When I think about the Camino del Norte, the stretch between Deba and Markina-Xemein always comes to mind. This wasn’t the Camino Francés that was relatively tame for days after the initial climb through the Pyrenees. Between the two towns is over 25 kilometers of steep climbing, 3 altos, and numerous ups and downs. There were few facilities, and after misjudging my water needs, I found myself lacking in the afternoon. After walking 42 kilometers the previous day, my out-of-shape body was really tired, and my energy waned. And while the previous day was warm, this day was downright hot!
The stretch is very peaceful and pleasant through forest and farmland, and has some beautiful views early on. Please don’t take it lightly though, as it will feel like 35 kilometers for many pilgrims. Carry enough water and energy food, and take it slowly if needed on the climb from Deba. Fill your water at Olaz and carry extra. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to stay the night at the albergue west of the Ermita del Calvario.
I left my last post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Itziar to Deba, at the municipal albergue after a long day. I started a little late and stepped out to this fine view over the town of Deba (formally Deva). Tourism and sevice industries along with more traditional ones such as fishing and farming are important to the town’s economy. The municipality of Deba has 130 hamlets scattered and we’ll visit a few of them along the Camino del Norte.
I am a bit of a purist on the Camino and tried to walk as much of the original route as possible. However, the elevator intrigued me and since the arrows pointed to the entrance, I thought it would be okay. Plus I didn’t know of any other way of getting down the hill.
Time for a little ride…
I didn’t realize how tall the elevator was until I looked back.
I had a quick visit to the town center for food and a look at the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. The church was locked but I understand it’s well-worth seeing inside. I continued on this scenic walk alongside the Deba River.
The Camino climbs steeply once we leave the road.
I’m not sure what this method of bailing hay is but I thought it was interesting.
Some of the paths were rough!
Only 1.8 kilometers? Still a long walk ahead!
A good climb rewards us with beautiful views as we get closer to the coastal town of Mutriku.
The track on this day was mostly dirt trails and roads such as this one.
Another climb to…
the Ermita del Calvario which has scenic views of the sea and countryside. The church serves the direct small farming community but didn’t look that old.
We’ll get no closer to Mutriku and have one of the last looks of the Cantabrian Sea for many days!
We’ll stop at this cross beside the road for a moment.
I’ll leave my post near the Ermita del Calvario de Maia with Olatz still four kilometers away. Please join me on my next post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Ermita del Calvario to Olatz, as I visited friendly donkeys but struggled, and slowed considerably in the heat of the afternoon.
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