Thursday, May 5, 2016

Camino Vasco - Day 1 - Astigarraga

Basic breakfast at the albergue and out the door around 7:40 am. Albergue is donativo. I had a similar picture with me on this blog at the same breakfast table four year ago walking the Camino del Norte. Unfortunate I did not have a photo of the hospitalero. He is really quite a character. Even yesterday when I register at the albergue, the moment he saw on the form that I am from Singapore, he uttered "puta madre Singapur!". No, he is not cussing my country. It is actually a very good compliment. After seeing how I was talking with the Korean ladies and German student at the albergue he even said that he hosted a Singapore pilgrim previously and that we are more Latin than Asians, especially me (probably my big mouth). Needless to say we hit it off extremely well talking and joking.

This time round walking inland among the hills is beautiful and friendly farm animals too. Sorry I don't have food for you my little pony.

After the mid point we can see Donastia (San Sebastian from the hill). The Basque terrain didn't go well with Michael who is clearly exhausted. I realized that the terrain is similiar (or a little worse) than the Basque sector of the Camino del Norte. Lots of 40-50 meters steep spikes which can be killer (almost 20 today). The albergue is 3.3 km on the last hill before Hernani. Michael thinks maybe it is better to just go down to Hernani and pay a little more for a hostal since there should be more facilities down there. A little further down the hill he suddenly broke down from exhaustion. Managed to flag down a nice lady in the car who brought us a few hundred meters to a pension outside Hernani. 4 pm when we arrive and a distance of only 23 km. The terrain is that bad compounded by Michael slower pace from the exhaustion. The guy at the pension is really nice and even gave us a bottle of apple cider gratis (free). We were deciding whether to drink it tonight or tomorrow (we have to carry it of course). In the end the decision is that I will carry it for tomorrow since Michael probably need to go to bed early to fight off his fatigue. We shall see tomorrow. A good chance he might again leave me again like last year to walk solo for the rest of the Camino if his condition do not improve.

Dinner is recommended by the guy at the bar a few hundred meters down the road in the industrial area. A big surprise to see a restaurant there. The Bacalao (cod) is really good.

Getting a bit tired myself. Signing off.

1 comment:

Hieu said...

The first time I heard Puta madre, I cringed. My new found Spanish friends proved to me that it was good by shouting out loud in the restaurant, "Puta madre!" Everyone smiled!