Archive for September, 2009

Tues 30 Sept Irun to Orio

September 30, 2009

We slept well in Irun in spite of the closeness of a older spanish man who talked in his sleep. Breakfast was at 7 and we met an Irish girl who is finishing two years of traveling with a walking pilgamage to Santiago. She was very jolly for that time in the morning. The lovely hospitaliera let us in to the garage to get our bikes and gave B a warm hug and P a stroke on the back of the head to wish us well. Very soon we were climbing, and did so for the next 4 hours, mostly on foot pushing the bikes up Mt Jaikzabel. There was a magnificent downhill after this with almost straight drops down the 455 m to the Atlantic. We cycled nearer the middle of the road than usual, especially when there was no crash barrier. We arrived in a little village where a ferry took us over to another little village where we ate our picnic lunch. Then we biked into and through San Sebastian, mostly on the pavement or intermittent cycle path. Then there was another steep climb to nearly 400 metres which we walked up, amazed at our stamina, before another thrilling wheeeee… to Orio where our guide said there was a private refuge. There is, in the converted basement and garage of a private house, which provides dinner and breakfast as well as bed for a total of 21 euros each. We have made use of the washing machine, showered and sat over mugs of tea until the meal came -dressed salad with potato and eggs to start followed by a veggie pasta dish, with local wine and a liqueur. We are the only pilgrims here tonight, and P is head down on the table ‘breathing heavily’ while I write this. I think we had better go to sleep soon, as tomorrow will be a long day to make it to a trappist monastery which seems the only refuge available in about the right distance. I must say, we are having an amazingly varied time! P has woken up and says it’s time for bed.

Looking back to France from about a quarter the way up Mt Jaikzabel above Irun.

Looking back to France from about a quarter the way up Mt Jaikzabel above Irun.