Unfinished business on the Camino del NorteI’m feeling a bit like Sisyphus. After finishing the Via de La Plata, we took a 12 hour bus ride to Irún so that we could once again make our way to Santiago. We clearly need help.
We struggled trying to decide which Camino route to do next. There are pros and cons to every route, of course. We were almost committed to the Camino Madrid before I lost all but seven gears on my bike, and I was concerned about the unpaved rocky sections of rough track. We both felt that we still had some unfinished business on the Camino del Norte. We cycled the Norte in 2015, but our time was limited and at cycling distances, on the highways, it never felt like we did the Camino. This time, we will take our time to enjoy this challenging but extremely stunning landscape.
We are in Basque Country, where the mountains are steep, the food is fantastic and there seems to be a fiesta in every town. Yesterday students in one town were drumming and singing to celebrate the anniversary of the killing of the last whale by the whalers of the town, in 1901. Long memories for the kill.
I’ve been struggling on our first two day to find my rhythm on this route. I do have some lingering COVID after-effects that make climbing hills in this landscape even more challenging. I am taking my time and resting a lot. If I can make it to Bilbao, I know the topography starts to relax into a flatter ride. My Grandma Friday and I slowly wind up the hills as cyclist wiz by with their Basque greeting “Aupa”.