Those lines really do look flat on the map! We continue to learn the same lessons but with even less forgiving terrain when you get it wrong. Those nice little back roads do nothing but climb up to mountains that need not be climbed in the first place. This morning we began climbing out of San Sebastián immediately, and when we turned off onto our chosen smaller road I was reassured to see a jogger also choosing the same road. It just couldn’t be that steep, I thought, before we lost the mountain running superstar as he passed us and disappeared into the clouds. Instead of making any contours our little nightmare kept climbing and climbing. A local woman stopped her car to tell us to go down to the National road which was much easier and not busy. She had probably never seen cyclists on her mountain road before. “N” roads were Marg’s favourites in France and they are my necessity in Spain, at least in this area.
With our first challenging 9 kms completed, the rest of the day went well, with stunning seaside towns and beautiful mountain forests. If the weather holds out we will continue on the Camino del Norte until Santiago de Compostela, but I keep my plan B train schedules (south to the main Camino route) just in case.