Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day 37: Zarautz to Deba (24 kms)

The beach at Zarautz

Zarautz was a pleasant stopover, but a new day had dawned, and it was time to move on. We were told by the Tourist office that there were two ways to exit Zarautz, the coastal route, and the inland route. They both would join close to the village of Getaria. We opted for the inland, upper route. No particular reason, other than elevated views and more shade, but also as it turns out more climbing. But, on balance, I would still take the upper route. The climbing at first was a bit steep but then it shallowed and was manageable. Perhaps a word about climbing steep hills is appropriate at thus point. The hills are here, and you cannot avoid all of them, so it is best to reach an accommodation with the physical effort required to walk this route right from the beginning or you will be an unhappy pilgrim for many long days. Another point that was brought home to us today was that not everyone in this region is thrilled to have pilgrim traffic in their neighborhood. As we were on our last climb before descending into Deba, we followed the yellow arrows right to a tall fence that could have had a way to open it, but instead it was bolted shut on both ends. We could have peeled off our packs and found a very difficult way over, but instead we walked uphill to a main road, and I scaled over a section that was not barbed wire, and then found a section where Robin could get over. There are many pilgrims walking this route who would have had a real challenge dealing with this fence. Another issue we noticed was that the pilgrim route crossed busy intersections, and roundabouts where blind turns prevented clear views of approaching traffic. In addition there were no crosswalks or warning signs. This reminded me of what it must have been like crossing the motorway going into Léon before they built the pedestrian bridge across it. While at the Deba Tourist Office I asked the very pleasant lady at the counter the best way to exit Deba in the morning. She presented us with a map that showed the way out. Fine, then she gave us a second map that showed about a 2km stretch in greater detail. This she explained is the area where neighbors have removed Camino arrows and signage. They just don't seem to want this kind of traffic in their neighborhood. Of course, this is but a very small sample against many other experiences where people have been genuinely kind and hospitable. Just chalk it up to some observations from along the way. Despite a few challenges, the day provided beautiful, wide vistas of both the sea and the coastal mountain range. We arrived safely in Deba, and checked into the Pensioa Zumardia that turned out to be quite nice. There were at least four other pilgrims there. Breakfast is provided, and they have laundry service as well. Very nice people. I finished the evening at a beachside taberna writing my blog post, and enjoying an adult beverage. Off to bed.

In Zarautz
A steep little climb out of Zarautz
Looking back at Zarautz
Part of our path today
Approaching Zumaia
Channel into Zumaia
My girl
And me
Zumaia seafront
Between Zumaia and Deba
This gate opened
Be sure to look down
Almost at the top of our last climb today
Deba, first view
First Elevator ride this trip




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