An epic morning. Starting with coffee and pain au choc, we headed out for a 'gentle' 12k which took a turn for the scenic when given the option between short and sharp coastal route or longer softer inland. Niall, Gary and I went coastal and it was a really glorious route along a fairly unused GR (European long distance) path. The coastline was spectacular - huge steep cliffs and fossil-strewn rocks. And incredibly tough walking, shuffling up massive inclines and then trying not to slide face first down the other side.
We were unable to fully explain the epicness of our morning to the others when we met up in a seaside bar in Deba at lunchtime. They just said 'yeah our route was pretty tough too'. Huh.
Anyway, the overall effect was that we reigned in our (massive over)expectations and booked into an albergue just 5km on (uphill). The local hunters had blacked over the majority of the arrows but we nonetheless made it to the albergue where Patrick - the most competitive member of our crew - had fortunately been sitting for a couple of hours.
Out of the rain showers, showered, and booked into a full-on pilgrim hostel with integral single-sex dorms (which the German man next to me seems immune to), 5 beers for 8 Euro and a sunny seat all is well for the evening.
Our plan is off course and I've no idea where we will find 6 beds for the next few nights, but it's a lovely spot and further proof that when you need it most, the camino provides.