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How many left Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on 1 May?

eamann

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2024 Le Puy - Cahors + Saint-Jean - León
I started out from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on 1 May. It turned out to be an unforgetable day. Above 1,000 m or so it snowed, catching many people unprepared. Later that day "many" walkers were unable to find accommodation in Roncesvalles and some had to go as far as Pamplona to find a bed.

In the weeks since then I have heard people say that the "wave" of pilgrims setting out from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port that day had been exceptionally big, but no one could offer a reliable estimate of the numbers involved.

I have made an internet search but have not found any statistics. Perhaps it is too soon and figures will be published only at the beginning of June.

If in the meantime any of you have more precise information, I would be very interested in hearing from you.
 
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What is the need for precision in that number? There will probably never be a more accurate number. The Pilgrim Office in SJPdP would only have a count of the number of people who visited that day (assuming most walked the next) but not everyone visits the office. The only way to count everyone who might start would be to count # of bed occupied each night in SJPdp but no one is doing that in any official way. The stats for # of pilgrims starting from SJPdP comes from the data they collect when pilgrims come to the office to get their Compostela (30-40 days later). So even the stats published by the Pilgrim Office are not accurate since there is no way to count those who didn't apply for a Compostela.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
The stats for # of pilgrims starting from SJPdP comes from the data they collect when pilgrims come to the office to get their Compostela (30-40 days later).
I think that the office in SJPdP compiles their own statistics.
 
How does that differ from what @StDenis said?
@StDenis said that the SJPdP data comes from the office in Santiago when pilgrims receive their credentials, but the Pilgrim Office in SJPdP has their own records of how many pilgrims leave from their each month, whether they reach Santiago or not.

For example, the SJPdP Pilgrim Office released the numbers for April departures in early May, well before all of those who left could have reached Santiago.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
@StDenis said that the SJPdP data comes from the office in Santiago when pilgrims receive their credentials, but the Pilgrim Office in SJPdP has their own records of how many pilgrims leave from their each month, whether they reach Santiago or not.

For example, the SJPdP Pilgrim Office released the numbers for April departures in early May, well before all of those who left could have reached Santiago.
No that prior post did not say that.

Would you like to quote the words that they used which you have interpreted this way.
 
I have made an internet search but have not found any statistics. Perhaps it is too soon and figures will be published only at the beginning of June.
No daily figures about how many people leave SJPP for Roncesvalles are made available. The Bureau d’Accueil in SJPP counts the number of pilgrims who visit them and ask for advice. They publish only their monthly figures.

Some figures about the number of people who stay at the albergue in Roncesvalles are occasionally published in regional newspapers.

The figures published on the website of the Oficina del Peregrino in Santiago refer to the number of people who obtained a Compostela. The data can be filtered to show those who started in SJPP on an unspecified day. It could be 28 days ago or 45 days ago or several years ago. Numerous pilgrims don’t walk the distance from SJPP in one go.

I don’t recall having read anything about this year’s first of May being exceptional compared to other 1st of May days in previous years.

An indicator of how busy it is are the days when the Bureau d’Accueil opens a building in SJPP for pilgrims to sleep on mats and when the albergue in Roncesvalles cannot provide beds for all those who arrive there. This happened in SJPP this May but I don’t recall the day when someone reported it. Forum member @Ianinam sometimes provides some info about the situation in Roncesvalles. This year she wrote about the number of pilgrims being turned away (posted on 3 May 2024):
During the last week it was daily approx. 50/60 pilgrims.
In the first weeks of september (also a very busy period) it can go up to approx. 100 per day ...
You can search the forum for other posts from @Ianinam to gain a bit more insight about the situation of availability of beds in Roncesvalles. Pilgrims who are counted in Roncesvalles can have walked from SJPP or can have started the CF in Roncesvalles.

Several years ago, a record was believed to have been set with some 500 pilgrims leaving SJPP for the Camino Francés but I recall neither year nor month nor day. I think that around 500 is about the highest daily number in general. The numbers recorded in this first section of the CF did not increase over recent years as noticeably as the numbers recorded for the last sections of the CF let alone the numbers of arrivals/Compostela holders recorded in Santiago.
 
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No that prior post did not say that.

Would you like to quote the words that they used which you have interpreted this way.
I did quote the part from the other post where they say that the statistics are gathered when people receive their Compostelas in Santiago.
The stats for # of pilgrims starting from SJPdP comes from the data they collect when pilgrims come to the office to get their Compostela (30-40 days later)
 
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As @Kathar1na wrote, in Roncesvalles we had full house (245 beds) every day in that period. To be more specific: as from April 17th until May 11th, and had to send away many, many pilgrims much to our regret.
They come from SJPdP, or Orisson, or Borda, or they start in Roncesvalles (like Spanish people do). So this is not an indication of people starting in SJPdP.
 
I found a comment about earlier years:
The pilgrims office in SJPP said they had reached a new absolute daily record this year on the eve of 1 May 2019: they registered 558 pilgrims.

Note: This is the total number that they recorded at their office - not the number recorded to have left SJPP for Roncesvalles. I don’t know where they published this daily figure for the first of May in 2019 but it was most likely in their FB group.

Interestingly, the 1st of May was a Wednesday in 2019 - as it was this year. So not even part of a long holiday weekend.

It is the same situation every year, and every year some pilgrims are taken by surprise about the high influx of pilgrims on some specific days or in some specific weeks, whether it is Good Friday and the Easter weekend, or the days around the 1st of May or the long Ascension Day weekend or the long Whitsun weekend (often in May and sometimes in early June) or the days in early September.

PS: I found the comment on FB that had been posted on 1 May 2019: “Journée record hier au 39 rue de la citadelle: 558 pèlerins accueillis!!!!! capacité de lits à St Jean pied de port dépassée, 44 pèlerins couchés au dojo municipal.
 
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Thank you all for taking the time to share your knowledge on this subject. It is more complex that I had originally thought.

I realised from the beginning of course that exact figures do not exist. My interest was to see if the "wave" of which I was part was exceptional or just big. Having had to face day-long rain and then snow and seeing the queues of people in Roncesvalles being told that "there was no room in the inn", it was easy to imagine that 1 May 2024 had been exceptional. In the light of what I have read I see that the "wave" was just big.
 
I started out from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on 1 May. It turned out to be an unforgetable day. Above 1,000 m or so it snowed, catching many people unprepared. Later that day "many" walkers were unable to find accommodation in Roncesvalles and some had to go as far as Pamplona to find a bed.

In the weeks since then I have heard people say that the "wave" of pilgrims setting out from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port that day had been exceptionally big, but no one could offer a reliable estimate of the numbers involved.

I have made an internet search but have not found any statistics. Perhaps it is too soon and figures will be published only at the beginning of June.

If in the meantime any of you have more precise information, I would be very interested in hearing from you.
We signed on 1 May started walking 2 nd terry in office told us 499 signed on last day of april
 
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On may 8th we attended in Valencia to a French pilgrim who, after 3 days on the french way, renounced to continue and came to Valencia to walk the Levante one.
He told us that in one place where he stayed, the person in charge told to him that there were between 500 and 600 pilgrims by day on that way.
 

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