Wave Breaker: A trip to Santa Clara

Not too far from the coast, an island is seen in the distance. It’s hard to miss considering its mostly a small mountain. The island is called Santa Clara, and its a five minute ferry ride from the port to the island. On the way you will see quite the number of people swimming around the island, some on kayaks, some on rafts, even people swimming from the Ondaretta beach! Upon our arrival, we could see people jumping from the dock and into the ocean, for there was no sand bar to stop them. The sun was out and the day was pleasant. We climbed up the mountain for a bit, which for the untrained, may be a hassle, as the climb is steep and the path is uneven. However, the view is definitely worth the climb. Even from our final stop, you can see the majority of the San Sebastian coastline with just a slight turn of the head. On one side you can see the famous Combs of the Wind, resting on the rocks they were built on. We sat on a meadow just to the side of the main path, where we stayed for a while and talked. A good friend of Julian’s, named Stuart, gave us a short, but simple class on the Basque language and sayings. After the class, Julian and Stuart shared stories about their time in San Sebastian during a politically unstable period. They spoke about a political group that named themselves ETA, after the Basque word of the same spelling. The group was formed due to the hardships and biases towards the Basque population during and after the Franco dictatorship. Julian and Stuart described the years as turbulent; at first ETA consisted of Basque college students forming a non violent protest group, but as the years passed, violence turned into their main form of protest. The sun was beating on us for the duration of the trip, if you’re going to stay for a while bring sunscreen! After the discussion regarding San Sebastian’s and Spain’s political climate during the end of the 20th century, we went back down to enjoy some leisure in the water. I, myself, did not enter the water (salt water does not agree with my skin for extended periods of time) so I relied on my good friends and group mates to fill me in on the details. As mentioned before, you can dive off the dock and into the water without consequence, and so they did. The water was warm and there were no waves that close to the island, so it made swimming around a breeze. To finish off the day, a small bar was located near the dock, allowing tourists and citizens alike to have a light drink and snack before departing. The ferry’s leave every half hour on the hour. I recommend visiting the island, if not for the challenge of the climb, then for a nice swim in the ocean, away from the busy beach, and take in the sights and relaxed atmosphere.