DAY 1 – Camino Del Norte
We begin our Camino Journey of 869 km today by taking our first steps. We left the safety of our B&B and were out to begin our walk at 6:30 in the morning just before the sunrise.
We started our walk on the French side of the bridge. In the distance we could see the Gaudalupe church that is about 8 km from our starting position atop one of the mountains.
3 km after we started, we saw our first Albergue and many pilgrims ready to start. We made sure to get our stamp for the start and promptly left the town to take the country path that slowly began to climb uphill. We had purchased our breakfast and lunch the day before so our backpacks were the heaviest it will be for the duration of the Camino (good thing we were prepared because there was no water or food until the end).
After 8 KM, we reached the church to enjoy our first Panaromic view of the day.
We thought we were almost done with the climbing, but that was not the case. There was a split on the path and we decided to take the shorter but more strenuous path. While it was the right decision, it was one of toughest ascents we have done in the 20+ years of our hiking. The slope was extreme, but the views were breath-taking. I have never taken more Panaromic pictures in my life.
The climb went on and on for another 6km and some rough trails that had us wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. At the top the skies turned cool and we even had two shorts bouts of mist and rain. Whoever coined the name Camino on steroids was definitely correct.
The trip down also was fairly steep in places.
After 32,000 steps, 22 km and 8 hours of hiking we are waiting outside our albergue at Pasai Doniban which opens at 4 PM. We are number 8 and 9. The albergue has 14 beds so we should be set for tonight. There is a boat downstairs that shuttles passengers across the bay that we will be taking to begin our day 2.
Now that we have taken a shower and rested our legs, we are beginning to feel normal. Actually, the town is cute. There is just one street with one lane (cars wait on each side of town for 10 mins to go – one way at a time for each way).
Victor Hugo lived in this town and now his home is preserved as a museum.
What a beautiful hike!! Congratulations on finishing your first day!
Wow! Beautiful stuff! Thanks for sharing your pre-Camino destinations. Godspeed on your
continuing journey! Again, I am addicted to your blog and must have my daily fix! Love to
you both– Nani
wow what beautiful views. Enayet, I read this blog twice and not sure if I am missing anything – I am following the route I had written up based on the info you had sent me so the first day was when you start at Irun-Hondarribia and do about 25 km to Donstia-San Sebastian – is that what you did the first day? I somehow did not see those names? let me know so I can figure out where on the path you are and how you are doing. by the time I meet up with you guys, you will be accomplished 25 km doers and I will still be at my 6 miles a day – oh no.
We are 7km from San sabastian. We started from Hendaye rather than Irun.
Beautiful views and sights but a tough first day. Hope everyday from now on will be little easier.
Enayet and pat, I read this after reading your second one. Congrats. I can’t believe you walked so much on your first day and that too a hard walk. Hats off to the two of you.I am enjoying this journey through you. Buen camino. Carla in Denver