Posted by: hlm227 | August 28, 2008

Crossing into the Basque region!

It was still rainy in the morning and I didn’t want to pack up my tent all wet, but by around noon I couldn’t stand waiting around anymore and I just decided to ride. I was not too happy about the rain, though

rain

by the time I got going, it was not so bad.

road.
I am really glad I brought this raincoat, even though I never used it in the beginning and thought it was just extra weight, when you need it, you really need it.

This was a cool church in Castro Urdells

church

The coastline was really beautiful and quite challenging.
coast

I rode up two 10% grade hills.
hill

I knew that this was one of my last days of riding, so there was no way I was going to get off and walk!

tired

People had told me that the language in the Basque region is totally different than Castillian Spanish, but of course I had to see it for myself to believe it.

language

Immediately after crossing into the Euskadi region, the language on the signs was completely different. I’m glad that most of them had little pictures, because otherwise, there was no way I could decipher the Basque language.

confused

I ended in Bilbao, where I was told at the tourist office that there was no camping in the city, and the closest one was a 30 minute drive away. This came as a big surprise, because I had never had trouble finding camping before, and a 30 minute drive could be a 3 hour ride. The woman directed me to the youth hostel, and I begrudgingly went.
Well, the youth hostel was completely booked for Aste Nagusia (‘big week’ in Basque), the festival that takes place every year in late August.
It was only about 5pm, and I was tired, but knew I could ride to the campground since that was my only option other than an expensive hotel. When the woman at the hostel told me that the Bilbao subway went all the way out there, I decided to take it.
The public transportation in Bilbao turned out to be really extensive and cheap.

sopelana

I stayed at the campground in Sopelana.
distance 54.37
time 3:54:35
avg spd 13.9 (HILLS!!!)
max spd 50.79

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