Camino de la Costa 04: From Ulia to Orio (18 km)

September 10, 2018. there was a rude awakening and the need for a self-performed outpatient procedure, followed by the best breakfast of the Camino and Trail Magic with a nice – together with Katrin – walked stage.

It was dawning and I was dreading it – the feeling of pressure in my right ear had woken me from my sleep. Somehow my earplug had pushed itself so deep into the ear canal as if it wanted to cuddle with my cerebellum. The others in the room were still asleep, at least I could still hear that with my left ear. What does a real man do in this situation? Sure, before you allow yourself the embarrassment of asking someone else to fix the problem in a few seconds, you first have to do something yourself. With the small tweezers from my Swiss Army knife. Despite numerous attempts, I couldn’t get hold of the small piece of compressed foam and a little bit of slight panic rose, which made the throbbing even more intense.

So the first thing to do was to stay calm and think. There had to be a solution for this problem. Of course, there was the extremely pointed tick forceps from my first aid kit, with which you could prick your ear canal so nice if you were not careful. So the plan was to prick the plug with both grippers of the tweezers, then press them together and pull them out with an elegant twist. So I tried to find a suitable spot where I did not feel a stabbing pain, but still had to overcome some resistance. In short, it took about 10 minutes until the stopper was out and I was enriched by an unsightly tingling experience.

The breakfast, prepared by the hospitaleros, compensated for all the suffering. Fresh homemade bread with homemade jam and honey were the ambrosia not for my ear but eye and mouth. André was also very satisfied, although there were no croissants this time either. Our fellow pilgrim Katrin gave us the recommendation to walk back a bit and then to walk along the coast instead of the official Camino de la Costa.

So we left the hostel relatively late, already in the glistening light of the morning sun, walked past the concrete block of regaining power of the previous day and found the white-red marked path. So we said to ourselves, “we do it the polish way!”

A lot of heather on the alternative way along the coast
A lot of heather on the alternative way along the coast

The way was not so easy to find in the beginning, but it was worth it in any case, also because of the beautiful views in the morning light:

Steep coast east of San Sebastian
Steep coast east of San Sebastian

Apart from us, there were no pilgrims on this path, we only met a larger group of geology students who enjoyed the rock formations.

First view on San Sebastian
First view on San Sebastian

Even the most beautiful path had once been taken and we saw San Sebastian in front of us. Here we had to climb down an extremely steep path to the city and met the two Americans with whom we had shared the room and the breakfast table next to André. The couple consisted of father and son, the former in the 70s. Especially the father looked already very battered and they walked so slowly that we lost sight of them quickly. I hoped that they would somehow manage the Camino anyway.

Beach in the shell shaped bay of San Sebastian
Beach in the shell shaped bay of San Sebastian

We walked along the long beach promenade, where grandstands were set up. Probably also for a rowing regatta. Soon we came to the mussel bay, which forms an almost perfect semicircle. There we had our lunch break and had a look at the last remaining Schröer bread. Some of the sparrows of San Sebastian were able to whistle it from the roofs shortly afterwards that this bread is delicious, because we were feeding the greedy swarm that settled down near us.

The whole town seemed to recover somehow from the regatta and the festival that went with it, so there was little going on and we wanted to go back to nature. So we moved on quickly and found again beautiful views of the Biskaya.

West of San Sebastian
West of San Sebastian

In Igueldo we met Katrin again. She was taking pictures of the famous Trail Magic stand of a pilgrim friend who does not want to have money for the offered water and stamp, as it was explicitly written there in several languages.

Trail Magic in Igueldo
Trail Magic in Igueldo

From here on we moved on together with Katrin, even though she repeatedly gave us time off, even without her moving faster. But we had already planned to first look in Orio, if we wanted to move on and Orio was also Katrin’s destination. Of course we enjoyed the talks with her.

The natural narrow path offered more beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and we met a cow with beautiful puffy ears. Shortly afterwards a spring was waiting to supply us with delicious fresh and cool water.

Delicious flowing spring water - a pleasure!
Delicious flowing spring water – a pleasure!

We accompanied Katrin through thick and thin, over ups and downs further to Orio and with every step we became more and more aware that we didn’t want to walk any further that day. The stage of the day before and the late start took its toll.

So we arrived at the hostel in Orio, but it did not really suit us, although we heard later that it would be quite nice there. Vasek and I would have got the last two seats in a room full of bunk beds. Katrin wanted to pitch her light tent in the garden, but she was not allowed to do so because the garden did not belong to the hostel.

We filled up our water bottles again at a watering place in the garden, suspiciously eyed by a black cat, and walked further into the village of Orio, to reach the camping site by the sea. We waited at the reception for half an eternity until a Belgian had solved a vehicle problem there with the help of the employees of the camping site, then they assigned us the place number 1.

While Katrin pitched up her tent in the blink of an eye, Vasek and I made a strong wind construction from the tarp and the walking sticks.

Yes we can! The tarp stands, the builder is happy
Yes we can! The tarp stands, the builder is happy

Now it was time to hiss a first San Miguel. As far as I can remember it was the last one, we switched to other beers and as it went on we preferred other brands.

Shortly before it got completely dark Vasek and Katrin had tested the Atlantic Ocean for a short time but after that we slipped into our sleeping bags quite fast and let the sounds of the Atlantic waves lull us into slumber.

Result of the day: Trail-Magic can also be the appearance of a nice travel companion.

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