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Has anyone walked from Bayonne to St Jean Pied de Port

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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I have walked from Bayonne to SJPDP. I booked into a hotel in Bayonne for two nights so I could walk the first day without a rucksack. On the first day I walked mostly along the river towpath to Cambo-les-Bains. I then took a train back to Bayonne. The next day I returned to Cambo-les-Bains by train - with my rucksack - and restarted from there. Unfortunately I had a fall near Bidarray and had a prolapsed spinal disc. That ended the journey. But I returned a few months later and walked the final 20km. There are hotels in villages along the route.
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Past OR future Camino
September 2022 Norte Primitivo
I walked the GR10 trail from Hendaye to SJPP. It was fantastic but very tough. I think that if you approached it with the view that you were stopping in SJPP, and not walking all the way to the Med, then your spirit might carry you through even as your body felt defeated.

Just an idea but one that you might consider.
 
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Barbara

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
If you are happy with a decent map and not much way marking you could use the GTC (the equestrian route) which is a bit lower and a lot wider. Mix in small roads as required. I did that from SJPP to the coast to join the Norte some years ago. There are places to camp, and a couple of Gîtes.
 
Past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Thanks Barbara. I’m one of those individuals easily lost and hard to find, unfortunately. But a good map combined with a good app might keep me out of trouble. If I get lost I’ll yell out!! 🙏
 

anamcara

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Chemin du Piémont 😎
Hi @Lexicos

You can also walk via the Voie de la Nive from Bayonne to SJPP. Typically 3 days.

We are planning to walk the Chemin du Piemont in April and then walking from SJPP to Bayonne, as we have to return to Paris. There are a few options, but the Voie de la Nive looks like a good one.
There is information on this section of the forum.


And on this website, among others.


You will see from the forum thread that @AJGuillaume and Rachel were planning to take this path, until that pesky virus came along. Also others on the thread write of their experiences.

Bon chemin!
 
Past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Fantastic. Thanks Ana, I’ll have a close look at the links you’ve included in your post. It’s good to have options. I much prefer to walk than to ride in a train or bus. It’s a good way to prep oneself.
Merci!
 
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anamcara

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Chemin du Piémont 😎
Fantastic. Thanks Ana, I’ll have a close look at the links you’ve included in your post. It’s good to have options. I much prefer to walk than to ride in a train or bus. It’s a good way to prep oneself.
Merci!
It's Jenny from Pretty Beach - we've 'spoken' before. I was tired of my old avatar! Bon chemin.

anamcara is Gaelic meaning soul friend.
 
Past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Hi OTH86, I just copied a map, which is in French but apart from that I just keyed in the destinations on Google Maps, and it shows the route, by foot, and the distance, which is approx. 9 hours and 50+ km.
The French set of maps is at: file:///D:/Bayonne-Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port%20FR2016.pdf

Apologies, I don’t know how to insert a link.
 
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Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
When the time is right
I plan to start my journey for the Camino Frances in Bayonne by doing “la voie de la Nive”. Those 3 days will help acclimate my body in preparation for SJPP to Roncesvalles. I can work out and issues with my pack and tweak what’s needed. It will also give me a chance to get grounded as this has been a decades long dream. Spring 2023 here I come. ❤️
 

OTH86

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
The French set of maps is at: file:///D:/Bayonne-Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port%20FR2016.pdf
Apologies, I don’t know how to insert a link.
Thanks @Lexicos ! Alas, the link didn't work -- which French map did you use? Oh WAIT!! No apologies necessary!! I just googled the last part and brought up the map and commentary - which I can read! AND it's the Voie de la Nive map!!

¡Buen Camino!
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
So I walked the Voie de la Nive in 2019 with my wife. Technically, you can walk it from the airport itself, either stopping in Bayonne or walking directly onto the trail which runs past the airport.

We did it in three days from Bayonne, but two is doable if you do t enjoy the Basque countryside, cheese shops, delicious meals, and simply being on a pleasant stroll instead of a forced march 😎. Seriously, take the extra day! Plus it’s easier to find accommodations at the 1/3 and 2/3 points rather than halfway.

Lovely route, fairly well-marked. You may lose the track occasionally but you won’t get lost if you have a cell phone with a mapping app.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Great to know thanks Vacajoe. Three days it will be. Who’s in a hurry?
My French is basic but I can just get by. And yep, I do like all those things you’ve listed. Happy to hear that the trail passes by the airport.
Thanks 🙏
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Alternatively, you could walk the Camino Baztan from Bayonne to Pamplona bypassing SJPdP. It and the GR10 cross if you think you want to walk to St. Jean. Besides this guide there is a Camino app that has the Baztan loaded on it for free. Or at least it did. I can't remember which app.

 
Past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Thanks Rick. It’s something to think about. I need to keep it simple, it’s a long while since I was last in France/Spain/Europe! Two years of lockdown off and on and closed borders here down under has eroded my confidence more than a bit. I may feel different once I’m there but at this point the balance is tipped the other way. Plus I’ve never done a solo. So, a lot to take in and weigh up and….. gather up. The info posted so far has been great.
 
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Monasp

I'm a manager of pilgrims office in SJPP
Past OR future Camino
Camino in 2008.
The map tells me that the walk from Bayonne to St Jean is approximately 50 km. That’s a 1-2 day walk. I figure that’s good preparation for the Camino Frances.
Has anyone done this walk?
Is it doable and is there a place to stop and stay mid-way?

The map tells me that the walk from Bayonne to St Jean is approximately 50 km. That’s a 1-2 day walk. I figure that’s good preparation for the Camino Frances.
Has anyone done this walk?
Is it doable and is there a place to stop and stay mid-way?
You have here the topo guide of the way of Bayonne to SJPDP as well as the lodgings
 

Thom

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Sep-Oct 2016). Camino Baztan to Trindad de Arre, joined the Frances (Sept-Oct 2019).
Alternatively, you could walk the Camino Baztan from Bayonne to Pamplona bypassing SJPdP. It and the GR10 cross if you think you want to walk to St. Jean. Besides this guide there is a Camino app that has the Baztan loaded on it for free. Or at least it did. I can't remember which app.

My wife and I walked the Baztan in 2019. This Camino route hooks up with the Camino Frances at Trinidad de Arre. It's not widely travelled but it's sufficiently waymarked, there are albergues, and it's a stunning walk, absolutely gorgeous. It's a three to four day walk depending on how you want to break it up. True, it's more rugged than the Frances, but it's not as intense as that first day on the Route Napoleon to Roncesvalles. We couldn't recommend it enough.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
My wife and I speak no French - absolutely nothing! - and made it to SJPdP just fine. Turns out, the Pais Basque folks don’t like to speak French either… 😎

I will note that, however, albergues are always in short supply along the route and the few public ones likely will not be open in 2022 due to Covid (they’ve been closed since 2020). We found places to stay via booking.com and Google maps.
 

David Bedlow

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I highly recommend the Bastán route from Bayonne to Trinidad de Arre, and then continue on the Francés. I did it in 2019. People I met at Trinidad de Arre said that the route from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port had been very overcrowded and some people could not find accommodation on that section.
 
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Thom

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Sep-Oct 2016). Camino Baztan to Trindad de Arre, joined the Frances (Sept-Oct 2019).
I highly recommend the Bastán route from Bayonne to Trinidad de Arre, and then continue on the Francés. I did it in 2019. People I met at Trinidad de Arre said that the route from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port had been very overcrowded and some people could not find accommodation on that section.
David, my wife and I did it in 2019 as well, in October. When did you walk the route?
 
Past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Thanks for that tip David. I’m curious to know, what does one do when accommodation is not available? It obviously happens and it sounds like one could easily end up with no place to sleep. After a long walk that’s bad news. So what does one do in that scenario, assuming you can’t walk further?
Beg, borrow and steal!!??
 
Past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Right. Got it. Outside it shall be then, for me. So long as it’s sheltered from rain I can sleep anywhere and so long as the locals aren’t offended by a sleeping pilgrim under a tree or under a porch.
 
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DoughnutANZ

I would rather be fishing
Past OR future Camino
2023
What does one do when accommodation is not available? It obviously happens and it sounds like one could easily end up with no place to sleep. After a long walk that’s bad news. So what does one do in that scenario, assuming you can’t walk further?
Beg, borrow and steal!!??
It can make for some hard decisions if you turn up in the in-between period when there is a queue out the door of people seeking a bed and no one yet knows how many beds are left. Then you have to decide, should I wait in the queue in the hope of getting a bed here while other pilgrims continue to walk past or should I walk on in the hope of a better supply further on?

Once, in Zubiri, I waited in a longish queue and got the second to last bed and somewhere else I queued and got the last bed. I would have felt bad if I had been in those queues for that long and not got a bed.

Often though the hospitalera would help those who missed out on a bed (and were polite about it) by calling forward or off the Camino and arranging a bed and calling a taxi.

Most pilgrims don't try to find a bed very far off the Camino and so sometimes there are great places that are off the Camino a bit that have vacancies when those places close to the Camino are full.
 
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John Holland

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
I have walked that route in reverse (i.e. SJPP to Bayonne) and then on to Irun and Santiago via the Camino Norte. It is a comfortable walk, nothing too difficult. I took three days and found the route very well marked. Stayed at Helette (local government operated gite; book through the Marie) and at Ustaritz (chambre d'hote: Natalie Sabio, 350 Route de Ustaritz).
 
Past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Thanks John. That gives me the confidence to do it too. My French is very basic. If only I could press a button on this phone and be there right now!! I’m doing my practise walks in intensely hot weather here, where you’re lucky to see another soul. Anything will be easier than that.
6AA55E9E-DB5D-477E-980E-8436F52A2548.jpeg 571AB079-5FB2-4669-8273-DDE28345689F.jpeg 0B571465-EB46-4F30-BD42-61010D0BEF27.jpeg 404F5F15-3AA3-4919-97E6-E320F035B1F1.jpeg
 
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anamcara

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Chemin du Piémont 😎
In my experience in France, Spain, Basque Country and pretty much everywhere - attempting a few words in the local language, accompanied by a smile, goes a very long way.

You can always compile a short list of essential words and phrases to cover the basics - hello, please, thank you, do you have a room / bed etc, is this the right path to to …. etc. and keep it handy. I have a one pager (printed) we always take to Spain. I don’t use it often but when I need to, it’s very helpful.

If you don’t trust your pronunciation, you can always show the paper to the person you’re trying to communicate with. People generally appreciate any effort 😎

PS. The local scenery for your practice walk doesn’t look so bad 😁
 
Past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Yes, I fully agree with you there Ana. I took a one pager with me the last time, in Spain, and it came in handy more than a few times. It is a way of showing some respect and to connect, usually with funny results.
 
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