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Has anyone started in Lourdes and walked to St. Jean Pied de Port?

KarliMc

New Member
#1
I am going to do the Camino Frances starting in Mid-Feb. I was wondering if anyone at all started in Lourdes and walked to St. Jean? I was debating if I was going to train to Lourdes back to Bayonne and then down to St. Jean or just walk? I didn't realize how close Lourdes was to St. Jean until recently. I'd like to go because my first religious experience was at La Grotte Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, which is a replica of the grotto at Lourdes. So it would be amazing to go. Also is there anywhere inexpensive to stay in Lourdes?

Thanks.
 

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FatmaG

Active Member
#4
I didn't start in Lourdes, but walked from Narbonne to Saint Jean via Lourdes.
There is a pilgrim's albergue (for Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago) in Lourdes, very lovely place, you are warmely welcomed arriving there!
After Lourdes, there must be 7 or 8 days to Saint Jean.
You will find my detailed notes in this camino section (it was in 2011 already).
I enjoyed this camino very much!
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2013 ... the plot thickens. Next walk part of the Jakobsweg from Nuremberg towards ...
#5
Are you oblivious to your needs?
 

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Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#6
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2013 ... the plot thickens. Next walk part of the Jakobsweg from Nuremberg towards ...
#8
When I went I left my life in His hands and didn't plan anything. Go with what you're told to.
 
#10
#11
I have a couple of months because my job is in the off season. And that is exactly it. I don't know why I want to go I just feel like I need to.
Karli, I too had no idea how close Lourdes was to SJPP. As an FYI check out Fatima distance to SDC also. I think it is about a 5 hour bus trip but I could have that wrong. I know that you are drawn to Lourdes but for me I thought for my first camino I would stick with the Camino Frances and if I had extra time at the end then perhaps go to Fatima rather that Finisterra. I will be walking May 18th t0 June 27 when my return is already scheduled.
Wishing you the best for your camino.
Stefania
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#12
I've walked from Lourdes to Sanguesa then bussed to Pamplona, but not to SJPP.
But it's only another 2-3 days.
The walking in France was spectacular!
We flew to Barcelona, then took a bus to Toulouse.

My blog about that trek begins here:
http://www.caminosantiago2.blogspot.com/2012/05/toulouse.html
Hi Annie
I'm planning to fly from oz into Barcelona on 23/4/14 and arrive 1.40pm 24th. If possible I would like to walk with a friend leaving Lourdes am on sat 26th.
Searching for thread on Barcelona to Lourdes brings up your walk. Would you recall what time the bus leaves Barcelona for Toulouse. I haven't committed to my flight yet but if I could get there (Lourdes) from Toulouse all on same day /ie fri 25th. / (staying night of arrival24 in Barcelona) -
My friend is planning to go over Somport and join Frances at Puenta de la Reina

I was also wondering whether this was passible end April early may but I guess whether is never going to be exactly the same as previous yrs.

Since I walked the Frances in Aug/sept 13 I had in mind parting there(Puenta de la Reina) and bussing north /then walking from say irun for a bit, and then getting myself to the primitivo
Any thoughts /ideas would be appreciated.
OzAnnie
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#13
OzAnnie, this was a couple of years ago so I'm sure the times have changed. But as I recall, the bus left early morning from Barcelona. It was a very long bus ride, maybe 7.5 hours. I understand now, as of December 2013, there is a direct AVE train from Barcelona to Toulouse. The journey takes three hours with tickets starting from 40 euros. This is a much better option than the bus. But I would plan on spending one or two night near the rail station in Barcelona and then bus to Toulouse. Barcelona is a FANTASTIC city to visit!

Regarding the weather, of course one never knows, but we walked in April and didn't find snow until we hit Canfranc. The weather was an enjoyable mixture of very hot to very cold. The scenery was simply majestic.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#14
Thanks so much. Train even better. When I saw your post bussing to Toulouse, I didn't think of train as prior to this travel agent had given me a 'humongous ' journey to Lourdes. This forum is an irreplaceable resource isn't it?

Yes after I sent my message last night I did check out Toulouse It would be nice to spend time looking at it and Lourdes instead of tearing off up and over! I may just have to start a couple of days after my friend however did also read other thoughts on forum which advised not to contemplate via Somport alone any time of year!!! (Speaking of weather I understand).

I agree re Barcelona. I started and finished a holiday there in 2012. /about 3 days start and base for 5 days at end. Loved it. We had booked a night at Montserrat Great ! It was my first Camino. /from Porto to Santiago in the middle of all this. So all previous 'normal' travel is taking a back seat . I feel now that while I'm fit I'll walk. Great camaraderie

Thanks for sharing Annie
Annie (oz)
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
#15
I have a couple of months because my job is in the off season. And that is exactly it. I don't know why I want to go I just feel like I need to.
The feeling that one needs to is as good a reason as any. I didn't know why I was going until I went... Even while walking it was unfolding before me. It was incredible. When I arrived in Santiago, it was the most amazing feeling ever, I just felt so alive. I was in the Cathedral for the Pilgrim's mass on All Saints Day. It was profound! Do it because you can!
 

julie

Active Member
Donating Member
#16
Since I walked the Frances in Aug/sept 13 I had in mind parting there(Puenta de la Reina) and bussing north /then walking from say irun for a bit, and then getting myself to the primitivo
Any thoughts /ideas would be appreciated.
OzAnnie
Hi Annie,

There is a daily bus (on some days two services) from Puente la Reina to Irun. The website is http://www.laestellesa.com/servicios/index.asp

You can't put in your dates at the moment as it only takes a month in advance but it will give you an idea of the time and the route it takes.
 

richeyboy

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdeC: Oct 2011; SJPP-Leon, Oct 14; Tomar (PO)/SJPP Oct 15
#17
I am going to start my camino this year at Lourdes in September and then via SJPP so I shall be going along the voie piemont/GR78. I have got all the mapping details worked out but I am really hazy on accommodation. Does anyone know where I can get a list of auberges and hostals along the route? Thanks
 
Camino(s) past & future
Voie du Piémont/Camino Frances (2014)
Caminho Portugues (2016)
#18
I am going to start my camino this year at Lourdes in September and then via SJPP so I shall be going along the voie piemont/GR78. I have got all the mapping details worked out but I am really hazy on accommodation. Does anyone know where I can get a list of auberges and hostals along the route? Thanks
Hello,
I am walking the Voie du Piemont starting next Friday. Here is a list of accomodation: http://vppyr.free.fr/documents/recapitulatif_des_hebergements_michel_s.pdf

It is in French, however, so if you cannot read French I'll just give you a list of the places I'm staying:
  • Lourdes - Hotel
  • Asson - Accueil Saint Jacques, 3 Rue des Pyrénées, $13 per night
  • Arudy - Presbytère Arudy, 2 Rue Baulong, Donativo ($12) per night
  • Oloron Sainte Marie - Gîte Relais du Bastet, 12 Place de la Résistance, $17 per night
  • L'Hôpital Saint-Blaise - Gîte Pèlerins, Le Bourg, $18 per night
  • Mauléon-Licharre - Maison Zazpian, 7 Rue des Deportes, $73 per night
  • St-Just-Ibarre - Maison Briseteia, Le Bourg, $72 per night
  • St-Jean-Pied-de-Port - L'Esprit du Chemin, 40 Rue de la Citadelle, $29 per night
The telephone numbers for all or most of these places are contained in the above document which I have linked.
Buen Camino!
 

Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#19
I walked Lourdes to SJPP in May 2015. I started my Camino there because I wanted a more rustic experience without a lot of pilgrims like my earlier Camino Frances experiences. I got what I was looking for on the GR78! I stayed at many of the places listed in the post above. I am currently writing a book "Spiritual & Walking Guide: Lourdes to SJPP" because I could not find much info in the English language. It was fun to try to use what little French is still in my old brain...but I prefer my route following to be in my native language. Stay tuned!
 

qalawun

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Piemont + Camino Frances (2016)
England Coast to Coast (2017)
#20
I walked Lourdes to SJPP in May 2015. I started my Camino there because I wanted a more rustic experience without a lot of pilgrims like my earlier Camino Frances experiences. I got what I was looking for on the GR78! I stayed at many of the places listed in the post above. I am currently writing a book "Spiritual & Walking Guide: Lourdes to SJPP" because I could not find much info in the English language. It was fun to try to use what little French is still in my old brain...but I prefer my route following to be in my native language. Stay tuned!
Hi Stacey
I'm new to this forum and am planning to walk from Lourdes to SDC next May. My wife and I are almost 60 and this is the first major long-distance walk we have ever attempted. Our friends think we are mad.
The info on the forum has been incredibly useful for the Camino Frances but I'm struggling a bit to get information on the route from Lourdes to SJPDP.
Previous posts have helped me map a route from Lourdes, via Asson, Arudy, Hopital Ste Blaise etc to St Just Ibarra, however we will probably deviate a bit based on accommodation availability in these places. We are looking at small hotels, chambres d'hotes etc rather than auberges/albergues. I am already well down the track in terms of where to stay....
My questions: Apart from a French guide called Ref.780 Le Chemin du piémont pyrénéen vers St-Jacques-de-Compostelle, I have struggled to find anything in English. My French is reasonable and I'll probably manage with the French guide if nothing else is available. Has anyone walked this route? Which are the best maps to buy? I think the route more or less follows the GR78 but I wonder how well it is waymarked. Would it be useful to carry a Garmin GPS with maps preloaded (assuming this can be done - I've never used one before). Also is there any website that indicates the altitude/elevations we will be walking each day?
Any help or advice on this route would be much appreciated
Thanks!
 

qalawun

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Piemont + Camino Frances (2016)
England Coast to Coast (2017)
#21
I am going to start my camino this year at Lourdes in September and then via SJPP so I shall be going along the voie piemont/GR78. I have got all the mapping details worked out but I am really hazy on accommodation. Does anyone know where I can get a list of auberges and hostals along the route? Thanks
Hi Richeyboy
I'm new to this forum and am planning to walk from Lourdes to SDC next May. My wife and I are almost 60 and this is the first major long-distance walk we have ever attempted. Our friends think we are mad.
The info on the forum has been incredibly useful for the Camino Frances but I'm struggling a bit to get information on the route from Lourdes to SJPDP.
Previous posts have helped me map a route from Lourdes, via Asson, Arudy, Hopital Ste Blaise etc to St Just Ibarra, however we will probably deviate a bit based on accommodation availability in these places. I am already well down the track in terms of where to stay....
My questions: Apart from a French guide called Ref.780 Le Chemin du piémont pyrénéen vers St-Jacques-de-Compostelle, I have struggled to find anything in English. My French is reasonable and I'll probably manage with the French guide if nothing else is available. Has anyone walked this route? Which are the best maps to buy? I think the route more or less follows the GR78 but I wonder how well it is waymarked. You said you had 'the mapping worked out'. Would it be useful to carry a Garmin GPS with maps preloaded (assuming this can be done - I've never used one before)...
Any help or advice on this route would be much appreciated
Thanks!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#22
I do not think there are any guides in English except translations of internet websites. There are too few English speakers to make a book worthwhile. Go with a French guide. Bon chemin.
 

Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#23
Hi Stacey
I'm new to this forum and am planning to walk from Lourdes to SDC next May. My wife and I are almost 60 and this is the first major long-distance walk we have ever attempted. Our friends think we are mad.
The info on the forum has been incredibly useful for the Camino Frances but I'm struggling a bit to get information on the route from Lourdes to SJPDP.
Previous posts have helped me map a route from Lourdes, via Asson, Arudy, Hopital Ste Blaise etc to St Just Ibarra, however we will probably deviate a bit based on accommodation availability in these places. We are looking at small hotels, chambres d'hotes etc rather than auberges/albergues. I am already well down the track in terms of where to stay....
My questions: Apart from a French guide called Ref.780 Le Chemin du piémont pyrénéen vers St-Jacques-de-Compostelle, I have struggled to find anything in English. My French is reasonable and I'll probably manage with the French guide if nothing else is available. Has anyone walked this route? Which are the best maps to buy? I think the route more or less follows the GR78 but I wonder how well it is waymarked. Would it be useful to carry a Garmin GPS with maps preloaded (assuming this can be done - I've never used one before). Also is there any website that indicates the altitude/elevations we will be walking each day?
Any help or advice on this route would be much appreciated
Thanks!
Hello Galawun,
I am 60 and walked Lourdes to SJPP in May 2015. I have not found much info in English and that is why I am writing the book "Spiritual & Walking Guide: Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port." I used maps and information found at Au Coeur du Chemin, a French Camino organization, for my pilgrimage. I did not use a GPS - seems like people who use them either miss some of the spontaneity of way following and orienteering ... or they are confused by the technology. The GR78 is fairly well marked -- takes awhile to get use to "seeing" the 'blanc et rouge' -- but in a few instances the distances posted on some markers seem to be off. (I heard that from other hikers, too.)

There were few pilgrims in the albergues -- where I typically stayed -- and recommend that you do the same as there are few other accommodations along the way. I got my lodging info at: http://www.aucoeurduchemin.org/spip/spip.php?rubrique385

Bon voyage, Stacey Wittig

Edited by moderator
 
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Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#24
I am going to start my camino this year at Lourdes in September and then via SJPP so I shall be going along the voie piemont/GR78. I have got all the mapping details worked out but I am really hazy on accommodation. Does anyone know where I can get a list of auberges and hostals along the route? Thanks
Hi RicheyBoy,

I walked Lourdes to SJPP in May 2015. I got my accommodation info at http://www.aucoeurduchemin.org/spip/spip.php?rubrique385

Since there is little info in English, I am writing my second volume of spiritual and walking guides called "Spiritual & Walking Guide: Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port." It should be out this fall - watch for it

Bon voyage, Stacey Wittig

Edited by Moderator
 
Last edited by a moderator:

richeyboy

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdeC: Oct 2011; SJPP-Leon, Oct 14; Tomar (PO)/SJPP Oct 15
#25
Hi,
I have been off the forum for a few days. Anyway in the end due to a problem back home I had to cut the first week so did not do the French section. However from my research you have got the route correct but a map would help so I cut a section out the relevant Michelin map which would have been essential. Speaking a bit of French would help too, accommodation is sufficient except for the night before getting to SJPP and you should try and book somewhere about a month in advance I would think. I did not have an IPhone then but do now and if you have roaming that would be a massive help. Hope this helps- burn casino. Richeyboy
 

Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#27
Hi again re IPhone - they are too clever sometimes so buen camino came out as burn casino!
I was told to call ahead the day before for accommadations...so that's what i did. Had no problem in May 2015
 

Limah

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2015
#28
I didn't start in Lourdes, but walked from Narbonne to Saint Jean via Lourdes.
There is a pilgrim's albergue (for Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago) in Lourdes, very lovely place, you are warmely welcomed arriving there!
After Lourdes, there must be 7 or 8 days to Saint Jean.
You will find my detailed notes in this camino section (it was in 2011 already).
I enjoyed this camino very much!
Hi @FatmaG,
Just got done with Camino Baztan. Was incredible. I'd like to take another Camino as the Frances is packed. Can you message me your link on Lourdes with detailed notes? I cannot find the link and working on phone not computer.

I'd like to leave Pamplona tomorrow and head North.

Blessings,
halimah
 

Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#29
I didn't start in Lourdes, but walked from Narbonne to Saint Jean via Lourdes.
There is a pilgrim's albergue (for Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago) in Lourdes, very lovely place, you are warmely welcomed arriving there!
After Lourdes, there must be 7 or 8 days to Saint Jean.
You will find my detailed notes in this camino section (it was in 2011 already).
I enjoyed this camino very much!
Hola FatmaG,
I couldn't find your notes that you mentioned. Would you be so kind as to email them to me? Or it looks like you can upload a file here. I am doing research for my book, and I think they will help. Thanks, Stacey wittigwriter (a) gmail.com.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis Sept-Oct 2016
#30
I didn't start in Lourdes, but walked from Narbonne to Saint Jean via Lourdes.
There is a pilgrim's albergue (for Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago) in Lourdes, very lovely place, you are warmely welcomed arriving there!
After Lourdes, there must be 7 or 8 days to Saint Jean.
You will find my detailed notes in this camino section (it was in 2011 already).
I enjoyed this camino very much!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis Sept-Oct 2016
#31
Hi FatmaG,
Would love to have your notes on walking from Lourdes to SJ. I don't read French well enough to use a French language guide. Any and al guidance is welcome.
Thank you,
-Julie
 

Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#32
Hi Julie and FatmaG,

I haven't seen the Lourdes to SJPP notes yet. Would appreciate it if you post here as an attachment. Thanks SO much, Stacey
 

donalomahony

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
"Camino Frances" 2013, "Burgos to Leon," February 2014 - "Frances" June '14
#33
I solo-walked from Lourdes to San Jean Pied de Porte last July (2015).

It took 7 days walking and six overnights in Albergues / their French equivalents - Overnights: 1 Asson 2 Arudy 3 Oloron-St-Marie 4 L'hopital Saint Blaise 5 Mauleon 6 Saint-Just Ibarre

The route is very well marked as the GR78 but I would advise checking the evening before the route out of Lourdes and the route out of Arudy.

There tends to be some main-road walking (occasionally) so be careful - there are not many walkers, I found the last three days unbelievably quiet, at times lonely and character forming :)

I would advise using the link http://vppyr.free.fr/vpp-index-etapes.php Paste the relevant pages into a word document and then use Google translate and print out the translation - its a bit dodgy in places but I generally found the translation very useful.

I also bought Sur le chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle (Lepere and Terrien 2013) - in French but you could pay to have the relevant pages translated or work on them as a project - by and large bang up to date - They also email you a list of updates upon purchase of the book
- be careful in Asson and Saint J-I - there are NO services.

Its a very quiet route with very friendly people (when you meet them). Finding the Albergue in Mauleon (Beautiful town) is an adventure and its hard to believe the contrast between Saint J-I and SJPP - despite being 25K apart.

I once had an issue with a dog and there was a lot of walking in Oak forests - there were also magnificent views.

If anyone has specific questions I will answer them as best I can - there is also a lot of other material on the forum so do search....
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#35
I am going to do the Camino Frances starting in Mid-Feb. I was wondering if anyone at all started in Lourdes and walked to St. Jean? I was debating if I was going to train to Lourdes back to Bayonne and then down to St. Jean or just walk? I didn't realize how close Lourdes was to St. Jean until recently. I'd like to go because my first religious experience was at La Grotte Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, which is a replica of the grotto at Lourdes. So it would be amazing to go. Also is there anywhere inexpensive to stay in Lourdes?
It's an excellent starting point, becoming more and more popular every year.

The Pilgrim's Hostel there is one of THE best of the whole Camino.

I heartily recommend starting from Lourdes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis Sept-Oct 2016
#36
I solo-walked from Lourdes to San Jean Pied de Porte last July (2015).

It took 7 days walking and six overnights in Albergues / their French equivalents - Overnights: 1 Asson 2 Arudy 3 Oloron-St-Marie 4 L'hopital Saint Blaise 5 Mauleon 6 Saint-Just Ibarre

The route is very well marked as the GR78 but I would advise checking the evening before the route out of Lourdes and the route out of Arudy.

There tends to be some main-road walking (occasionally) so be careful - there are not many walkers, I found the last three days unbelievably quiet, at times lonely and character forming :)

I would advise using the link http://vppyr.free.fr/vpp-index-etapes.php Paste the relevant pages into a word document and then use Google translate and print out the translation - its a bit dodgy in places but I generally found the translation very useful.

I also bought Sur le chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle (Lepere and Terrien 2013) - in French but you could pay to have the relevant pages translated or work on them as a project - by and large bang up to date - They also email you a list of updates upon purchase of the book
- be careful in Asson and Saint J-I - there are NO services.

Its a very quiet route with very friendly people (when you meet them). Finding the Albergue in Mauleon (Beautiful town) is an adventure and its hard to believe the contrast between Saint J-I and SJPP - despite being 25K apart.

I once had an issue with a dog and there was a lot of walking in Oak forests - there were also magnificent views.

If anyone has specific questions I will answer them as best I can - there is also a lot of other material on the forum so do search....
Thanks so much for your info.
 

Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#37
Thanks for the website, I had not seen that website before. I walked ALMOST the same itinerary as you did in May 2015. The only change was I spent 1/2 day in Lourdes to go to the baths, so only walked 1/2 day that afternoon to Betharram. Was very nice there and will recommend doing that in my book. I am still writing the book, Spiritual & Walking Guide: Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port. The website will be helpful in that endeavor. Another pilgrim is walking it RIGHT NOW and checking out the directions from the Sanctuaria Lourdes to the GR.

Were the oak forests muddy when you walked in July? Blessings, Stacey Wittig
 
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donalomahony

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
"Camino Frances" 2013, "Burgos to Leon," February 2014 - "Frances" June '14
#38
Hi Stacey, muddy in places - I wore light trail running type shoes - there were also other 'wet' spots, marshy paths etc.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Chemin Piemont to Pamplona 2010/2012.Pamplona to Santiago 2013/2015
#39
We took our own route from Mauleon via Pagolle and Juxue to join with the Puy route at Larceveau. It was a real surprise to see groups of walkers after walking from Vals in two or three goes and hardly seeing anyone.

There are some terrific places on the Chemin before you get to Lourdes. It's a pity that more people don't walk it. Accommodation wasn't that easy to find when we walked it but there were one or two places we passed that looked like they were responding to walking trade. The signing was generally good and excellent in parts.

We enjoyed the companionship and fun of the Frances but the Chemin has lots to offer as a planning and walking challenge and lovely towns and churches as well

There's a good site for the section in Ariege at something like Chemin de St Jaques in Ariege Pyrenees which is translated into English but I used the one Donal referred to a lot.
 
N

nathanael

Guest
#40
I walked Lourdes to SJPP in May 2015. I started my Camino there because I wanted a more rustic experience without a lot of pilgrims like my earlier Camino Frances experiences. I got what I was looking for on the GR78! I stayed at many of the places listed in the post above. I am currently writing a book "Spiritual & Walking Guide: Lourdes to SJPP" because I could not find much info in the English language. It was fun to try to use what little French is still in my old brain...but I prefer my route following to be in my native language. Stay tuned!
am interested in your book and experience. I did this route in 2011 and found it somewhat challenging due not have any French but the route was an experience.
 

donalomahony

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
"Camino Frances" 2013, "Burgos to Leon," February 2014 - "Frances" June '14
#42
Mauleon: other details, open on a pc and you will be able to read!
 

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nathanael

Guest
#44
Hello Galawun,
I am 60 and walked Lourdes to SJPP in May 2015. I have not found much info in English and that is why I am writing the book "Spiritual & Walking Guide: Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port." I used maps and information found at Au Coeur du Chemin, a French Camino organization, for my pilgrimage. I did not use a GPS - seems like people who use them either miss some of the spontaneity of way following and orienteering ... or they are confused by the technology. The GR78 is fairly well marked -- takes awhile to get use to "seeing" the 'blanc et rouge' -- but in a few instances the distances posted on some markers seem to be off. (I heard that from other hikers, too.)

There were few pilgrims in the albergues -- where I typically stayed -- and recommend that you do the same as there are few other accommodations along the way. I got my lodging info at: http://www.aucoeurduchemin.org/spip/spip.php?rubrique385

Bon voyage, Stacey Wittig

Edited by moderator
Thank you Stacy emailed the place in Lourdes for a stay there.
 

Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#45
Glad I could help, Nathanael.
Say "hi" to Jean Luis Doux from me! BTW, it might take awhile for them to answer your email...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
#46
I solo-walked from Lourdes to San Jean Pied de Porte last July (2015).

It took 7 days walking and six overnights in Albergues / their French equivalents - Overnights: 1 Asson 2 Arudy 3 Oloron-St-Marie 4 L'hopital Saint Blaise 5 Mauleon 6 Saint-Just Ibarre

The route is very well marked as the GR78 but I would advise checking the evening before the route out of Lourdes and the route out of Arudy.

There tends to be some main-road walking (occasionally) so be careful - there are not many walkers, I found the last three days unbelievably quiet, at times lonely and character forming :)

I would advise using the link http://vppyr.free.fr/vpp-index-etapes.php Paste the relevant pages into a word document and then use Google translate and print out the translation - its a bit dodgy in places but I generally found the translation very useful.

I also bought Sur le chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle (Lepere and Terrien 2013) - in French but you could pay to have the relevant pages translated or work on them as a project - by and large bang up to date - They also email you a list of updates upon purchase of the book
- be careful in Asson and Saint J-I - there are NO services.

Its a very quiet route with very friendly people (when you meet them). Finding the Albergue in Mauleon (Beautiful town) is an adventure and its hard to believe the contrast between Saint J-I and SJPP - despite being 25K apart.

I once had an issue with a dog and there was a lot of walking in Oak forests - there were also magnificent views.

If anyone has specific questions I will answer them as best I can - there is also a lot of other material on the forum so do search....
Thank you so much donalomahony. I'm planning to start from Lourdes at the end of August and this info is invaluable!
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Camino Aragones 2012, 2017, Via Francigena 2016 & 17,
#47
Falcon, thanks for that link. I had looked at some of his info not the historical route section. It is great!
Stefania
I have tried the link that Falcon269 gave but it says 'page could not be found'. I am looking for gpx tracks from Lourdes to Oleron St Marie. Do they exist?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#48
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
#51
image.jpeg Well, I've just returned from my Camino. A few days ago I was in a room in Madrid and wrote this:
As I'm getting ready for my flight back home tomorrow, I was tidying up my backpack, which included removing my Santiago pilgrim shell from it. Since I tied it up 'properly' in Lourdes a month and a half ago, it was hard to remove it, but it finally seemed like I was going to win this battle when I thought: 'you can remove the shell ( the pilgrim's symbol) from the pilgrim's backpack, but you cannot remove the shell from the pilgrim himself, it will always be there... and, maybe, it has always been...'
And I also remembered that I had not taken a picture of my pilgrims' passports with all the stamps I collected along the way,... So, here they are together, the symbols of my journey which I carried with me along the way (together with my wife's patience and pain and the memory of my daughters and their families and all the lovely people I met). Thank you all.
 
Camino(s) past & future
chemin du puy, camino frances, camino muxia, vezelay
#52
Hello,

Planning on starting in Lourdes mid April (inspired by posts) and wondering the most economical route from Paris (CDG). My plane arrives at 2 pm...

Merci!!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#53
Hello,

Planning on starting in Lourdes mid April (inspired by posts) and wondering the most economical route from Paris (CDG). My plane arrives at 2 pm...

Merci!!
Check out various transportation options with estimated prices on www.Rome2Rio.com.
 
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Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#54
I am going to do the Camino Frances starting in Mid-Feb. I was wondering if anyone at all started in Lourdes and walked to St. Jean? I was debating if I was going to train to Lourdes back to Bayonne and then down to St. Jean or just walk? I didn't realize how close Lourdes was to St. Jean until recently. I'd like to go because my first religious experience was at La Grotte Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, which is a replica of the grotto at Lourdes. So it would be amazing to go. Also is there anywhere inexpensive to stay in Lourdes?

Thanks.
I walked from Lourdes to SJPP in 2015. There is a pilgrim albergue in Lourdes. I recommend spending a full day in Lourdes before you walk out so you can experience the bathes. I flew from Paris to Lourdes airport. I wrote a Spiritual and Walking guide for Christians like you that are thinking about doing the 7-day route. I believe that it is the only English language guide for that section. I am not sure that I am allowed to put a link here, but you can get it on Amazon. There is a link to my book on this website under "Camino Books." Buen Camino!
 

Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#55
Check out various transportation options with estimated prices on www.Rome2Rio.com.
In 2015, I spent the night is Paris at a convent, and then the next day took a plane to Lourdes via Air France from Orly. I recommend that you spend a full day in Lourdes before you walk out. That way you can experience the baths. After drinking the water, I got no blisters or had no foot problems all the way from Lourdes to Santiago! Que milagro! My feet did not fair so well in 2016 when I walked from Le Puy to Santiago.
 

Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#56
am interested in your book and experience. I did this route in 2011 and found it somewhat challenging due not have any French but the route was an experience.
I finished my book and it is now available on Amazon. Dear Administrator, am I allowed to say this? Am I allowed to add a link? Gracias!
 

Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#57
View attachment 29674 Well, I've just returned from my Camino. A few days ago I was in a room in Madrid and wrote this:
As I'm getting ready for my flight back home tomorrow, I was tidying up my backpack, which included removing my Santiago pilgrim shell from it. Since I tied it up 'properly' in Lourdes a month and a half ago, it was hard to remove it, but it finally seemed like I was going to win this battle when I thought: 'you can remove the shell ( the pilgrim's symbol) from the pilgrim's backpack, but you cannot remove the shell from the pilgrim himself, it will always be there... and, maybe, it has always been...'
And I also remembered that I had not taken a picture of my pilgrims' passports with all the stamps I collected along the way,... So, here they are together, the symbols of my journey which I carried with me along the way (together with my wife's patience and pain and the memory of my daughters and their families and all the lovely people I met). Thank you all.
Thanks for sharing! Lovely thoughts...
 
Camino(s) past & future
chemin du puy, camino frances, camino muxia, vezelay
#58
Yes, I am familiar with Rome2Rio, thank-you .
Tricky to co-ordinate times, but wonderful to have options and I may have to spend the night in Paris and depart in the morn for Lourdes.
Stacey, I would love to stay in a convent in Paris; these experiences capture the spirit of pilgrimage for me...
Could you please forward the name and contact details?
Merci and bon chemin..
 
Camino(s) past & future
chemin du puy, camino frances, camino muxia, vezelay
#60
Hello again,
I was wondering the best way to contact the pilgrim accommodation refugio in Lourdes. Perhaps it is a good idea to book if it is on the small side. Has anyone stayed here recently?
It is such delight to plan and envision.
The pilgrimage certainly begins before one takes the first physical step on the Way...
Many thanks
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#61
Hello again,
I was wondering the best way to contact the pilgrim accommodation refugio in Lourdes. Perhaps it is a good idea to book if it is on the small side. Has anyone stayed here recently?
It is such delight to plan and envision.
The pilgrimage certainly begins before one takes the first physical step on the Way...
Many thanks
I'm not sure that you can book, but I don't think you need worry, there are many more beds than pilgrims -- even though rather exceptionally, it's possible to stay for two nights (one for your Santiago pilgrimage, another for the Lourdes one).

You'll find it easily enough, including just by asking at the Pilgrim Office -- just try and get to Lourdes by early afternoon, and you'll be fine ; but even if you get there later, I'm sure they'll fit you in.
 
Camino(s) past & future
chemin du puy, camino frances, camino muxia, vezelay
#62
How wonderful. Thank you JabbaPapa.
I would love to stay two nights also; one for each pilgrimage-I love that...
 

qalawun

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Piemont + Camino Frances (2016)
England Coast to Coast (2017)
#63
Thank you so much donalomahony. I'm planning to start from Lourdes at the end of August and this info is invaluable!
Hi there
We walked from Lourdes to SDC last year in May. I found several useful websites after a fair bit of trawling. We stayed in the municipal gite in Mauleon-Licharre (nowhere else to stay here) but elsewhere used B&B's or small local hotels. Anyway, you might find these links helpful:
http://www.godesalco.com/plan/frances
http://www.xacobeo.fr/ZE1.11.Aqu.Pie.htm
http://www.caminosantiago2.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/day-1-lourdes-to-asson.html
For us, in hindsight, there were a number of good things about starting in Lourdes. First, there were a few hilly sections so we were well fit by the time we reached SJPDP and found the Pyrenees crossing long but relatively easy. I was 59 and my wife was 60. We carried our own packs.
Secondly, there was hardly anyone walking from Lourdes, so we had time to sink into the rhythm of walking. Arriving in SJPDP mid-May was actually quite a shock as there were over 300 pilgrims in town that day. But the shock dissipated quickly and we enjoyed our many encounters with fellow pilgrims from all walks of life.
Have fun.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
#64
Hi there
We walked from Lourdes to SDC last year in May. I found several useful websites after a fair bit of trawling. We stayed in the municipal gite in Mauleon-Licharre (nowhere else to stay here) but elsewhere used B&B's or small local hotels. Anyway, you might find these links helpful:
http://www.godesalco.com/plan/frances
http://www.xacobeo.fr/ZE1.11.Aqu.Pie.htm
http://www.caminosantiago2.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/day-1-lourdes-to-asson.html
For us, in hindsight, there were a number of good things about starting in Lourdes. First, there were a few hilly sections so we were well fit by the time we reached SJPDP and found the Pyrenees crossing long but relatively easy. I was 59 and my wife was 60. We carried our own packs.
Secondly, there was hardly anyone walking from Lourdes, so we had time to sink into the rhythm of walking. Arriving in SJPDP mid-May was actually quite a shock as there were over 300 pilgrims in town that day. But the shock dissipated quickly and we enjoyed our many encounters with fellow pilgrims from all walks of life.
Have fun.
Hi qalawun. I did my trip in Sep/Oct last year from Lourdes to SdC and it was fantastic. I agree that the first week walking in the South of France until I got to St Jean Pied de Port was great training and that helped a lot to make the crossing of the Pyrenees a lot easier.
I was intending to stay in the municipal gite in Mauleon, but decided to walk on to Ordiarp (about 5kms) and then to Garaibie where I spent the night Mme & Monsieur Althabe's farm (beautiful hospitality).
Yes, the solitude of the French countryside contributed to my intended 'walking meditation' pilgrimage and it all went into shock in SJPdP! But that was great and after a couple of days I was (more or less successfully) incorporating the conversations and friendships into my pilgrimage. Beautiful human beings from all over the world!
 

Smurphy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 2014
SJPP to Muxia 2015
Porto to Santiago 2016
SJPP to Lourdes 2017
2018?
#65
Qalawun and NicMen, did you find any websites in English with explanations of route?

Walking from SJPDP to Lourdes this April and I'm a bit apprehensive about the lack of information. I bought Stacey's book as it is the only one in English but it lacks detail on the route.
 

Stacey Wittig

Stand at the crossroads and look
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2005)
Arles-Toulouse (2006)
St. Jean Pied de Port-Burgos (2008)
Lourdes-Santiago (2015)
Le Puy-Santiago (2016)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
#66
Hello all,

When I walked Lourdes to SJPP, I had only a list (in French) of albergues and maps that I printed from a French website. I do not believe that there are any websites in English for this route. The guide book that I wrote includes those same color maps and places that I recommend to stay from the list and others that I found along the way. I did not need any more detail than the maps and the arrows and so that is why I did not include more in my book, Smurphy. The guide book also includes daily devotions to help with your inner/spiritual walk. I believe that part of the inner walk is to "let go" of control, be in the present moment and "trust." Part of pilgrimage for me is to follow the arrows and trust that I will be at the right place at the right time. Therefore, I recommend (on any pilgrimage route) to give up the detailed (and heavy) guidebooks and "trust." Trust in the arrows, trust in yourself, trust in God. That's just my opinion, but I encourage others to do the same through my Spiritual and Walking Guide books (available on this forum's book store.) Buen Camino!
 

donalomahony

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
"Camino Frances" 2013, "Burgos to Leon," February 2014 - "Frances" June '14
#67
There is a lot of information in the various threads in this Forum. Search using Camino Piemont.

I used Google Translate for the Xacobeo one quoted above and other links- it did a reasonable job.

Read my post way back in this thread. Effectively you are following the GR78.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
#68
Hi Smurphy,
I used an app called Gaia GPS, which enabled me to download maps of the region before I went to use them off-line. This was great help as I was able to check every now and then if I was on track when I hadn't seen the red and white marks for a while. But I agree with Stacey in letting go and enjoy what may come. Even if you take the 'wrong' turn or miss the 'right' one and have to come back, there is always the chance of a fortuitous encounter that otherwise wouldn't have taken place.
Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
#69
These are a couple of images showing directions to the Gite La Loja in Garaibie and a sign between Ordiarp and Garaibie showing the path to take to go to St Just Ibarre, the next destination towards SJPdP.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
#70
These are a couple of images showing directions to the Gite La Loja in Garaibie and a sign between Ordiarp and Garaibie showing the path to take to go to St Just Ibarre, the next destination towards SJPdP.
This is the only part of the Camino that I found fading almost to nothing at the top of Col de Napale... it is beautiful but you need to be careful not to get lost. Here, Gaia GPS was really helpful too. I have a couple of videos of this area but I don't seem to be able to upload them here...
 

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Felipe

Veteran Member
#71
These are a couple of images showing directions to the Gite La Loja in Garaibie and a sign between Ordiarp and Garaibie showing the path to take to go to St Just Ibarre, the next destination towards SJPdP.
This is exactly the point where I was not sure which way to go. I wanted to take the easier, paved road way (recommended by Gronze.com), because the weather was awful and my knee did not feel right. The idea of a solo hike in the mountain in those conditions was not exactly enticing.
The only signpost with indications of this alternative option (the other was for the GR) was the provided by the owner of this new auberge, which I followed, but I was not sure if I were in the right way. It was, finally.
As a footnote, this auberge is at the beginning of the most difficult climb to col de Napale. Seemed nice, but I wanted to reach SJ Ibarre this same day, to stay in my schedule.
.
 
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Smurphy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 2014
SJPP to Muxia 2015
Porto to Santiago 2016
SJPP to Lourdes 2017
2018?
#72
Camino(s) past & future
chemin du puy, camino frances, camino muxia, vezelay
#73
That helps a lot, Sean.
Merci! (about the extent of my French).
I don't travel with digi devices and I thankful this section of the Way seems (fairly) well marked as it is part of GR78.

I am leaving Lourdes mid April (soon!) and look forward to discovering this approach to the, Camino Frances. Lourdes will be a rich experience in and of itself. Is anyone else departing around this time, perchance?

Yes, I am one of those pilgrims who return again and again to walk these ancient pilgrimage routes..
Have a beautiful journey everybody...yes, trust...and open thine heart! Bon Chemin
 

Smurphy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 2014
SJPP to Muxia 2015
Porto to Santiago 2016
SJPP to Lourdes 2017
2018?
#74
That helps a lot, Sean.
Merci! (about the extent of my French).
I don't travel with digi devices and I thankful this section of the Way seems (fairly) well marked as it is part of GR78.

I am leaving Lourdes mid April (soon!) and look forward to discovering this approach to the, Camino Frances. Lourdes will be a rich experience in and of itself. Is anyone else departing around this time, perchance?

Yes, I am one of those pilgrims who return again and again to walk these ancient pilgrimage routes..
Have a beautiful journey everybody...yes, trust...and open thine heart! Bon Chemin

I will be walking with my mother from St Jean to Lourdes, departing 9th of April. We might see you along the way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-SDC august/september 2015
#76
Are there albergues/gîtes in every village betwern Lourdes and SJPdP? I am planning to do this part of the Chemin in july with my 12 years old son. Maybe we can't walk 23 km a day, so we neef to stop earlier. We might take our tent with us, but if not necessary, thats easier and lighter traveling and walking... any advice?
Patrick
 

donalomahony

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
"Camino Frances" 2013, "Burgos to Leon," February 2014 - "Frances" June '14
#77
There are probably gites in most villages but Albergues No. Check the links in the postings in this thread.

It's a very quiet route but there is no bed race so you can take your time. I'd still start early to avoid the heat if the day.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#78
Are there albergues/gîtes in every village betwern Lourdes and SJPdP? I am planning to do this part of the Chemin in july with my 12 years old son. Maybe we can't walk 23 km a day, so we neef to stop earlier. We might take our tent with us, but if not necessary, thats easier and lighter traveling and walking... any advice?
Patrick
There are two parts to that route ; between Lourdes and Oloron ; then Oloron and SJPP.

Lourdes to Oloron is part of the Piémont Way, and though it's quieter, more and more pilgrims are using it each year, and so it has a growing infrastructure of pilgrim refugios as well as the usual gîtes.

OTOH, Oloron to SJPP is a lightly trodden path, with very little in terms of pilgrim structures, including BTW quite sparse waymarkers-- it's definitely a secondary route ; but as donalomahoney pointed out, it has the advantage of no need to compete for the accommodation facilities that do exist. For this section, given that you'll be travelling with your son, I'd advise you to choose your daily route purely on the basis of where you'll be able to sleep, and so plan to walk from gîte to gîte on the way to SJPP rather than choosing your path according to the mediaeval traditions.

You might need to have some shorter and some longer walking days, but you should always be able to find somewhere to lay your heads, even in a campsite if necessary. OTOH Oloron to SJPP is quite short, so that whatever inconvenience you might encounter would be very brief.
 
Camino(s) past & future
From Lourdes to Santiago de Compostela (2017)
#79
I am going to start my camino this year at Lourdes in September and then via SJPP so I shall be going along the voie piemont/GR78. I have got all the mapping details worked out but I am really hazy on accommodation. Does anyone know where I can get a list of auberges and hostals along the route? Thanks
Hello! I´ll be leaving Brazil by the end of August, to start my Camiño in Lourdes in the first couple days of September. Do you have any tips?
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Plan 2018
#83
Hello! I´ll be leaving Brazil by the end of August, to start my Camiño in Lourdes in the first couple days of September. Do you have any tips?
I am looking for someone to share ride from Lourdes to SJPDP on Sept 11th in the am to spend more time there. Train ride 2 stops and gets tomSt Jean late in the afternoon. Let me know if this is date you will be there. Humbertico
 


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