Distance 25.5 km
Accumulated elevation uphill 737m
Accumulated elevation downhill 755m
Well, they said it would be hard and they weren’t kidding. Did you see that elevation profile? It was an absolute killer, although to be honest the second half seemed just as difficult although it pales to insignificance when viewed as above.
I have only myself to blame because there were many options on this stage where I could have chosen a less trying route. But I went for the ‘alpinista’ track first of all, and then opted to stick with the GR121 trail which is a little longer and harder, but hugs the coastline. The image above shows just 23.3 kms, but I forgot to turn on the GPS until I thought about how impressed you would all be when you saw it, and by that time I had already walked for 3 km.
There were a lot of Shetland type ponies around, some with very newborn foals who were still working out how to use their legs.
It was certainly hard, but absolutely beautiful, walking through woodland, heathland and rocky tracks. In fact the vast majority of this stage was over rocky tracks which are quite hard on the feet, metaphorically and literally.
As you can see from the elevation profile I dropped back down to sea level at Pasajes de San Juan. It seems to be a busy working port. Two huge container ships motored past as I walked through, one with the legend ‘Airbus on board’.
I stopped for a beer and looked at the menu, but the menu del dia was 12.90 euros so I didn’t bother to eat. A small beer was 2.30 euros – outrageous. I then had to cross the estuary by ferry (0.70 euros) together with some giggling schoolgirls and the postman complete with his letter buggy. I walked to the other side of the inlet and stopped to eat some cheese and jamon that I had bought last night and then continued on my way, having to climb a ridiculous amount of very steep steps that seemed to go on forever.
I have seen some flowers today that are new to me – the pretty yellow trumpet is very low growing on heathland, the pink stag horn was in a hedgerow and the white flower was quite small with leaves like a peony.
But the weather was kind to me. It was dull, and cloudy, but it did not rain. After studying the forecasts for the last few days I was convinced I would be walking through a storm. This stage would have been dangerous in wet weather. The smooth rock that I was walking over most of the day would have been very slippery if wet. But all was well and here I am in San Sebastián.
I opted to stay at a hostal as the albergue is quite a way out of the city and I wanted to have a mooch around this lovely place. I was a bit miffed when I arrived at the Urban House hostal (22.40 euros) when I was told that I would be staying in another property a block away (a good five minute walk) as there is a large group staying at the main place. But it has turned out well because so far I am the only person here, although another woman is due to arrive at some point. I am in a nice four bed room with balcony overlooking a pretty square and bars on either side.
Tomorrow is forecast to rain all day – oh well, let’s hope they got it wrong again!