Waking up in San Sebastian is like one of those coffee commercials where everything seems so perfect you’re not really sure if it exists or how you got there if it does. There was fresh juice with crazy names like naranja*, breads, meats, cheeses and always some cereal to settle the stomach.
Checking the surf meant walking back across town but this time with all the necessities of a good day trip: a good night’s sleep, full breakfast and a light daypack. The benefit of a week or so trip vs a month is those first few days, you feel like you can go non-stop until the flight home (more on that later).
The route took my by the photo-friendly City Council of San Sebastian (they even make civil service look glamorous):
The surf shops range anywhere from high-end with all the recognizable brand names for gear and clothes, all the way down to a locker and a rack of suits and boards. The pic on the right tells ya what i went with. Kinda hard to miss as it's right next to the behemoth Kursaal conference center. It has the essentials so I grabbed an XL suit, picked out a board and went into the changing room. It's already a little strange to duck into a random doorway in a foreign country and strip down naked; but something did not feel right. There was a hole in the only suit my size (in a very vulnerable spot) but the attendant offered me a free cerveza after...or I could go across the street to one of the other shops. I think you know what I did. After 2 days of travelling, a saltwater bidet isn't such a bad idea...spine-tingling to say the least with water temps around 60F.
The surf set-up kind of reminded me of Main Beach in Santa Cruz where beginners start out at Cowell's and then move on to Indicators and the different peaks at Steamers. Not exactly that quality but it is consistent and 2-4ft the day I was there. Of course, everything is metric so the surf reports were like 0.9 to 1.4 meters.
The starter waves were on the far left by the rocks near the river and then as you can work your way further down the beach for steeper, more hollow waves. I had the most fun mid-way down the beach and after a little more than an hour was ready to enjoy the free beer and more sustenance for the hike ahead.
Even though I was pretty exhausted the day before when I first caught sight of the Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, I knew...if there was a way, I was gonna have to get as close as I could. There are a ton of pathways thru a park-like setting as you wind your way around Mount Urgull to the top and then back down towards town. And a well-earned early night in.