I messed up the pictures of this day, so on this page you find a few more of yesterday’s wonderful stage:
Although I loved the landscape and very much liked meeting fellow pilgrims, there were too many. It turned out that the beginning of September is not the ideal period for starting your Camino: many people wait for the hot summer months to end and then start in september. Everywhere the albergues were full (luckily, there are many other types of accommodation). Probably October is better.
On my first Camino I had liked that you meet the same people every time: we became like a family. The Camino Frances in this busy september month was different. So I advise you to choose a different period. I think April or October should be fine, and that May and September are to be avoided.
So, because of this, I didn’t mind so much that my Camino was coming to an end. I had only two weeks off, and a friend that had heard that I was in Spain had invited me to join her in San Sebastian. This sounded attractive, firstly because I would like to see her, but also because the Camino was so busy at that time.
Of course, the Camino gave me a great goodbye. In Villatuerta, I slept in a lovely albergue called Casa Magica and they have a restaurant. Here we had dinner with all the pilgrims, including my Australian friends, one of whom was celebrating her 66th birthday. It was such a special night. Suddenly I didn’t want to leave (but I did, determined to come back some time to continue my Camino Frances).
The next day, I followed the Camino until Estella, where I took a bus back to Pamplona. I stayed two nights and then traveled by bus to San Sebastian. I can highly recommend both cities. After some lovely days in San Sebastian I took the Euskotren (fantastic! It’s frequent, cheap and fast) to Irun. The next morning, I walked to Hendaya. It was a nice experience to cross the border by foot again, just like we did on the first day. You cross the river and you’re back in France. From there, I traveled by train to the Netherlands.