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LIVE from the Camino Live from Bilbao

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2006 to date: Over 21 Caminos. See signature line
Well, yesterday we tossed in the towel and gave up on the Frances.
We just wearied of fighting the bedbugs, and we also felt we wanted to see the North a bit before we left for home.

We walked into San Juan de Ortega and asked the hospitalera if they had bedbugs. She said NO WAY! So we paid our money and went to settle in. As we looked at the beds, we noticed movement on the wall, and there were two big fat bedbugs climbing up the wall.

We took one of them to the hospitalera and politely asked for our money back. She insisted that she did NOT have bedbugs and that we brought them in our mochilla, which was bullpuckey...

I took her into the room and showed her more bugs, at which point she gave us back our cash and we moved on to Ages, where we found a CLEAN hostal with great food and the most hilarious bartender on the planet, Carlos! Highly recommended!

But after much discussion, we decided that in order to leave the Camino Frances in a good mood, this was our time to move on.

So we nabbed a bus to Burgos, then to Bilbao and here we are!

Bilbao is much larger than I expected! We spent the night in the Youth Hostal, which gives a good discount to pilgrims on their first night. I think we paid $14 for a private room with two beds. We will pay $19 tonight and stay an extra night to do laundry and to see the Guggenheim without carrying mochillas.

But we are mystified as to where to go from here. We have to be in Santiago on November 9 to catch a flight home. We would like to spend at least one day at the beach in the sun, then do some easy walking, maybe 15 to 20 k for the next days until time to get to Santiago.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.
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From Ribadeo to Arzua the trail is much easier, but there are no beaches there.
The beauty of Irun to Bilbao is incredible but it is mountainous.
Take the metro out of BIlbao to Portugalete and walk along the coast..... the beach in Laredo is wonderful to hang out at and then you take the little boat across the bay. Fun walk.
Bus to Guemes and meet father Ernesto that runs the albergue there and walk from his place to Santander then along the coast. Incredible walk.
There are a lot of places along the coast. THe E-9 walk along the coast is also beautiful. Don't miss that one.


Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
You could travel on the norte by FEVE train as far as Ferrol and then walk for 4 days back to Santiago on the Camino Ingles. Its a picturesque walk and at least you'll earn the Compostela - or other certificate.


Staff member
Hi, Annie,

If you are looking for beach walks, I'd say either go for 7 days after Aviles (that would take you through Cudillero, Luarca, Tapia -- all of which are incredibly beautiful) or 7 days after Santander/Santillana (which would take you through San Vicente de la Barquera, Llanes, Ribadesella). I've got pictures and some short descriptions of the stages at a post I did in 2007 when I walked. Information may be out of date but you could see the choices in terms of scenery.


All along the coast, though, there are going to be lots of ups and downs, down to beaches, up to headlands, down to beaches, etc. But it's glorious.


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