San Mamés Stadium, home to Athletic Club Bilbao. It is an all seater ground with a capaicity of 39,750.
It is built rather like an English Premier League ground, with the crowd being very close to the pitch. Easy to get into and the locals are as frindly as they come.
The team colours of red and white stripes also come from England, Southampton to be exact.
The team roots come from English ex-pat shipyard workers and Basque students.
The Basque Country has his own sports. Some of them are also played in other places of the world. I´m going to quote them, and then I´ll explain them individually.
* Harrijasotzaileak: Stone lifters.
* Haizkolariak: Woodcutters.
* Cesta Punta a.k.a Jai Alai: ''Fronton'' play with a basquet.
* Eskupilota: ''Fronton'' play with the hand.
* Txinga Erute: Resistance play bringing weigth.
* Idi Probak: A resistance game with bulls. The bulls drag a huge stone.
* Gizon Probak: A resistance game. A man drags a huge stone.
* Soka Tira: Two teams pull in a rope.
* Estropadak: Ship races.
* Segalariak: Grass cutting.
It´s very tipical to bet big amounts of money in them, it´s part of the sport culture.
It is a ship race. This sport was born when basque people used to fish wales,
cods or sardines. It was important to arrive to the place before than the other
fishermen if you wanted to fish more and better fishes.
-There are several ship kinds:
* Trainerak: 12 rowers and the skipper.
* Trainerillak: 6 rowers and the skipper.
* Batela: 4 rowers and the skipper.
-The covered distances depends on the modality:
* Trainerak: 3 sea-miles.
* Trainerillak: 3000 metres.
* Batelak: 2000 metres.
The last wale of the Cantabric sea was caught in 14/May/1901 by a group
of fishermen from Orio, Gipuzkoa(Basque Country).
Another wonderful days walking, an undulating day on a mixture of minor roads and good paths, passing through several small villages with ample opportunities of snacks and coffees to keep you going. Make sure that you take time to visit the Monastery at Cenaruzza / Zenaruzza (There is also a Refugio within) as the route goes right past the door and it is simply Beautiful
The day starts off with a pleasant walk along the promenade at Zarauz before a very stiff pull up to The Alto de Meagas, the drops back to sea level at Zumaya before climbing again on minor roads and good paths passing through Elloriaga and Iciar before dropping Steeply (So steeply that at one point you have the option of using a lift !) into Deva
Our last days walking was a short but pleasant day, All on minor roads apart from the last 1k along the beach into Somo. Then a nice ferry ride across to Santander to end this, Our first section of The Camino Norte
During our day off in Noja we had taken the opportunity to have a good scout around and find the route out of town, Initially there are very few signs so great care is needed, but once on the route and out of town it is relatively easy to follow. Care should be again taken when going through Bareyo as there are lots of little roads and it can be very confusing.
The route is mainly on minor roads but with some footpaths, Slightly undulating and passing through some more beautiful countryside with several small villages and hamlets which made for an excellent days walking.
As Noja was such a beautiful seaside town and as we had had a bit of a Grueler of a day the day before we decided to award ourselves a day of and a “Beach day”
We had found ourselves a nice hotel with a room that overlooked the beach, the sun was shining, it was warm so it turned out to be an Excellent idea :-)
This was the worst day of the entire Camino as far as route markings went, we set off well as we had made enquiries ate the Tourist Office the day before, so knew where the ferry to Santona left from. As we had chosen to stay in the old town of Laredo, to get to the ferry we had a pleasant 3k walk along the promenade to start our day, then a equally pleasant ferry crossing to Santona, but arriving there found no onward signing, this might have been obscured as there was a festival taking place, so we headed off through the town and eventually found road signs for Berria and followed those but still no Camino signs appeared, so we ended up following the road all day (on the cyclists route) and eventually saw a road sign for Noja and followed that !!
With hindsight, we could have left Santona by walking through a nature reserve, then we probably should have then gone into Berria and made our way along the coast from there to Noja – Had we done this we would have cut more than 5k off the days walk and possibly avoided a lot of the road walking too. Also the following day we had to re-cover the same ground, all be it on a slightly different route.
Our original intention was only to walk as far as Llendo where there was meant to be accommodation available, however when we got there we found that this wasn’t the case so had little option to continue on to Laredo.
Never-the-less it was a nice days walking, mainly on minor roads but with some footpaths and forest tracks too, Slightly undulating and passing through some beautiful countryside with several small villages and hamlets which made for an interesting days walking.
This was Marianne’s First ever Camino, So I had decided to make her first days walking as easy as possible for her so to “Break Her In” Gently ;-)
Never-the-less it was a very nice day, slightly undulating on minor roads and good paths which sometimes followed the coast and sometimes headed slightly inland passing through the villages of Campijo, Allendelagua and Cerdigo before arriving at Islares
As we had done a “Double-Day” the day before and as Marianne had just joined me and also it was Stevies last day we decided to take the day off and explore Castro Urdales. This turned out to be an excellent day with Lots to do, One of the highlights being visiting The Gothic Church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion (Built in 1208) which overlooks the harbour.
As Perigrino’s are only allowed to stay in the Refugio for one night we moved to The Pension La Mar which I can recommend.
Day 9 - Portugalete to – Castro Urdales – aprox 33k Our original plan was to split this day into two and stay at Pobena, but as we arrived there at mid day, Stevie felt fit and that Marianne was already at Castro Urdales we decided to bash on and walk the whole 33k in one day.
Pleasant route and soon after leaving Portugalete you pick up a new purpose built “Leisure Route” which takes you the 12k to Playa de la Arena, from here you walk through the dunes and cross a river just before Pobena, then up a flight of steps and onto the track bed of an old mineral railway, this is an excellent route which contours along the cliffs to Onton where you have a choice of “Ways”, The original route takes you over the shoulder of a mountain, but we had been advised to follow the now quiet N-634 (now quiet as there has been a new parallel but higher up motorway built) into Castro Urdales
After taking advice from the Hospitalaro at the Refugio we were told that it was better to walk to Portugalete following the river rather than going the “Traditional” route over the mountain – The main reason for this was that by following the river we would avoid having to walk part way alongside the new motorway as well as it being a more pleasant route – So we took her advice and indeed it was a nice route, first following the river through Zorroza, then through Burcena, Retuero, Baracaldo and Sestao before arriving at Portugalete.
All on fairly minor roads and not a bad short days walk
A Short day starting off on minor roads passing through Zamudio and then one steep Up and Over on good paths over Alto Vivaro and Alto Curabiolando, then onto minor roads dropping into Bilbao and then first through suburbs, then the past the Basillica de Bagona and then down into the old city, visiting the cathedral then over into the new city and through that to the suburb of Basurto