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LIVE from the Camino Two peregrinas on the Vasco

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Day 1 Irun to Astigarraga
A slightly rocky start, with pounding rain for much of the day - which besides being a bit miserable made for very wet conditions underfoot.

We were pleasantly surprised at the greenness of the day and by the fast and very pleasant exot from Irun. The path meandered up and down through the Basque countryside, reminding me a lot of the Baztan.

The first stop of the day was in Oiartzun, whete we had a very nice eatly lunch at the Kastro Berri Taberna off the plaza. There is a lovely church nearby but the rain meant we didn't want to linger - nor did we stop wnen passing tabernas further along the way, but pushed straight through to Astigarraga.

Much of the way was through woodland of oak, chestnut, and beech, with the year's growth of bracken and briar coming into its early summer fullness..

We emerged from time to time from the forest to pass farms with tidy orchards of apple, cherry, and fig trees. The meadows were just coming into bloom, with daisies and aquilegia cherring our way.

The surfaces were a mix of paved and dirt. Well, make that mud. Sometimes swimming pools of it. And some of the ups and downs were rocky, muddy and sometimes running water...'interesting.'

And did I say? Up and down. And up and down. More up than down until the final descent into Astigarraga, which was fortunately not rocky, but not fun at the end of the day.

Now we are ensconced in a flash room at the Hostal Astigarraga, in an old factory off the camino, nursing sore and rather too-wet feet, but generally happy. Not the easiest day, but the weather looks a bit better and tomorow is mercifully flat
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Three years ago there was no real need for GPS although I had tracks bookmarked.

Re the mud: wait until "tunnel" stage @VNwalking . There's water coming from everywhere after few rainy days on both sides of the pass :D :D :D
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Are you needing a GPS, amigas?
No, Laurie, the waymatking is excellent, once you get to the edge of town. I used Rayandrosa's wikiloc track for that.

Re the mud: wait until "tunnel" stage @VNwalking . There's water coming from everywhere after few rainy days on both sides of the pass :D :D :D
And Sabine wants to know about rocks on that stage?
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Three years ago there was no real need for GPS although I had tracks bookmarked.

Re the mud: wait until "tunnel" stage @VNwalking . There's water coming from everywhere after few rainy days on both sides of the pass :D :D :D
Holy pony,

I walk in light trail runners. Will that be a problem on the Vasco, considering the mud? In July?
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Day 1 Irun to Astigarraga
A slightly rocky start, with pounding rain for much of the day - which besides being a bit miserable made for very wet conditions underfoot.

We were pleasantly surprised at the greenness of the day and by the fast and very pleasant exot from Irun. The path meandered up and down through the Basque countryside, reminding me a lot of the Baztan.

The first stop of the day was in Oiartzun, whete we had a very nice eatly lunch at the Kastro Berri Taberna off the plaza. There is a lovely church nearby but the rain meant we didn't want to linger - nor did we stop wnen passing tabernas further along the way, but pushed straight through to Astigarraga.

Much of the way was through woodland of oak, chestnut, and beech, with the year's growth of bracken and briar coming into its early summer fullness..

We emerged from time to time from the forest to pass farms with tidy orchards of apple, cherry, and fig trees. The meadows were just coming into bloom, with daisies and aquilegia cherring our way.

The surfaces were a mix of paved and dirt. Well, make that mud. Sometimes swimming pools of it. And some of the ups and downs were rocky, muddy and sometimes running water...'interesting.'

And did I say? Up and down. And up and down. More up than down until the final descent into Astigarraga, which was fortunately not rocky, but not fun at the end of the day.

Now we are ensconced in a flash room at the Hostal Astigarraga, in an old factory off the camino, nursing sore and rather too-wet feet, but generally happy. Not the easiest day, but the weather looks a bit better and tomorow is mercifully flat
Hellooo VN,

Can you also write out the distance in kms each day, please? I will follow in your footsteps in about 2 months. Do you have a plan for how many days you will walk, or are you just "going with the flow"?

/BP
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Today was 21.9
Can you also write out the distance in kms each day, please? I will follow in your footsteps in about 2 months. Do you have a plan for how many days you will walk, or are you just "going with the flow"?
We're going with the flow.
I found a resource here with stages but very sorry, can't remember where. It looks like this (excuse the super crummy pic...):
 

Attachments

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Please leave some of the beauty of the landscape for me, I will start next week on Thursday;)

It looks fantastic - I can't wait to see it.

Only one day work and then I am off for nearly four weeks.

All the best for you
 

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)
Hellooo VN,

Can you also write out the distance in kms each day, please? I will follow in your footsteps in about 2 months. Do you have a plan for how many days you will walk, or are you just "going with the flow"?

/BP
Bad Pilgrim:

The www.gronze.com website has the Vasco route accommodations and distances. This is a nice route but pretty urban in the beginning until Besain. Zegema is the biggest climb up to the tunnel.

Ultreya,
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)
Today was 21.9

We're going with the flow.
I found a resource here with stages but very sorry, can't remember where. It looks like this (excuse the super crummy pic...):
You could try the www.gronze.com website under other camino's. I really enjoyed this Camino.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
Today was 21.9

We're going with the flow.
I found a resource here with stages but very sorry, can't remember where. It looks like this (excuse the super crummy pic...):
Hey VN, how lovely to see my little EXCEL spreadsheet that I put together ahead of walking in June 2015. I'm so glad that it has taken on a little life of its own!
I guess you found it on one of the earlier threads. PS do please keep posting - I loved this camino and it's nice to be transported back.
cheers, tom
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hey VN, how lovely to see my little EXCEL spreadsheet that I put together ahead of walking in June 2015. I'm so glad that it has taken on a little life of its own!
I guess you found it on one of the earlier threads. PS do please keep posting - I loved this camino and it's nice to be transported back.
cheer, tom
Just found the thread with the spread sheet and made it a sticky. Good to have such detailed info, thanks Tom.
 

Monasp

I'm a manager of pilgrims office in SJPP
Camino(s) past & future
Camino in 2008.
Day 1 Irun to Astigarraga
A slightly rocky start, with pounding rain for much of the day - which besides being a bit miserable made for very wet conditions underfoot.

We were pleasantly surprised at the greenness of the day and by the fast and very pleasant exot from Irun. The path meandered up and down through the Basque countryside, reminding me a lot of the Baztan.

The first stop of the day was in Oiartzun, whete we had a very nice eatly lunch at the Kastro Berri Taberna off the plaza. There is a lovely church nearby but the rain meant we didn't want to linger - nor did we stop wnen passing tabernas further along the way, but pushed straight through to Astigarraga.

Much of the way was through woodland of oak, chestnut, and beech, with the year's growth of bracken and briar coming into its early summer fullness..

We emerged from time to time from the forest to pass farms with tidy orchards of apple, cherry, and fig trees. The meadows were just coming into bloom, with daisies and aquilegia cherring our way.

The surfaces were a mix of paved and dirt. Well, make that mud. Sometimes swimming pools of it. And some of the ups and downs were rocky, muddy and sometimes running water...'interesting.'

And did I say? Up and down. And up and down. More up than down until the final descent into Astigarraga, which was fortunately not rocky, but not fun at the end of the day.

Now we are ensconced in a flash room at the Hostal Astigarraga, in an old factory off the camino, nursing sore and rather too-wet feet, but generally happy. Not the easiest day, but the weather looks a bit better and tomorow is mercifully flat
When you'll be in Agurain on the OT to pick up the key of the albergue say hello to Itziar from Monique.
This way is lovely
Buen Camino
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
@peregrino_tom, Thank you so much for that spreadsheet; I printed it out but forgot to write down the source to credit it and say thanks. It has been very useful.
VN that compostion looks familiar...
How funny. Yes, it's the very same place. But you had better weather.
When you'll be in Agurain on the OT to pick up the key of the albergue say hello to Itziar from Monique.
Merci! Will do Monique, assuming we don't drown in the mud on the way. ;)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Day 2 Astgarraga to Tolosa 22.85 km
A very different day from yesterday, almost all on asphalt or cement cycle and waking paths, following the Rio Oria in the last part of the walk. The path went in and out of towns and often alongside the railway - and as it was Saturday there were many people to say a cheery 'Hola!' to. We were so touched by people who wished us a buen camino - and at one point someone stopped his car to call out directions when we were heading into one of the towns.

We had a fantastic second breakfast at Bar Anaiak, one of the cafes next the church in Andoain. Highly recommended! Andoain also had a big suprise: outdoor escalators! There are some hills on the Frsnces that could use a few of these! ;)

The weather was a bit better, though still spitting from time to time - but it was so nice not to be wet rats at the end of the day.

Laurie...this stage - and probably the next one - are the kind you were thinking about when looking for alternatives. Our feet were whining about the hard surface by the time we got to Tolosa. Probably 99.9999% On hard sirfaces. But at least it was relatively flat!
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
...And Sabine wants to know about rocks on that stage?
Hola to Sabine :)
Not much rocks on the "tunnel stage". I only remember a lot of mud :)
But some just after the Adrian tunnel (roman road and still a little bit of gradual uphill, very nice) but in the descend not much. Some tarmac later. If it will be very wet stay on the tarmac and don't turn right into the woods (once already in the flat).

In 2016 the albergue/bar just below the tunnel (huge house left of the Camino in the valley) was closed but there was a couple working at the last house which gave me some water. But just some 200m later you have a fresh spring water on your right. No fountain until end of the descend then (if you choose tracks to the right after the highest point you can't go wrong!). That water was possibly the best water I have ever drank on any Camino :D After all it was uphill to there, hahaha.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hellooo VN,

Can you also write out the distance in kms each day, please? I will follow in your footsteps in about 2 months. Do you have a plan for how many days you will walk, or are you just "going with the flow"?

/BP
Can send you my material from 2016.
Although I was walking Via de Bayona which overlapse with Vasco del Interior only from Irun to Estavillo.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Cheers @KinkyOne ...very much appreciated!!
Got myself a walking stick today here in Tolosa because yesterday I was pretty close falling on my face.

@VNwalking is the best company to walk with!
And I love her eye for detail on the Camino and in her writings here.

I really fell in love with the Basque Country and with the people in particular.
A real joy!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Cheers @KinkyOne ...very much appreciated!!
Got myself a walking stick today here in Tolosa because yesterday I was pretty close falling on my face.

@VNwalking is the best company to walk with!
And I love her eye for detail on the Camino and in her writings here.

I really fell in love with the Basque Country and with the people in particular.
A real joy!
I have to correct myself - keep to the LEFT after the highest point!!! Not to the right. As I remember there is a little bit of mish-mash there with markers. But you'll be OK either way I'm sure ;)

Oh, it's very nice walk what you're doing right now. I remember I was knackered after the tunnel and few beers in the first village (Zalduondo) got me. I hitchhiked to Salvatierra/Agurain. I hitched a couple of elderly pilgrims that were on the way to a funeral mass for another pilgrim and they also knew all the hospitaleros. Invited me for a beer at Plaza Mayor and next day I hitchhiked the hospitalero back to Zalduondo :D
Just things that are happening to me all the time.

Open your heart and enjoy time with VN :)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
And an evening update from Tolosa...one of those wonderful camino moments. We had stumbled by pure chance into a really wonderful taberna (Amataberna; highly recommended...the mushroom tapas were ambrosial), and the friendly young woman working there asked if we were pilgrims. We said we were, and she said that parents have Txanton Taberna in Zegama and to please say hello..and by the way, they are the people who have the keys for the albergue. It feels like we're under a umbrella of friendliness here.
Which is a good thing, because it is still raining.
I hitched a couple of elderly pilgrims that were on the way to a funeral mass for another pilgrim
Hmmm. I knew that was a hard stage. ;)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
We have washed up on the shores of the fabulous albergue in Beasain...it is...well, we are speechless, but both had lumps in our throsts with gratitude. The couple who are hospis here came up to me in the street a while ago to give directions...SO friendly!. It's in an old mill, beautiful as can be...with a faclities and no bunks.

A short day today in the pouring rain. I got an umbrella last night in a chino shop in Tolosa and was very glad to have it.

Same surfaces as yesterday, but with the short stage we feel fresher. Woth all the rain, the river is getting higher and more angry. And as we move up the valley of course it's getting narrower. Today reminded me of a cross between the Baztan and the Valcarce on the Frances - following the road and rail lines, both not far away but not intrusive - but with gorgeous very prosperous looking towns.

And we just has another stellar meal of pinxos at a place called 'blai' on the camino about 400 meters from here.

Life is good. Especially now that we are clean and dry.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
So great to hear how it is going for you guys. There’s a section in Moby Dick where the narrator talks about how you will never appreciate warmth unless you have been cold, and I know that the same goes for being dry! Talk about a simple and total pleasure! And the food looks amazing, those tempura-like battered vegetables, I hope to have lots of those. I’m not sure if I’ll miss Besaín or not, can’t remember how the alternatives go, but tell me the name of the bar just in case. :)

Hugs to you both, Laurie

P.s. I think @LTfit is soon to embark on the camino, so with Nuala on the Madrid, there are now four of the Vasco 6 out and about, though only two are on the Vasco!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Lola and Luis, hospis extraordinaire!

And the food looks amazing, those tempura-like battered vegetables, I hope to have lots of those. I’m not sure if I’ll miss Besaín or not, can’t remember how the alternatives go, but tell me the name of the bar just in case
That was at blai, here in Beasain.
You'd be nuts to miss this place. The albergue in Zegama is in the gym.....
 

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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)
Day 2 Astgarraga to Tolosa 22.85 km
A very different day from yesterday, almost all on asphalt or cement cycle and waking paths, following the Rio Oria in the last part of the walk. The path went in and out of towns and often alongside the railway - and as it was Saturday there were many people to say a cheery 'Hola!' to. We were so touched by people who wished us a buen camino - and at one point someone stopped his car to call out directions when we were heading into one of the towns.

We had a fantastic second breakfast at Bar Anaiak, one of the cafes next the church in Andoain. Highly recommended! Andoain also had a big suprise: outdoor escalators! There are some hills on the Frsnces that could use a few of these! ;)

The weather was a bit better, though still spitting from time to time - but it was so nice not to be wet rats at the end of the day.

Laurie...this stage - and probably the next one - are the kind you were thinking about when looking for alternatives. Our feet were whining about the hard surface by the time we got to Tolosa. Probably 99.9999% On hard sirfaces. But at least it was relatively flat!
This walk is very pedestrian until Besain. Hola in Basque is Kaixo.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
We have washed up on the shores of the fabulous albergue in Beasain...it is...well, we are speechless, but both had lumps in our throsts with gratitude. The couple who are hospis here came up to me in the street a while ago to give directions...SO friendly!. It's in an old mill, beautiful as can be...with a faclities and no bunks.

A short day today in the pouring rain. I got an umbrella last night in a chino shop in Tolosa and was very glad to have it.

Same surfaces as yesterday, but with the short stage we feel fresher. Woth all the rain, the river is getting higher and more angry. And as we move up the valley of course it's getting narrower. Today reminded me of a cross between the Baztan and the Valcarce on the Frances - following the road and rail lines, both not far away but not intrusive - but with gorgeous very prosperous looking towns.

And we just has another stellar meal of pinxos at a place called 'blai' on the camino about 400 meters from here.

Life is good. Especially now that we are clean and dry.
well, as you are grounded now, have a look at Rick's post in the not serious, about maths. such a comment on how loopy this world can become. You two dear ladies are in no danger of such looniness! Buen Camino!
 

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)
Lola and Luis, hospis extraordinaire!

That was at blai, here in Beasain.
You'd be nuts to miss this place. The albergue in Zegama is in the gym.....
As Kinky said, when you get to the top after the tunnel and Roman road do not go right. I did on a cold sleety foggy day and did not come out of the woods for another 40 km's at a resort on the other side of the mountain :), This route, after VG, is beautiful. Some very scenic views and some nice small Pueblo's. Then the wine country of Brinas and Haro before Santa Domingo de Calzada. One of my stops was a little village called Berrantavilla. I was there on Holy Thursday for the washing of the feet. They had a Medieval tabernacle of a mother stork feeding her babies blood from her own breast. Small village 400, I slept on mats in the school. Had a good shower, key was at a house.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, VN,
I have gotten out my Camino folder to check out routes, etc. If Alun and I take the Saiatz alternative, we will miss Tolosa, because that will be one of our two days “off route.”

Did you hear anything about that route as you passed through the first couple of stages? We plan to do our first day to Oria-Lesarte, just a few km off the Vasco. From there, one night in Errezil, and then we Rejoin the normal route in Zeraín and can either sleep there or go on to Zegama and the polideportivo. All tentative, of course.

But here’s a little temptation — I see in my notes that I had found that there is a romanesque jewel, Nuestra Señora de Estibaliz, a few km off route. The turnoff comes about 16 km after Salvatierra.



It looks like it is only open on weekends, and until August, the only time to visit is Saturday at 5:30 pm. I doubt I’ll be able to get there, :-( given the timing, but thought you would want to know about it if you don’t already.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
But here’s a little temptation — I see in my notes that I had found that there is a romanesque jewel, Nuestra Señora de Estibaliz, a few km off route. The turnoff comes about 16 km after Salvatierra.
Thank you, Laurie. Only on weekend is the bad part; we are some days out of sync for that.:( It's an amazing looking place.

And no, we have heard nothing about alternatives, but then have not been asking...
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I'm really enjoying your daily reports V. And @SabineP that is so true what you say about her eye for detail. I observed that when we recently walked together in the dunes here in The Netherlands.

P.s. I think @LTfit is soon to embark on the camino, so with Nuala on the Madrid, there are now four of the Vasco 6 out and about, though only two are on the Vasco!
Yes, it's true, Tuesday I fly into Bilbao and because of my now tight schedule I will walk the Norte from there and hopefully take some of the coastal alternatives I didn't know about the last time I walked from Irún.

But back to the Vasco: boy, I see now see what I will be missing! Oh well, maybe something to look to at a later date.

Ultreia!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
We are warned, @jpflavin1 and @KinkyOne, thank you!
Go left after the tunnel.
Is there a flecha marking the fork?
I found a couple of photos that might clear the fog on this.

First of all stock up on water at the beginning of the stage because the first fountain is just before the San Adrian Tunnel as already said.

After the tunnel (which is actually the cave) with Ermita you'll come out in the clearing and see Roman road (and the flecha is visible):

2016-05-26 13.41.16.jpg

After a little bit more of ascent you'll come to this point in one small clearing:

2016-05-26 14.46.37.jpg

So generally going straight (grass in the sun) and veering slightly to the left is the way to go. Don't go to the right here. Soon you'll be descending through forest and from there on is easy.

Only one more turn off from the tarmac much later to the righthand side (already in the flat) which could be flooded. As I remember checking the map it is slightly shorter but I stayed on the tarmac because of the mud. Soon you'll be in Zalduondo where is a bar (to the right next to the church) with very odd opening hours. And then it's almost straight tarmac slog into Salvatierra/Agurain. Albergue is easy to find. You just find Plaza Mayor, cross it, turn right onto major road and you'll see this house by the sports center to your right:

2016-05-27 12.35.34.jpg

Ultreia! :)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
After a little bit more of ascent you'll come to this point in one small clearing:
Very helpful, K1. To be clear about your photo: did you take this from the downhill side of the clearing? That is, is this the view as you approach the intersection from below or are you off to one side?
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Very helpful, K1. To be clear about your photo: did you take this from the downhill side of the clearing? That is, is this the view as you approach the intersection from below or are you off to one side?
Approaching the intersection. Same with Roman road.
Photo of the albergue is taken on leaving in the morning though. You will come from the righthand side looking at it and next day you continue down the road to the left of the albergue (photo standpoint).

Anyway here's the GPS track of that day: https://www.endomondo.com/users/16690154/workouts/734237917
The distances are not exactly accurate with Endomondo though. I had some technical issues with my phone and all the Wikiloc tracks weren't uploaded.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
@SabineP and @VNwalking, is this you both in the street photo?
No, we look more like pilgrims. ;)

Day 4 Beasain - Zegama 12.8 km
A very short day today, with the first sun in days. It was a cool foggy start, but the moisture burned off after 5k.

I was walking alone out of Beasain, and immediately took a wrong turn having missed the waymark while dodging a kid on a scooter. Rescue came 100 meters down the path by a guy who called out from a carpark next to the pedestrian path, "Hey, peregrina, where are you going?" Then he told me I could get here that way but it was the very long way. So many locals seem to be delighted to see peregrinas, and we've been really touched the the many kind greetings. I also had an older lady talking at me in Euskera but I could receive the heartfelt greeting anyway.

Before the amazing town of Segura, the walk is mostly heavy industry, but after that it is a Basque idyll, with beautiful houses, fields with sheep lazing in the sun, and a bubbling stream nearby. For a while, the path goes in and through a riparian woodland of oak and maple, which is such a welcome relief from the riparian factories in the early part of the walk. And a heart-warming sight, hearing the very loud clucking of a hen and looking over to see her crossing a chicken bridge. The clucking stopped when she hit terra firma...fear of heights, perhaps? 😊
Edit: Sabine just said with a perfect deadpan face, "She must have been chicken."🤣

Segura was so beautiful, with a big crop of 15th and 16th C. buildings. So I spent an absurd amount of time there, gawking with my mouth hanging open. Thete is a lot of prosperity in this region, and there clearly has been for quite for a long time.

Then a gentle entry to Zegama, which feels very different - it is a mountain town. Coming around the corner, you get your first glimse of what's ahead. Just :eek: . Tomorrow will be interesting.

But we will be off pavement for the first time since before Santiagomendi, on the first day. Today's path stuck close to roads, but for some reason it didn't feel oppressive. It was very pleasant after Segura, as things got more and more rural.

Here in Zegama, we met up with a Catalan pilgrim who described the albergue in the school gym as a 'disaster,' full of screaming kids (as it would be at this time of day). So as we're wanting to rest before tomorrow's exertions, we are in the pension next to the plaza. It's gorgeous...and reasonable.

Now we wait for lunch - the pinxos have been fabulous, but it will be really nice to have a regular menu del dia.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Gorgeous pictures as always, VN! Your second picture looks a bit like what @laineylainey had to walk through today! Gronze says Besaín to Zegama is 16 from the albergue, so maybe you were just flying and didn’t notice the kms passing by.

I see that Gronze says you walked through Idiázabal today. I assume that is the hometown of one of my favorite Spanish cheeses of the same name! Have you had any?

Your pavement calculus makes me really hope the weather cooperates so we can do the Saiatz stages. It leaves the Vasco after Hernani and joins back up in Zeraín, so it looks like it will miss all the asphalt. I take it you did not go up from Segura to Zeraín?

Tunnel tomorrow, right?! Hope your menú del día is a great one. Abrazos.
 

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
No, we look more like pilgrims. ;)

Day 4 Beasain - Zegama 12.8 km
A very short day today, with the first sun in days. It was a cool foggy start, but the moisture burned off after 5k.

I was walking alone out of Beasain, and immediately took a wrong turn having missed the waymark while dodging a kid on a scooter. Rescue came 100 meters down the path by a guy who called out from a carpark next to the pedestrian path, "Hey, peregrina, where are you going?" Then he told me I could get here that way but it was the very long way. So many locals seem to be delighted to see peregrinas, and we've been really touched the the many kind greetings. I also had an older lady talking at me in Euskera but I could receive the heartfelt greeting anyway.

Before the amazing town of Segura, the walk is mostly heavy industry, but after that it is a Basque idyll, with beautiful houses, fields with sheep lazing in the sun, and a bubbling stream nearby. For a while, the path goes in and through a riparian woodland of oak and maple, which is such a welcome relief from the riparian factories in the early part of the walk. And a heart-warming sight, hearing the very loud clucking of a hen and looking over to see her crossing a chicken bridge. The clucking stopped when she hit terra firma...fear of heights, perhaps? 😊

Segura was so beautiful, with a big crop of 15th and 16th C. buildings. So I spent an absurd amount of time there, gawking with my mouth hanging open. Thete is a lot of prosperity in this region, and there clearly has been for quite for a long time.

Then a gentle entry to Zegama, which feels very different - it is a mountain town. Coming around the corner, you get your first glimse of what's ahead. Just :eek: . Tomorrow will be interesting.

But we will be off pavement for the first time since before Santiagomendi, on the first day. Today's path stuck close to roads, but for some reason it didn't feel oppressive. It was very pleasant after Segura, as things got more and more rural.

Here in Zegama, we met up with a Catalan pilgrim who described the albergue in the school gym as a 'disaster,' full of screaming kids (as it would be at this time of day). So as we're wanting to rest before tomorrow's exertions, we are in the pension next to the plaza. It's gorgeous...and reasonable.

Now we wait for lunch - the pinxos have been fabulous, but it will be really nice to have a regular menu del dia.
Beautiful Pictures. Hope you have a dry day tomorrow
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
I take it you did not go up from Segura to Zeraín?
No but it looked close. In Sabine's pic below (the 4th one) you can see it nestled in the hill in the middle distsnce.
Tunnel tomorrow, right?! Hope your menú del día is a great one.
Yes, and ok. I ate meat for the first tlme in years, feeling an uncharacteristic need for some decent quality protein, and pasta would not have satisfied that....
Or maybe I'm just nervous about the tunel - I am.

Oh, and the distance - we walked here direct rather than through Idiázabal, hence the shorter stage. And no Idiázabal cheese...yet.;)
 
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SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Hi everyone,

Finally time for me to pop in. I am the technophobic pilgrim with too thick fingers to type elegantly on this phone.
Well my fitbittracker told me I did 13.5k. from the albergue.
Seems Vira and I came into this town from a different route.
Today was such a nice walk even on asphalt. You can really see the landscape is changing.
People still are as charming as the last three days, even if I can't always fully
understand what they are saying. But that might be my tiredness.
Yesterday evening I suddenly got a cough, shivers and general cold.
Better today but not wow. So will see what this night brings otherwise I will stay on the safe side and take a bus. Even if this means that I will miss a gorgeous etapa. But underway there is no chance of taking bus or taxi. So listening to body is important.
Am getting better at this looking after myself...😎.

@VNwalking and I are a bit worried about the whereabouts of a fellow New Zealand pilgrim because until now he did not show up. Will do an inquiry later.

Well today is my birthday and let me tell you there is no better way to spend it with my " compagnon de route" in this cozy pension.
I especially like the fact that we do not have that urgent need to talk all the time to each other.

We said hi in the local bar here because the owners are the parents of the young girl who works at the bar in Tolosa where we were Saturday. The girl said we should go and say hi so we did.
 

Attachments

Nana6

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
France ( 2020)
Hi everyone,

Finally time for me to pop in. I am the technophobic pilgrim with too thick fingers to type elegantly on this phone.
Well my fitbittracker told me I did 13.5k. from the albergue.
Seems Vira and I came into this town from a different route.
Today was such a nice walk even on asphalt. You can really see the landscape is changing.
People still are as charming as the last three days, even if I can't always fully
understand what they are saying. But that might be my tiredness.
Yesterday evening I suddenly got a cough, shivers and general cold.
Better today but not wow. So will see what this night brings otherwise I will stay on the safe side and take a bus. Even if this means that I will miss a gorgeous etapa. But underway there is no chance of taking bus or taxi. So listening to body is important.
Am getting better at this looking after myself...😎.

@VNwalking and I are a bit worried about the whereabouts of a fellow New Zealand pilgrim because until now he did not show up. Will do an inquiry later.

Well today is my birthday and let me tell you there is no better way to spend it with my " compagnon de route" in this cozy pension.
I especially like the fact that we do not have that urgent need to talk all the time to each other.

We said hi in the local bar here because the owners are the parents of the young girl who works at the bar in Tolosa where we were Saturday. The girl said we should go and say hi so we did.
Love the pictures. Thanks for posting. Take care of yourself
 

RumAndChupacabras

Do unto other's as you would have them do unto you
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019 ~Apr. 2018 Oviedo, Santo Toribio, Covadonga~May/June 2016 Portuguese
@VNwalking, luv the chicken bridge!!! Your narrative made me feel and hear the surroundings... and smile. 😊

@SabineP Almost sprayed my phone screen with coffee when I read your "technophobic" line! 😄 Lovely photos.

Am really enjoying following this Camino of your's 😍
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Reality is frequently inaccurate
Happy birthday @SabineP, and get well quick! Maybe a good moment to have a hot toddy (or if that is too sacrilegious, just the whiskey, that liquid sunshine) to cure the upcoming cold and celebrate your birthday. Cheers!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
No but it looked close. In Sabine's pic below (the 4th one) you can see it nestled in the hill in the middle distsnce.

Yes, and ok. I ate meat for the first tlme in years, feeling an uncharacteristic need for some decent quality protein, and pasta would not have satisfied that....
Or maybe I'm just nervous about the tunel - I am.

Oh, and the distance - we walked here direct rather than through Idiázabal, hence the shorter stage. And no Idiázabal cheese...yet.;)
First and foremost Happy Birthday, Sabine! What a great way to celebrate.

And VN, if I'm looking at the correct "4th picture" I see no buildings other than that big beitge buildng right on the same level in front of all the hills. But maybe my eyes are failing. So happy for you guys, you are making me even more anxious to get started! Abrazos from Laurie
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
Happy Birthday Sabine.

Your photos are wonderful and I get an appetite for more. I will start on Thursday in Irun and I hope, like @peregrina2000, to walk the alternative route of Saiatz.

I will open an extra post so that I can share the information about the variant of Saiatz.

The use of all technical possibilities of my Smatphone is not my strength and I am not good at it. But I can write.

I will continue to accompany you and your tips are very interesting for me.

All the best for you - I have the sun in my luggage, enough for three of us - hopefully. 😘
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
Happy birthday Sabine 💐🍾💐 Look after yourself and take it easy E765DC86-8798-4FB1-B867-8F8D57CEEEA8.jpegif you’ve caught a chill from all that wet weather.
A ‘medicine’ that helped me on the camino inglés when I had a bad cold last year: a glass of ‘Cardenal Mendoza’ 😎😎😎🤪
Buen camino to you both.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
I especially like the fact that we do not have that urgent need to talk all the time to each other.
I love that! 😀 A few times, some friend joined us me and my walking mate and remarked, astonished: ‘Don’t you ever talk to each other???’
‘Nah, no need!’ 😀
Proper companionship 🙂
Have fun, I for one am very envious (in a nice way). Thinking of you....
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
I will leave it to @VNwalking to give her detailed story of today's glorious walk.
I still felt too weak to walk so took public transport. Found myself a farmacy to buy some stuff. Waited in the same bar Blai in Beasain where we had our food on Sunday.
Weather is gorgeous so am happy my two pilgrim mates have some sun.
And oh yeah...regional tv broadcasted a woodsawing competion. Quite relaxing to look at..😎.
And more than happy I could bring some of the things of VN with me. The least I can do
 

Attachments

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
A very decent albergue municipal. 5 €. Keys to collect at adjacent polideportivo. In Salvatierra.
Feel a bit of a fraud staying here but seeing it is only three of us and not fully occupied I guess it is ok.
Wating for my two fellow pilgrims.
 

Attachments

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)
I found a couple of photos that might clear the fog on this.

First of all stock up on water at the beginning of the stage because the first fountain is just before the San Adrian Tunnel as already said.

After the tunnel (which is actually the cave) with Ermita you'll come out in the clearing and see Roman road (and the flecha is visible):

View attachment 57572

After a little bit more of ascent you'll come to this point in one small clearing:

View attachment 57573

So generally going straight (grass in the sun) and veering slightly to the left is the way to go. Don't go to the right here. Soon you'll be descending through forest and from there on is easy.

Only one more turn off from the tarmac much later to the righthand side (already in the flat) which could be flooded. As I remember checking the map it is slightly shorter but I stayed on the tarmac because of the mud. Soon you'll be in Zalduondo where is a bar (to the right next to the church) with very odd opening hours. And then it's almost straight tarmac slog into Salvatierra/Agurain. Albergue is easy to find. You just find Plaza Mayor, cross it, turn right onto major road and you'll see this house by the sports center to your right:

View attachment 57574

Ultreia! :)
I do recall seeing the first marker. I do not recall seeing the second. That said, visibility was awful with fog and sleet. It was also in 2012, markings might have been different.

Joe
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
A very decent albergue municipal. 5 €. Keys to collect at adjacent polideportivo. In Salvatierra.
Feel a bit of a fraud staying here but seeing it is only three of us and not fully occupied I guess it is ok.
Wating for my two fellow pilgrims.
Hahaha, that was exactly my bed to the left from your backpack in 2016. I took a shower on that day though :D

Agree, it's nice albergue although them showers in a garage are a bit odd. But I've seen worse ;)

Enjoy!

PS (There's a supermercado on the righhand side if you are returning back to Playa Mayor. Maybe a bit hidden off the main street but very close to the albergue.)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
You are no fraud
I bet VN is blessing you for having lightened her load today
I sure was!!!! Because Sabine wss so incredibly kind to take some of my things, I could walk today with kilos less on my back. And it made a huge difference. All the same I missrd her wonderful company...she IS a true peregrina!

markings might have been different.
The path was very well waymarked, both on the way up and only slightly less on the way down. Some of the waymarking looked pretty new, in fact.

Day 5 Zegama to Salvaterria 21.9
Part 1...too many photos!
The surprise of the day was that this stage was a challenge but not as bad as I feared it would be.
And aiyiyi, what a day!!!
It is probably my most beautiful and interesting camino day ever. It ticked all the boxes: historical interest, natural beauty, mountains, and being an old and 'authenic' route.
And...if you come this way, do heed the warnings to bring enough water and pay attention to where you are going, and where you put your feet. Being lost up there could be real trouble. And a bad fall, ditto.

So the way up was steady uphill after the first km or so, with a few breaks higher up. The path started out paved, but soon became dirt, going up through oak and maple woodland and pasture, higher up going through some amazing stands of very old beech in bright new leaf on one side and more somber larch and conifers on the other. Unerfoot were the many wildflowers, including some stunning orchids and wierd purple legumes with purple flowers erupting straight out of the ground.

The path emerged at the Ermita de Sancti Spiritu, which was beautiful but deserted; right around the corner the path crosses pasture and the view ahead opened up to the tunnel ahead.

I stayed there for a while, and can't quite capture the experience in words. The clearing of the fog, the chatter of the many swallows as they flashed in and out, imagining all that have passed through here, and all the work this road has seen. Not to mention what it myst have taken to build it.

On the other side of the short tunnel, the calzada romana was astonishingly good shape after almost two millenia of summers and winters. What will our autovias look like in that much time?

It continued uphill for about a km, and then headed steadily down through beautiful beech forest, contouring along one side of a valley, crossing the stream and then going down the other side. Much was eventually on a forestry road, so the walking was easy. It seemed cooler on this side of the mountain, and the oaks and maples were just coming into leaf.

And then at the bottom, emerging into a whole different world - villages that were Spanish rather than Basque, and wide open spaces with broad fields of ripening wheat and vistas of mountains.

Photos...too many for one post! It was a gorgeous day.

A big thank you to Sabine for making ease possible...I was so sorry she missed this.
 

Attachments

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
The rest of the pics from the way down the other side...
 

Attachments

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
But for days you'll still walk through Basque Country ;)
Thanks for catching that, K1. I was too tired to write carefully - I meant the houses and towns look Spanish...and once we get out of Alava, they will be.....
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Salutations! @VNwalking ... long day? 👣
Thank you! Surprisingly not too bad. I dawdled and took lots of photos and still got here at a bit after 3. What was tiring was finding the polideportivo for the key. I asked 2 people and got 2 answers...and did a face plant jn the process of looking, so now look a bit like cyclops. Fortunately no real harm done, just an egg above my left eye.....
Word to the wise. Pick your feet up in town , too, not just on funky calzadas romanas!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Thank you! Surprisingly not too bad. I dawdled and took lots of photos and still got here at a bit after 3. What was tiring was finding the polideportivo for the key. I asked 2 people and got 2 answers...and did a face plant jn the process of looking, so now look a bit like cyclops. Fortunately no real harm done, just an egg above my left eye.....
Word to the wise. Pick your feet up in town , too, not just on funky calzadas romanas!
Sabine should've waited for you with a cold beer or vino tinto in the Plaza Mayor. From there it's easy. I mean it's easy anyway once you've been there ;)

Wish all of you good night!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Oh, gorgeous, just gorgeous. I am so sorry that Sabine was unable to walk. Hope you are feeling better and can carry on with VN tomorrow!
I don't want to spoil your upcoming Vasco with too many photos but at least these two I have to post :)

It's such a shame that this albergue/mountain hut is no longer opened. It would be a bliss to spend a night here feeling almost like in the Alps. That's the one I mentioned that is in the valley just before the San Adrian Tunnel (taken on the Camino):

2016-05-26 12.52.08.jpg

And the view back to where you come from (taken at the entrance to SAT):

2016-05-26 13.34.12.jpg


:)
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hahaha, that was exactly my bed to the left from your backpack in 2016. I took a shower on that day though :D

Agree, it's nice albergue although them showers in a garage are a bit odd. But I've seen worse ;)

Enjoy!

PS (There's a supermercado on the righhand side if you are returning back to Playa Mayor. Maybe a bit hidden off the main street but very close to the albergue.)
Wow, Kinky, what a memory you have!
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Gorgeous day of almost 28k.
I'm sure @VNwalking will pop in later for the details.
Let us say that her sense of direction is completely faultless so she yelled me back when I went like a puppy in the wrong direction...😎
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Day 6 Salvaterria to Vitoria, 27.8 km.
Today was a walk through a totally different landscape (and a totally different climate zone) than the last days

We had a chilly start, about 8°, walking in and out of fog. By a half an hour or so my hands were numb and useless. But soon the sun came out - and there was a short 'sweet spot' when it was the perfect temperature for walking. And then it got just plain hot.

This stage has very little shade, except for a blissful little detour through a patch of woodland as you approach Vitoria. Otherwise it goes through fields of wheat, spinach, and peas. There are a number of small villages, but they were just houses and locked churches...frustratingly so, as some of the churches looked very interesting.

The highlight was te Ermita de Nostra Señora de Ayala - closed, of course. But it was a nice ace foe a snack, as there was a lovely shaded picnic area there. We didn't stop at the Monasterio near Villafranca, but the Ermita de San Juan right on the camino was very nice.

The entry into Vitoria goes through successive layers of urban expansion, with broad very new boulevards on the outskirts, and successively older development as you get closer to the old city centre. Here Rayyrosa's wikiloc track was really useful as there was little waymarking in town.

Surfaces were a mix of natural and paved, often on agricultural roads. It was suprisingly peaceful, even coming in to the part of Vitoria where older villages are being swallowed by the city. Lots of wildflowers, and birdsong.
 

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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Gorgeous pictures, ladies!
And, VN, you paint a great picture of your days with your writing style, almost like being there with you...well, that's an exaggeration to be sure! Enjoy!
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Ah, but without the sore feet! 😊 ;)
Hope your journey home went well, Chris...
Yes, pretty well. We had a super cheap flight though and I always struggle sleeping, so I usually try to binge on movies instead. Well, this airline had no movie screens! They offered an app with a few choices to use on your phone, but I didn't do it. I was sitting next to a huge football player type of guy, too. Kinda claustrophobic. But, it just shows how spoiled we can sometimes be...
 

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