Before we leave San Sebastián just a couple of interesting facts I’ve gleaned. The city fell into French hands in 1792 and was “liberated” in 1813 by Anglo- Portuguese soldiers who succeeded in burning it to the ground. It had to be rebuilt from scratch. At the beginning of the 20th Century, it became a tourist destination for royalty and the upper classes, particularly the French and provided escape for some from the conflict of the First World War. In 2016, it will be the European Capital of Culture.

We have discovered that there is a firm “Le Petit Bag” who ferry baggage from étape to étape so we have latched on to them today. It costs 40€ for 7 bags. I think that last year we paid 10€ per bag. Back in 2010, Mo and I carried our own bags but never no more!!

The walk out of San Sebastián was up up and away again but gaining height brought magnificent views over the Bay of Biscay throughout the morning. We couldn’t have wished for more perfect weather or bluer skies. Despite I it’s turbulent reputation, the sea in the Bay of Biscay was as calm as the med today, the white sail of the odd tiny boat punctuating the intensity of the aquamarine. For anyone doing their first Camino, I think this beats the Camino Frances for views and as yet is much less crowded.

We arrived in Orio at lunchtimes hoping to find a bar for reviving beers but ended up doing the long Spanish lunch thing. We couldn’t resist the 14€ Menu del Dia of Ensalata de queso de cabra, anchoas fritos and postre washed down with local wine or cider. We do only have 6K left to do today. The Basque language seems to an X in every word preceded by a T as in ‘pintxos’ for delicious nibbles otherwise known as tapas in other parts of Spain.

Saturday afternoon has a very Spanish holiday feel. Families are out under multicoloured umbrellas along the estuary as we leave Oriio. I was imagining the photos that Martin Parr might take of the variegated shapes and sizes of the couples in deck chairs enjoying their Saturday leisure. The scene is a far cry from the cool dude surfing beach of San Sebastián.

The youth hostel Iguerain is another 3km through the other side of Zarault. We drag our feet now, having clocked up 24k according to Derek’s gizmo. We have spacious rooms for 4 and 4. No bunks, massive en suite bathroom with loo, 3 sinks and huge wet room. 5 star!

After showers and late siestas we force ourselves out to look at Zarautz, where Saturday night is in full swing. Bars are heaving and on the beach groups of kids are still playing in the evening sun.


Early to bed despite all the local action.