in the coming months. With the lockdown it will all be from Western Australia . We are so lucky here as we have had no community transmission for over six months and are free to travel within our vast state.

  • alison anderson May 25, 2018 at 13:00 Reply

    OMG my stomach would have not only sank but come straight back up. Another great achievement.

Leave a Comment

error

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)