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LIVE from the Camino Michael - Variant of Saiatz and Via Bayona to Burgos

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Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
As a gift to myself for my 50th birthday last March, I gave myself the Camino Vasco / Via Bayone.

I will start on Thursday in Irun. My first two days will be relatively short. I hope I can sleep in Santiagomendi and I booked a hotel room in Lasarte-Oria. From there I hope to walk the Variante of Saiatz. It goes over Bidania to Zerain and I hope its not to wet to do it - we will see.

My plan is to walk the Camino Vasco / Via Bayona to Burgos. Then it goes on on the Camino Frances to Sahagun and (with a little stay in a train) from Leon on the Camino Salvador to Oviedo. I'm almost bursting with anticipation.

I hope I can manage it to write a few words every day and , in the best case, to load up a few photos.

Now and tomorrow I have to pack my backpack and clean the apartment a little so that the housekeeper doesn't faint when he unlocks the door 😇
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Oh, I am so happy to see this post, Michael. Happy Birthday! This is about the best birthday present I can think of. As you probably have seen, @sabine celebrated her birthday on the Vasco, but your late celebration is great too.

I will be two weeks behind you and also hope to walk the Saiatz variant. You can be the trailblazer. :p We are hoping to walk the first day to Lasarte-Oria. If it gets too long, there are several places to stop along the way, so we will give it a try. I am on a shorter leash than I would like to be this year, and I really want to make it into Santiago this year. Last year, I didn't, and it left me feeling kind of flat. I was surprised by that, but I am hoping to get there this year.

Hope you have occasional access to wifi, and I will very much look forward to your posts. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Hola,
now I am in the Albergue in Irun. Very helpfull Hospitaleros. Good Maps with Many Information (Restaurant, Shops, Pharmacis etc). Had the first typical Menü der Peregrino. Tomorrow only 18km. The forecast says it will be perfect walking weather. The Rain will come on Friday, but then I will sleep in a single room in Lasarte;)

Sorry for the mistakes in writing, my mobilphone don't want to write in English.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hola,
now I am in the Albergue in Irun. Very helpfull Hospitaleros. Good Maps with Many Information (Restaurant, Shops, Pharmacis etc). Had the first typical Menü der Peregrino. Tomorrow only 18km. The forecast says it will be perfect walking weather. The Rain will come on Friday, but then I will sleep in a single room in Lasarte;)

Sorry for the mistakes in writing, my mobilphone don't want to write in English.
How crowded is the albergue, Michael?
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
When we arrived we were number 36 and 37. But many pilgrims arrived between 8 and 9m, because of the flights and trains. I would say it's still not full.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Buen Camino from Vitoria-Gasteiz, Michael! Hope you have the same wonderful weather out of Zegama as we did yesterday.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
As a gift to myself for my 50th birthday last March, I gave myself the Camino Vasco / Via Bayone.

I will start on Thursday in Irun. My first two days will be relatively short. I hope I can sleep in Santiagomendi and I booked a hotel room in Lasarte-Oria. From there I hope to walk the Variante of Saiatz. It goes over Bidania to Zerain and I hope its not to wet to do it - we will see.

My plan is to walk the Camino Vasco / Via Bayona to Burgos. Then it goes on on the Camino Frances to Sahagun and (with a little stay in a train) from Leon on the Camino Salvador to Oviedo. I'm almost bursting with anticipation.

I hope I can manage it to write a few words every day and , in the best case, to load up a few photos.

Now and tomorrow I have to pack my backpack and clean the apartment a little so that the housekeeper doesn't faint when he unlocks the door 😇
While I'm very happy for you, Michael, but as a purist I must add that you won't be walking any of the mentioned Caminos in their entirety (start to end and walking whole of it) if you start in Irun and end in Burgos. Because:

Via de Bayona: Bayonne - Burgos.
Camino Vasco del Interior: Irun - Sto.Domingo de la Calzada.
Overlapping part: Irun - Estavillo.

Buen Camino anyway ;)
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
The First Walk ist over and I sit in Front of Santiagomendi and have a great view down to San Sebastian and the bay. Santiagomendi is not an Albergue but a House for boyscouts, school groups etc. and I am the only guest today. I think they did an emergency cleaning after my Reservation, but my room is okay. I'm a pilgrim and not the Emperor of China and this is not the Riz Plaza, so everything Like it should be. The weather was perfect, Sometimes cloudy, often Sunny and around 20' degree?. But it was Harder I expected. Up and down from beginning to the end. There we're a few parts I really don't want to Walk at a rainy day so RESPECT to the pilgrim Ladys ahead of me👍🥳👍. It was not easy to find a Tienda in Oiar
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Wrong little button👹
It was not easy to find a Tienda in Oiartzun but with a little Help it worked. Laurie, at the circle, next to the school in the left Side Turn right, it's only a few Meters away and after the Plaza Mayor. In Irun you can follow the Green footstaps after the Bridge over the main railway Line Till it goes at a Traffic Light to the right Side away around a House in a little Park. Here you have to Turn left, the street a little Up and you are "in the Road".
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Look foreward to reading of your Saiatz adventures, Michael. Joining the regular route just past Seguna will mean you miss all of the industry on that side...and most of the hard surfaces.
Enjoy!

And yeah. The rain made for some intetesting walking. We were dragging when we got to Astigarraga.
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
So my shortest walking day ever on the Camino in done.13km from Santiagomendi to Lasarte-Oria. It was light Rain at the beginning but after 11 o'clock it was dry. At the very beginning of this Stage I learned my lesson for today. The arrows showed down the Road from Santiagomendi but my map said left and what did the very clever German? He turned left - and soon I was on a VERY natural path. At the beginning small plants but later with plants high to my hip and, of course, totally wet. So better trust the Basque arrow painters, otherwise you have to change your clothes after 30 Minuten of Walking. In the tourist Office in Hernani I got two maps for this variant, each per day with very good informations of places to fill up the water, even Restaurants etc. I didn't expect this infrastructur, hopefully they are open. The forecast says tomorrow will be a rainy day but they said it also for today. So
German: Daumen drücken
English: Cross the fingers
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Here I am again. The good news first - I survived👍
Lasarte-Oria. - Beizama
It was a very special day. When I started in the morning it was dry, for exactly 5 minutes, then heavy rain came down for 30 minutes. It was the hole day the same, changing every 15 minutes. 30 Minutes after the start the natural path begun. From the first moment very steep and stony, only uphill. The arrows in that stage were quite okay, but sometimes not. The first uphill will bring you to the waste incinerator building and after going up further you will catch a street. It was nearly always going up and the fog got stronger with every meter altitude. Then I had to climb up wooden stages over a fence. The fog was a kind of mystic -very special feeling if you could e only 70 or 100 mtrs. Suddenly after a corner I stood just in front of a cow with the calf. We were all three very surprised. At the highest point of the first part I heard voices but couldn't see anybody in the fog. Two trailrunners came across. At 10:45 I arrived at Zaralek, a very nice place for a rest. It is half of the stage and I thought very optimistic about an early end of the day. After I walked along Saskarate it was getting exciting. When I arrived at a place with many tree Trunks a couldn't see any advice. They cut all the trees, also the one with the arrow. Go straight ahead uphill till the point, where two same sice ways are splitting. Take the left one and walk a few minutes later around the Farm. Then it goes down the street to a rest place with fresh water. Fill up all your bottels, because the hardest part starts now. I am sure, the part between Andazarrate and Zelatun was made by the devil himself.lt was like 5 times going up to La Faba and it starts once more after the chapel of San Juan in Iturriotz. The top of the mountain you have to climb ist Like a Plateau and it was the First serious mudder of the day. After Walking around the top for a long time you come to Zelatun. From there it goes down very very steep and stony. And when this parcour is over the mudder comes. They work with heavy machines in the forests and distroid the ground completly. I needed for 1km maybe 2 hours. I had to test every step with my sticks and even then it's was not easy. I was in a quote bad mood at this part. I arrived in Bidania to fill up my water at 6 and made a telephone call to the owner of my sleeping place in Beizama, 7 km further. He pickt me up. 12 hours for 26 km -a little bit much, but the mudder was terrible.
@peregrina2000 Laurie, I would ask, If the owner of you Hostal could pick you up in Zelatun to avoid the very most of the mudder.Otherwise it will be a hard pice of Work.

It was a very heard day and very special. I don't know If I should recommend this variant. With good weather you will see the views to the coast and the valley but with weather like today???
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Something new from my way. I am now in Biasain and it's like heaven on earth. Today the weather was worse than yesterday, much more rain, much colder and the same fog. Nowhere on the way were a hut to make a rest and nearly no signs. It was to rainy to look to often to my Maps in the mobilphone. After the Murumendi mountain I had again many problems to walk in the mudder and I asked myself: "What should I say at the emergency call If I ly with a broken ankle in the mudder in the middle of nowhere." I tried a few times to phone the Albergue in Zerain for a place but got no connection. But walking till Zegama? I decided to make a Cut. I looked for a way and started my walk down to the valley. It was of course a long walk but with the first steps on asphalt I knew it was right. I could walk my own rythm🕺 even if the rain was heavy. It took me 2,5 hours but I was in a very good mood and I felt like I was running downwards. I had a very warm welcome by two Hospitaleros with coffee and cakes. This Albergue in the old mill ist fantastic. And my way to the Tunnel of San Adrian will be shorter, because I will sleep tomorrow in Zegama. I am very safe with the situation. Under this conditions the Variant of Saiatz ist not walkable, minimum not for me. Now I cleaned up all my very dirty clothes and sit in the mill, eating oranges and talking with the Hospitaleros. Tomorrow is a new day.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have been looking for your posts, hoping to hear that all was well. Seems like you made the sensible prudent decision. And your posts will serve as a good cautionary tale.

We will definitely not give it a try unless the weather looks great. And even then, common sense may dictate that we stick with the normal Vasco. Time will tell, but thanks so much, @michael, I really appreciate your posts.

I can totally imagine how wonderful the arrival into the albergue must have been! Take care, enjoy the clean clothes, the companionship, and the albergue! Buen camino, Laurie
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Today I walked to Zegama. The Albergue is in an old sporthall, without shower, toilettes and even water. You get the key and a card to go to another sporthall for shower and toilette. The only other place to sleep was full. So If you want to stay in Zegama for a short stage to San Adrian make a reservation. I will ask for the telefonnumber. After three days of fog and rain it was dry today and now we have sun. The weather will be better every day 🙏 🙏
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Today I walked to Zegama. The Albergue is in an old sporthall, without shower, toilettes and even water. You get the key and a card to go to another sporthall for shower and toilette. The only other place to sleep was full. So If you want to stay in Zegama for a short stage to San Adrian make a reservation. I will ask for the telefonnumber. After three days of fog and rain it was dry today and now we have sun. The weather will be better every day 🙏 🙏
Don't know why they no longer use pre-fab containers albergue like in 2016??? It was perfecly OK and also with some covered outside space although the roof in the dorm was leaking on several spots. But it was fun and I guess much more comfortable than the polideportivo you mentioned (with showers and toilets in another one!!!).
 

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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)
Today I walked to Zegama. The Albergue is in an old sporthall, without shower, toilettes and even water. You get the key and a card to go to another sporthall for shower and toilette. The only other place to sleep was full. So If you want to stay in Zegama for a short stage to San Adrian make a reservation. I will ask for the telefonnumber. After three days of fog and rain it was dry today and now we have sun. The weather will be better every day 🙏 🙏
Michael:

I was wondering how many other Pilgrims are on this route atm?

Joe
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Yesterday I met a french couple, walking back from Santo Domingo to Irun. No more pilgrims here. We had a lot of fun with this special situation, because I learned one year french around 1980 and they could speek only french. Today San Adrian - like the days before rainy and foggy. The province of Alava looks totally different. Here are many fields and it is spring and on the other side of the mountains was summer. Now I'm in Salvatierra in a bar. The Albergue is quite nice but nothing to cook. I hoped to cook today but perhaps tomorrow. I have the number of the Hostal in Zegama but in the Albergue, where is no WiFi. I will post it later.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Enjoy the rest of this very special way, Michael, and Salvatierra! We are 6 days in front of you and reach Burgos tomorrow.
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
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Hola from Vitoria-Gasteiz. After an easy walk through the Valley I'm now in Vitoria-Gasteiz. It' a wonderful city, the Albergue la catedral is good, the clothes are clean and dry and I met a lot of people - great feeling! I did a guided tour in the catedral and it was fantastic. The start ist in the fundament and it goes up to the top of the building. A big recommendation. Tomorrow it will be 26 degrees, 15 hours of sun and only 19km to walk. Contrast to my first week. Now I am drinking a glas of good white wine in a bar. Life is wonderful😄
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Here is now the telefonnumber of the Hostal in Zegama. Book in advance, the Albergue is only for an emergency stay. Did I say that the toilette in the other sporthall was closed from 9pm to 7am😥😥😥
0034/943801051

Before I forget it: Yesterday on my walk to Vitoria I visited the monastery of Estibaliz. You need 20 minutes for each way and it is well signed. A fantastic romanesc church. They have also a bar/Restaurant, but unfortunately, like nearly every bar on my way, it was closed.

Today I made a decision: Tomorrow I will walk to Miranda de Ebro and Saturday I will go to Burgos by train. So I will have time enough to walk completly to Leon to start my Camino Salvador. Yesterday I met a wonderful dutch couple in the Albergue and we had so much fun. This is what I missed on my way - social life. The stages would be less than 20 km the next days and I would be there around noon. Nothing to do, no one in the bar speaks English, it's so boring😒. I need people around me. The Camino Vasco must be wonderful with nice weather and a walking partner. But If the only word to say is "Hola" for the whole day and perhaps "una cerveza por favor" before waiting the next 8 hours for the time to sleep, thats nothing for me.
Tomorrow evening I will celebrate a "Adios Vasco" and I will try my very best on the Camino Frances.😀
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Michael your notes are going to be so helpful to me, I’m sure. And knowing that the church/monastery is only 20 minutes off route solves one doubt I had. :)

I will have a walking partner for the Vasco, but I think I must have a much higher tolerance for walking alone. In fact, I love it! But I am very glad my buddy @Krimpa will be with me, especially if we decide to try the Saiatz alternative.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Hallo Laurie. I'm sure, you will have a wonderful way. The dutch couple was on their way back home and they told me, that they walked the Variant of Saiatz last year and it was a dream. In my week the conditions we're very bad, I didn't see anything than fog and mudder but now it's dry and I hope it will be much better most of the way during your walk. But I can't imagine, that the mudder between Zelatun and Bidania on the first day of the variant will be gone. Look for a Plan B to come to your sleeping place, it's terrible to walk.
I'm okay with my decision. I want a special way as my own birthday present and I got it. But it's not over, the best days are still coming 😃👍😃
Buen Camino Michael
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
The last day walking the Camino Vasco / Via Bayona is done. Now I'm in Miranda de Ebro in the very good Albergue. It's in the middle of the City at a very busy place but very quiet inside and very good equipt. Fridge, freezer, washing maschine, a very kind Hospitalero. I'm together with three bikers from Holland and Belgium. So I can get in the mood for all the pilgrims in Burgos.☺ And they asked me to speaks German, because their German is much better than their English. We had already a little wine and we will go to a bar now for a meal. For the pilgrims who need a bus or a train to go further or home -its much easier from here than from Haro.For example a few trains tomorrow to Burgos. From Haro no bus, no train.
This part of the way is over for me and tomorrow will start another one.
For all who will walk this way. I hope you are more lucky with the weather and you can see all the beautifull landscape I know only from fotos. The Basque people are very friendly and kind. Give this way a try.👍
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
peregrino_tom Camino Vasco del Interior 15
OLDER threads on this topic
Anyone tried the Mountain variant via Zerain?

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