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Biarritz to St Jean - Beginning day after 1pm to Roncevalles?

pilgrimleigh

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 - Camino Frances
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
 
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nidarosa

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Time of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Hi, and welcome! I personally wouldn't, it is a very steep and long stage. I'd stay in St Jean and enjoy the buzz, and get going the next day. Or try to book a bed in Orisson or Borda, both are roughly 7-8 kms from St Jean. Also depends on what the Pilgrim office recommends, weather wise. When are you going?
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
What time of year? Dusk’s variable.
 

pilgrimleigh

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 - Camino Frances
I'm beginning mid to late May, but I havent booked my flights yet.

The alternative is to fly to Barcelona and then get a train to Pamplona and begin there but I did kind of like the idea of walking from France to the end of Spain.
 
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Kathar1na

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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk? There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
Welcome, @pilgrimleigh. First miscalculation: Trains to SJPP leave from Bayonne train station, not from Biarritz airport, and they leave at 8:50, 14:35, 17:09, 18:35, and also at 20:14 during the season.

Spend the night in SJPP. Start early the next day, just before or after sunrise. You can look up the time of sunrise in SJPP and the time of sunset in Roncesvalles on the internet or in an app for every day of the year. You can calculate the time it takes an average fit walker to walk trails like the one from SJPP to Roncesvalles. Are you average, better or worse on such terrain? Add time for stops to have a rest or a snack.

Dusk or no dusk, the large pilgrim albergue in Roncesvalles closes at 10 pm. Their website says: The albergue closes at 10 pm: no entry will be allowed after this time, even if you have a booking. (Bold type is theirs.)
 
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pilgrimleigh

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 - Camino Frances
Welcome, @pilgrimleigh. First miscalculation: Trains to SJPP leave from Bayonne train station, not from Biarritz airport, and they leave at 8:50, 14:25, 17:09, 18:35, and also at 20:14 during the season.

Spend the night in SJPP. Start early the next day, just before or after sunrise. You can look up the time of sunrise in SJPP and the time of sunset in Roncesvalles on the internet or in an app for every day of the year. You can calculate the time it takes an average fit walker to walk trails like the one from SJPP to Roncesvalles. Are you average, better or worse on such terrain?

Dusk or no dusk, the large pilgrim albergue in Roncesvalles closes at 10 pm. Their website says: The albergue closes at 10 pm: no entry will be allowed after this time, even if you have a booking. (Bold type is theirs.)
I'm glad you pointed out the timing of the trains!

I'm in my mid 30s and I'm at a decent fitness level so I'd hope to make good time when walking.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
I'm beginning mid to late May, but I havent booked my flights yet.

The alternative is to fly to Barcelona and then get a train to Pamplona and begin there but I did kind of like the idea of walking from France to the end of Spain.
Personally I wouldn’t dream of starting the walk to Roncesvalles already tired from the journey from the UK. (I know it’s only 2hrs on the plane but there’s the waiting around, then the wait for the bus, the train…And if you fly from Gtw you’ve already done a day’s walking just getting to your gate 😁).
St Jean to Orisson takes me about 3hrs (ok, you may be much faster…).
So, all going well, it’s already 3pm. Then about 5 or 6 hours to Roncesvalles. I make it at best 8pm, more likely 9pm...
And that’s assuming the weather is good.
Why not spend the night in St Jean? 😉
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.

To save time Express Bouricott will provide a quicker way to SJPdP.

Dusk is determined by what day of the year you are walking, but assuming a 7pm time frame, that is 6 hours of walking straight with no rest stops. That would be an average of walking 4 Km/2.5 miles per hour, the majority on an average of about a 14% grade-incline (much of the first part to Orisson exceeds 20%).

The downhill portion is much shorter, and depends on how your knees and feet can handle steep declines.

Personally, I have always planned on a minimum of 9 hours, and on two trips over Napoleon Route, on three caminos, actually took just a bit longer.

Here is a link to YouTube footage of my last trip over the Napoleon step-by-step.

 
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
I've caught the 14:25 out of Bayonne, had a poke about St Jean, checked in on the Pilgrim's Office and walked to Valcarlos in time for a comfortable supper and a good nights sleep in the Municipal Albergue more than once. I've then walked through to Espinal the following day. Gets me out of the Roncesvalles / Zubiri bubble
 
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biarritzdon

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Davebugg, what is the site for this 3D google video. I could put this on my screen and walk a vitual Camino all day long
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Davebugg, what is the site for this 3D google video. I could put this on my screen and walk a vitual Camino all day long

As far as I can tell from John Sikora's YouTube channel he has three of the stages converted to 3d, including the Napoleon and the Valcarlos routes. I haven't viewed them in 3d so can't comment on them, though John generally does a great job with the footage he has to work with.

 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
You are only in your mid-30's and if you are in good physical condition it is doable. I have been at Roncesvalles before when pilgrims arrive after dark. I left St Jean one day at about 10:00 am and took a long break at Orisson for beer and lunch with a couple of other pilgrims and arrived at Roncesvalles about an hour before it got dark. The last couple of hours of the day I did not see another pilgrim on the path, and was quite happy to see the albergue.
I personally would not want to leave that late and risk walking in the dark and having that feeling of urgency when I walked. I like to walk relaxed and carefree. Not to mention the possibility of walking in the dark and if you do carry a good headlamp.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Like others, I think you would find this difficult, but much depends on the time of year you are walking. At mid-summer, dusk at Roncesvalles is going to be around 2230. It is after 2200 from around 20 May. At mid-summer, there will be about 15 daylight hours and you would have about nine hours of good light with a further half hour of fading light in which to walk. The section of the path you would be on is one of the more technically difficult at that time.

Three months earlier or later, when there are only 12 daylight hours, you will only have about 71/2 daylight hours after 1300, so you can count on there being about one hour less each month, or 30 minutes less if you are leaving at 1300.

Using a rough calculation based on Naismith's Rule, SJPP to Roncesvalles across Route Napoleon is the flat equivalent of roughly 35 km. At mid-summer, you could achieve this if you could sustain the flat equivalent of just under 4 km/hr overall. How much faster you would need to be walking would depend on the number and duration of any breaks you take.

Three months earlier, and you would need to maintain an overall average speed of 4.7 km/hr, and a commensurately faster walking speed. I did a quick check of some of my better walking times from about the time that I first crossed the Pyrenees, and to achieve that average, my flat equivalent average walking speed was just under 6.6 km/hr.

Even in those days, I could only achieve those times wearing a hydration pack, not a trekking pack. That said, you have a couple of decades of age advantage. It is entirely possible that at your age you could achieve this with a hiking pack.

What concerns me more is that circumstances will conspire against you. There will be small delays at various stages that cumulate into an hour or more. Weather conditions might slow you down, you might have navigation difficulties along the way, etc, etc. Pessimistic, maybe, but worth considering when you are planning that not everything will go perfectly, and you already have thought through how you might deal with these things.

There are plenty of other options to walking through to Roncevalles on that first day. I have walked Route Valcarlos both times that I have crossed the Pyrenees, once in an 11 hour slog, and the next time stopping in Valcarlos - so much more pleasant. Go as far as you can and get a taxi back to SJPP, and return to where you were picked up the next day. There have been other suggestions that already that might work for you - think about all of them.
 
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The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
My advice is absolutely not during this time of year.
I did meet one couple in 2014, Ralph and Toni Marie,
who got stuck all night on the pass between Orisson and Roncesvalles
because they started too late in the day
and were caught in the dark in a snowstorm.

They used their cell phones to light the trail until they were drained.

Then they told me they snuggled under a bush
praying the Rosary to stay awake,
until it was light enough to see the trail and walk down.

They were lucky they didn't freeze to death!

I've kept in touch with them,
and they did make it to Santiago.
They've told their story over and over, saying how they wish they'd listened when they were told that was too late to start.
 

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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
The first stage up to Orrison (8km) takes most people around 3 hours at least. Most people doing it for the first time are slightly shocked at the relentless steepness. If you come from a hilly environment you may be used to it, but your legs and lungs will get a work out.
If it was me starting from SJPDP at 1pm, I would go as far as Orrison, and enjoy the evening there.
It does ease a bit from there to Roncesvalles for the next day, which will be longer.

To give you an idea of timing, in 2016 I walked from SJPDP and arrived at Roncesvalles around 2.30pm. Left SJPDP sometime around 7am, and stopped at Orrison, and then at the caravan further up, a quick stop at the water fountain, and said hello to the horses.
There were about 20 people already waiting in the queue at Roncesvalles, and a couple lying on the grass outside. Over the next few hours, people kept arriving, and the albergue was filling up.
I didn't find out until later in the day, but about 400 people walked over that day. Some of them were still arriving looking completely knackered, when we walked back from having dinner. It was dark when we set off for dinner, so lots of those people were walking in the dark. I was just super grateful it wasn't me.
 
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jotedesco

New Member
Hi, and welcome! I personally wouldn't, it is a very steep and long stage. I'd stay in St Jean and enjoy the buzz, and get going the next day. Or try to book a bed in Orisson or Borda, both are roughly 7-8 kms from St Jean. Also depends on what the Pilgrim office recommends, weather wise. When are you going?
I agree - Orisson is a good "first day" - organise once again what you really need, are shoes ok etc,
 

Zordmot

3rd CF in May 2022
Time of past OR future Camino
April-May 2022
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.

I agree with everyone here! There are so many good reasons to spend the night in SJPDP. A late start on Day One is not a good idea especially in Spring. Three years ago in late April they had to rescue 50 people off the mountain because of changing weather, some were transported to hospital. I can’t understate how magical it is to be leaving SJPDP with a throng of people all excited and motivated to begin the journey first thing in the morning. I recommend arriving the day before, going to the pilgrim office and registering, going across the street to Beilari just across the way to spend the night, enjoy a communal dinner, and make some new friends. You’ll feel refreshed and energized to begin that first day--which many say is not only the most arduous but has the most outstanding vistas of the whole Camino. Buen Camino!
 
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Niels

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No matter if it would physically ok, the ides of the Camino - for me anyway - is not to jump ahead. Take your time, and smell the roses - as one Australien pilgrim kept teleinfrastruktur me. It would be sich a shame to hurry through this magnificent, beautiful stage. Enjoy your Camino.
 
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Larry E

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Time of past OR future Camino
September-October (2020)
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
I would repeat what I did last year: I flew in to Biarritz (directly from the USA) the morning of August 31st, spent the day and night in Bayonne, slept in and took a noonish train to SJPP, looked around there, went up the fortress, etc. until the pilgrim's office opened after lunch (I wanted a SJPP stamp in my passport!), then left for Orisson about 14:30, where I had a reservation for the night. I did work up a pretty good sweat, but it felt perfect. P.S. I made it to SDC October 1 :)
 

lt56ny

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Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
Forget about it. It is not happening. Don't even think about it. Enjoy SJPP and get a good sleep and get up in the morning, check the weather if you are going very soon. If it is foul (ask at the Pilgrim office) do Valcarlos and buen camino.
 

stuartwalker121

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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017 September - October) Camino Norte (2018 September - October)
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
No, I wouldn't do that. Too rushed
You should spend a relaxing night in St Jean, talking in all the atmosphere and making companions, leave at 7am the following morning after breakfast.
 

Robyn/Jim

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
St. Frances done in 2018
Porto route Sep/Oct 2022
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
Once you get to St. Jean you still need to register at the Camino office. If you wanted to get started I would suggest going to Orrison, gives you a kick start for the next day.
 

stuartwalker121

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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017 September - October) Camino Norte (2018 September - October)
No, I wouldn't do that. Too rushed
You should spend a relaxing night in St Jean, talking in all the atmosphere and making companions, leave at 7am the following morning after breakfast.
As someone who has walked from SJPdP (over Napoleon) to Santiago in 17 days, I can very highly recommend slowing right down and taking everything in. There's no need for rushing and speeding to next destination. The Camino itself is the destination. 🖐🙋
 
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Des Deeney

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I'd strongly suggest no, stay and rest up in St Jean, relax and enjoy the anticipation. The journey to Roncesvalles is perhaps one of the most difficult stages of the entire route. The walk up to o cebreiro perhaps is more difficult but St Jean to Roncesvalles is no stroll. You will be regretting setting off so late a couple of Km out of St Jean when you are introduced to how steep and challenging the stage is. Of perhaps of more importance the stage is one of the most beautiful if you happen to get a clear day, views are spectacular and there is a genuine sense of stepping away from troubles and the fast pace of life. Setting of at 1pm would be a rush from the start, in answer to your question I urge you to set off early the following morning and ENJOY, rather then rush through and miss what is a privilege. Roncesvalles is also a real treat to spend the night.
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Once you get to St. Jean you still need to register at the Camino office.

Just to clarify, it is beneficial to go to visit the Pilgrim office in SJPdP, but there is no required registration. There is good information about current weather conditions, and you can obtain a Credencial there. They can also assist in finding lodging if one arrives without reservations (more and more a bad idea during the popular tourist season, which also coincides with the popular Pilgrim season). The office also has information about various aspects of the infrastructure along the Frances.
 

koknesis

Active Member
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CP 2018
CM 2019
Sure, you can make it, but why? SJPdP is a nice place where spend the night 😎
If you have zeitnot there are some boring stages later on where one can develop rocket speed. For instance from Sahagun to Leon by Roman road at once.
 

Zordmot

3rd CF in May 2022
Time of past OR future Camino
April-May 2022
I would repeat what I did last year: I flew in to Biarritz (directly from the USA) the morning of August 31st, spent the day and night in Bayonne, slept in and took a noonish train to SJPP, looked around there, went up the fortress, etc. until the pilgrim's office opened after lunch (I wanted a SJPP stamp in my passport!), then left for Orisson about 14:30, where I had a reservation for the night. I did work up a pretty good sweat, but it felt perfect. P.S. I made it to SDC October 1 :)
Yes to everything you say here Larry. I'd include a couple of hours to grab breakfast and to walk the incredible streets of downtown Bayonne in the morning
 

Mary M

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Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primativo, have walked the 1200 km Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage in 2015 June.
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
I would not attempt the climb after a day of travel. Stay in St Jean and enjoy the mass in the basque language ay the church near the gate. Or explore
The wall and castle
Grounds.
 
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RJM

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Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
One thing to keep in mind here is that you're asking advice from a forum mostly comprised of people much older than you. Some twice your age. Naturally they're going to relate their experience walking from St Jean to Roncesvalles the first day and their level of difficulty doing it. There's no way a 35 year old me would have walked the Camino the same way I do now or even ten years ago when I first walked it. The 8 kms to Orrisson? Personally I didn't find it difficult at all and it's all on paved road. Walked it in less than two hours and that was when I was much older than you. Somebody else on here will say the total opposite, that it took them five hours and it totally kicked their arse.
 

ukjohn99

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2009 St Jean to Santiago
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
Definitely not. I started from St Jean between 7 and 8 am and arrived at Roncesvalles as it was getting dark and that was in mid August. Either stay at Orrison or relax, enjoy St Jean, get your provisions, and start early the next day.
 

Eddiebee

Eddiebee
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances SJPDP to SDC May & June 2017
Your best bet to get to St Jean is a shared taxi with Express Bouricott. It takes about an hour and they pick you up at the airport. In 2017, at the age of 70, it took me about 8 hours to walk to Roncesvalles from SJPdP. I walked straight at the peak and had a very steep downhill before a slight climb to Roncesvalles. I have been told that the right hand fork at the peak is a little longer but less steep and might actually be a little quicker. Buen Camino
 

Eddiebee

Eddiebee
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances SJPDP to SDC May & June 2017
One thing to keep in mind here is that you're asking advice from a forum mostly comprised of people much older than you. Some twice your age. Naturally they're going to relate their experience walking from St Jean to Roncesvalles the first day and their level of difficulty doing it. There's no way a 35 year old me would have walked the Camino the same way I do now or even ten years ago when I first walked it. The 8 kms to Orrisson? Personally I didn't find it difficult at all and it's all on paved road. Walked it in less than two hours and that was when I was much older than you. Somebody else on here will say the total opposite, that it took them five hours and it totally kicked their arse.
I was 70 and walked it in a little over 2 hours. Not a bad walk at all. It is a piece of cake when compared to the hill leaving Castrojeriz.
 

Steven Dwyer

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(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
Yes, it is doable, but others have raised some good points about delaying your start or making it a shorter day.

I just checked my old emails and in 2005 I set out from St. Jean at 11:45 am and arrived in Ronesvalles just before 6pm. I had just completed walking from Oloron St. Marie to Puente de la Reina in ten days, so was already conditioned to walking Longer days. I was 51 at the time and in generally good shape before I headed to Spain.
 
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simongx

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Time of past OR future Camino
Oct-Nov 2021 (Camino Francés)
Hi, I agree with the others that the plan has flaws (no way you can make it to St-Jean by train by 12.00) and that it sounds like a very stressful day even if you manage; to which I would also add that setting out for the mountains in the afternoon with minimal time to spare if things go wrong is not very reasonable safety-wise.

Having said that, in relation to whether the walk itself is doable, you may find it useful to know that I (mid-thirties, good fitness level - and as such comparable to you) walked over the Lepoeder pass (higher route) in October last year in six hours and 25 minutes.
 

alwalker

Al WAlker
Time of past OR future Camino
many.

next ones- Via Francigena, San Salvador, Primitivo, Portuguese
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
I found someone on the mountain that had spent the night outside - we called an ambulance to collect him. He had left SJPP at 2pm for Orrison and at 5pm he continued on when there was no available beds at Orrison. I would like to say bad luck - but it was really several bad decisions.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I'm beginning mid to late May, but I havent booked my flights yet.

The alternative is to fly to Barcelona and then get a train to Pamplona and begin there but I did kind of like the idea of walking from France to the end of Spain.
Where are you flying from? If jet lag then definitely need a few days to acclimatise.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
One thing to keep in mind here is that you're asking advice from a forum mostly comprised of people much older than you. Some twice your age. Naturally they're going to relate their experience walking from St Jean to Roncesvalles the first day and their level of difficulty doing it. There's no way a 35 year old me would have walked the Camino the same way I do now or even ten years ago when I first walked it. The 8 kms to Orrisson? Personally I didn't find it difficult at all and it's all on paved road. Walked it in less than two hours and that was when I was much older than you. Somebody else on here will say the total opposite, that it took them five hours and it totally kicked their arse.
Yes you are probably correct when it comes to Forum members, however I recall many of the people walking over were much younger, many in their twenties and thirties. The ones I saw straggling in late were all young.
Maybe age has taught us to plan and start earlier.


My Dad has this saying Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2022
UK. No jet lag 😉
Me also. So your checkin gotta be about 6am, and you’ve got to get a credential at the office before you walk unless youve ordered one online. Still it’s nice to visit there anyway and get a stamp, check the weather, list of albergues before you start. So after a 4am wake up, the most you could achieve after all that would be up to Borda to stay the night. However, if none of that fazes you and you’re a hard core hill walker who relished a really long hard day …. i just think there are things you’re missing being in such a rush.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Yes you are probably correct when it comes to Forum members, however I recall many of the people walking over were much younger, many in their twenties and thirties. The ones I saw straggling in late were all young.
Maybe age has taught us to plan and start earlier.


My Dad has this saying Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.
My dad used to say that too and years ago we were both avid runners and I'd always say that to him just before I pour on the coals and pull away from him for the last 2-3 kilometers. Later I'd ask him how'd the back of my shoes look? I can't repeat here what his response was lol
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
My dad used to say that too and years ago we were both avid runners and I'd always say that to him just before I pour on the coals and pull away from him for the last 2-3 kilometers. Later I'd ask him how'd the back of my shoes look? I can't repeat here what his response was lol
Ha Ha, when our family were all runners, Dad would beat my sister and I to the finish line, and then come back and run the last bit with us. My sister used to hate that - our Dad showing off, but unfortunately he could always beat us. By the time he was slowing down and we had a chance he switched to cycling.
He quit while he was ahead.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Ha Ha, when our family were all runners, Dad would beat my sister and I to the finish line, and then come back and run in with us. My sister used to hate that - our Dad showing off, but unfortunately he could always beat us. By the time he was slowing down and we had a chance he switched to cycling.
He quit while he was ahead.
My dad definitely had his revenge sometimes. On one 10km myself and my brother in law ran together with him he stayed with us for maybe a kilometer and made the remark I want a cold finish line beer and you guys are slowing me down. He poured it on and we didn't see him again until we got to the beer tent lol
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Yes you are probably correct when it comes to Forum members, however I recall many of the people walking over were much younger, many in their twenties and thirties.
The last time that I was in SJPdP I shipped a suitcase to Santiago using Express Bouricott's service. While I was in their office filling out the paperwork there were quite a few younger pilgrims in there who were planning to ship their packs ahead to Roncesvalles because they thought it would be too hard to carry them over the Pyrenees. (I carried my own pack)
 

mattythedog

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
The best flight I can find is arriving at Biarritz at 10am. The train from Biarritz to St Jean is around 1.5 hours so I may roughly arrive around midday. Is it safe enough to leave St Jean at 1pm and get to Roncevalles before dusk?

There are also flights into Barcelona and Carcassone (France) but those routes seem even more complicated to get to St Jean.
On or about 1 October in 2018, when I was 58, I flew from Phiilly to Madrid all night, then to Biarritz by 10am, then bus to Bayonne and train to SJPP by 1pm. Walked straight from train station to Roncessvalles via the Napoleon route to arrive Roncessvalles at 1900. There was plenty of daylight then, and you will have it past 2200 in May I believe. As long as the weather doesn't close the route, it is absolutely safe and doable. In April 2019, Napoleon route was closed so I walked via Valcarlos. 5.5 hours to Roncessvalles, but I had good night's sleep in St Jean prior.
 

mattythedog

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
As someone who has walked from SJPdP (over Napoleon) to Santiago in 17 days, I can very highly recommend slowing right down and taking everything in. There's no need for rushing and speeding to next destination. The Camino itself is the destination. 🖐🙋
Are you the Stuart from UK I ate dinner with on the other side of the bridge from Hospital de Orbigo beginning Oct 2017, and did you make it back in time for the birthday?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2012 CF
2014 CF
2022 CF
To save time Express Bouricott will provide a quicker way to SJPdP.

Dusk is determined by what day of the year you are walking, but assuming a 7pm time frame, that is 6 hours of walking straight with no rest stops. That would be an average of walking 4 Km/2.5 miles per hour, the majority on an average of about a 14% grade-incline (much of the first part to Orisson exceeds 20%).

The downhill portion is much shorter, and depends on how your knees and feet can handle steep declines.

Personally, I have always planned on a minimum of 9 hours, and on two trips over Napoleon Route, on three caminos, actually took just a bit longer.

Here is a link to YouTube footage of my last trip over the Napoleon step-by-step.

@davebugg thank you for this most delightful and energetic video. I watched it while working out this evening, and may do so several more times prior to my arrival in SJPP 18 May. Mochas gracias!
 
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pilgrimleigh

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 - Camino Frances
I appreciate all the comments and to confirm I wont to try to depart from St Jean in the afternoon.

As it turns out, I'm actually now planning to fly in to Barcelona and head up to Pamplona by train and start there to avoid making the first two days stressful.

I wont be leaving for 5-6 weeks so I still have time to iron out the details
 

Barbara

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I appreciate all the comments and to confirm I wont to try to depart from St Jean in the afternoon.

As it turns out, I'm actually now planning to fly in to Barcelona and head up to Pamplona by train and start there to avoid making the first two days stressful.

I wont be leaving for 5-6 weeks so I still have time to iron out the details
Relax and enjoy. Leave a little space for the unexpected or just for smelling the coffee.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
I appreciate all the comments and to confirm I wont to try to depart from St Jean in the afternoon.

As it turns out, I'm actually now planning to fly in to Barcelona and head up to Pamplona by train and start there to avoid making the first two days stressful.

I wont be leaving for 5-6 weeks so I still have time to iron out the details
Most of the Spanish have only started 2 days prior.
Enjoy Pamplona , book a good pension and relax , Puenta La Reina is a nice walk.
 
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Barbara

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Most of the Spanish have only started 2 days prior.
Enjoy Pamplona , book a good pension and relax , Puerta La Reina us a nice walk.
It's actually Puenta la Reina (bridge, not door) Autocorrect?
If you want to find it on a map look for Gares. No, I don't know why. Yes, it is a nice walk.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
It's actually Puenta la Reina (bridge, not door) Autocorrect?
If you want to find it on a map look for Gares. No, I don't know why.
Let me have a guess. Is it because you are referring to a map printed in Basque?

Puente la Reina/Gares, Pamplona/Iruña, Roncesvalles/Orreaga ... each town's official name in the Spanish language and the co-official name in the Basque language.
 
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Thornley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Let me have a guess. Is it because you are referring to a map printed in Basque?

Puente la Reina/Gares, Pamplona/Iruña, Roncesvalles/Orreaga ... each town's official name in the Spanish language and the co-official name in the Basque language.
We were told when walking from Le Puy that there is more Basque acres in France than Spain , is that correct?
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
We were told when walking from Le Puy that there is more Basque acres in France than Spain , is that correct?
I thought there was more Basque country in Spain than in France but I could be wrong of course…. No doubt someone else will know more about it than I do.
And I won’t get more into it as it would go against forum rules (politics) 🙂
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
I thought there was more Basque country in Spain than in France but I could be wrong of course…. No doubt someone else will know more about it than I do.
And I won’t get more into it as it would go against forum rules (politics) 🙂
Definitely no politics old mate.
We came across an ETA sign a few days prior to StJPP , around the "Snail " gite.
No books here so can't give the exact name , and then when we went to Biarritz for a day to break the long walk from Le Puy we started looking for;
* Les Trois Seours , a restaurant we had recommended by all the previous week.
Of course we ran into a local who discusses this with the bar and then the laughter commenced.
We were sent to;
** Ahizpak
Which of course means 3 sisters in Basque.
A great lunch , a great bill and a place I would return to tomorrow if I had the chance.
It was at this restaurant that the comment was made about France / Spain and Basque area.
If it was late afternoon when on a port / sherry Dom then you are more than likely 100% correct.
Keep well.
 
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