Day 2: Orio to Zumaia

Day 2: Orio to Zumaia

Today’s distance: 20.2 km
Total distance from San Sebastián: 36.4 km.
Elevation gain:547 metres
Weather: Cloudy/rain AM; Sunny PM; warm
Highlight: Historical facts

Kitchen/patio at Albergue de San Martin, Orio

The way the morning began, we thought there would be no highlight today. We were so wrong! It just didn’t start off on a good note. We had descended steeply 400 metres into the old town of Orio, when we realized we had left our hiking poles back at the albergue. I volunteered to hike back up the hill to retrieve them (included in today’s distance). Soon after and true to the weather prediction of 40 per cent chance of rain, the skies opened up when we were leaving Orio. Out came the rain gear.

We plodded along and were in need of a cafe con leche and tortilla fix by the time we reached Zarautz (6.1 km). We stopped in at a bar, hoping the rain would let up before we finished. No such luck, but the break seemed to work magic on our mood. Also, during our break, we learned something about Zarautz.

What was most interesting about the city, we thought, is the Church of Nuestra Senora la Real. It contains the tomb of the pilgrim. The church was targeted in 1586 by a Genoese pilgrim who stole a number of artifacts. He was captured, drawn and quartered, and his body was displayed on the Camino. What a gruesome warning to other pilgrims!

Zarautz is a resort town with the region’s longest beach (2.8 km long). Coming out of the city, there was a choice of taking the high or low, coastal route. Feeling lazy, we chose the low route and enjoyed a flat sidewalk along the ocean all the way to Getaria (6.3 km).

Juan Sebastian Elcano

We are glad we took the low, coastal route because, if we hadn’t, we would have missed Getaria’s claim to fame since the high route doesn’t rejoin the low route until after Getaria.

Getaria was the home of Juan Sebastian Elcano, who took over Magellan’s fleet after Magellan was killed. He completed the globe’s first circumnavigation around 500 years ago which really is not such a long time ago in the history of humanity. Whether or not the world was round was still in question! Elcano is still honoured today; every four years, townspeople re-enact his heroic return.

It was a beautiful walk from Getaria to Zumaia (5.4 km) through farmland with sheep, horses, cows, one feisty bull, vineyards, and with spectacular ocean views.

During this stretch, we met a couple from North Burnaby, Tony and Kelly, who are walking their second Camino. Their first was last year along the Portuguese coastal route which, they said, was beautiful but too short.

Tony, Kelly and I
Getaria to Zumaia
Arriving at Zumaia

In Zumaia we checked in at Albergue-Convento San Jose which has 25 beds for 10 Euros each. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing when we opened the door to our room. It was tiny with twin beds (no bunks!) for just the two of us, which bodes well for a good night’s sleep.

This old building had been a convent and our room was a nun’s bedroom. We wondered about the need for bars: to keep someone in or out? The bathroom is conveniently right next door.

View from our window at Albergue-Convento San Jose, Zumaia
Albergue-Convento San Jose, Zumaia

We are relaxing under one of many fig trees in the wild garden where there are California poppies galore.

6 thoughts on “Day 2: Orio to Zumaia

  1. Hi Judy and Dave
    Ahh yes, “the rain in Spain”…
    Love the long stretches of beach
    Reminds me of the Portuguese route.
    Beautiful pics… glad you had a duo room.
    Keep on going… you are both awesome.
    Love B

    1. Hi Bon, I thought “the rain in Spain stayed mainly in the plain?” Hmmmm… Threats of rain don’t always materialize, thank heavens. The day after tomorrow (blogging is a bit behind!) could have been even worse than it was if it rained… Just a hint about what’s to come.

  2. Ha ha
    It doesn’t….
    follows you like a huge shower…
    Sending whiffs of bread… the “babies”are doing fine.
    Love B

    1. Hi Bon, Oh how I miss your bread… I can smell it now! No rain showers today, just glorious sun. Took the bus here to Bilbao so we would have energy left over for a different Camino up and down the river and all around the fantastic Guggenheim Museum. Love this city!!!

  3. Hi Judy, absolutely beautiful scenery, we stayed in Getaria (after a walk in Galicia) in 2016 and are looking forward to returning next year when we walk the del Norte. I am very much enjoying your journey – it was so lovely that you met up with your husband in San Sebastian, what a wonderful feeling! We will be there approximately this time next year and I am following you from a warm autumn in Sydney Australia, anticipating your next post. Ultreia – enjoy the journey

    1. Hi Janine, I am so glad you are enjoying our journey and hope you enjoy yours next year. Dave walked for six days from Irun to Markina-Xemein and I walked just four. Now we are anticipating something different but also beautiful on the Camino Primitivo starting on May 14. Today we fell in love with Bibao – a stunning, walkable city to explore.

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