Four martini rossos plus earplugs provided a surprisingly good night's sleep and the back pain is almost entirely gone. Entirely proving my physio's point that sitting is the enemy, not overuse.
We set out from San Sebastián on a terrible weather forecast but actually had a couple of dry hours before the first shower and while the showers were heavy when they arrived, it was generally warm and sometimes even sunny in between.
The terrain was very mixed, rural farms plus bits of forest and endless hills... I got to the point that even downhill was not good (and normally I love downhill and can't understand why people complain about having gravity working with you...).
The only major barrier, apart from altitude came in the form of an extremely well-horned cow who was blocking the narrow footpath at one point. Having had the misfortune to watch a young matador getting somewhat gored on TV two nights ago we all edged past her rather warily as she waved her horns around in a mostly-friendly manner.
Coffee and bacon sandwiches arrived mid morning in the busy fishing and boat building town of Orio. We met a young German guy who having walked from Bordeaux, had just decided it was too slow so had swapped his full backpack for a tiny running bag and was now going to run the rest of the way to Santiago. Zeez crazee Germans..
The rest of the day was split into hour-long stretches between villages and small towns, my perfect walking to refreshment ratio. Zarautz was a fairly big town set along a spectacular beach with huge messy waves rolling in. We managed to miss the signposting up over the hill out of town, so instead had a lovely hour along the waterfront as increasingly huge waves crashed in and fishing boats struggled to make headway against them. In Getaria I recognised that I had been there before, again on the Laurie trip when I randomly parked up for a lunch stop and got caught up in some kind of village festival. In Askizu we took one last stop with only a few k to go but as a result got caught in a blinder of a shower as we came down over the last headland.
In Zumaia, the official albergue isn't yet open for the season and the private albergue recently closed. Luckily we found this out while patronising an old man's bar, whose friendly owner then called the lady who owns the rooms above. As chief negotiator I was able to secure a blessed single room for myself for 20E, and enough combinations of beds to fit the whole crew. Happy days.