Camino Norte, getting started and day one of walking

Getting started: We arrived in Spain via Seattle and Frankfurt, then a flight to Bilbao. We spent the night there, then bused to Hondarribia, our starting point. Hondarribia is close to Irun, the traditional starting point., We spent the night in Hondarribia, where they were having a local celebration. Originally to celebrate the lifting of the siege of the local castle by the French. Now the celebration also commemorates victory of the rowing team over a neighboring town. The celebration included having several flaming bulls on the streets.

Expenses getting started: Sept 9 Bus to Hondarribia,
€6.75 breakfast
€16 bus tickets
€6.30 lunch
€41 taxi from Bilbao
€109 hotel Onyarbi, yes frig, no coffee pot, no AC
€15 tacos for dinner


Day one of walking:

The next day, Sept 9, was our first day of walking, and would end up being 11.9 km, 7.4 miles. We started at the Sanctuary of Guadalupe, to which we had taken a taxi, saving us 800 m of climbing. This building was built in the 1500s, and holds the Black Virgen. . Above, Laura with Hondarribia in the background. France is on the other side of the river, Hondarribia is near the mouth of the river.


We had decided we had to have some low mileage days to get our feet and legs into shape, so we took a taxi up the 800m hill of the first day, and continued with little elevation gain toward San Sebastion

From the Sanctuary of Guadalupe the route goes along the side of a hill for about 10 km, on which there is basically no water till you get to Pasages de San Juan. One descends off the hill to the water of the harbor, and you take a ferry for 0.8 euros to the other side, which is where Pasages de San Pedro is located. Our hotel was nearby, and we noticed there was AC, because it was kind of hot. The pic below is from the Camino looking down at Pasages de San Juan. Pasages means passage in Spanish, so this is the Passage of San Pedro. This first day of walking was about 3/4 on trail, 1/4 on road, overcast most of the day, some sprinkles, but it was still hot.


Expenses first day of walking:

Sept 10 taxi to top of hill, €15, walk to San Pedro (Rentaria) 11.9 km 7.4 mi
€80 cash, rls, Hotel Berri Versailles, Rentaria, no frig, no coffee pot, AC yes. Across the street from a high rise apartment
€2 ferry .8 each
€15 taxi to hotel in Rentaria
€2 fanta 1 ea
€11 pizza w nestea