On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

January 11, 2014 — 9 Comments

If you’re walking through the Basque city of Irún, you may notice a more modern look compared with many other Spanish cities of similar size. Ancient sites are scarce and not much seems to date earlier than the mid-20th century. Why is that?

During the early days of the Spanish Civil War, Irún was important due to its location on the border with France. Weapons destined for Republican strongholds, especially in the Basque region, would enter from France, by road or carried along trails through the hills. To stop this flow of weapons, General Francisco Franco’s Nationalist Army planned to take over the city in what would be later known as The Battle of Irún. On August 11, 1936, the Nationalist Army began a bombardment of the city, first from sea, and soon after, by air and ground. Although the Republican Army outnumbered the Nationalist Army, they couldn’t come close to the firepower. Added to that, the French had closed the border on September 8, causing a shortage of weapons and ammunition.

The battle lasted until September 5 when the remaining Republican Army retreated while burning any remaining building that they thought would aid the Nationalist Army. This destruction of a Basque city by Franco was by no means an isolated incident. If you’re walking the Camino del Norte, you will soon arrive at another important and rather sad reminder of the complete destruction of what I understand was a beautiful Spanish city. This is Guernica, a few days of walking from here.

I left my last post, Starting the Camino Del Norte, Hendaye to the Irún Albergue, at the albergue, located two to three blocks off the main road that the Camino follows in Irún. Now, let’s walk back up to the Fuenterrabia Kalea and continue our journey.

Alberque 4 Irun Spain Camino del Norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe


Eventually, the city leads to a bit of urban sprawl, but soon, the Camino travels through some pleasant parkland. The Camino is well marked in the Basque Autonomous Community and there would only be a few times when I thought the route was unclear.

irun basque country Euskadi spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

I had a dark and rainy start to my Camino del Norte. Please keep your eyes on the hill in front. We’ll be climbing it very soon.

irun basque country Euskadi 2 spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

 I believe this is the Canal Amuteko.

irun basque country Euskadi 3 spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

A typical rural Basque home. Our immediate goal is the church on top of the hill.

irun basque country Euskadi 4 spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

 Turn right here.

irun guadalupe basque country Euskadi 5 spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

An enjoyable walk through parkland that is home to many bird species.

irun guadalupe basque country Euskadi 6 spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

 

irun guadalupe basque country Euskadi 7 spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

 One of the quiet hamlets as we continue to climb the hill.

irun guadalupe basque country Euskadi 8 spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

 

irun guadalupe basque country Euskadi 9 spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

 The track varied from paved rural roads to…

irun guadalupe basque country Euskadi 10 spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

 dirt and gravel paths through forest and alongside farmland.

irun guadalupe basque country Euskadi 11 spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

Getting closer…

guadalupe basque country Euskadi 12 spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

 

guadalupe basque country Euskadi 13 spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

After a good climb to start the day, we made it to the Santuario de Guadalupe.

church guadalupe basque country Euskadi spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

 

guadalupe basque church Euskadi spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

  Looking back from where we came from.

view guadalupe basque country Euskadi spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

 

A great place for a morning break. Get some rest here, because there is still a long, strenuous walk ahead to San Sebastian.

guadalupe church basque country Euskadi spain camino del norte On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

I hope you enjoyed this post as I honestly was tired from the morning climb. On my next post, we will continue through the hills from Guadalupe before visiting the two very scenic seaside villages of Pasajes de San Juan and Pasajes de San Pedro. Thanks for your time.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads and Amazon pages have reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.




 On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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9 responses to On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Irún Albergue to Guadalupe

  1. Your first post for 2014 is awesome!….It’s your first one, right? Anyway, I love visiting your nifty site. because there’s so much to see and read.. Thanks Randall, may your 2014 be as vibrant as the seven colours of the rainbow and warm winds of heaven blow softly upon your house.
    Cheers, mon ami! :)

  2. This is an awesome blog & great read Randall! So envious of you. Are you on the road full time now? Miss you at the gym but what you are doing is far more interesting & just as physically demanding or at the very least maintaining your fitness level. Can’t wait to read more… Karen from Spinning

    • Hi Karen. Glad you stopped by. No, I’m in Vancouver still. Need to pay to go out on the road somewhere. Right now I could use month of spinning. Miss Poco FW and all of you there :)

  3. Randall,
    The blog is truly amazing. I am currently planning to walk the Camino del Norte in May, with my wife. We are intending to cover the distance over about 40-44 days, depending on how we feel. A question about the Albergues- is there a list of such that you know of that gives an indication of cost and number of beds available and also distances.
    Cheers
    Peter

    • Peter, there is a list that was available when I walked. I didn’t see it in Irun but there was one in San Sebastian. That may be different now. It didn’t have all the alberques when I walked and at one unfortunate point, the alberque was closed. My main advice when walking the del Norte is to always have enough money for hotels. All the best and Buen Camino :)

  4. Thanks Randall

    Keep posting on your blog. I really enjoy what you have written.

    You may like to visit my website http://www.elbrando.net which I will be posting our walk on, along with photos.

    Cheers
    Peter

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