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Camino Aragones (Oleron Ste. Marie > Puente La Reina)

rob

New Member
Hello all

I am walking the Camino de Santiago starting this coming June. Unlike the majority of pilgrims i plan to start from Oleron Ste. Marie, in the French pyreenees, which leads on to the Camino Aragones at Somport.

I would be grateful if any fellow pilgrims could answer some slight concerns that i have regarding the first week of my pilgrimage.

Is the path hard to follow, especially on the French side of the border?? As it is my first few days i am keen to get off to a good start, and not have to worry too much about directions??

I have heard contrasting views about the amount of avaliable accomadation. Are the cheap pilgrim hostels that i will be relying on be avaliable or not??

I hope to be able to pick up a Credencial in Oleron. Is the credencial issued in France the same as one that is needed in Spain?? Obviously i could just wait to Somport, but for sake of mind you'd want to get one asap.

I have no worries about my pilgrimage once i get to Puerte La Reina, but wouldn't mind reassurance about the Camino Aragones. Is it a route that is getting popular??

Thanks in anticipation for any help.
Rob.
 
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The last bit of the GR653 up to the Somport was disrupted by construction of the tunnel, and the FFRP stopped maintaining it. AFAIK, this is still the case: you have to follow the road. This of course makes it very easy to follow ;-)

There's maps and accommodation lists on the Amis site; start at http://www.santiago-via-arles.org/carte ... r_sarr.htm
There are a couple of gites d'etape, inc one at the Somport itself, but AFAIK there are no pilgrim refuges.

According to the Pyr-Atl Amis http://www.aucoeurduchemin.org/spip/art ... rticle=602
1797 pilgrims registered at the Accueil (in the tourist office) in Oloron [not Oleron] last year, though not all of course will have gone over the Somport. No doubt they can give you a monthly breakdown, but I doubt whether you'll find the route crowded. No doubt they can furnish you with a credencial too, but I doubt whether you'll find much use for this on the French side. I would doubt whether there's anywhere you can pick one up at the Somport either - there's very little there, and what there is is more oriented to skiing, which will all be closed in June.
 

rob

New Member
Thanks for your help. I presume that the route would become more popular after Somport as many Spanish pilgrims will start their route here??
 
according to the compostela figures for last year, 1,196 started at the Somport, 121 in Canfranc (the railway station presumably), 415 in Jaca (compared with 13,108 in Roncesvalles and 9,343 in St Jean PdP).
 

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