Getting lost in the hills

The sun rises on day 4 on the road to Getania.

The sun rises on day 4 on the road to Getania.

Only a short walk today – a little over 20kms – but we are prepared for some steep climbs and for the going to be a little slow. Thankfully the dreaded blisters have been kept at bay. I’ve a new but worn in pair of lightweight boots and I always wear a thin icebreaker sock under the heavier oversock. So far so good. My back is also holding up and it is with a spring in the step that we take the promenade road around the bay into Getania just as the sun rises on a lovely day.


We take the opportunity to have a second breakfast of a delicious local almond flavoured pastry and the obligatory cafe con leche.  Fortified, we start the long ascent to Zumai and then to Itiziar.



Mike is fast on the hills and is soon out of sight. I compare myself to an old banger whose engine rings are shot to pieces. As soon as I hit a hill my pace becomes very measured. Unfortunately I miss a yellow arrow into the old village of Itiziar as I am concerned by a little stretch of road walking and spend more energy looking out for lorries and cars than the direction arrows. I walk on a couple of kilometres before realising my error and turning back.

miles of vines

miles of vines

The only consolation is some lovely views back along the valley we have walked up from. Mike has waited patiently in the old village and we are soon climbing again through a rich, verdant countryside covered in vines and livestock, including lots of goats.






We have to look for accommodation in Deba and find a small hotel on the seafront with comfortable rooms. We can enjoy a beer and sunset on the balcony over- looking the beach   before heading into town and a restaurant that has been recommended by the girl at the desk.


I take the opportunity to enjoy the first of many octopus dishes I will enjoy along the Way. The region is famous for the quality of the dish and it will get better as we approach Santiago. The accompanying salad and the rich local red wine caps off another wonderful day’s walking and my poor direction finding of earlier is soon forgotten.

The strangest thing awakes me later in the middle of the night. A scrabbling and scuttling sound drives me from my slumbers and I discover Mike has left the comfort of bed to ‘try out’ his inflatable mattress and sleeping bag and bug sheet. He has set himself up in the corner on the floor and is noisily getting comfortable. I suppose stranger things will happen.