This is the last leg of my trip along the Transpirinecia route, and it is a short but fun one. I learn from my mistake of yesterday and set off early before the day gets too hot. After a climb on tarmac I get my first view of the Atlantic ocean at a pass, the Col d’Ibardin, and it is quite a sensational moment for me. I have tracked all the way through Spain from Malaga, following the Mediterranean mountains, and it is only now that I have met the Atlantic.
At the pass I was in France, and had a great down-hill and the satisfaction of overtaking some local bikers (admittedly they were on hard-tails).
Irun is a bit of a culture shock. After months of countryside and pueblos, it is a big city with lots of traffic. My hotel is in a suburb to the north called Hondarribia, and is an old fortress. I finally make it to the Atlantic in the harbour of Hondarribia: I forgot to smile in this photo but I was enjoying myself, honest.
Amazingly my hotel is cheap yet inside the walls, near the very expensive four-star Parador, which is in fact the old castle Keep. There is a lovely view from the main Plaza with the Parador on the right and the ocean in the distance.
I stayed in Irun a few days, and one night there was an amazing thunder storm over the Pyrenees to the east. It was so far away I could hardly hear the thunder, but there was so much the sky was lit up every coupe of seconds. Have a look at this (the sound you can hear is wind not rain).