We are starting our trek mid September from SJPdP but want to stay overnight in Orisson. Have heard it books out weeks in advance? Does anyone know the best way to book it? ie their email address or book through the pilgrim info centre in SJPdP?
Best bet is to send an email and phone to ensure it is reserved. In late September all I had to do was to phone the night before I left. Now that it is well known more and more people stop there on their way to Roncesvalles, especially people with a bit of jetlag arriving from other continents.
I recommend you make the reservation ASAP by email to email@example.com. They will respond within a couple of days requesting to call 05-59-49-13-03 the day before your arrival to confirm you are coming. The rate in april for half pension was 30 euros.
We stayed here quite recently (early July) having walked from Le Puy, we phoned up about 5 days beforehand to book and again the day before to confirm. You MUST phone up again to confirm as when we were there a couple arrived who had phoned to confirm and only reached the answerphone and their places had gone (they had to sleep outside in a tent and it was freezing!) so remember to confirm!
Good Luck it's a very nice gite with a stunning view although they're mildly stingy with the hot water.... Buen Camino!
p.s. as an extra note though they do have a few tents outside for people who haven't managed to book so if you get stuck that could be an option!
I did not know that reservations were required when I began my Camino in SJPdP about the 7th or 8th October 2005. If you are of a mind to stay there you should make them and not trust to fate as I once did!
When I obtained my credential about mid day or early afternoon that day, the older gentleman at the Camino office was insistent that I begin walking instead of sleeping in SJPdP even though I had just arrived from another continent. I was very tired I told him and had not slept very well on the plane, but he remained insistent. Anyway, who was I to argue as it was a most beautiful, sunny day so away I happily went to begin the adventure.
It was an enjoyable walk and I arrived at the albergue in Orison about 5:30 PM as the sun was beginning to set and went inside to the bar and politely asked for a cold beer and inquired where I might register to sleep. The cold beer I received but the room I did not. "I could not stay", I was told, as they were full, the man behind the bar informed me. "I was very tired" I told him. I had slept little last night on the plane and I was not sure how far it was to Roncesvalles but was sure i could not reach it before it became completely dark this day. So, in desperation, I asked whether i might pay and just sleep on the floor. But you cannot, he shrugged his shoulders and told me.
So, having little choice but to continue on, away I went once more. I knew I would never go back and retrace my steps. Luckily, the Camino continued to follow along the paved roads going up and over the Pyrenees and I began walking quite fast so as to better utilize each available moment I had remaining of sunlight. It was really getting dark, as well as quite cold, when the Camino suddenly branched off the road to the right and started heading up a rutted path, towards the tops of the mountains, in the middle of a broad open area above tree line. At the top, I paused to rest a moment, catch my breath from my fast pace, and admire the area around me and there, off the Camino, to the right and a little higher up, i spotted what appeared to be a stone shelter of some sort. I had just moments before the sun sank completely below the horizon and decided that this might be the only place I would find to spend the night. I carried no tent, so I was fearful of rain and getting wet and developing hypothermia in the windy cold atop the maintains. I carried no sleeping mat either but felt that if I could just find cover, I could sleep in my sleeping bag upon the ground.
So, I walked quickly up to it and crawled upon my hands and knees inside. It appeared that shepherds had used it, perhaps as an emergency shelter. The walls were of stone and it was quite low, with barely enough room to crawl around inside, with my back occasionally brushing against the top. It might have been just large enough for two, but this night it would serve for one. Most importantly, it had a roof of some sort and appeared to be dry, which was essential to me. There was no door, just a piece of wire matting that I could lay across the opening, and a hunk of dusty plastic to prop against that. The floor was covered with rocks and stones so I moved away the larger, more protruding ones and set my sleeping bag out upon the smallest ones I could find, brushed them as smooth as I could, and, with my clothes still on, crawled inside the bag to get warm. It was very cold by now.
And it was very windy, too. The opening of my cave-like structure was set directly into the face of the incoming wind, blowing up the mountains, and i did my best to cover it with the hunk of plastic beside the entrance. That plastic flapped and snapped all night with the howling wind and i slept in fits. I could sleep for just a while until the rocks beneath me began to hurt my back, then i would turn and shift my weight some more to offer a fresh area of my backside to the stones and found brief sleep in fits until that area began to hurt and i was forced to shift my weight once more to another area. It was not the best sleep I have ever had, I can assure you. I just hoped that the Frenchman in Orisson had found a better bed better than I.
Finally, the sun peaked up and over the horizon and almost immediately, the cold wind subsided and a beautiful day was laid out before me atop that mountain. I gathered my things, packed up my sleeping bag, closed the little wire door to my little cave behind me and away I went, headed down the hill and to what I hoped would be a more friendly Roncesvalles. And I was not again disappointed during the whole of the next six weeks of my Camino, walking from there to Santiago and on to Finisterre.
To this day i really do not regret the experience of that cold and windy night, nor do I wish any ill towards that French bartender who denied me a warmer place to sleep. I believe I am the better for the experience. I do know that, had our positions been reversed, I would have offered him more.
I emailed Orisson & received a reply with instructions. Before I left, I again emailed & was told that I had a spot that night. I called the day before as instructed & was told that I did not have a reservation & they were complete. I insisted that I had made a reservation & had confirmed it, but the woman on the phone said I did not & my name was not on their list. There was no space at all.
I ended up going the Valcarlos Route. Perhaps there was an error made in Orisson, but I didn't care for being told (not directly) that I was making things up about having a reservation.