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First time pilgrim in April 2010

MaritaSanchez

New Member
My friend, Alma, and I are planning to start our trip this April. I have a couple of questions that I hope members can help me with. My first question is about where to begin. Should we start in SJPP or Roncesvalles? We plan to arrive at the starting point on April 12 to commence walking on Tuesday, April 13. (This last point brought cries of protest from my son's host family in Barcelona since Tuesday the 13th is equivalent to our Friday the 13th.) Weather concerns are pushing me towards choosing Roncesvalles. My last concern relates to "bed chasing." First of all, how do we know which hostel to go to? Is this something that we should plan in advance? What do we do when we find that the albergue is full? Walk to the next town? I am hoping that "God will provide" in those times of need as I do not wish to "rush" to the next albergue in order to claim a bed. That, I feel, would be missing the point of the whole experience.
 
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skilsaw

Veteran Member
MaritaSanchez said:
I have a couple of questions that I hope members can help me with.
Should we start in SJPP or Roncesvalles? My last concern relates to "bed chasing." What do we do when we find that the albergue is full? Walk to the next town? I am hoping that "God will provide" in those times of need as I do not wish to "rush" to the next albergue in order to claim a bed.
Where to start?
My personal choice would be to start in SJPP. The staff at the camino office in SJPP will tell you the weather forcast for the day, and advise you which route to take... The off-road route is the route Napoleon and is the route where people get lost in snow storms, etc. The road route goes through the town of Valcarlos, thus called the Valcarlos route.
SJPP to Roncesvalles is a very challenging first day, and peregrinos you meet later on will ask "Which route did you take?" "Napoleon route" you will answer with pride. But Valcarlos route is a challenge too.

What about the bed race?
I don't worry about not getting a bed. The few occasions where the albergues were full, I got a hotel. On the Saturday of the Easter weekend, I couldn't find anywhere to sleep so at 7:00 pm I took a taxi 17 kms to the next town. Everything worked out fine.

I hope you do not feel pressured to join the bed race... leaving the albergue in the dark and arriving at your destination for the day by noon or 2:00 pm. I suspect there will be extra facilities for pilgrims because 2010 is a Holy Year. Tents, or the floor at the local gynmasium...

Relax, and enjoy your preparations for your pilgrimage.
David, Victoria, Canada
 
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2017 | May | Vezelay Camino.....watch this space!

2010 | September | Camino de Santiago in - completed in full - 33 days - no rest days! Was an awesome experience!!
Hi Marita

I too, am a first time Pilgrim and will be departing on my exciting adventure on Tuesday 13th April from St Jean!! I'm of the opposite thought process and think of 13 as a LUCKY number!! lol (it was the day my divorce came through hehe hehe) so ever since 13 indeed been lucky and so wanted to start my Camino adventure on 13th!!

I will be staying at the L'Esprit du Chemin Hostel Sunday 11th & Monday 12th - happy to meet up and cross the Pyrennes with you on Tuesday 13th (if the weather is kind and allows us to go through that path).

I'm not going to rush, have a good sleeping bag & great lightweight floor mat and will be happy with a portico floor or gymnasium floor - I don't need a bed specifically!!

Cheers
Jacqui
 

MaritaSanchez

New Member
Thank you so much for the advice. I'm feeling a little more at ease now. It will be an amazing adventure that's for sure! I don't know where we'll start yet. I'm still awaiting input from my friend who lives in another state. The walk will be a good way for us to reconnect. We haven't seen each other in over 5 years.

Thanks Jacqui, if we do decide to start at SJPP, we will be sure to look for you! Even if we don't start there we may still run into each other as we are planning to take breaks every now and then. Good luck to all who walk to Santiago! :D

Marita
 

crackmrmac

Veteran Member
Enjoy the planning & anticipation. Have you considered the Pilgrim Forum Badge? See bottom right hand side of page.

Buen Camino.
 
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Arn

Veteran Member
Jacqui,

I am a great fan of the number 13. I was married on Fri 13th, though I was divorced on April 1st. Something to that thought.

I also stayed at the L'Esprit du Chemin Hostel and I was scheduled to begin my Camino on April the 13th in 2008, but word came thru that a storm was to hit Roncevalles, so we left on the 11th staying at Orisson mid way up and got to the top of the pass a day before the storm hit.

I believe it's a good thought to stop at Orisson then carry on. It opens many options: gets you off to a solid start, you get one of the best meals, right after a fantastic meal at the L'Esprit.

Enjoy you walk along the Way.

Arn
 
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Deleted member 3000

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If you are starting in Spain, Roncesvalles is an easier starting point; from France, you can take the train/bus to Biarritz/Bayonne and the St. Jean Pied de Port.
 
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2017 | May | Vezelay Camino.....watch this space!

2010 | September | Camino de Santiago in - completed in full - 33 days - no rest days! Was an awesome experience!!
I believe it's a good thought to stop at Orisson then carry on. It opens many options: gets you off to a solid start, you get one of the best meals, right after a fantastic meal at the L'Esprit.
Thank you Arn - I believe that's good advice - have been toying with that idea and also having my first REST day in Pamplona on day 4! Think a gentle steady start puts you in good stead for the remainder and will catch up if I want to once my body becomes tuned to the Camino way!! : :D

I will definately think about doing that and email to see if they have a spare spot to reserve. You can reserve in advance there which is helpful, I have already reserved my 2 nights in St Jean at L'Esprit du Chemin and am so looking forward to the evening dinner! :D oh and the wine LOL.

Thanks for sparking my option to stop in Orisson - given the weather is looking decidedly "dodgy" at the moment with lots of snow and possibly late snow in March - after 3 hours UPHILL with backpack to their Albergue I will probably be very very thankful I did!! Besides its just something more wonderful to add to the journey & experience.

Cheers
Jacqui
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Jacqui,

While in SJPDP, take te time to walk up the street to the farmer's market near the river. There you will find many fantastic local tid-bits...from cheeses, to veggies, to hard sausage to...VINO!

Then, take the items back to the Albergue and make yourself a super lunch. Keep the cheese, sausage for the trek to Orisson. Once there, and if it's clear, you can sit outside on the patio and enjoy the charming long-distance view while you eat some of the good things you've brought. I'm told that many wedding parties are held here for the view alone.

Oh, make sure you email: refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr

Get a confirmation and, then, while still in SJ...call ahead from the pilgrim office for another confirmation AND, most important...current weather!

Buen "ah, Orisson...a great memory" Camino

Arn
 
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MaritaSanchez

New Member
I received my Camino Forum patch this week. It makes everything seem more real now. I am both very excited and a little nervous about my upcoming pilgrimage. After thinking about it for over 5 years, it's really going to happen!

Thanks to all forum members who contribute to this site. The advice from veteran walkers is invaluable. It's also good to see that others share similar feelings and concerns.

Marita
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017 | May | Vezelay Camino.....watch this space!

2010 | September | Camino de Santiago in - completed in full - 33 days - no rest days! Was an awesome experience!!
Marita - I too am anxiously excited - I've been planning/talking about doing this for 2 years :) I think it's the unknown, we live a day to day life whereby we mostly know exactly what is going to happen and what to expect etc - but the Camino is so very very different to that - the only thing we do know for sure is that each day we will walk..... :wink:

Arn - I have booked my accommodation at Orisson - well I have sent the email - I will keep waiting to hear from them - I don't think they are currently open - so I may not hear until the beginning of March. They say they are open from the beginning of April but assume they will be checking emails & taking bookings prior to opening. I will keep on it.... :wink: The confirmation emails I have received from L'espirit Chemin in STPDP have been fabulous and also advised about the Farmers Market on Monday's - so am really looking forward to that. I will take my supplies for Tuesday's trek to Orisson but the L'esprit Chemin are providing me with dinner - so don't think I'll need to prepare myself a meal whilst I am there. Some of the food I take will probably still be ok for the next day to Roncesvalles - given it's not going to be hot weather!! :D

I also have ordered my Forum badge and excitedly await for the mail - probably won't arrive in Australia until early next week - it will take pride of place on my backpack :)

Marita, it will be so good if we do meet up on the Camino :D is always amazing to meet people from other parts of the world but doing the same thing as you - it's a mutual common denominator which I love.

Buen Camino ALL
Jacqui
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017 | May | Vezelay Camino.....watch this space!

2010 | September | Camino de Santiago in - completed in full - 33 days - no rest days! Was an awesome experience!!
Arn & Marita

Do you both have Facebook?

If you do, search for CAMINO HEARTBEAT and my fund raising page will pop up - I will be blogging on that daily whilst I am on the Camino - Arn you can keep track of "The Way" via that :D Love to see you both on it if you have Facebook.

Ciao ciao
Jacqui
 

chrisngoi

New Member
hi all! i'll arrive at SJPP on the 13th night! so i'll only start on the 14th! maybe i'll walk a little faster and catch up with you guys along the way! hahah anyway Jacqui i just joined your group=)
chris
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2017 | May | Vezelay Camino.....watch this space!

2010 | September | Camino de Santiago in - completed in full - 33 days - no rest days! Was an awesome experience!!
Hi Chris

Thank you - anyone is very welcome to join :D

Thanks to Marita also who joined & any others who wish to - the more the merrier :p

Actually the more the better really, means I can create much more awarenesss and THAT is a good thing!

Buen Camino :mrgreen:
 
Hi Everyone:
Jsut want to say hello even though I will be a few days behind you. I will start from SJPP on April 18th but, I am also staying at the Espirit the night before.

I read your emails and just want to say I was glad to see others are excited with this time approachign. I am finding I am so ready to go that if I think about it too much I can't sleep.

Best to all,
Louise
ctlou
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Louise,

All too soon the excitement generated "can't sleep" on the home front will be exchanged for the exhausted fitful sleep of the albergues.

Isn't it grand!

Buen "sleep tight...don't let the bed bugs bite" Camino,

Arn
 

MaritaSanchez

New Member
It's March and almost a month away from the day I leave. I have decided to commence my journey from Roncesvalles since I will be coming from Barcelona. I hope to be on the road either the 14th or 15th depending on what my son wants to do. Chris, maybe we will meet up at some point.

I have a question concerning trains. Should I get a reservation in advance from Barcelona to Roncesvalles or should I just purchase the ticket at the train station on the day I leave? The same question applies for leaving Santiago for Madrid. If I were to purchase tickets in advance then I would be committed to keeping a schedule.

Marita
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017 | May | Vezelay Camino.....watch this space!

2010 | September | Camino de Santiago in - completed in full - 33 days - no rest days! Was an awesome experience!!
Hi Marita

How did your Camino go?? I'd love to hear.

I'm just under 8 weeks out from mine - am so so ready to go!!

Cheers
Jacqui
 
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