It's hard to believe I've been on the road now for three months. It certainly doesn't feel like it's been that long. I'll wait until I reach Santiago before posting some reflections about the journey.

The paths I've traveled over the past three days have been slower to walk than what I'm used to because of the nature of the terrain: lots of climbing and descending. Today provided some spectacular views looking from high points across valleys to the mountains in the distance. Compared with the Camino Frances there are very few pilgrims walking this northern way. I've not seen any more than about forty different pigrims. I'm just getting to know a few of them. I think it's difficult to find a 'bad' person walking these paths. Maybe it's not for them.

On the outskirts of Zarautz this morning I was faced with a choice of two ways to go. I chose to go around the base of the mountain instead of over the top. It was a very pleasant walk to Getaria along a pathway dedicated to walkers, with an onshore breeze providing a little cooling air as the sun began to take it's place in the sky. A lot of work has gone into this walkway with it's paving and stainless steel rails all the way between then two villages, a distance of a little more than six kilometres. There were a good number of joggers and walkers out today.

I had a food break at Zamaia at a park table near where a lot of Pervians had set up stalls selling the usual array of clothes and children's toys. Business was slow. In the hour I spent eating the stall in front of me did not make a single sale. Despite then difficulties of this type of commerce, some people just have to be traders and not employed by someone else.

Further along an enterprising farmer had left bottles of his home made cider in a tub of water with a sign stating the price per bottle. When I got to the cider a couple of pilgrims, Danny from Ireland and Oliver from Norway, were there enjoying the view and some cider. Oliver offered me some of his. I smelt the alcohol in it and
declined.

I hear some fascinating stories. In Irun I saw a man and a woman on the street as I was looking for the albergue. They looked like pilgrims so I asked for directions and was told the way. I saw them tonight for the first time since Irun having the pilgrim's dinner at the same restaurant I was intending to eat at. They're a French couple who have been walking for about a month before getting to Irun. They told me of their experience last year while on a part of this same walk when a dog followed them for two days. Their response was to stop their walk, go home, get
their car, come back to Spain, collect the dog and take it home. They still have it. It's name is 'Camino'.

I'm finding that on this northern Camino that there are more who have walked other Caminos. The tendency is to do one of the other walks first and then do the northern way. Also, I've seen more men than women on the northern way which is in contrast with my experience on the Czmino Frances where the numbers favour the women.

I've had a very relaxing afternoon in Deba walking the streets while eating stone fruit
which is in season. The peaches are a delight. I've also had some chat time with other pilgrims at one of the outside cafe/bars. I spent tonight writing up my notes while eating dinner. It's a quieter time and ideal for that task.

Deba is a seaside town with very steep streets leading down to the commercial/retail area, which is its heart. The public have been helped with the installation of escalators and lifts to take them to upper street levels. The two lifts elevate you about the same height as a twelve story building.

Tomorrow we have a 500 metre hill to climb. The day is expected to be a hot one. Here's hoping.

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