Day 5: Camino del Norte

Mileage: 27.2 Total distance: 94.6
It was 101 in Bilbao today and I felt it. I have no idea what to do about over-heating and getting dehydrated. I drank almost 8 liters of water today and around 1400 I had to lay down on the street of a small town while I cooled off by dousing my head under water faucets and wrapping it up in my towel. I don’t feel very good still. I feel fatigued and dizzy and pressure in my head. Today was a bitch. 

I woke up later than I had originally planned on, but was still feeling optimistic on making it to Bilbao. I felt decently strong and motivated to put in some miles, but after the first climb began to feel the aches and pains of starting a thru hike. 


Trail was 90% roads today and the black asphalt just radiated heat up my body making my umbrella useless. My calves felt like leather and my feet were baking in an oven. I bought some sunscreen today and loaded up heavy, but was bitter to pay 20 Euro for it. 

There weren’t many views. Just roads. Small puddles. Barking dogs. And zero tree cover. I knew I needed to cool off when my head started to hurt and I began to worry about getting a heat stroke. I tried to be as dignified in my misery as possible, but when I started getting dizzy I sprawled out in front of a small train station and took some deep breathes in the shade. 


Everything hurt. Everything was hot. I fully underestimated the Camino. Eventually I got up and found a small pharmacy to buy some electrolyte supplements and decided to push on to Bilbao. The trail was nothing different than before. 


Eventually I saw the city below me and began a long, grueling decent into the biggest city in northern Spain. All I wanted was to find the hostel and pass out, but this is a huge city and when I got into town it looked like the hostel was another two miles away. So off I went. I felt almost zombie like crawling to the hostel. They didn’t make it very easy to get to either. When you get to the hostel you have to climb stairs for 700 meters and then a small hill before you find the door. I fumbled up the steps and made my way inside where there were twelve older pilgrims eating and laughing. I was greeted and asked to give a donation and then took my shower. I was so excited to get into a cold shower and cool down every part of me, but the shower had no option other than hot. Damn. 


  • Halfway there

I’m now in bed and feel my legs radiating heat through my leggings. When the lights go out I’m getting naked for sure. The next two days are just as hot but tomorrow I’m back to the beach and I will take advantage of every chance I get to cool down in the cold water. It’s so damn hot. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s