Sat Oct 1. Zarautz to Arriola (between Itziar and Deba). 8 hours 40 mins.
Weather forecast is for dry days for the next several days. As a precaution, we had brought our rain gear as we were caught unprepared once in Camino Frances. Fortunately the forecasts were correct and it was a dry and sunny day!
Walking out of Zarautz was along a walkway that skirted the ocean. It wasn’t a promenade like San Sebastian’s but nevertheless it was very popular on a Saturday. We saw 20 or more cycling groups, some large groups numbered in the high teens. Some joggers and walkers too, but they were outnumbered by the cyclists!
What we loved was that the City had provided water taps at various intervals along the walkway. In addition there was a modern restroom facility about a kilometer outside the city! Amazing consideration for those out for a walk, run or cycle.
Most pilgrims will find their walking legs by the third day. They also find their rhythm and pace, be it fast with rest stops, or slow without rest stops unless needed. On this Camino, we are drinking water with electrolytes. That seems to have a huge impact on our ability to walk for long stretches.
Adapting to a Camino rhythm settles in sooner or later, due to the daily routine of checking into a new lodging every night (excluding rest nights), and walking most of the day. Thus, the rhythm involves packing/un-packing, deciding on one’s breakfast routine, washing & drying of clothes, reflecting and/or journaling the day’s experiences.
Re breakfast, we opt to get out own breakfast the day before. We typically settle for some yogurt (protein), pastries/muffins (carbs) & juices. A self prepared breakfast doesn’t tie us down to the eatery’s opening hours and hindering an early start for us. But if it’s a short day, we would want to indulge in a breakfast at an eatery. We typically don’t walk well with a full stomach, as it acts as a mini-anchor! Our lunches on the go could be protein bars, nuts, trail mix, fruits, or a simple coffee and tortilla.
Walking daily for many hours seems to create a Zen mind. Issues, irritants, ‘problems’ roll off one like water off a duck’s back.
Thus, when a blister was starting to appear last night due to the wet shoes from Days 1 & 2, I didn’t fuss over it. Walked as usual, though I liberally applied more lubricant on the soles. The blister did not get worse. The Camino Provides once again.
As the mind gets de-cluttered with worldly concerns (that for the most part we are unable to change or impact), and filled with the beauty of Nature (aka God’s creation), the mind becomes more receptive to spiritual insights.
As I was absorbing all the beauty around me, my thoughts turned to the Seven Wonders of the World. Like most, I have desired to visit or see in person some of these wonders. They are not on my bucket list per se, but if an opportunity presents itself, I will likely make an effort.
A question arose within me, unbidden. ‘What is the Greatest Wonder of the World?’
It came to me unbidden – God’s Spirit dwelling within me is the greatest wonder for me, a Christian.
We opted to stay at a ‘rural casa’ which was 1km outside Deba town center. It was the Pension Tixki Polit. We had the best dinner since we started the Camino proper. Fortunately, there was a direct route to Deba from the Pension which saved us backtracking to the Camino route.