Utrecht-San Sebastian hitchhike: Post-Hitchhike

We had our showers and then decided like everyone to head to the beach and stroll around town. I spied an ice cream shop and nothing goes better with the beach than ice cream. Even better it was Italian ice cream, but as usual no kiwi flavour (I had this once in Germany on a school trip and it was amazing). Instead I decided to have a multicoloured bubblegum flavour with a scoop of strawberry, it was very tasty.

As we walked through the streets I noted a coffee shop. I was a little bit surprised to see it there as I thought you only had them in the Netherlands. Apparently not. Strangely there weren’t many tourist shops for a surfing destination so when we saw a few I looked for a sew on badge to add to my collection ( I have a blanket which I started when I was about 13 for which I have badges from places I’ve visited and from scouts/guides. You’d think this would mean I have a lot but unfortunately they’re quite rare to find. It is quite impressive though). There were no Spain ones, so from this I gathered the Basque region, where San Sebastain resides, is not that keen on Spain. But they did have a badge of a flag that looked like the GB one, except the background was red, the cross was white and the diagonal was green. I guessed this was the Basque flag and this was confirmed. I bought it.

We went to the beach and it was tremendously beautiful, definitely picture postcard. We sat in the sun and had a little paddle in the sea. Here Klementina discovered the joys of a strong wave that pulls all the sand from under your feet. It even made her loose balance. We played this game for a bit and then we laid in the sand making sand sculptures.

After a doze, we went back into town where Klementina bought a bikini and in the process we stumbled across the Cathedral. Here I had another nap and some food. We thought we should head back as a group picnic was planned, but we hadn’t heard any information yet. We got back to discover nothing was going to be happening. Typical UCUers in last minute planning, or lack of it.

Klementina and I fancied some Basque food. Urzi and Chris told us they had had a great Basque lunch, three course meal and a bottle of wine for €10. We couldn’t pass that up and decided to go. Chris and Urzi decided to make their own dinner in the hostel kitchen. We went with them to the supermarket and got some beer. We were going to do something tonight even if the whole group had made no plans. Talk of drinks at the beach was on

When we had walked to the Basque restaurant we discovered it to be closed. However we’d seen a pizzeria on the way and had designated it plan B. We eventually found it again, but it was very empty with a dodgy man outside so we decided against it. We wandered around the streets trying to find good food and a menu we could understand. We came across a place with a huge menu and peered in. They had trays of food at the bar and the prices were good so we entered.

Everything was in Spanish so the restaurateur who spoke English came over. She explained the food was Tapas and that the restaurant was a wine bar. She went over the vegetarian options with Klementina. Though there wasn’t much, Klementina chose Gazpacho, artichokes and a type of lasagne. Then it was my turn. The lady said the favourite was a black pudding volcano. “Couldn’t I just choose things from around the bar”, I asked. “Yes”, she said, “Then you can see everything”.

Later I realised this was a bit of an error as I had cut myself off from all of the hot tapas they had. Never mind, we had a good dinner, I highly recommend it. When we got the bill we estimated €20, as each dish was €2-4. However we were happy to discover they’d undercharged us! Even better. We hastily left before they noticed.

We got back and Urzi and Chris were still cooking so we chatted for a bit and then went to play cards. Unfortunately we were about to get terrible news. Job – a UCUer – had been swimming in the sea, but hadn’t been seen for seven hours. The worst was expected. Everyone was going down to the beach to light candles. We said we would join. It was very moving and sad, but it was good that everyone had shown their respects and joined together. I hadn’t known Job but it was still a shocking tragedy and upsetting. We returned to our rooms and slept.


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