Children’s Route 13: A fun ride through Zabale, Botola bidea and Saratxaga.

Children’s Route 13

Route published by Pedro Pablo Uriarte “15 circular routes from Gorliz for families with children”

View map of the route on Wikiloc


Duration: 2 hours 10 min
Distance: 10,09 km
Desnivel positivo acumulado:  237 m
Difficulty: Easy

A similar route we have already made the opposite direction (See Route 6 of Gorliz for families with children), but this time we made it with some modification in reverse, which as I say always seems another route, returning to the village in this case by Orbeta bidea.

Although my grandchildren Nahia and Telmo have returned with their parents to Barcelona and I can’t do any more routes with them, my other two grandchildren, Pello and Sofía, have just arrived on their journey. Sofia, only a year and a half, is carried by her father in a belly backpack.

We left the quartet of Iberre Zeharbide and, crossing Iberreta plaza we reached the roundabout of the boat, from where we headed towards the roundabout of Mungia passing in front of the cemetery and the industrial site Sagastikoetxe. After this, at the next roundabout we turn left, towards the Zabale district (it is indicated). Soon a slope begins and we pass the old Zabale hamlet, which gives its name to the neighborhood.

A little further up the road becomes a path between the fences of a couple of hamlets, to reach in a few meters a detour to the left and, immediately, to the right. The path is now a beautiful wooded path gently descending under the oaks, which runs alongside pastures where beautiful horses graze meekly in the shade. Pello stands up and imitates her squeak. Little by little we have to step aside to make way for a group of cyclists who coincide on our route. They greet us kindly.

We continue downwards until we reach a road very close to the entrance of Koala Nurseries. We are in Botola bidea, a small road that goes down from the main road of Mungia to Mandañu bidea. We turn left and continue uphill towards the main road. The road is very little used and we do not match any car. We pass next to fig trees with inaccessible ripe figs and, little by little, next to apple trees, pear trees and vineyards with most of their ripe clusters that are rotting. And they’re ripe, very sweet, a pity. Also the nuts are starting to turn black, soon they will start to fall. It’s the beginning of September and I think autumn is coming early.

At the end of a hill we reach the main road BI–2120 Plentzia–Mungia. This is a busy road, so we take Pello by the hand and wait for the traffic to give us a break to cross it. And we do it right in front of you. There starts a wide road that will take us to Saratxaga. And since Pello keeps complaining that he’s hungry and thirsty, we make a strategic stop and sit on a rock in the shade to get some things out of the backpack, which I know Pello and Sofia love. My son leaves the girl on the floor, relieving himself of her weight for a while. She seems to be grateful, too, as she immediately starts running around.

After the refreshment (only for children, since we hardly drink any water), we continue to reach a crossroads. On the right we would climb between eucalyptus trees towards the road Orabille-Andraka (see Route 14 of this Guide), but today we want to go down to Saratxaga, so we turn left. We pass by a fence that surrounds a hamlet and a little further down we see two goats tied up with some chains grazing in the middle of the road. We passed by them and continued down a curious track prepared to go up by car. We passed by a beautiful chalet with a quince full of fruits with some of them on the ground, and a little further down next to a well-kept vineyard.

At the lower part of the slope there is a junction and we veer sharply to the right. The road gratifies us with a beautiful stretch under the trees. To the left is a farmhouse and a meadow with very well-kept sheep. We arrived at a large house to our right of relatively modern construction and with a profusion of “Private Property” signs. I comment with my son that all the houses we’ve seen are privately owned, but they don’t express it that way. The road continues between the fences and walls of some pretty hamlets and chalets. Soon we found a fig tree full of ripe fruits and after picking some that are within reach we reached the old Saratxaga brewery, closed a few years ago.

Right there we turn to the right to go up a somewhat stony track with fences of some estates located to our left. The track ends and becomes a path that goes under the oaks and we go as though through a tunnel. Little by little the road divides and we take the path on the left, which makes Pello a little annoyed by the profuse vegetation on both sides of the road, which seems to the poor man with his reduced stature that they are going to eat him. We found a fig tree by hand and picked a few figs, enough to make a couple jars of jam. And we do it under the watchful eye of a couple of ponies who have appeared on the other side of the fence. The truth is that picking figs comes at a price because Pello, his father and I have a bit of a hive.

The stretch of path of profuse and threatening lateral vegetation is not more than a hundred meters long and we reach a small road that ends next to a villa that has stopped its construction for several years. We continue for it and after passing some beautiful tall oaks we see to our right the hamlet of Alegría. After passing it we enter the upper part of Orbeta bidea, which goes straight down a few hundred meters to Barberusolo and ends in Tribiñu kalea. Once there we turn a little to the right until the roundabout of Armintza and go down through Itasbide kalea until we reach quite a bit further down to the square of San Pedro and to Iberre Zeharbide, where we close today’s route.

In short, it is a simple and fun route where there are them, especially for children, since we have seen all kinds of animals: chickens, ponies, horses, sheep, goats and some cows, apart from hearing several times the squeaking of some magpie. And we also picked and ate figs, tasted some grapes, a couple of sweet apples and some blackberries. What more could you ask for?, and all this in just over six kilometers absolutely suitable for all kinds of families with or without children.

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