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Cutting my teeth on the Tunnel Route..

ScottTheAussie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
first one is in October 2013
Hello,

My first Camino is days away. I've chosen the Tunnel route then to join on the Camino de Santiago (Francias).
I fly into Biaritz 1:30 in the afternoon of the 5th October.
My flight leaves Santiago de Compstella on the 7th November.

On arrival I will have had over 21 hours of flying. So I'll be a little jet lagged.
I need your advice on a few things:
1. on where to stay in Irun, -
2. shuttle / taxi / bus from Biaritz airport to Irun. prices and experiences
3.overall I think I've given myself very little time to do this.... I am reasonably fit. and I've been walking a lot latetly with and without my pack. My goal is to reach Leon by October 23 and spend a night in a nice hotel there. (its a significant day for me). Is this doable? or have I bitten off more than I can chew?

.. if so.. can any of you kind pilgrims recommend a transport service to catch up?

Thanks in advance

Scotty
 

julie

Active Member
I can recommend Pension Lizaso, Calle Aduana, 5 Irun. It's very clean, inexpensive, quiet yet close to the station. Unfortunately I can't help you with prices for transport from Biarritz Airport but do know that you can either take a bus into Biarritz and then a train to Irun or bus from the airport to Hendaye and then train to Irun.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
The Biarritz train station is near the airport (actually several hundred meters from the airport to the south) where you can catch the train to Hendaye. Irun is then just across the border. Trains run about every 1 1/2 hours, and the fare is about 5.80E.
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
Hello,

My first Camino is days away. I've chosen the Tunnel route then to join on the Camino de Santiago (Francias).
I fly into Biaritz 1:30 in the afternoon of the 5th October.
My flight leaves Santiago de Compstella on the 7th November.

On arrival I will have had over 21 hours of flying. So I'll be a little jet lagged.
I need your advice on a few things:
1. on where to stay in Irun, -
2. shuttle / taxi / bus from Biaritz airport to Irun. prices and experiences
3.overall I think I've given myself very little time to do this.... I am reasonably fit. and I've been walking a lot latetly with and without my pack. My goal is to reach Leon by October 23 and spend a night in a nice hotel there. (its a significant day for me). Is this doable? or have I bitten off more than I can chew?

.. if so.. can any of you kind pilgrims recommend a transport service to catch up?

Thanks in advance

Scotty
Hola Scott,
I did the same route in April 2012 in 29 days. It was raining and even snowing 23 out of my 29 days. The paths were muddy. I loved it.
You can join C.Frances by either walking to StoDomingo which I did or to Burgos.
Most likely you will not meet any other pilgs!
Be careful on the mountains and listen to the locals before you climb up to the tunnel.
Don't climb if bad weather!
You can do it!
Enjoy!
Buen Camino.
 
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ScottTheAussie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
first one is in October 2013
Hola Annie,
I'm so excited I just laughed out loud. Wow raining and snowing 23 out of 29 days.
I'm looking forwards to that.
Muddy paths and all. :)
Thanks for sharing.
Buen Camino!
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
Well, it did. It did not rain all days but we got showers.
The tunnel day was foggy and COLD!
And I was caught up by a snow storm in Foncebadon and had to stop there after only 13 km to warm up and get dry.
It was snowing also when getting to Tosantos, hailing when walking to StoDomingo. Snow and mud on the Montes de Oca.
Hard times made us walk longer days and made us tougher!
I was walking the tunnel route with a friend but the rest alone.
On the C.Frances you never are alone anyway.
Go to the Camino Vasco section and you will find my notes on accommodation.
It is good to have a phone because sometimes you have to give notice the day before you want to check in an Albergue.
I am using iPad mini and hard to get everything right here, doesn't work so well on the new forum yet.
Buen Camino.
 
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jprogers

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (half of) 2005
Camino Portuguese 2007
Camino Norte 2009
Camino Ingles 2011
Camino Vasco del Interior Tunnel route 2013
Hi Scott
We (from Adelaide) walked this tunnel way in June of this year. We have left from Irun twice, (once for the camino norte and once for this way) each time arriving to the city by train. There is a pilgrim alburgue in Irun where you collect your credential - opens after 4pm-ish. This may be the exact timing for you. We stayed here the first time but the second time we just got a pension close to the train station. NOTE you can get the "small" train from hendaye to Irun or the larger train. They have different train tracks and different stations!!So needless to say we got lost the first time as we were just too clever!!!. People are helpful. Years ago..from the airport a bus goes to both Bayonne and Biarritz. The train runs from Bayonne/biaritz to Hendaye ..or even Irun. Taxi would no doubt get you there. I suggest after you arrive in Irun and are settled ..to look for the way out for the tunnel route using the guide .
For the tunnel route, which was well marked, we did a short stop - only 11 km the first day.. LOTS of rain the first two days lots of mud. In fact the tunnel was shrouded in fog so we took a bus/train for that bit. We met one spanish pilgrim briefly for a day. We used the CSJ guide but as I said very well way marked. They had had torrential rain in this part of Spain leading up to June so the rivers were raging and sometimes the track was a river.! We went to Santa Domingo de C. As that was our end to our short camino.
They speak Spanish and Basque in this area so communication may be a bit difficult. You can Private Message (pm) me for more info.
Lovely countryside, lovely food ..and not many alburgues but enough pensions.
Regards Jill
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Scott:

This route is a nice alternative to starting in SJPdP. There is plenty of accomodation. See information listed under Camino Vasco in this forum. The early part about this route starts much more gently and is a little more Pedestrian than SJPdP.

Annie is correct in saying you should check the weather with locals before going through the tunnel.

I walked in the Spring and can not provide you with any information on weather in October.

There are also several options along this route. The main choice will be whether to intersect the Frances at Santa Domingo de Calzada or Burgos. I joined the Frances at SDdC because I like staying in the Albergue in Granon. There is a woman named Fatma on this forum who has taken the route to Burgos. She has provided some information regarding the Burgos option. This Camino is well marked but pay attention after you go through the tunnel. I got lost here on a rainy/foggy day.

The Haro/Brinas area, just before connecting to the Frances, has some great winery's.

Jill, is correct in saying this area is very Basque. If you are saying Hola to folks, they might respond saying Kaixo. Hello in Basque. They also like their cider.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
There is also a camino from Bayonne to Burgos (Via de Bayona).
It follows the Tunnel Route between Irun and La Puebla de Arganzon and all the way to Burgos.
http://www.mundicamino.com/rutas.cfm?id=59
www.caminosantiagoviadebayona.com
It is about 300 km so about 800km all the way to Santiago.
The only one I know walked this route is FatmaG (but she has walked them all...:) ).
 
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ScottTheAussie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
first one is in October 2013
In Tolosa now
I stayed in the Albergue just outside town. Carmen the hostess is very lovely.
It's well kept and clean and they have fantastic suppers.

I missed the credential pickup in Irun and just got it here today from Brian the tourist guy. Pincho and wifi at the iratxo taberna in the afternoon / dusk is great.. Awesome basque family atmosphere in the square.
Today I also posted about 2kg of stuff to Ivar today.. I was waay over packed. Hope I don't need that warm jacket.. I do have layers and right now I find it really warm walking.. It's just when I stop.
Hernani was fun I asked a passing girl for directions to Albergue / pension and she actually had a room at her place! She cooked dinner and took me to see her brother sing in a choir in a massive cathedral some miles away.
What a start to the adventure!
Buen Camino!
 

ScottTheAussie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
first one is in October 2013
Zegama to Salvatirrra.
Today was Arduous. Capital A.
A climb from 200m to 1150m above sea level. Through the tunnel of St Adrian (I know right) and then back down to 500m. Today I wanted to come home. I miss my kids and my friends. I was alone on the road for most of the day.
Not knowing the language is a challenge. Been learning some basque words. Eskerik asko (Thankyou), agur ( goodbye), mesédez (please) .
No breakfast and no lunch today except for a Kafe ebakia at 7:00am. Good thing I had some apples (mañzana) from the shop and some bread (pan) that I took home from last nights cena.
Dinner is late at night usually between 8 and 9:pm. I'm getting used to eating large meals late now.

Found an Albergue in Salvatierre that is on the other side of town. €5. Per night it's got about 12 bunks and 1 shower/ toilet. Very small and compact. It's new and clean and close to a supermarket. Right now I'm in a restaraunt with free wifi (Jose Mari Jatetxea) which was recommended by the Albergue volunteer. It has rooms with bathrooms included for €25.

This time of year is great! Had a bit of rain today for the first time.
So many blackberries growing wild on the side of the road. Had a meal of them today too. The Camino certainly does provide.

Ultreya!
 

jprogers

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (half of) 2005
Camino Portuguese 2007
Camino Norte 2009
Camino Ingles 2011
Camino Vasco del Interior Tunnel route 2013
Hi Scott - I understand how hard it is with the language and the solitary nature of the walk-but you will be in Vitoria-Gastiez now which is a great city. From Vitoria there are less villages and the cafes maybe closed so a packed lunch is a good idea. After Vitoria we saw a few locals out for their walks. The terrain is less arduous from now on although there is another hill between Salinillas and Brinas. That hill has a reasonable gradient up and then a steep descent ..but we found it ok . Our stages from Vitoria were -La Puebla de Arganzon (Camino alburge plus a hotel there) - Brinas - Sta Dom De LA C -and there you will meet lots of people! Buen Camino Cheers Jill
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Scott:

Victoria-Gastiez is a very large city (250,000). It used to be the regional capital and is larger than any city on the Camino. You will not be lonely there and should be able to find anything you need.

JpRogers is correct when she states the rest of the route is not very difficult. After the climb, mentioned above, the descent into the valley (Brinas-Haro) is a stunning view, imo, the best on the route. The area has a lot of wineries. I stayed in Haro a nice city with a lot of bars and restaurants.

After that you will connect with the Frances in Santa Domingo de Calzada. Once you join the Frances you should have plenty of Company. You should stop in the Cathedral there. It has an interesting Pilgrim story.

I would recommend you walk on to Granon and stay in the church Albergue. You sleep on mats on the floor but it has one of the most welcoming environments on the Camino. They will serve a Pilgrim meal and it is Donativo. I remember staying there after the Vasco and it was a shock being with 40 people from a dozen countries after the solitary Vasco.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

FatmaG

Active Member
There is also a camino from Bayonne to Burgos (Via de Bayona).
It follows the Tunnel Route between Irun and La Puebla de Arganzon and all the way to Burgos.
The only one I know walked this route is FatmaG (but she has walked them all...:) ).
Hahahaaaa, Annie - in fact, there are plenty caminos missing.... And I have a long way before me to have walked them all.
(Well, I just chose some atypical caminos, that's it; plenty of other forum members are the real "specialists" and their posts pushed me to follow their footsteps)

Scott, buen camino, whatever alternative you choose. Or chose - you might by now well be on your way to Santo Domingo.
Unfortunately, none of us can give you a comparison of the different options. The direct way to Burgos (which is indeed the Via de Bayona) might spare you a day or two. By now, I just remember very beautiful parts as well as quite a lot of walking on streets (and even some stretches along a very busy national road - quite dangerous with all those trucks). And lonelyness as no other pilgrims met for days. And lovely encounters with locals. (Fortunately, even the Basque spoke Castillan with me.)

Enjoy!
FatmaG
 

ScottTheAussie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
first one is in October 2013
Took the way from Vitoria-Gasteiz, which has been the most beautiful city I've seen so far...
...To La Puebla de Arganzon (where there is one little Albergue with a bathtub run by an pls Camino enthusiast..
Then on the Haro where I joined with the Francais in Santo Domingo.
It was overall a fantastic trip. I would do it again this time of year and totally recommend it.
Two things I'd do different is get a credidential in Irun; and learn more Spanish.

I've joined with a fantastic group of peregrinos from all over the world.. Now in Burgos

Buen Camino!
 
M

MendiWalker

Guest
Hi Scott

I hope you have enjoyed the Tunnel Route. I love it when people discover "my mountains" and I also hope "they" treated you right.
They are one of the reasons I decided to settle here and plant my roots.
Do tell us more as you get along your Camino.

Ondo Ibili nire lagun ( Buen Camino my friend) :)
 

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