Pilgrims have to leave the albergue by 8am but few were up at 6.30 when I woke up. Perhaps this was because most were young people who sleep well. I think I was probably the oldest last night which is unusual.

I had one last view of the transport bridge before heading off in search of breakfast.

This can be difficult as many bars don’t open before 9am. I’d almost given up hope when I came across a pastry lover’s heaven and I had to indulge.

The camino followed a bike and walking path from the edge of town for about 6km. A long section of it was elevated above the chaos below.

There were pretty little wildflowers along the way.

I’ve seen a few slugs and they’re very big here.

Casting a long shadow in the early morning.

At Pobeña, the camino is back at the coast and quite a few people I met last night stopped for a break.

A boardwalk

led past the beach

to a set of stairs

leading to a cliff walk.

A lone eucalyptus tree somehow has taken root by the ocean.

At the village of Ontón, I left the Basque Country behind and entered Cantabria, one of Spain’s smallest regions.

Here I had a choice of a mountain route with more climbing and great views or an 8km shorter coastal route.

I had intended to take the long route, but I still have a bit of a cold and I’m afraid I didn’t feel up to it.

Unfortunately this meant most of the rest of the day’s walk was on bitumen and very hard on the feet.

Eventually the end point of Castro-Urdiales came into view.

I’d walked along the bitumen with Adrien. Here we are in the tunnel just before Castro.

Castro is a very old town founded before the arrival of tbe Romans. Its dominated by the large 13th century parish church of Santa Maria de la Asunción.

Unfortunately the external stone work is in bad shape.

It sports a great set of gargoyles.

There are also some attractive early 20th century buildings.

I booked ahead and I’ve got a nice little room in tbe Pension del Mar.

I think this was a good idea as quite a while after I arrived I came across 3 Danish women I’d met earlier looking really tired and wandering around trying to find reasonably priced accommodation.

I had to wait until 8.30 for a restaurant to open but I had a wonderful €11 menu of fish soup, grilled fresh fish, desert and a bottle of wine.

Just as I was leaving at 9.39 the first dimers wandered in and ordered some of the local beef.

Tomorrow it’s a 32km hike with lots of climbing to Laredo.