Camino del Norte – Day 2 – San Sebastián to Orio, 16km

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9th September, 2019

  • Day 2: San Sebastián to Orio
  • Distance: 16km
  • Weather: Sunny and warm
  • Accommodation: Albergue de Peregrinos San Martín, €12

I’m joking about setting an alarm last night, I’m not in any hurry today as I’m heading to an albergue recommended by a friend and it’s only 16km away. Usually I would scoff at this distance as being too short (for me), but as I want to ease into this Camino, I’m happy for the recommendation. Anyway, regardless of wanting a lazy morning, it’s 6am and someone’s alarm is going off… (It’s too soon to be sure, but maybe this Camino is trying to teach me patience and acceptance). The men are up and repacking and I’m trying to push my earplugs in deeper than they should go. Hang on, didn’t they pack last night when they came in at 1am?

Finally they leave and I go back to sleep. This is very ‘un-camino,’ sleeping late on only day two, but this albergue is also very ‘un-camino’ with four person rooms and private bathrooms.

I leave just before 10am and being a Sunday, the post office isn’t open to send back the 1kg tripod I foolishly brought and already want to get rid of! I walk backwards a few blocks to find a cafe for breakfast; coffee and a slice of tortilla, then a croissant, because who knows where the next cafe is? I then pass a supermarket and decide to buy some supplies for lunch; a baguette and a pack of jamon. Usually I would also buy a whopping chunk of manchego cheese (my favourite), but I’m trying to be kind to my lactose-intolerant body and stay clear of dairy. This takes considerably more self-control than I’m used to.

Yesterday, entering San Sebastián I had to descend a big hill. Now I’m climbing an even bigger and tremendously steep hill to leave and I can barely catch my breath within minutes of following the arrows. DSCF6643

Basque countryside and the Bay of Biscay


Hello goat


Rocky paths

The trail is stunning with forest and beautiful sea views, but it’s a lot rockier than I was expecting.


More rocky paths


A sailing boat in the Bay of Biscay


Following the arrows


Even more rocky paths


A jamon baguette for lunch

Continuing on my ‘I’m not in a hurry’ theme, I sit on the above bench and eat half of the baguette and jamon for lunch. At least ten pilgrims pass by.


I’m loving this trail


Follow the yellow brick road


Ermita de San Martín

I arrive at the recommended albergue (San Martín in Orio), grateful to have reserved by phone last night as it’s full and only accepting pilgrims with reservations. As much as I would like to go with the flow and not book accommodation, I think I’m going to have to for the first few days until pilgrims spread out a little. I check in and enquire about the communal dinner I’ve heard so much about but they no longer offer this (maybe it’s a summer only service?). It’s a beautiful albergue with gorgeous views and a lovely big lawn to have an afternoon nap on (although I don’t feel deserving of this!)


Albergue de Peregrinos de San Martín


Albergue de Peregrinos de San Martín


The view from the kitchen cabin at Albergue de San Martín

Around 6pm, I head down the hill into Orio to see the sights and find some dinner. This is way too early for dinner by Spanish standards and no restaurants are open. Instead, I settle for a slice of tortilla in a bar. It’s day two and I’ve already had 5 slices of tortilla.


The old streets of Orio

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