Elevation gain 168m
Elevation loss 283m
I’m trying something new. This QR code should take anyone interested to the Wikiloc route that I recorded this morning. Can you let me know if it works please?
I met with Renate at 07:30 and took the option to walk along the east side of the estuary of Bilbao. I walked this route back in 2016, but there are other options. Although the morning was dull the Guggenheim Museum didn’t fail to impress on the opposite bank
This route has improved considerably since I last walked. A lot of the ugly industrial areas have been upgraded and there is now a lovely path right next the estuary with apartment blocks alongside. There is still a certain amount of wasteland before reaching Portugalete but overall it was a much more pleasant walk.
We arrived at the Puente Colgante (hanging bridge) at Portugalete after about 13/14 km. “The bridge was the first shuttle bridge built in the world made with a metallic structure situated at the mouth of the estuary”
Last time I crossed the water in the hanging cradle (50 centimos), but was hoping on this occasion to take the lift to the top of bridge and walk across. However we were told that the lift on the other side of the estuary was not working so we would have to walk across the top of the bridge and back again and then take the cable car. We didn’t have the inclination to do that.
I had also decided that I would make the use of the travelators that give a ride up the very steep hill in Portugalete as I had remained camino-pure last time and walked every step. But sadly they were also out of action.
After Portugalete we are directed onto a cycle/walking path that continues for 10+ km to the small town of Arena. As we get closer to our destination we see more farm animals – cows with their bells ringing such a beautiful tune, donkeys and horses, and some very scruffy looking sheep
At Arena (which has a shop – Pobeña does not), we have a boardwalk alongside the beach and finally a short stretch of sand into Pobeña.
The Albergue at Pobeña doesn’t open until 15:00 and when we arrive at about 14:40 there are already eight weary pilgrims waiting, including Marilyn and Paul who took the bus to Portugalete and walked from there. Marilyn is suffering a bit with her feet but is such a soldier that she keeps on walking.
The albergue has 38 beds (bunks) and is donativo, no kitchen but microwave and separate bathroom facilities. Just had a lovely hot shower and there are clothes-washing facilities around the back.
The albergue is filling up – 29 at the last count.