The morning walk across the beach is a joy. A complete absence of people except for the guys cleaning the beach. It’s peaceful and fresh until we get to Pobeña. It is only just over a kilometre away but then we have to climb those steps. It does not say in the guide-book, but I think I counted over 120 of them. From here on though it is level for 6k as we are walking on an old railway casement. I notice that the old ship loading station is now signed as a castle and we are routed upwards away from it, I wonder why and make a note to check on our return.
We go through a deep cutting where we are warned of falling rocks, although it looks ok to me. Then a tunnel where we are protected at each end by a further tunnel of wood, from more rocks. We leave the railway and dodge under a large road and take a steep footpath down to Onton. After this we climb again out of the village and spot a garage on the Road. I thought we would miss this but we loop right around and come out at a roundabout right net to the garage.
I remember this now, from two years ago. Inside they have a coffee machine, only a domestic one and they have no potable water and so bottled water is used, but for only one euro each we finally have coffee. After another two or three k we come across a hotel on the hilltop. We stop for a proper coffee and a well-earned rest in a place called Saltacaballos.
The beauty of repeating some parts is that we know just where to stay and Castro Urdiales did not disappoint Hostal La Mar was as comfortable as last time and we did not have to search. Here already we start to run into the usual problems, no food until eight. We managed to find one bar open at seven-thirty but then the football was on at eight. Life ain’t easy for pilgrims even if you do stay in hostals.
There was little point in doing all the pilgrim stuff as we have already visited the church here. So we just relaxed with a beer and enjoyed the view and the antics of the boaters. As I watch them I can’t help thinking “been there done that” now definitely a landlubber.