Donostia (San Sebastian)

Bordeaux to San Sebastian – about 143 miles

Feeling pretty good, having showered and bought some razors for a shave tomorrow. Not feeling so good about having to pay the princely sum of €9 for a microwaved frozen pizza. We’re in a campsite. Having decided that we wouldn’t find a spot to free camp anywhere near the city (or the coast, where we wanted to go for a swim and a scrub), and feeling exhausted by yesterday’s excursions we decided to bite the bullet and pay to camp.


Last night’s spot looked fairly idyllic and made for some great pictures, but the place was overrun with fucking mosquitoes so in the morning we packed up sharpish and left, due south, with a few dozen love bites to remind us of the downside of sleeping in nice cozy forests. We’d overindulged slightly with the wine to try to discourage the mozzies by raising our blood-alcohol level, so my route for the day was fairly drunkenly plotted and illegibly scrawled on a piece of paper. Despite that we managed to make it through Bayonne, Biarritz, St-Jean-de-Luz and across the border without incident.


The only change at the border was the speed limit, and a slight degree of irrationality by the Spanish drivers. Eventually we made it in to Donostia; a typically touristy, coastal affair, and one that we had no idea how to navigate. So parking the bikes up in a little bay on a side street we set off on foot to have a look around town, get our bearings, and maybe have a cheeky beer if the opportunity arose. The city has a few nice draws; not least the long main strip that runs through the town allowing you to sit and people watch over a beer. There’s also some decent sculpture by Eduardo Chillida that they are very proud of, and a congress centre by Moneo that at least acts as a landmark when you forget where you parked your bike. We were way too tired for any of that though, so we headed straight for the tourism office, which was much bigger and busier than you’d expect and we had to take a number ticket and wait to speak to someone.


An hour or so later and furnished with a map of nearby campsites and a fresh pack of cigarettes we sat down at a cafe to check our options. It was pretty clear that there was only one campsite anywhere near us, so we jumped back on the bikes and started winding our way up the hills that enclosed the city. Since the map showed the campsite as being just on the edge of town we thought about walking back in for dinner, but as we steadily climbed further and further up the mountain, with no sign of life, that idea began to dwindle.



Eventually we found it. Remote and Elevated. It wasn’t as expensive as I’d worried it would be though and we justified parting with our €20 odd for the sake of shower facilities and wi-fi.


Pipa had a dragonfly for dinner ;)


After a quick wander on foot (and slurping from a bottle of wine) to check out a few restaurants we had passed on the drive up, and finding them all closed, we had a pizza and a few beers in the local canteen. After a game of Spite & Malice and another beer we settled in to the tent, making use of the free wi-fi to let everyone know we were still alive.


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