Camino del Norte Day 4: Zumaia to Deba, 13 km

Another short day, as the next town after Deba is 22 kilometers away and the weather report was calling for rain. The ran began right on schedule at 7am. We waited in the albergue for the rain to let up, and left in drizzles around 8:15. The walk was a combination of small country roads and dirt paths. There were only two intermediary villages. The views of the rocky coast in the foggy weather were beautiful. We didn’t see very many other hikers as we were kind of between the more popular stages.

The beach town of Deba hidden in a steep valley, so our last few kilometers were very steep downhill and a bit slippery from the rain. Luckily there are two public elevators down to the sea level main area of Deba. We had read that we should go to Tourist Info in order to register for the albergue here. We paid our fee and got a key to the building, but then realized we had to backtrack back up the steep road we had just come down to get back to our lodging!

The albergue is housed in an old school, costs €5 and has 28 beds. It’s a little musty but fairly spacious. No kitchen, so we went to the grocery store and made up a nice taco salad and ate down by the beach while watching the surfers.

Tomorrow we’re planning on a long day to Zenarruza, where there is a small albergue (9 beds) in a monastery. We’re hoping we get there in time to get a bed! We will also be walking through Bolibar, the hometown of Simón Bolívar. We are hoping to get to Gernika (Guernica) on Monday to see their weekly traditional outdoor market, the largest in this area.

It has been interesting to see a lot of Basque separatist graffiti, and signs asking that ETA members who are in prison be returned to Basque Country. Other signs say “Basque Country: Independent and Socialist” and still others “Spain is our ruin.” I remember walking the Camino Francés in 2009 there was graffiti saying, “Tourist, you are NOT in Spain!”

We are feeling pretty good, though our legs and joints are rather sore. The first 20 kilometers tomorrow are supposed to be challenging, with a lot of elevation gain and loss, so we hope our bodies are up to the task.