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LIVE from the Camino Laurie and Alun on the Vasco

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Day 1–Irún to Oria-Lasarte. 33 km, about 1000m up. Steady (sometimes heavy) rain the entire time. But really the only time I asked myself why I was doing this was when I woke up and could hear the rain pounding on the tin roof outside. But once we got going, it was just fine. Lots of pretty hills, all green of course, beautiful homes and farms, interspersed with the very frustrating rocky paths going up, all of which had become veritable rivers! But it was very liberating to know that my shoes were not waterproof, and so I might as well just walk right through the water. It worked really well. And after an hour in the hotel room, they are almost dry!

Two bar stops for great cafes con
leche. People were very nice even though we left huge puddles on the floor.

Thanks so much to Michael for the chocolate bar and the two VERY helpful pamphlets on the next two stages. No rain in the forecast for the next few days so we are headed for the mountains!
 

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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Wow Laurie, that stream's running even higher than it did on our rainy day!!! Thank you so much for sharing your day.
Very happy to think of you out there...and I hope you're eating as well as we did.
Buen camino, chica!
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Great to hear you are finally on your way!!! For me, when rain is that heavy, there is nothing like walking with sandals and socks, they dry very quickly.

As to weather forecast, beware Laurie, there is a forecast for one of these sudden "perfect storms" (ciclogénesis explosiva is the Spanish name for it) starting Thursday around the Northern areas of Spain, it might not go further West from Asturias, but you are not that far away from action, just be careful and be informed you choose any route or alternative mountain way!!!

This is the AEMET forecast for Friday, but these things can move/shift fast - even if it seems you will be luckly away from the turmoil.

58597
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thank goodness we had no ciclogénesis explosiva today. Just sun, a few clouds, and mild temperatures. It was another hard day, this one with a lot more elevation gain than yesterday. It was off road nearly all the way and only one patch of awful mud from yesterday’s rain. Since it was in a cow pasture, the cows had made many contributions to the mud, making even more yucky. Arriving at Zelatun with its great views over Mt Ernio, the most beloved Basque mountain peak, we were delighted to find the inn open for an ice cold Fanta. And we ate michael’s chocolate with gusto.

From zelatun, if we had been feeling friskier, we could have added another two km ascent to get to the peak, but since that would add 4 more kms, and lots of elevation, we put it on the list for next time :)

Instead, we had a few kms of very sharp descent to the picture perfect village of Errezil, where Casa Letea awaited. Very nice, just gorgeous views. Total was only about 26 km but the elevation gain was rough, about 1200 we think. Only the continuously beautiful views kept us going. Villages and farmhouses on the hills and in the valleys

We’re not up for 38 km to Zegama tomorrow, so we have made a reservation in Casa rural Extaluze in Ormaiztegi. That will give us another 25 km or so with about 1000 elevation gain, a little less that today.

One day at a time, heading down to eat, and feeling so grateful. As you can see comparing my post with Michael’s, the weather makes all the difference. Though not many in the area even know a Camino passes through here, it is very well marked and I rarely took out my GPS.

Will try to add pics tomorrow. WiFi too weak here
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2008) Le Puy to SJPP (2010) Camino Primitivo (2010)
VLP (2013) Norte (2016/17)
Day 1–Irún to Oria-Lasarte. 33 km, about 1000m up. Steady (sometimes heavy) rain the entire time. But really the only time I asked myself why I was doing this was when I woke up and could hear the rain pounding on the tin roof outside. But once we got going, it was just fine. Lots of pretty hills, all green of course, beautiful homes and farms, interspersed with the very frustrating rocky paths going up, all of which had become veritable rivers! But it was very liberating to know that my shoes were not waterproof, and so I might as well just walk right through the water. It worked really well. And after an hour in the hotel room, they are almost dry!

Two bar stops for great cafes con
leche. People were very nice even though we left huge puddles on the floor.

Thanks so much to Michael for the chocolate bar and the two VERY helpful pamphlets on the next two stages. No rain in the forecast for the next few days so we are headed for the mountains!
I am with you both in spirit but the 33km up hills would have killed me! I started my Camino today walking from Lisbo
Day 1–Irún to Oria-Lasarte. 33 km, about 1000m up. Steady (sometimes heavy) rain the entire time. But really the only time I asked myself why I was doing this was when I woke up and could hear the rain pounding on the tin roof outside. But once we got going, it was just fine. Lots of pretty hills, all green of course, beautiful homes and farms, interspersed with the very frustrating rocky paths going up, all of which had become veritable rivers! But it was very liberating to know that my shoes were not waterproof, and so I might as well just walk right through the water. It worked really well. And after an hour in the hotel room, they are almost dry!

Two bar stops for great cafes con
leche. People were very nice even though we left huge puddles on the floor.

Thanks so much to Michael for the chocolate bar and the two VERY helpful pamphlets on the next two stages. No rain in the forecast for the next few days so we are headed for the mountains!
so pleased you are sharing this Laurie & Alun! I am with you in spirit but the 33kms with hills would be a real challenge for this old girl! I started my Camino gently today by walking out to the Tile Museum in the afternoon ( I would miss it starting out early from here & then on to the Park of Nations from where I will start early in the morning.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Rain-free but not pain-free. Knees have said that it’s time to stop descending 1000 m a day. Ascents are fine, and always lead to beautiful views but not so the descents.

We’re taking a very short and almost elevation free day tomorrow to give them a rest.

This mountain variant is amazing. So beautiful. We had descended 300 m below the camino to get to our little town of Errezil yesterday, so that was the first order of business this morning. Not too bad and we were soon back on Camino. From there the route goes through the little town of Bidania and then up to the hamlet of Santa Maria where there is a hotel with a view like you can’t imagine. We had a long break there.

Through beech forests(I think), up and down up and down and we finally arrived in Ormaiztegi. We are staying here in a cheap pension and not enjoying any of the delicious gourmet food that @VNwalking and @sabine enjoyed. But I am very happy to have done this variant.

My knees are hurting from all the descents. We have a short relatively flat stage tomorrow to Zegama. So I hope to recuperate. I would highly recommend this route.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Hey, Laurie, that's one funny selfie for a selfie non-professional. But I like it :D :D :D
Don't mind him Laurie, you look lovely!!!
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
I Love your photos and now I know, I will give the Basque country a second chance 👍. I had a wonderful time on the Camino Frances with lovely pilgrims and tomorrow I will start my Camino Salvador. The forecast says very cold (Zero in the night) and very sunny. I bought extra clothes, so I Hope the best. Hope the best for the Tunnel Route.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Last night we were in a Pension in Ormaiztegi, an off-stage stop on an alternative route to an untraveled Camino. No surprise that the owner told us that her last pilgrims passed through three years ago!

Today we had a very short but beautiful day into Zegama. First up to an abandoned railway bed covered with pine needles, then up and down and up to the pretty town of Zerain. Lots of trails through forests with the occasional pop-out to an amazing view.

My aching knees were very happy to stop after this short jaunt. I have a knee brace, some ice, and a good list of exercises. Let’s see if it gets better.

We had a great meal in our pension —mussels in an Idiazabal cheese sauce (my favorite Spanish cheese) was the highlight.

Clouds are coming in and it looks like tomorrow won’t be a sunny day. We are now on the official Vasco and will just follow @VN and @sabine from here.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Long day today. Loved the tunnel and the forests. It was very foggy as we walked up and the sun burst through right when we got to the tunnel. Gorgeous. Two angry black birds squawking at us outside the entrance. It was eerie. Beautiful walk down through the forest though some was rocky and hard to navigate.

But then we were in Salvatierra very early. So we decided to hoof it on to Alegría, one or two kms off camino but with a beautiful Albergue. We have it to ourselves.

After the descent from the tunnel, it looks like the meseta! Tomorrow Vitoria, an incredibly short day do we can see the sights.

My knee is not too bad. Hoping for more improvement now that it’s flat for a while.
 

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islandwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrano
Instead, we had a few kms of very sharp descent to the picture perfect village of Errezil, where Casa Letea awaited. Very nice, just gorgeous views.
How great that the weather cooperated for this long-planned day. The descent to Errezil looked dizzyingly steep in the photo! Thanks for taking the time to post the details and photos. I'm looking forward to the rest.
Elaine
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
How great that the weather cooperated for this long-planned day. The descent to Errezil looked dizzyingly steep in the photo! Thanks for taking the time to post the details and photos. I'm looking forward to the rest.
Elaine
Hi Elaine, that was the descent that did my knee in. But what s beautiful little pueblo. I am still paying for it, but I hope that with ice, rest, and stretching I will get it back to near normal. Things are pretty flat for a while so that’s good too.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Getting from the Albergue in Alegría back to the camino does not require backtracking. River walk then a km on the road, then an off road dirt track and —poof— you are in Burgelu/Elburgo with 13 kms left to the cathedral.

First time I can remember not taking a 1 km detour to a “Romanesque jewel” but it would have been closed. The window and doorway of the church in Argandoña were nice enough but of course it was closed too.

The residential outskirts of Vitoria are pretty soul-less. No little bars, cafes, of stores; overgrown green spaces; lots of places looking closed up. It was a relief to get into the historical core, which is very lively. The albergue would not open for several hours, so we opted for the pension. It’s not that much more expensive, and I am really getting used to having my own space. I am losing my true pilgrim soul, I guess.:)

Icing my knee with great hopes that the next few days of flat will do it good.

Next up lunch, then groceries, then cathedral tour!
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
One happy Peregrina signing in before heading to bed. The albergue didn’t open till two so we took rooms in a Pension. Walk around amazing old core (it’s Monday so most tourist things were closed), terrific lunch in El Gautxo, another walk around the old core, finished off with a 5 pm tour of the cathedral. It totally lived up to the expectations set by @peregrinotom and others. And I found a santiago Peregrino in the entrance.

Am now icing and stretching and hoping my knee recovers. Not sure where tomorrow will take us but today was awesome!
 

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islandwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrano
That was the descent that did my knee in. But what s beautiful little pueblo.
As soon as I flashed back to the switchback descent though closely spaced topo lines on the Wikiloc IGN map, I was afraid that might have been the case. I wish there were something more you could do for your knee, but it sounds like you've got everything covered - brace, ice, stretching, rest, poles, and positive thoughts! Hoping for results soon for you...
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
We had a long day to Salinillas de burandon. We left Vitoria at about 6:45 and enjoyed every minute of walking through the rich people’s neighborhood— what a contrast with our entrance to the city through endless rows of modern apt buildings.

We did take the “new” route into Puebla and my knees were fine! Since it was so early we decided to go on to Salinillas, but we had an encounter with highway construction after Berantevilla (where we had to go to get food for tonight) that set us back for almost an hour. But we rolled into Salinillas before 5 pm, having walked about 45 kms. Tough. It’s quite a pretty place—a14th century walked town.

The albergue here is not a pilgrim Albergue but it’s the only game in town. We are alone. The owner told us they don’t get many more than 60 pilgrims a year — most of their business comes from hiking and school groups. He brought us a bottle of his family’s homemade wine and we are enjoying it very much. They sell about 16,000 kilos of grapes and keep about 1,000 for their own production. This is a little corner of Pais Vasco whose wine is Rioja. We are at a point where Navarra, Pais Vasco, and Castilla/Leon fought it out.

Short walk to Santo Domingo tomorrow. We hope to sleep in Aguilar de Campoo tomorrow to start the Olvidado onThursday. But that might be too crazy, we will see!
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
We had a long day to Salinillas de burandon. We left Vitoria at about 6:45 and enjoyed every minute of walking through the rich people’s neighborhood— what a contrast with our entrance to the city through endless rows of modern apt buildings.

We did take the “new” route into Puebla and my knees were fine! Since it was so early we decided to go on to Salinillas, but we had an encounter with highway construction after Berantevilla (where we had to go to get food for tonight) that set us back for almost an hour. But we rolled into Salinillas before 5 pm, having walked about 45 kms. Tough. It’s quite a pretty place—a14th century walked town.

The albergue here is not a pilgrim Albergue but it’s the only game in town. We are alone. The owner told us they don’t get many more than 60 pilgrims a year — most of their business comes from hiking and school groups. He brought us a bottle of his family’s homemade wine and we are enjoying it very much. They sell about 16,000 kilos of grapes and keep about 1,000 for their own production. This is a little corner of Pais Vasco whose wine is Rioja. We are at a point where Navarra, Pais Vasco, and Castilla/Leon fought it out.

Short walk to Santo Domingo tomorrow. We hope to sleep in Aguilar de Campoo tomorrow to start the Olvidado onThursday. But that might be too crazy, we will see!
Wow!!
45km....you both deserve a bottle of wine....that's some going for sure.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
We had a long day to Salinillas de burandon. We left Vitoria at about 6:45 and enjoyed every minute of walking through the rich people’s neighborhood— what a contrast with our entrance to the city through endless rows of modern apt buildings.

We did take the “new” route into Puebla and my knees were fine! Since it was so early we decided to go on to Salinillas, but we had an encounter with highway construction after Berantevilla (where we had to go to get food for tonight) that set us back for almost an hour. But we rolled into Salinillas before 5 pm, having walked about 45 kms. Tough. It’s quite a pretty place—a14th century walked town.

The albergue here is not a pilgrim Albergue but it’s the only game in town. We are alone. The owner told us they don’t get many more than 60 pilgrims a year — most of their business comes from hiking and school groups. He brought us a bottle of his family’s homemade wine and we are enjoying it very much. They sell about 16,000 kilos of grapes and keep about 1,000 for their own production. This is a little corner of Pais Vasco whose wine is Rioja. We are at a point where Navarra, Pais Vasco, and Castilla/Leon fought it out.

Short walk to Santo Domingo tomorrow. We hope to sleep in Aguilar de Campoo tomorrow to start the Olvidado onThursday. But that might be too crazy, we will see!
You missed my favorite village Berantevilla and Haro (albergue there) is a great stop for wine and tapas.

I really liked this Camino.
Joe
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
We had a long day to Salinillas de burandon. We left Vitoria at about 6:45 and enjoyed every minute of walking through the rich people’s neighborhood— what a contrast with our entrance to the city through endless rows of modern apt buildings.

We did take the “new” route into Puebla and my knees were fine! Since it was so early we decided to go on to Salinillas, but we had an encounter with highway construction after Berantevilla (where we had to go to get food for tonight) that set us back for almost an hour. But we rolled into Salinillas before 5 pm, having walked about 45 kms. Tough. It’s quite a pretty place—a14th century walked town.

The albergue here is not a pilgrim Albergue but it’s the only game in town. We are alone. The owner told us they don’t get many more than 60 pilgrims a year — most of their business comes from hiking and school groups. He brought us a bottle of his family’s homemade wine and we are enjoying it very much. They sell about 16,000 kilos of grapes and keep about 1,000 for their own production. This is a little corner of Pais Vasco whose wine is Rioja. We are at a point where Navarra, Pais Vasco, and Castilla/Leon fought it out.

Short walk to Santo Domingo tomorrow. We hope to sleep in Aguilar de Campoo tomorrow to start the Olvidado onThursday. But that might be too crazy, we will see!
How about the views before dropping down into the Brinas/Haro area?

Joe
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Is that great big gated pile of stones your albergue, Laurie?:p
You certaily derserve it after all those kms!
Loving your updates...wonderful!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
You missed my favorite village Berantevilla and Haro (albergue there) is a great stop for wine and tapas.

I really liked this Camino.
Joe
Oh we spent a lot of time in Berentevilla. :) First to wait out a storm and then getting back to the camino because of road construction. We listened to the workers when we should have just used our brains.

We’ll be walking through Haro today.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Oh we spent a lot of time in Berentevilla. :) First to wait out a storm and then getting back to the camino because of road construction. We listened to the workers when we should have just used our brains.

We’ll be walking through Haro today.
Did you stop in the church and see the Medieval tabernacle?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
We finished the Vasco today. Very nice walk with great views and beautiful temperatures. We stopped in Haro and then chug chugged into Santo Domingo. I was surprised not to see many pilgrims at all.

After a good lunch, we got a bus to Burgos and a blablacar from there to Aguilar de Campoo. We will be starting the Olvidado from here.

I have to agree with the rave reviews of the Vasco. It is well marked and beautiful. The mountain (Saiatz) alternative is tough but gorgeous. But we met not one other Peregrino so prepare to be alone!
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
The church (if it’s the one right across from the cafe/tienda) was locked. How did you get in?
Yes,It was Holy Thursday, I went to mass that night (washing of the feet).
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Thought of you today when I was caught in a rainstorm while moving the pigs between orchard blocks. My gumboots were stuck in the mud and it was pouring. Well at least I didn't have mountains and a dodgy knee to contend with.

Glad the weather held off for for you, trip looked lovely.
 

Vivello

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, September/October 2014; Portugues, October 2015; Frances planned June 2018
Thanks for sharing this, Laurie. Amazing! It looks like you did the Vasco in one week (with a 45K day). Is that right?
 

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