Day 1 – May 9th 2019 – Irun to Chapel Ermita de St. Anton.
I arrived at the Hendaye train station in France at about 14:30pm, and walked over the bridge into Irun, Spain. Lots of hikers crossing the bridge, but I was happy to see them all heading for the Camino pilgrims route. They all veered off to the right, and I was the only one that headed left, 860 km from the Mediterranean.
Thankfully this was the second time I had to pick up the GR11, and although 3 years had passed, I still knew give or take where to find the main GR11 info board / marker.
A 30 min. stroll through the center of Irun took me to the GR11 pick-up point. From here it’s a 1.5 hour uphill climb, thankfully there is a picnic area on the way with a well deserved water point. From here it’s another hour to reach yet another picnic spot. great for a rest, or even to camp [ this is where I camped in 2016 ] but there is no water. If you are tight for time, there is a much better spot to camp about 20 min. from this picnic spot.. another waterless picnic spot that is fenced in to stop the free roaming cows from invading your camp spot.
From this point it’s another hour all down hill to the Dam and reservoir, and the small Chapel Ermita de St. Anton. This is an ideal spot to stay the night, there is a water source, and a covered dry area where you can spend the night.
Total walking time from Hendaye train station to Chapel Ermita de St. Anton is about 4.5 hours