Day 69 – Lasarte-Oria to Ermua

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Neither places in the top ten of “must see”Spanish places, right? Right.

I got up at 6:00am, showered and packed by 7:00am.  It’s going to be hot – 37C or more, and humid as it can get. So – skip breakfast – rubbish anyway – and hit the road.

First problem. I’m in Basque country. Alphabet, language – they change. My map shows Anglicised place names – the signs at roundabouts and junctions don’t. I’m looking for the N–635, and it doesn’t get a mention anywhere. Nor do the towns that are on my route – Usurbil, Aginaga – I’m lost.

I looped  around the town a couple of times

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and was reduced to asking random passersby if they speak English, and can help me.

A middle-aged female school teacher could, and did. She pointed me West.

An hour and a half spent just trying to get out-of-town; such is life. Now I’m a reasonably smart guy – can read a map, can follow directions, and have a decent grasp of where North is, etcetera so it’s not my fault here. whoever is in charge of road signage should hang their heads in shame’ they get paid to do a decent job, but have fucked it up totally.

The first mention of the N-635 i about 8 km out of Lasarte. If you’re here – head for the river, and follow the red cycle path. It’ll get you started.

There is a motorway that connects San Iago in the West, via Santander, Bilbao and San Sebastian, to Bordeaux. I’d assumed that  most traffic would follow this – but sadly, the N-635 has become a cult ocean road, and gets more traffic than it should. Trucks and such are not a worry – but there are lots of campervans, and they don’t seem to know the 1.5 metre rule, or just have not driven a large vehicle before – some scary moments.

And a couple of massive climbs. In 37C heat. I drank two full camelbacks – about 5 litres – plus a litre of OJ, plus a beer at the bar I stopped at for lunch, in Deba – tuna and chili roll, plus an omelette. Here’s a shot of the beach 🙂

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Deba to Ermua, where I’m staying, is basically a long uphill grind. In full sun. With no respite. I walked the last uphill stretch, and it wasn’t that steep – but I was out of water, and out of legs.

The hotel is OK, but my room has a huge skylight – and no way of covering it – I’ll be awake at dawn. Ermua is a crappy little town – even wiki struggles to say anything positive about it. It’s split by the N-635, the old highway, which is really busy to the point where pedestrian crossings are on traffic lights, there’s a railway to the North, and  the motorway to the South. It’s grimy and dirty. Hopefully Bilbao will be better.

I’m not cross, or whatever – just very tired. I had to draw on deep reserves today. It was a struggle – but hey!! the reserves were there when needed.

See you down the road.

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