Day Two: My first “stamp” of the trip

I arose at 6:30 and after a quick shower, began reorganizing my backpack and day bag. It takes a few days to get used to the new routine and I wanted to make sure that the items I would need throughout the day were easily accessible. This included placing my Hefty trash can liner which I use for mild rain protection at the top of my day bag. I also have a rain jacket in my day bag because the Norte is much wetter than the Francés, especially this time of year.

Pasaia port straddles a bay and I had to catch a ferry to get across. The ferry docked close to the hotel so it was a short walk to embark. The ferry is a small boat and although it was across the bay, the skipper puttered across when he saw me waiting. I had not collected any stamps in my pilgrim’s passport yet so I asked him if he had one. No, he didn’t. I asked him if he would write something in the block allocated to stamps and he agreed. As he did so, I decided I would not collect stamps on this journey but rather would ask ordinary people along the way to sign my passport.

Capn’ Txacob, first to sign my “passport”.

Following the skipper’s directions, I headed down the dock to find the stairs leading over the hill to San Sebastián. “It is a little bit fuerte at first, but then it will level out,” he explained. I think it was fuerte the entire way! The trail was rugged and the rains had made it muddy and slippery. The rain caught me just as I arrived at San Sebastián and I ducked into a petrol station to wait out the worst of it. I had already donned Hefty and as I contemplated my raincoat, the rain began to subside. I dashed into a nice coffee shop and by the time I left the rain had stopped and I continued along my way. NOTE: Paula, Lisa and John: I think we hit San Sebastián at a much better time last year as far as weather goes! But the diehards were out surfing, paddling and kayaking in 58 degree rainy weather!

I got off the marked Camino in San Sebastián due to dodging raindrops but I knew the general direction and by the time I crossed town I was back on arrows. Pilgrims use a variety of methods to stay on the trail. Some just follow the arrows and other occasional signage. Some rely on guidebooks or maps on which they pre-plan their trip. And others use one of a variety of apps which, using GPS, keep you aware of where you are in relation to the Camino you wish to follow. I prefer the first method unless I am seeking out particular alternate routes, like the coastal routes for the Norte for which the apps (I use Buen Camino) come in handy. Regarding signage, particularly on the Camino of Life, sometimes there can be arrows every few feet; other times you might get anxious that you missed one and may have lost your way. You must trust your gut or your conscience.

Which way?

Yesterday and today I saw people running up and down the mountain trails. Possibly just to rub it in! It reminded me of when I lived in Caracas. I would hike to the crest of the Avila and then run down the trail. It was exhilarating even though I knew I was not doing my knees any favors. That, and some hard skiing in younger years, certainly contributed to two ACL reconstructions!

Cuidado con las rodillas, amigo!
…y amigas!!

From San Sebastian I made it to Orio on muddy slippery trails. There was very little asphalt and the climbs and descents were very steep. Just before Orio, I stopped at a donativo run by the folks from Yellow Deli for a coffee and got my second “stamp”. Then I stopped in Orio for a cream-filled chocolate cookie – not really! But I did have a cafe con leche and a tortilla.

My destination was Zarautz and I finally arrived about 5:30. According to my health app, I walked 20.6 miles. And in Zarautz I finally met up with Peter Hartshorn, who had arrived in Irun the night before I did. We caught up with our adventures and made tentative plans for tomorrow, all depending on the rain report. Which I will recount in tomorrow’s write-up.

The Txikipolit, where Peter is staying has an excellent selection of Pintxos.

4 thoughts on “Day Two: My first “stamp” of the trip

  1. So excited for your new adventure. Thanks again for sharing with us all. I look forward to following along!❤️


  2. What a crew!!! Have fun!!!

    (It sure sounds like we hit it right weather wise in San Sebastion!!)

    Buen Camino!!


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