Discover the Basque Country

Coast

King Tides & Basque Octopus
King Tides & Basque Octopus

King Tides & Basque Octopus

I strolled across the beach and walked the glowing sand past where the sea usually lies, a rare privilege bestowed by the king low tide. Three metre tidal changes are not uncommon here in the Basque Country, and with the king tides the octopus are more accessible.  Having learned some tricks from local octopus fisherman, I searched around where the sand meets the rocks and was rewarded under the first rock I checked. (I’d just like to mention that catching these very strong and intelligent creatures requires a fishing licence and the bag limit is 2 per licensed fishermen per day with size restrictions…Regulations are important!)

Basque Coast
Basque Coast

Basque Coast

Over the previous week, under drizzle and burst of sunshine, I’ve been exploring the Basque Country: Zumaia, Getaria, Donostia-San Sebastian & beyond (scroll down to see the photos).

Photography by Jonathan McCallum & Jason Coon

Zumaia Sea Caves, Photo by Jason Coon

Into the Basque Country
Into the Basque Country

Into the Basque Country

Yesterday I landed in Madrid Airport.  The scorching heat of Spain’s interior only relented after five hot hours in the car, finally crossing the threshold into the vivid green Basque Country then as if in a dream drifting around an ocean road bend to see the beauty of our Gipuzkoan coastal fishing town. The south wind off the Cantabrian and the scent of the Txakoli grapes blended beautifully, welcoming me, it seemed, back home.  Unlike the sizzling blue skies of the Iberian plains, today is cloudy in Euskadi, and it is so good to feel the lush grass damp from the morning dew, to breathe the briny air, and to hear the sound the the trikitixa and the music of people in the plaza.  Holding my camera in one hand and my daughter’s hand in the other, we look towards the sea and set out walking along the northern route of St James’s Way.  To share a glimpse, here are four photos from today and some favourites from when I first landed here, moving into and embracing this culture that has been so good for and to my family and me.