From convent to monastery


Monday 13th July, Zumaia – Ondarroa (19km)

Left the Conventu de San José a little after the official departure time of 9:00 (Bev hadn’t had a good night’s sleep; maybe we’d had too much sleep during the day), had breakfast (croissant and coffee) at a bakery, did some banking and decided to take the “road cyclists'” route to, hopefully, avoid some of the steeper sections. A longish climb out of Zumaia on the N634 provided excellent views over the Bay of Biscay. Not much in the way of a shoulder on the road and more traffic than we liked. Stopped for lunch in Deba (salad, fish and flan :)


It was pretty warm after lunch. We continued to Motricu, up steeply and then down to the outskirts of Ondarroa where we stopped at a campsite for our first night under canvas (not literally canvas, of course) at Saturraran Camping. I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of cost for camping in Spain but, at 5€ each and 5€ for the tent, it was quite reasonable.



Tuesday 14th July, Ondarroa – Zenaruzza (21.5 km).

Without the need to leave by a specified time (usually 8:00 in the albergues), we had a lazy start (I’m the lazy one; Bev’s more of an early bird than I am) and it took a while to get sorted again, packing away sleeping bags (a slow process, squeezing them into the bags on my front forks) and tent. It was actually almost noon by the time we rode out of the campsite and dropped down into the town of Ondarroa.


Bev bought some fruit at a market and noticed a barber’s shop – more of a stylist’s salon, really – and mentioned it to me; I had been complaining about having too much hair under my helmet in the heat. So, not quite a head shave (number 3 setting – which didn’t mean much to me, but I do remember going for the smooth look in Bangkok and that was a 0 setting – I think 6 might have been a little more conservative and more appropriate for my return to work in early September) but close.

We ended the day with a stiff climb up to a monastery overlooking the surrounding countryside. They were full but kindly put a couple of mattresses on the floor for us. Dinner was provided, a large pot of soup containing just about everything (including Brussels sprouts!) shared between all the guests.



A fitting destination from my mum’s 83rd birthday: a beautiful monastery and I even attended a Catholic service (I’m not sure if it qualified as mass but it’s about 45 years since I last went to mass so I don’t really remember that much, although it had been a big part of my life up until that time).



Bev hanging out at a monastery

Bev hanging out at a monastery

Happy Birthday, Mum!