Ride Day 33 – Guriezo to Bilbao – 59 km

We woke to a sunny day and we knew it would be hot. We left our accommodation as early as we could after Duncan’s work and what is an early breakfast for the Spanish at 8.30. Off at 9.30. Our cod meal last night involved the skin, which we gave to the cat. This was clearly the best meal she had had in a while and she watched while we loaded up the bikes this morning. Just as we were ready to go, she climbed and settled on Duncan’s panniers. I’ll go with these people, the ones who fed me. Wasn’t impressed at all at being removed. This is a long blog with lots of photos, so be warned.

Today -The day of cycle paths. Route below.

Almost immediately we were on a pink path which indicates it’s for bikes. At the beach we had to get back onto the N634 for a while to get over a rather large hill. We forgot to post a photo yesterday, here below. We have never before seen speed signs for cyclists. They are mostly nutters in this region, hill, bends and speed junkies. The highest speed we’ve gone is 40 kph and the brakes are used constantly on the downhills. We met a sole Italian walker who asked how far to next town and we indicated it was down, up, down, up, down. He said in English, it’s like a constant dance with the hills and did a little jig.

Along this stretch, people have turned the verges into vegetable beds. It certainly didn’t look official. Masses of beans and veg growing. Obviously you are healthy when you cook at home, it just goes to pot when you eat out.

The first big town – Castro-Urdiales. Very handsome harbour city. Beautifully kept, gorgeous promenade (have a look on Google Earth, it’s quite something). We stopped for coffee and cake, best so far in Spain and the most expensive). Cathedral and castle below at sea level and then two thirds up the next hill.

The road went high above the motorway. Julie had to get off and walk the last bit, gradient too high. At the top coming from the opposite direction, was a group of American cyclists (no luggage). Julie was pleased to see that some of them were also pushing their bikes up because they were half her age! We all chatted while getting our breath and then a Road Patrol stopped and berated us all for stopping. They have Civil Guard, Road Patrol, Local Police and National Guard here. You don’t get away with much!

We went by this little spot which should be noted for a future visit – Moiño. Has a massive equestrian centre to the left (Wendy!). It’s where they used to ship minerals to the UK many moons ago.

We then turned onto the first cycle path (the Barrio Covarón) which was once the mining railway to the above port. It was just spectacular. Also used on the SdC North Route.

Then we reached Pobeña. Unfortunately, someone forgot to mention that at the end of this long bike stretch, there is a steep flight of about 80 steps!

We had a bridge to cross and a boardwalk across the sand. Then we joined the most engineered and perfect cycle route we’ve ever been on, the Barakaido-La Arena Bidegoria. This can also be seen on Google earth. It is as wide as a road with a two lane cycle path and a walk path. It runs for approximately 25-30 km into Bilbao. It has its own bridges over motorways. They don’t even let dogs on here. It is used by serious road cyclists, it has hills and bends and is obviously a fantastic training run for many.

We did get slightly lost in Bilbao and told off by more police for being on the pavement near the Guggenheim but we had to navigate through a one way system to our hotel.

Showered, changed and out for Pintxos and wine. Massive choice but we didn’t have lunch so we made up for it. Museum is tomorrow late afternoon (hotel deal, free tickets). Really looking forward to resting our bodies

2 thoughts on “Ride Day 33 – Guriezo to Bilbao – 59 km

  1. Looks great. I loved Bilbao. The Guggenheim is one of my favourist(!) buildings. And there’s lots to see in the old town if you have time. Enjoy!!


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