Today was a challenging day of hiking. Our hiking distance between Zarautz and Deba was similar to yesterday (14.3 miles, about 8 hours, and 2,266 elevation gain), but the incline was steep! When we arrived at the albergue, it was all people could talk about!
The albergue was in Deba’s old (but completely operational) train station. Very basic accommodations, comfortable and only 8 Euros each.
Instructions for checking in (posted on a sign along the Camino just outside of Deba) said – The albergue is open year round. Go to the Tourist Office in Deba. Pay there, and they will give you a key. If the tourist office is closed, go to the local police station, and they will give you a key. For real!
So we get to Deba and go to the tourist office. There were several other pilgrims there, but the tourist office was closed. We tried to find the police station. A local person ended up taking us there, but it was closed.
So then a neighbor called down from his balcony to the person helping us, and they talked about what to do. Soon a policeman showed up and directed us to a particular street – no address, just directed us walk that way.
Good news! This took us to the train station. A hospitalero had opened the albergue, and we were all given beds. It was connect with many there who started in Irun the same day we did.
We are so appreciative of the kind assistance offered to pilgrims on the Camino from local residents. Most of the time this happens without even asking – they notice we are puzzled and jump in to help. A reminder of the value of kindness and generosity in this world.