Friday, June 20, 2014

Circle Tour 2014--Day 10

Day 10, June 20To San Sebastián

This is the day we cross over into Spain and for some of us when we come to that border area we become very nostalgic. On the Spanish side of the Bidasoa river which separates the two nations is Hondarribia, the quaint town we love for its own unique charm but mostly because our friends live there—Amaia's family and a growing number of acquaintances.

Onyarbi—this post from 2010 will make you laugh as you read about the adventures Laurie and I had on our first visit. This next one—Finding Waldo-- gives a few more glimpses and you can also see what comes next on the route to our weekend headquarters in San Sebastian. On the way out some routes take you by this chapel—La ermita.

Hopefully we will be able to pause, reminisce, and perhaps even see a few known faces.

Actually last year, we did go up to the medieval center, and stopped to delight in the surroundings, the views, and the people. One of our friends, Gonzalo the radiologist, surprised our cyclists by meeting up with them and leading them to one of his favorite places, a ridge on the way out called Jaizkibel. Some of that day is pictured here--on to San Sebastian. And the next day here-- in San Sebastian.

If you are up to it, you could also go to The Hospital and see where Alberto and Gonzalo work.
As I re-read the post I question whether you caught that they do not need more advanced heart health facilities and procedures due to a healthier life-style—Mediterranean diet and exercise, a lot of walking!

Edurne, Amaia's mother, is also a doctor, a general practitioner—Zorionak, Edurne!

What will the final weekend be like? Who will we meet? Any last minute shopping (if you need to or enjoy that sort of thing)? Will it look anything like The last day in Donosti last year?
One difference is that we will already have met with our friends in Hondarribia the weekend before. I am grateful because I remember how spent I was by that time and even sick.

Thank you for following along. See you soon! ¡Hasta pronto!

P.S.: The above post, meant to give you an idea what we might be seeing and experiencing, has more live links than usual. Now I will try to tell you what our Friday, the last biking day, was like.

The cyclists were concerned about the amount of traffic they would encounter on that coastal route, but they found a two-lane bicycle path through the city. Even after a stop at yet another old church, where the organist happened to be practicing beautiful music, they arrived before us in Hondarribia.

Those of us in the van took a longer route stopping in Senpere by a beautiful lake. It is where every May tens of thousands come from all over the Basque Country to a festival called Herri Hurrats
to celebrate, promote the Basque language, and help out the schools where it is taught.


To walk/jog around the lake it took me 30 minutes.

We wound our way through a very Basque region on a narrow road, surrounded by forests, negotiating unending hair pin curves, and finally arrived in Hondarribia. Laurie and I hurried to find Edurne's clinic because we knew she'd be leaving work at 3:00 pm. We got there maybe a minute after. She had left. When we called her she was home already, but turned right around and came to meet us. We walked up to the old fort and met up with the rest of our team! The riders took off right away so they could meet up with Gonzalo who again led them to Jaizkibel. This time, however, they all made it up to the hightest point, quite a climb from la Ermita.

The van beat the cyclists to our weekend home base, Olarain. I had to smile when I opened the curtain in our new room.


When the cyclists finally arrived there was still a lot to do to prepare the rental bikes for shipping.


The beautiful weather 'accompanied us' (the Spanish expression) both weeks. The rain finally let loose last evening while we were having dinner nearby. I finally got to use my new umbrella, considered essential equipment every time you go out in the Basque Country.

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