Daily life, daily routine, getting up at the same time each day, breakfast the same, spend hours in front of the computer at work and when you go home to find the same programs of the same television networks. All this produces stress. To me yes at least and that is why from time to time I like to evade a little trip by car, with music at full volume, knowing our land and enjoying it, with the intention of releasing a little mind.
And Euskal Herria gives options for it. The fact that the sea and the mountain are so close makes you go from a massively touristy place to a bucolic one and practically emptied in an instant. You can go from an industrial zone to a field grazed by sheep in just two minutes. And that can be clearly seen in the Urola valley that I am visiting so much lately.
That is why this time I will also travel to these lands, to which I am taking great affection. A trip "hidden", to escape from people, enjoy the landscape and evade the daily routine. I started looking at "google maps" but I think I ended up calling Oihana from Urola Turismo and she gave me some clues: "Balcón de Gipuzkoa" - Errezil - Erdoizta - Santangrazi - Aizarna - Aizarnazabal. And of course, I'll listen to her and make that little tour.
I took the road from Tolosa to Errezil and left behind Albistur and Bidania-Goiatz.
A short time later I arrived at the place called "Trintxera". Actually, it is the height of Iturburu, but this neighborhood of Errezil is known by Trintxera.
At the time there was a hostel here and the truth is that it is a beautiful place, because from here you can see much of the territory of Gipuzkoa.
I guess that's why they'll call it "Balcón de Gipuzkoa". If I have started the trip with these wonderful views ... I think I will enjoy a lot today. I have started the car and I have made my way to Azpeitia. Errezil is about 4-5 kilometers away from here, but as soon as I passed a couple of turns I could see the town and I got the old phrase that says "Errezil, nekez jaio eta errez hil" (Errezil, born with difficulty and die easily). I do not know if this will be true but this town, being where it is, between mountains (under the Ernio), was very important in Gipuzkoa.
And it is said that these lands were cultivated the best wheat in the province and therefore during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries those of Errezil were paid a real more than any other Gipuzkoa for each fanega collected. Maybe it's a town with difficulties and another old phrase says "herri txiki, infernu handi" (small town, great hell), but from what I see, I think this would be a great place to live in peace and tranquility.
The road is full of curves and it is convenient not to go too fast. In addition, it is worth going slowly through these places. Looking at Izarraitz wide open, I have seen myself among hamlets and pastures from right to left. The road passes through the middle of Errezil and, continuing downhill, I have been walking among trees for a while.
I have also noticed a quite "characteristic" smell of our town; surely they have been spreading manure. Not even 15 minutes have passed by when I arrived at the Benta Berri junction and I took the right towards Erdoizta.
The road is narrower now and at times it seems that I am going by some road in the Pyrenees or Switzerland. At times it also seems that I am going through the middle of a forest. Oh oh!! A car in front! We have passed just-just one way and the other to the contrary, thank goodness that has departed enough! The road continues up and I have entered "second" to enjoy for a while the view that I have on my left. Anyway, it would be better to look ahead than if you do not ... Hala! Squirrels!
I have already reached the top. I will have climbed about 800 meters at least. Almost 25 minutes have passed since I have left from "The balcony of Gipuzkoa"; I have taken the crossing and I am looking for my second stop: Erdoizta.
As soon as I arrived in this neighborhood of Errezil, I found the hermitage of San Isidro in front of me. It was built in honor of the patron saint of farmers at the beginning of the 19th century, although due to its cylindrical shape and its half-arched entrance they make it look like Romanesque. In 2003 the Basque Government named them "Monument" within Classified Cultural Assets. It is curious, perhaps because it is the first hermitage that I have seen with a cylindrical shape and if I am not mistaken, it is the only one that exists in Gipuzkoa.
In addition, it is built as if they had placed one cylinder on top of the other and although inside it also has a round shape, it is capable of housing two small chapels. It is a beautiful monument and it seems that it has been renovated not long ago.
I got back into the car and took the road to the coast: to Aizarna. Going on the road I would say that I'm going downhill, but I have the feeling that the mountain comes with me, because, although on the straights I try to go faster, it seems to follow the summit, as in the videos of Kilian Jornet going down at full speed through the crests of the mountains. The minutes have passed and I have entered a grove, the road has been full of curves and I have been forced to slow down. Those who are used to walking among many people will find it strange to walk through these places. You hardly see anyone, very few cars and as soon as I saw someone I started to honk to greet him. Surely you have thought what this crazy man was doing. It is said that we must leave the one who is at peace in peace, so it will be better to move on. But before arriving at Aizarna I have a mandatory stop: the hermitage of Santa Engrazi.
I have taken the junction to the right and I have left the car in front of a hamlet. It's about 10 minutes walking and stretching my legs will be good for me. I started with a stone path to end up in a meadow near the hill that gives a name to the chapel (or the other way around, I do not know if it's the chicken or the egg) and what I found has left me amazed. This hermitage made in auzolan (group work) in 1600 has a lot of charm. Some stories say that in the Middle Ages there was a small castle here, but what is known is that the previous hermitage that was here was carried by lightning, probably because it would be made of wood.
The current one is complete of stone and in its simplicity is its greatness. But outside the building, it is the views that you find here that will amaze anyone. 510 meters high, in the natural park of Pagoeta, I have seen Izarraitz, Ernio, the coast and even the sea. Now I know if I get the EuroMillions where I can make a house. What's under there must be Aizarna and since the guts have already begun to crack I'm going down to see if I can find somewhere to eat.
Aizarna itself is a neighborhood of Zestoa, but it seems like a small town, with its school, church, stone houses and a beautiful rectangular square.
"Anbu" has served us a great meal in the restaurant called Aranburu. I say because I shared a dining room with a Colombian woman who is doing the Camino de Santiago and a man who dispelled all doubts about the road sections and the stories of the surrounding villages.
With my gut well filled, I got back into the car and got on the road. I turned on the radio and I found a beautiful song by Luke Siedle:
Go high or low, don't go at all
They'll make it worth your while to fall
But you and I just travelling
On some road to down below
They tell me that the only way
To get to heaven is through hell
So why don't we make a stop
I have lowered the window while singing at full volume and I have taken my hand. Automatically I started doing the wave remembering that "do you like to drive?" It seems incredible that going where I am going, I know that within 5 kilometers there is an industrial zone. The coast is a little further, but I have seen people surfing and it is that on the outskirts of Aizarnazabal a company created a lake with artificial waves where surfers usually come to train.
Not even 15 minutes have passed since I left Aizarna until I passed over the Urola River to enter the town of Aizarnazabal.
This is a town with a curious history. Located at an intersection of the old road between Ibañarrieta, Aia and Zarauz was part of Zumaia until it got its independence in 1861. To reach the town you have to climb a hill and suddenly you will find the Arcángel San Miguel parish and its pediment and little later the Town Hall. I have parked right there and in the square that can surely shelter all the people, I have started to go around and look everywhere. First the pediment. As in many other towns in Euskal Herria, one of the walls of the church is used here, making it clear where we can find the beginnings of this sport.
The parish is from the sixteenth century and was built on top of another church that was in the Middle Ages. On the left is the Town Hall. It looks like a building that, although renovated should have many years, but it is not because it is quite new, from 1954 precisely. That yes it was built following the traditional style of the houses of the town.
Again to the left and I found myself in front of a bar. And of course, at the speed of lightning, I have been thirsty and hungry. So there I go!
It seems that I have made a long trip and fatigue begins to appear. The truth is that from the point of departure the time I have spent in a car will not exceed one and a quarter hours, but in that time I have had the opportunity to know places and places of great beauty. From what I have been told, the "Touring" has continuity to the coast, to Zumaia, but I think I have enough for today. I managed to disconnect and get rid of stress. This trip has helped me to realize that it is not the car that produces stress but traffic. This "Touring Urola" is a nice trip to enjoy the city and the car. Highly recommended Oh! And if it is with good music and ... needless to say.