Seasons Greetings

It struck me last night as I was reading back through my Camino Norte Blog that 1) I never really finished it… there was a one day that we never wrote about.  And 2)  I’m really not very good at replying to folks who follow and comment (for which I apologise!)

I left you hanging around the Picos mountains and Llanes.  We spent a few days exploring that coast before heading back one last time to Santandar.  We retraced the path we should have taken, stopping and walking around the seaside towns we should have walked through.  Looking back at the photos now in December I’m reminded just how beautiful this part of Spain is and I really would like to return and complete the Norte one day. Continue reading

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Meandering

It’s been a few days, sorry for our tardiness. We wandered the coast around Santander and just soaked up the beauty of the beaches.

Tuesday the 9th of October arrived and we sang happy birthday Gerry and packed our bags to head off to the bus station… What the birthday boy didn’t know was that his brother had flown over to help us celebrate. As we walked along the estuary Jeff and Sandra crept up behind Gerry to give him the second shock in two days! Continue reading

On the mend…

We decided, as we sat in the bus station at Santoña, waiting for our bus that we should make a plan B. We’d got drenched getting to our hotel and we never even got to see Noja at all. We’re both feeling pretty sick and have been walking on every day in the hope that it will be better tomorrow… But that plan wasn’t working.

We both saw the bus for Santander pull in and decided to jump on… If for no other reason than it was warmer and because the bus we needed wouldn’t arrive for five hours.

We booked a room in a mini-apartment on the bus… I fell asleep but Gerry kindly took the 12 o’clock selfie still. We walked from the bus station, buying a few supplies en route… We made bean soup and slept for most of the day and night… And had copious amounts of hot tea.

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Windmills

Day 11 Castro Urdiales – Hazas

So there was no fish supper last night. We walked for about hour along the harbour front and all the back streets. There were two problems… First nowhere was open. This is such a problem for us walkers… The Spanish prefer to eat after 9:00pm but walkers like to be thinking about bed by then. Second we could either find bars or expensive restaurants. In the end we had to admit defeat. We stumbled on a little casa-made burger restaurant. It was open so we stayed. The moral of this story is… Don’t dream of a certain dish because you can be sure you won’t find it when you want it!

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Wibbles

Days 10 Portugalete – Castro Urdiales

We enjoyed our room picnic last night. We had enough left for breakfast and lunch today. We attempted to see what was on the TV but all we could find was Murder She Wrote in Spanish. We turned in for an early night but our room was just above the hotel lobby and it sounded like a Saga coach holiday was partying all night. They were just the same in the morning… Hey ho. I seemed to sleep regardless. Continue reading

Walking Tourists

Day 9 Bilbao- Portugalete

We wandered back out into Bilbao’s early evening bustle. As usual the streets were awash with noise and colour and movement. There’s a strange mix of people; elegant locals drinking wine or coffee in the tiny bars that line these narrow streets, a good number of young student-looking types hanging out in the trendier places, a fair sprinkling of tourists (complete with guide), the odd pilgrim here and there and plenty of families with young children. It seems that there is a place for everyone in Bilbao! Continue reading

Who put that there?

Day 8 – Lezama – Bilbao

Our hotel last night was a little gem. Just off the camino, peaceful and comfortable but within easy reach of all facilities.

We did our laundry and decided as there was a kettle and a kitchen of sorts we would find a supermarket and eat in. We bought some cured ham and cheese, bread and yoghurts, a very nice avocado, some pears and beer and coke! We ended up with enough for dinner and breakfast and a picnic lunch today… We do like a bargain! Continue reading

Bill’s Mother’s

Day 7 Gernika – Lezama (Zamudio)

Arriving at our hotel yesterday ended up being a bit of a palaver. It was closed on a Sunday. Instead, it had an automated check in. You enter the last 6 digits of the phone number you used on your booking… That took a few attempts. Then it scans your passport and takes your money and spits you out a key… No Sello though and no other information. We got through that hurdle ok but the key didn’t fit the front door. It had a code combination and we tried every combination we could think of to no avail. Gerry was getting peeved. I could tell by the way he was pulling at the door… And by the number of times he used the F word in one sentence. Continue reading

Misty Hillock

Day 6  Markina – Gernika

Oh my word. Where do I start? We had a nice little stroll last night before dinner; I think we encountered a full set of farm animals! The Suckling Pig was off the menu but no matter we had a pleasant meal. We retired, hoping that a good night sleep would ease Mr S out of his cough and cold and back to walking.

Mmm… Firstly… don’t ever say to us “hark do you hear those lovely cow bells in the hills”! Continue reading