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Getting to St Jean


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Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
This is an abridged message from Tim Proctor who has a B&B in St Jean:

I decided today to write this, it's been on my mind for sometime. By way of introduction I own and run a B & B in St Jean Peid de Port. The reason for writing this today is that I have two customers kicking their heels in Pamplona for the day whilst waiting for the one bus to Roncevalles from where they will get a taxi to bring them to me to start on the Camino the next day. The bus, the one and only bus, does not leave until 18.00 hours this evening and they will not be here until about 20.00 at a guess.
The whole question of getting to St Jean Pied de Port from Spain, is difficult, the problem is historic. The best and cheapest way to get to St Jean Pied de Port is by train from St Esprit Station in Bayonne. If you are flying in via the UK or Northern Europe that's not too difficult because there are flights into Biarritz and the STAB no 6 bus goes direct to the station for under 2 euro.
It's when you come in via Madrid that your problems start. You can get a train from Madrid Atocha to Irun or Pamplona. The service to Irun takes over seven hours and it's almost impossible to make the journey in one day because the connections don't happen,.
You can get the train into Pamplona, then the bus to Roncevalles and then the taxi to St Jean Pied de Port but again it's a long day. Or you can fly to Pamplona, get the number 21 bus into the town centre, then the bus to Roncevalles.
Two other alternatives come up.
The first is to book flights into San Sebastian (Hondarriba) from Madrid, if you do this when you make your booking into Madrid and specify a 'round trip' you can get these flights for as low as $50 each way.
The second suggestion is to hire a car and drive from Madrid to the same airport San Sebastian (Hondarriba) the Spanish car hire companies of National/Atesa do one way hire with no pick up charge for leaving the car at Hondarriba and this is probably the cheapest route if there is more than one person making the trip. Once at Hondarriba Airport get a taxi to the SNCF station at Hendaye, it's no more than three miles, just across the border in France, from there it's a 25 minute train journey to Bayonne and the train up the valley to St Jean Pied de Port.
I've attached a copy of the current timetable for the Bayonne St Jean Pied de Port service and will shortly be putting a page on my website Errecaldia <http://errecaldia.com> with the above information and links to STAB, National/Atesa and the like.
I hope that this is of use to you all.
Tim Proctor

PS from Sil:
The CSJ of SA recommends that pilgrims email Caroline at the Express Burricot apcaroline@hotmail.com to arrange a lift from Pamplona to St Jean. She runs her Express Burricot (little donkey) service and carts peregrinos over the mountain every day at about 11am and then 4pm with pilgrims sharing the taxi cost. It could be as low as 9 euro if there are enough of you - or 30 euro if only one or two.
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos
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