Portugalate to Castro Urdiales. A flat and much easier day ~28k turned off Strava at lunch so lost the 2 km stroll down the esplanade.
The day started on an incredible bike/ walking path along a major highway. Plexiglass to keep out car noise and elevated and snaking amongst overpasses and exits. Sound grim but was easy and pleasant. The infrastructure in this part of Spain is inspiring. Public works of real scale and ambition. Bilbao has 2 metro lines with a third being built, a streetcar system, extensive buses and cycling and walking infrastructure like I have not seen anywhere else. All being used and extremely well maintained. When Spain works itself out of financial funk of 2008 (I’m sure all the cheap money funded all this infrastructure figures somewhere in that story) they will awake with all the transport and urban infrastructure in place for a boom. I worry we have been underinvesting in Canada and how they will drag on our economy and quality of life.
We left the path at the beach at Playa del Arena and walked along coastal trail and highway. Very pleasant with a bit of climbing – lots of Vistas. We took a short cut to save some km and it was not well marked but it went by an impressive equestrian center and a mining interpretative trail that had abandoned tunnels and loading docks.
Castro-Urdiales is our first town outside of Pais Vasco as we have entered Cantabria today. Nice beach town with weather warm and sunny we will go in search of Sangria shortly. We arrived in town in time for lunch (lunch runs from 1:30 to 3:30 and is the major meal of the day. Today we had a Menu Dia with starter (paella for me, pasta carbonara for Di), Roast lamb and fries for main course, and cheese cake (Di) and pastry gigante for me. With a bottle of Lambrusco to share it was 12,50€ each. Service is excellent- much to be said for paying the restaurant staff a living wage rather than making it ad hoc.
In a nice little hotel – booking.com is awesome – in center of town waiting for Di to wake from her Siesta. To Santoña tomorrow via a boat ride at Laredo. A little longer but flat and coastal.