This stage was hard because of the climb from Aranzazu and the sharp drop to Araia. We are in the National Park of Aizkorri-Aratz, home to the highest peaks of the watershed between Cantabria and the Mediterranean (Aitxuri 1551 m). Be careful with the weather, especially if there is fog. Our way consists of wide tracks, except at one point, near the mountain pass at 1180 m, just where the wider road it becomes a gravel road although in very good condition and visible even in fog. After one or two kilometers, we must pay attention again: we must leave the path which clearly goes down to the valley and take an ill defined grass track, which allows us to join the Camino de Santiago Vasco (Basque Santiago Way), which comes from San Adrián Tunnel. After connecting with the Camino de Santiago, we follow the yellow arrows to the junction that leads to Zalduendo or Araia (pools and village). We want to go to Araia, so we take the left.
ARAIA: The main town of the District of Asparrena, which comprises 10 towns close to each other. With more than 1,500 inhabitants, Araia is a service center for the District. The town hall is built in a Baroque style, with the arms of the Fraternity of Asparrena. The church of San Pedro is from the fifteenth century and has a neoclassical altarpiece inside. We can find a restaurant, supermarket, pharmacy and bank.