Camino del Norte Part III

Day 3: 6/5/15

The walk from San Sebastian to Zarautz was beautiful and not as challenging. Only about 20 km.

I honestly can’t really remember many details about this day except of when I arrived. I was calm and felt happy. I sat on the beach for a while. I took my shoes off and stared at the ocean.

There were little striped changing tents along the beach and it reminded me of the Princess Diaries when Mia is at a beach changing in one of the tents and these mean girls push the tent over while she’s changing. Super random but that’s what I thought of. I sort of forgot that I needed to find a place to stay that night.

Using my limited data on my phone, I found the phone number for the hostel. I called but they were full so they gave me the name and number of another hostel. That hostel had space so I walked over. It was a small little boutique hostel called Zarautz Hostel that was very beachy and had pictures of California hung in the lobby. Pretty funny. The super friendly front desk guy and owner led me to my room and showed me the common areas. When I arrived, Kim was already there. We said hi and acknowledged that we recognized each other from the albergue in San Sebastian. Soon after, Dorothy and Willam showed up. I had taken a bottom bunk but offered it to Dorothy. She refused at first but eventually took my offer. I took the bunk above Kim. I soon noticed that Dorothy was kind but tended to make a lot of negative comments. I knew there was something that had to be spurring this negativity so I did my best not to judge her based on this. I kept my mind open. Sylvan was also staying at the same hostel.

I went down to a little grocery store that was a little expensive and bought some food to cook. Including an avocado. Always! I went back to the hostel and hung out for a while in the common area after eating. Yuning, the Vietnamese woman that was next to me in San Sebastian was in there and we chatted for a bit. We talked about our lives, past Caminos that she had done, etc. She is studying to be a chef in Canada and had done the Camino de Santiago 2 years ago. She likes cooking Asian food a lot and loves Spanish food. I later found out that she can eat probably more than 3x her body weight- and she is tiny! She asked me why I was doing the Camino. I still didn’t really know why I decided to do it but I told her that I was studying in Granada the past year and I basically just wanted to do something before I went home to California. Sort of a last ‘hoorah’ I suppose.

Day 4:

Breakfast was scheduled at 8 and was included. Most of us opted to stay, some left earlier. It consisted of 2 pieces of white toast (like sliced toast, not a tostada), butter, jam, an apple, and tea or coffee. I needed more food! I ended up cooking an egg I had left from the night before.


I headed off on my own, walking along the beach and then a path that bordered a low cliff on the ocean. It was a long but easy walk. And a little misty which was nice.

About half way through the day, Kim caught up with me and we walked together the rest of the day. She told me that she had a strange and alarming encounter when she was leaving Zarautz. While she was walking, a man had grabbed her breast and continued walking. She was ok but a bit shocked. I was shocked too and scared but was glad that we had begun to walk together. I knew from the news that there were some strange things going on the Camino these days and I was constantly ready to defend myself with my pepper spray and walking stick. It sounds ridiculous and Kim and I both laughed about it, but I was glad I had it.

When we finally reached Deba, we were both pretty exhausted. Being only the third day of walking, we still had to get used to the long days. We arrived to the edge of the city and found Sylvan and Yuning sitting on some steps, just taking a break before entering the city. They look up at us and smiled, and Yuning yelled, “You guys made it!” We approached them and rested for a little while with them until we all continued to the center of the city together. To get to the center of Deba, the Camino arrows pointed us toward an elevator! It was so funny. We all documented Yuning running into the elevator.

I think this is when we really began to bond. Just maybe 10 minutes of walking together and there was an instant camaraderie. We were all giggling as we rode the elevator down and then found our way to the central plaza.

We had to check in at tourist information in order to get keys for the albergue. It didn’t open until 4 and it was around 3:40 so there was a large group of us (including Dorothy, Willam, Wi-Fi guy, Kim, Yuning, Sylvan, and a few others) waiting outside. When the office opened, we all entered and waited patiently. I didn’t have cash so Sylvan lent me the 10 euros it cost to stay at the albergue. Jaco was there too and when he went to check in, I noticed he was Spanish from his fluency when talking to the worker. Wanting to practice my Spanish, I asked, “¿De dónde eres?” We talked a little about where we are from, what we do, etc. When everyone was finally done checking in, Kim, Yuning, Sylvan, and I headed over to the albergue.

We arrived to the albergue that was built directly next to a railroad track, removed our shoes as a sign directed us to, and made our way up some stairs to an office/lobby area where an old man awaited us.

Once we were assigned our bunks, showered, and scrutinized our new blisters, we all decided to go grab some cañas in the town’s main plaza. We extended an invitation to anyone who wanted to go and ended up with Yuning, Kim, Sylvan, Jaco and myself. We all sat down and ordered something small to eat and a beer. While we were waiting for our food, I went to the market nearby to buy an avocado and some other things for the next day.

We shared stories (mostly Jaco did ;)) and Sylvan pulled out his little notebook where he would sketch something he saw that day and fill it in with water colors, along with a quote. This time, he drew a picture of Jaco smiling. We talked about politics and our interests. I remember noticing that day that we were all very open people. Kim had a quiet coolness and didn’t talk about herself much, Yuning- happy and always laughing, Sylvan- opinionated but kind, and Jaco- friendly and liked to talk a lot and really fast.

The albergue didn’t have Wi-Fi and I needed to contact my parents to let them know everything was going well. Jaco ended up going with me to find a bar with Wi-Fi. We found one and ordered two beers for good measure so I wouldn’t be leeching off of their Wi-Fi. I talked with my mom briefly and then Jaco and I talked about whether we believed in ghosts and the afterlife while finishing our beers. We talked mainly in Spanish and it was cool to be able to have a full conversation like that. Now we primarily speak to each other in English for some reason! I don’t get it!!

After that, we called it a night and headed back to the albergue where everyone was already asleep. I didn’t set an alarm for the next day, knowing the early risers would awake me. I wondered if our little group would stick together for the next days or if we would continue separately as we had before….


4 thoughts on “Camino del Norte Part III

  1. I’m really enjoying your post. Last year I walked a short portion of the Camino from San Pedro to San Sebastián. I will return May 2016 and begin walking from Irun for 10 days.


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