Camino del Norte Day 3, Zarautz to Zumaia, 10 km

We decided to walk the next stage of our book over two short days in order to catch up with work and also because tomorrow they’re calling for foul weather. It was a real treat to arrive in Zumaia around 11:30am and have the entire afternoon and evening to catch up on the GPS data, route descriptions, photo management and many other tasks.

We’re staying at the municipal albergue of Zumaia, which is located in a 400-year-old convent! It is huge with many rooms, so we were able to get a room with two beds all to ourselves. It’s a fun, huge, quirky building with great showers and a big eating space. Sadly, no kitchen, as seems to be the norm around here, but there is a microwave so we may try to make a microwave meal tonight as our appetite for ham and cheese sandwiches is growing thin. We do have a camping stove but have not been able to find the right kind of fuel canisters yet, hopefully in Bilbao. I’m missing our cheap-and-filling pasta Camino dinners.

Many of the albergues in Basque country are only open in July and August so we are lucky to be here just in time to enjoy them. Otherwise, often the only option is a youth hostel, which are rather pricy at €20+ per person, and can be loud and crowded.

The route today follows a sidewalk along the sea wall from Zarautz to Getaria (about 4.5 km), then climbs up through rolling hills through vineyards with stunning views of the cliffs down to the sea. Zumaia is a cute little town with two beaches and some historic buildings and a marina. This evening we walked out to an amazing beach with towering cliffs above them, which were beautifully striated. There was a perfect path out onto a rock fin with a view back to the beach and cliffs. Really a surprising gem of spot.

Back in the albergue this evening, we had a microwaved dinner of “Tres Delicias” (a rice and seafood dish), pumpkin soup, and chocolate pudding, plus a healthy dose of the Spanish equivalent of Gatorade (called “Aquarius.”)

Tomorrow we will probably walk only 12 km to Deba. Or if the weather proves nice, we may press on an additional 20km to Markina-Xemein for a 32 km day.