Laredo to Castro Urdiales,

The way out of Laredo should have been easy, it was not. We could not find the steps we had come down when we first arrived and we ended up in a steep narrow country lane. There were arrows here though, so we continued to back follow them. Steep rugged and narrow, the roads were not maintained and almost impassable for vehicles. There were a  few abandoned houses and we could see why no one would want to live here, despite the views.

The GPS was now telling us we were going the wrong way, it was time to look at the mapping and make our own route. It was back on ourselves and also with the camino. Then we came across a T junction and again we were going against the arrows.

Then we came to the N263. This was the point where Pat had wanted to follow the camino, but instead had decided to follow us. We could now see this had been a wise decision. At the junction to Liendo the road was closed, I was not intending to go that way anyway. On our way down we had done 33k and now we had done the extra bit on the end, “stick to the road” I thought or this would be a marathon day.

At a roundabout we stopped for Viv to adjust her pack and a group of Italians arrived. They asked if we were lost, we told them we were headed back and they asked “Why” “Well we need to go home some time” I said. As they left we realised we were right by a bar, but it was closed. Just within sight was a garage, we had seen the Italians go toward it then turn away, but we tried anyway. They had coffee, kitkats and even a seat for us.

It was a long day short of stopping places, we left the N263 in Cerdigo, but the bar where we had met Patrick was closed so we just carried on. As we entered the outskirts of Castro Urdiales and passed the Bull Ring and albergue we also passed a line of shops. There was a kebab bar, no alcohol bur two cokes and a sit down for 2e. Shame I cannot persuade Viv to come back later to eat.

Surprisingly again we got a room in Hostal Del Mar and there was availability for tomorrow as well. The only free room was ours, luck was on our side.

There was no outside line and poor internet. I was now getting nervous about accommodation. So I rang a head to Playa de Arenas. There is only the one place to stay there so if it was full we would have to walk on almost to Bilbao. It was full for the whole weekend, the only room they could let us have would be tonight. So I took my option on another night here and considered my options.

We ate salad from Eroski (local supermarket) and had some beers in the bar across the street.

The following day was a beautiful hot day. It would have been totally unsuitable for walking so we just enjoyed it. We ate breakfast in the chino bar by our hostal, even staying for extra coffee. Lunch was a collection from the panaderia, this was the same chain that we had stopped at in Laredo, but with different things for sale. Interestingly we stopped here on our first time through for breakfast.

Seems like all of Spain was stretched out on the slipway here so after exploring the ruins, we joined them. Viv was first to brave the water, but unknown to her, the tide was right on the edge of the actual slipway. I watched her gingerly walking down to the waters edge then suddenly disappear into water.

I was not very brave, unsure of the bottom, so although I went in did not go far or stay in long.

If you want food at a reasonable time, it seems Burgerking is the way to go. Well first of all they had a sign on the door “No hay Ternera” so ok we will have chicken. They were advertising “Menu Barbacoa ” so I asked what it consisted of. It appears young girls with tattoos and piercings are incapable of answering a simple question. No doubt this is advertised on the local TV, but we are tourists after all. Anyway we got the menu but not the Barbacoa and we had two empty cups. No one told us that there was a drink dispenser by the door, I had to work that out by myself. I think we should have waited and gone to the chino instead. I did think of filling our cups with Ice to go, to cool our coffees for the morning, but decided against it.

We finished the evening in our favourite bar with some cañas of San Miguel Selecta.

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