The Basque Country is a delicious smorgasbord of hiking adventure for all levels. Our third hike was short (only 3.5 hours!) and easy in comparison to the other adventures we experienced while based in San Sebastian. I think Scott picked this hike for it name, “XOXO(te).”
Check out the trail map first.
We found happily grazing ponies among the picnic tables at the parking lot and trail head. The parking lot was big and paved and so I assume that this is a popular area to enjoy nature, but we saw only a few people and no one at this starting point.
There were particularly good sticks on this trail.
The path was mostly level and made for easy walking.
An even better stick.
Ashley is having trouble finding the perfect stick.
We passed by this dilapidated house and imagined all of its potential situated in this pristine little meadow. Maybe a German Beer Hut? This hike was easy enough to actually enjoy Beer and then hiking!
We crossed a valley…
…and followed signs for Xoxote. We met a few hikers and runners in this area.
The hiking was more difficult over these rocky slopes…
…but the view was nice.
This was our first summit above a park like area that included the German version of a Beer Hut. Sadly, it was closed.
It had an interesting memorial with an ice ax. You can see the park below.
There was a view of Saint Ignatius of Loyola to the east on the next hill over.
This is the view that St. Ignatius enjoys of Lasao, the village below.
Looking west, there was a valley and another rocky, treeless peak beyond. The kids went to explore the little pond.
I really don’t like this kind of hiking across rocks but the kids have no problem.
We crossed the valley with the pond and climbed the next rocky mountain. You can see a tiny St. Ignacius, the ridge line with the ice ax memorial, and the park in between.
Ashley found some rocks to climb.
We stopped for lunch.
Scott noticed the next peak over that was a little higher than the one we ate lunch on and jogged over to claim the summit of the highest peak on our hike.
Grant is watching Scott and Ashley climb the rocks below him.
Makes for some good rock climbing and fun pictures.
Ashley would have stayed all day.
We found more ponies enjoying the sunshine and green grass.
This one was particularly photogenic.
By this time in the afternoon we had wandered up and down and around most of the summits in the area. This is not impressive because there wasn’t a lot of elevation gain and the hiking could be done on trails or grass, except for the mountain we climbed for our picnic, that was a thigh burner. It was almost too easy, but thankfully we could see one large, unvisited summit cross overlooking the town of Lasao, and no path to get there, so we got to bushwhack. Grant is giving me advice on which way to go.
We bushwhacked our way through these moss covered rocks and I imagined that they were actually little forest dwelling creatures that were temporarily frozen as we passed through their magical realm. I tried not to step on any of them and muttered my apologies as I traversed unsteadily the slick and hidden ground.
Surprisingly, Ashley and Scott had gone ahead and were waiting at the cross and enjoying the view. I thought the summit cross was impressive.
I get to rest too!
I thought I would celebrate by putting myself on a pedestal, but it was actually really scary and challenging and that family of mine was laughing at my attempt to balance. I don’t think it’s good to put yourself on a pedestal anyway.
Ashley doesn’t have any problem with it though. Show off!
And neither does Scott. Bigger show off!
A view of the summit cross from the valley on our way back to the car.
The familiar Spanish trail markers.
And a new stick to finish up the hike. I am so impressed by these Basque Country hikes that we are seeing. It is obvious that the Spanish people appreciate their natural resources by the trails that are available and the way that they are maintained.