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Importance of First Night's Stay

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2019)
How important was the place you stayed in SJPdP the night before you started in creating your "Camino Family?"

I'm about to book my first night's stay at an albergue in SJPdP. The place that I'm considering booking has minimal common areas. I'm wondering whether I should stay at another place with a more communal feel? My intent is to go to mass the night before and find dinner in the town, so I'm hoping to meet people there. This isn't about asking for albergue recommendations, but rather the social aspect of the first night.

Thanks in advance for the insight!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I don't think where you stay the first night in Saint Jean will have an effect on the amount of people you meet while walking the Camino and how many friendships you develop. I certainly wouldn't feel pressured to start a "Camino family" the first day. Besides, it's more enjoyable to get out the albergues and see the towns you stay in.
 

josephmcclain

Active Member
I would highly recommend the experience at Beilari. It was very memorable for me and I have returned there. Great food!! AND I second the idea of NOT getting attached to creating a camino family on that first pre night. It is something that one might rather want to let happen. And sometimes they come and go like water ebbing. It can all be very spontaneous and natural. Actually, I preferred time alone during the day and then surprising myself at night with whom I would meet and have dinner.
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
If I may put in my useless 2 cents. We all walk the camino for different reasons and as it is often said the Camino gives you what you need not what you want. I never know what I need so that is one of the wonders fo walking for me as somewhere on the Camino I get slapped with it. I could be 100% wrong about you Douglas but based on your question maybe what the Camino will teach you is that you are just fine alone without anyone. Or something like that.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I stay the first two nights, usually at Hotel Ramuntcho. It is centrally located. Not cheap, like an albergue, but not exactly a five-star business hotel either. But, it does offer excellent value for cost. There are many other similar places in town. All are fine. I just have my personal preference.

The reason I always recommend staying for the first TWO nights is that you typically arrive in the evening. The next morning you will be jet lagged and tired from travel. I spend the day in-between touring, topping off supplies, visiting the Pilgrim Office, attending the evening Pilgrim Mass at the ancient church, and buying souvenirs.

The souvenirs are sent to Santiago with one suitcase or duffel bag, using Express Bourricot. This is an excellent, though not inexpensive, way of getting stuff you will want at the end of your pilgrimage at Santiago. They make a van run regularly to store your items securely at the Albergue / Hostal La Salle, at Santiago. Two or more folks could share one suitcase. I usually send a rolling carry-on sized bag ahead with tourist clothes, etc.

Also, the first day's walk contains a VERY steep incline. While mostly paved, it does continue for nearly 10 km.

Even if I sleep for two nights at SJPdP before starting, I still book my first Camino night at Refuge Orisson. It is 8 km up the Pyrenees from SJPdP. While it only takes 2.5 - 3 hours to reach, you will be glad you stopped there the first night.

Many folks, including moi, claim that the first 8 - 10 km out of SJPdP is the most daunting climb of the entire Camino Frances. Yes, there are higher altitudes to walk up to, and steeper inclines to come. But on the FIRST day out, this is a doozie...

Hope this helps.
 

Arlene Laskey

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April-May 2018
Camino Portuguese ?2021? maybe
I have stayed here 5 times http://www.beilari.info/en/reservations and Joseph celebrates being a Camino family at dinner. The people I meet that first night I see though out the entire Camino even with so many different paces. The dinner is delicious too.
I loved staying at Beilari, and did bond with many of those people - but you can certainly bond (or not, depending on your experience) all along the Camino. And I also recommend booking at Refuge Orrison, you will be happy you stopped!
 

countycork

Member
Camino(s) past & future
26th May 2013
We also stayed in Hotel Ramuntcho but only for 1 night, which was the night before our walk. There's a great buzz in St Jean so I would suggest staying there for a 2nd night but then walking all the way to Roncevalles rather than overnight in Orrison.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
How important was the place you stayed in SJPdP the night before you started in creating your "Camino Family?"

I'm about to book my first night's stay at an albergue in SJPdP. The place that I'm considering booking has minimal common areas. I'm wondering whether I should stay at another place with a more communal feel? My intent is to go to mass the night before and find dinner in the town, so I'm hoping to meet people there. This isn't about asking for albergue recommendations, but rather the social aspect of the first night.

Thanks in advance for the insight!
Given I travel for two days to get there, I dont stay in an albergue in SJPDP, I need my sleep, by myself.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Given I travel for two days to get there, I dont stay in an albergue in SJPDP, I need my sleep, by myself.
I can relate. Once I did not arrive in Saint Jean until late and it was 9 pm by the time I checked into the accommodations I reserved. The last thing on my mind was playing social butterfly. A shower and a bed was priority.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Your first night hm maybe contemplation may be a good way to start it. Everything else will be provided. Take care one day at the time. There will always be some one when you need it just like in your live when you are not walking the Camino.
Then let the joy carry you.
 

Rj7797

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
Camino families, like real families, come in all shapes, sizes and levels of harmony. Don't unduly romanticize them.
Very true. I've only been once but can remember two different occasions on my camino of meeting someone that was in the process of removing themselves from a "family" by walking further or stopping sooner. It is definitely something that can happen organically but I would advise against actively looking. Walk how you enjoy walking and relax how you enjoy relaxing. You'll find other people that are about the same and friendships begin.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
If I may put in my useless 2 cents. We all walk the camino for different reasons and as it is often said the Camino gives you what you need not what you want. I never know what I need so that is one of the wonders fo walking for me as somewhere on the Camino I get slapped with it. I could be 100% wrong about you Douglas but based on your question maybe what the Camino will teach you is that you are just fine alone without anyone. Or something like that.
Ah, but I met you on my first night in SJPDP! I wrote about what you said in my journal that night. I know my handwriting is awful, but I think you just might be able to decipher my note.
52022
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
And now with my two cents added, you'll be rich! ....I look at the first night as one to rest and regroup from travel and to contemplate the walk ahead. Your family will find you when you are at peace , rested, and open to receive them. Try not to 'look' for a family, it's limiting. You might find the best friend in the most unexpected form...an ancient man from a far off country who cannot speak one word of your language, a very young man with big ideas, a middle aged woman who carries grief from a huge loss, a doctor, a trash man, a nun... Let the Camino surprise you. You will be sent exactly who you need to meet...nothing is random. Buen Camino...Walk with Joy !
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Very true. I've only been once but can remember two different occasions on my camino of meeting someone that was in the process of removing themselves from a "family" by walking further or stopping sooner. It is definitely something that can happen organically but I would advise against actively looking. Walk how you enjoy walking and relax how you enjoy relaxing. You'll find other people that are about the same and friendships begin.
I usually just tell the people or person I was walking with that I now want to walk alone for a while, maybe days and I have had people say the same to me. Then sometimes you see them later on and socialize again. Not a big deal.
Last thing I want on the Camino is a pressure to conform or socialize. Like not having a Camino family means that your walk was a failure of sorts. Why would anybody want that?
Maybe if I was a young again, say in my twenties, and there are many other pilgrims my age walking, and a good part of my walking the Camino is the social aspect....yeah, possibly.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Ah, that first night on Camino. Tired from travelling; worried about pack weight, blisters, legs and heart (for some of us); stranger in a strange town and full of anticipation but with the Book of Fears wide open at every page at once. That first night on Camino; relaxed, with a good plan and a bellyful of experience. That first night on Camino: it never changes and its never the same. And there seems to me little point in planning it 'cos it will turn out exactly as it should no matter our intentions.

That said I'd probably book a bed in St Jean in high season if I was ever planning to stay there again but I wouldn't put too much thought into where. I'm happy if the bed springs aren't too creaky and the roof doesn't leak ;)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I've walked three Caminos, and I haven't finished in Santiago with a single person that I met in St Jean. I have been part of several groups along each of my Caminos. I tend to go in and out of groups. I often walk alone, but like walking with one or two others at a time, rather than in a group. I enjoy sharing meals with others, but I'm also comfortable dining on my own. As others have said don't try to force a Camino family, and leave all your expectations at home. It will help you to travel lighter.
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte end of March 2019
@Douglas Christel Even though I stayed at La Villa Esponda last year before starting my camino I still met a few pilgrims walking around St Jean and had dinner at a local restaurant with a couple of them. I managed to see many of them along the way without actually walking any distance with them. We still formed a great bond and I saw many of them in santiago. I think if you you are looking for a communal meal and the full pilgrims atmosphere the first night go with Billari if you are looking for a good night’s sleep and some privacy sleep elsewhere. You can still enjoy, form great bonds and meet many pilgrims walking in and around St Jean and in the Pilgrims office the day before your walk and along the way the next day.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
@Douglas Christel Even though I stayed at La Villa Esponda last year before starting my camino I still met a few pilgrims walking around St Jean and had dinner at a local restaurant with a couple of them. I managed to see many of them along the way without actually walking any distance with them. We still formed a great bond and I saw many of them in santiago. I think if you you are looking for a communal meal and the full pilgrims atmosphere the first night go with Billari if you are looking for a good night’s sleep and some privacy sleep elsewhere. You can still enjoy, form great bonds and meet many pilgrims walking in and around St Jean and in the Pilgrims office the day before your walk and along the way the next day.
And you will have another opportunity at the communal dinner at Roncesvalles to get to know more of your fellow pilgrims.
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
Ah, but I met you on my first night in SJPDP! I wrote about what you said in my journal that night. I know my handwriting is awful, but I think you just might be able to decipher my note.
View attachment 52022
The memory of that first night haunts me to this day!!!!!
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte end of March 2019
And you will have another opportunity at the communal dinner at Roncesvalles to get to know more of your fellow pilgrims.
Yes it was fantastic
 

Becky 59

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 2018
There was only one person from my first night in Sjpdp that I ever saw again. Also, someone in the Albergue had a phone alarm that went off every 10 minutes for quite a long time at 2 am, and being polite/tired/newbies, we didn’t know anything to do other than hold a pillow over our own ears!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
There was only one person from my first night in Sjpdp that I ever saw again.
I did see many people that I started out with, in fact many of us got together for drinks in Santiago, but I only saw them off and on while on the Camino.
we didn’t know anything to do other than hold a pillow over our own ears!
At least you didn't put the pillow over their face!
 

nathanael

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
I stay the first two nights, usually at Hotel Ramuntcho. It is centrally located. Not cheap, like an albergue, but not exactly a five-star business hotel either. But, it does offer excellent value for cost. There are many other similar places in town. All are fine. I just have my personal preference.

The reason I always recommend staying for the first TWO nights is that you typically arrive in the evening. The next morning you will be jet lagged and tired from travel. I spend the day in-between touring, topping off supplies, visiting the Pilgrim Office, attending the evening Pilgrim Mass at the ancient church, and buying souvenirs.

The souvenirs are sent to Santiago with one suitcase or duffel bag, using Express Bourricot. This is an excellent, though not inexpensive, way of getting stuff you will want at the end of your pilgrimage at Santiago. They make a van run regularly to store your items securely at the Albergue / Hostal La Salle, at Santiago. Two or more folks could share one suitcase. I usually send a rolling carry-on sized bag ahead with tourist clothes, etc.

Also, the first day's walk contains a VERY steep incline. While mostly paved, it does continue for nearly 10 km.

Even if I sleep for two nights at SJPdP before starting, I still book my first Camino night at Refuge Orisson. It is 8 km up the Pyrenees from SJPdP. While it only takes 2.5 - 3 hours to reach, you will be glad you stopped there the first night.

Many folks, including moi, claim that the first 8 - 10 km out of SJPdP is the most daunting climb of the entire Camino Frances. Yes, there are higher altitudes to walk up to, and steeper inclines to come. But on the FIRST day out, this is a doozie...

Hope this helps.
I agree with this advice. I have stayed there twice and a good rest without restrictions is important the first night.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2019)
Thank you all for your insights. Of course, I appreciate the sentiment to live in the moment, go with the flow, and adapt as necessary (that's standard fare on just about every thread). I was just curious if that first night held any special significance in establishing bonds with fellow walkers similar to one's roommates the first year in college. I've read several posts here and otherwise that have suggested it did, but it sounds from your contributions that perhaps other factors are more important. Your input has helped me make my selection. I am booked at a place in SJPdP and am really anxious to start walking May 1. Thank you!
 

Mr.Smirky

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances October '14
Primitivo September '16
Del Norte September '19?
I stayed at Orrison on my Camino. I didn't need to take such a short day the first day but I really enjoyed the afternoon of meeting people and making connections. The communal meal is a great way to start a camino. They were the people I spent my first week with and it really made for an enjoyable experience. By the time we got to Roncesvalles the next afternoon it was like I was with my old friends.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Astorga to Santiago May 15
St Jean to Burghos May 16
I stay the first two nights, usually at Hotel Ramuntcho. It is centrally located. Not cheap, like an albergue, but not exactly a five-star business hotel either. But, it does offer excellent value for cost. There are many other similar places in town. All are fine. I just have my personal preference.

The reason I always recommend staying for the first TWO nights is that you typically arrive in the evening. The next morning you will be jet lagged and tired from travel. I spend the day in-between touring, topping off supplies, visiting the Pilgrim Office, attending the evening Pilgrim Mass at the ancient church, and buying souvenirs.

The souvenirs are sent to Santiago with one suitcase or duffel bag, using Express Bourricot. This is an excellent, though not inexpensive, way of getting stuff you will want at the end of your pilgrimage at Santiago. They make a van run regularly to store your items securely at the Albergue / Hostal La Salle, at Santiago. Two or more folks could share one suitcase. I usually send a rolling carry-on sized bag ahead with tourist clothes, etc.

Also, the first day's walk contains a VERY steep incline. While mostly paved, it does continue for nearly 10 km.

Even if I sleep for two nights at SJPdP before starting, I still book my first Camino night at Refuge Orisson. It is 8 km up the Pyrenees from SJPdP. While it only takes 2.5 - 3 hours to reach, you will be glad you stopped there the first night.

Many folks, including moi, claim that the first 8 - 10 km out of SJPdP is the most daunting climb of the entire Camino Frances. Yes, there are higher altitudes to walk up to, and steeper inclines to come. But on the FIRST day out, this is a doozie...

Hope this helps.
On reflecting on my own Camino I wish I had stayed 2 nights in SJPP for the very reasons you have outlined and if I do the Frances again this is what I would do.
 

MaryLP

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago - May 2014
St. Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona - Starting September 27, 2015
I stay the first two nights, usually at Hotel Ramuntcho. It is centrally located. Not cheap, like an albergue, but not exactly a five-star business hotel either. But, it does offer excellent value for cost. There are many other similar places in town. All are fine. I just have my personal preference.

The reason I always recommend staying for the first TWO nights is that you typically arrive in the evening. The next morning you will be jet lagged and tired from travel. I spend the day in-between touring, topping off supplies, visiting the Pilgrim Office, attending the evening Pilgrim Mass at the ancient church, and buying souvenirs.

The souvenirs are sent to Santiago with one suitcase or duffel bag, using Express Bourricot. This is an excellent, though not inexpensive, way of getting stuff you will want at the end of your pilgrimage at Santiago. They make a van run regularly to store your items securely at the Albergue / Hostal La Salle, at Santiago. Two or more folks could share one suitcase. I usually send a rolling carry-on sized bag ahead with tourist clothes, etc.

Also, the first day's walk contains a VERY steep incline. While mostly paved, it does continue for nearly 10 km.

Even if I sleep for two nights at SJPdP before starting, I still book my first Camino night at Refuge Orisson. It is 8 km up the Pyrenees from SJPdP. While it only takes 2.5 - 3 hours to reach, you will be glad you stopped there the first night.

Many folks, including moi, claim that the first 8 - 10 km out of SJPdP is the most daunting climb of the entire Camino Frances. Yes, there are higher altitudes to walk up to, and steeper inclines to come. But on the FIRST day out, this is a doozie...

Hope this helps.
I started in SJPdP at 7:30 or so and made it to Orisson by mid morning. The weather was perfect (September) and I just had a coffee visited with some fellow pilgrims and headed off. Made Roncevalles about 5 p.m. I walked at a steady but not crazy pace. Looking back I felt that if circumstances are right and you feel well then Orisson is too early in the day to stop for an overnight. I am female, was walking alone and was 69 years old. My advice is to pace yourself and take time to rest and listen to your body.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I stayed in parish albergue Kaserna. Good standard accomodations, friendly hospitalero; if you have left SJPP a bit late, you probably have noticed him, it is the old monsieur that after breakfast is finished, put a basket of fruits in the sidewalk, free to all passersby.
As for "Camino families"...I like very much the social aspect of the Camino, but I have to say that Camino families are very alike every other family...you have a bunch of people mostly kind, but also some annoying characters. :mad:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Autumn (2015) and Spring (2019)
I have stayed here 5 times http://www.beilari.info/en/reservations and Joseph celebrates being a Camino family at dinner. The people I meet that first night I see though out the entire Camino even with so many different paces. The dinner is delicious too.
I am glad to read this because I got confirmation yesterday of my stay at Beilari in SJPDP on April 18th. It sounds like a lovely way to begin a solo walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Autumn (2015) and Spring (2019)
Even if I sleep for two nights at SJPdP before starting, I still book my first Camino night at Refuge Orisson. It is 8 km up the Pyrenees from SJPdP. While it only takes 2.5 - 3 hours to reach, you will be glad you stopped there the first night.

Many folks, including moi, claim that the first 8 - 10 km out of SJPdP is the most daunting climb of the entire Camino Frances. Yes, there are higher altitudes to walk up to, and steeper inclines to come. But on the FIRST day out, this is a doozie...
Those first two days (SJPDP to Orisson and Roncesvalles) are also among the most stunning. I hope the Napoleon route is open on April 19th as that is the day I'll see those mountains for the second time. The first time certain songs kept running through my head: "She'll be coming 'round the mountain...," "The hills are alive with the sound of music...," etc. It's difficult but the views are so rewarding.
 

Jim B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Primitivo '14 & '15, Inglese '17, Finisterre '17, Portuguese '17 &18
I flew to Biarritz from London in 2013, with no expectations of walking with anyone really. Boarding the plane at Gatwick, I noticed a few other passengers with backpacks and boots and we all acknowledged each other and Identified that we were walking the Camino. We all met up again at the bus stop for Bayonne, there were five of us, so we decided to share a taxi to SJPdP. A few of us ate together that night, more by accident than design, and the next morning we set off, as far as I know, separately. Coincidentally, we all stopped at Orrison for refreshments and then all walked to Roncesvalles together. After that, we stayed together, two of us all the way to Santiago and the other three stayed with us for as far as their journey went before returning home, and we were so sad to see them go. By Pamplona, we'd been joined by another friend we'd made in St Jean, and shortly after we made two more good friends, and so once again we were five, all the way to Santiago and two continued to Finisterre. We became the best of friends, and I consider them my Camino family. We're diverse ages and nationalities too, Danish, American, German, Yorkshire/Swiss and myself, Isle of Man and our ages ranged, at the time, from 27 - 68. Four of us keep in touch regularly and have met again to walk on the Primitivo, Salvador, the West Highland Way and two of us on the Portuguese and the Inglese. So, expect nothing and be prepared for anything! Buen Camino.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
(2019) Frances
Those first two days (SJPDP to Orisson and Roncesvalles) are also among the most stunning. I hope the Napoleon route is open on April 19th as that is the day I'll see those mountains for the second time. The first time certain songs kept running through my head: "She'll be coming 'round the mountain...," "The hills are alive with the sound of music...," etc. It's difficult but the views are so rewarding.
Hi Judy, I was planning to starting my camino in Roncesvalles on April 21st, but after reading your post, I am thinking maybe I do need to start in SJPP, it does call me...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Autumn (2015) and Spring (2019)
Hi Judy, I was planning to starting my camino in Roncesvalles on April 21st, but after reading your post, I am thinking maybe I do need to start in SJPP, it does call me...
[/Q
Yes, do! And maybe reserve a night at Orisson for a night, too. I hope this link to a video of the journey over the Pyrenees works:
.
 
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MhaelK

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP -> Fisterra, (sep 26- oct 18, 2017)
I stayed in parish albergue Kaserna. Good standard accomodations, friendly hospitalero; if you have left SJPP a bit late, you probably have noticed him, it is the old monsieur that after breakfast is finished, put a basket of fruits in the sidewalk, free to all passersby.
As for "Camino families"...I like very much the social aspect of the Camino, but I have to say that Camino families are very alike every other family...you have a bunch of people mostly kind, but also some annoying characters. :mad:
If there there are no annoying characters in your camino family, does this mean that You are the annoying one ????? 😮
 

Craig Towers

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago
How important was the place you stayed in SJPdP the night before you started in creating your "Camino Family?"

I'm about to book my first night's stay at an albergue in SJPdP. The place that I'm considering booking has minimal common areas. I'm wondering whether I should stay at another place with a more communal feel? My intent is to go to mass the night before and find dinner in the town, so I'm hoping to meet people there. This isn't about asking for albergue recommendations, but rather the social aspect of the first night.

Thanks in advance for the insight!
“The Camino always provides”. Don’t over think it. You’ll have many hours of walking and experience ahead of you. Shed the burden of over planning. Each day ( and night) is a new day. A comfortable bed is a wonderous thing. 😎😎😎
 

janeen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2015 sept 2018
How important was the place you stayed in SJPdP the night before you started in creating your "Camino Family?"

I'm about to book my first night's stay at an albergue in SJPdP. The place that I'm considering booking has minimal common areas. I'm wondering whether I should stay at another place with a more communal feel? My intent is to go to mass the night before and find dinner in the town, so I'm hoping to meet people there. This isn't about asking for albergue recommendations, but rather the social aspect of the first night.

Thanks in advance for the insight!
I dont think it will matter. You will meet some people there but a lot of people you meet along the way on the trail.
 

Returning2TheTrail

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2009) St Jean to Castrojeriz having to abandon with stress fracture.
For me, the accommodation is of little importance.. The Tables you sit at for the first 3-4 Pilgrim meals will have far greater influence on who your 'family' will be, Also, the people you cross paths multiple times each day also will. If you are crossing paths multiple times that means your walk speeds and break ratio's are the same thus you will most likely end up walking together at some point (and eating together, and staying together)
 

Anna Cameron

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
I stay the first two nights, usually at Hotel Ramuntcho. It is centrally located. Not cheap, like an albergue, but not exactly a five-star business hotel either. But, it does offer excellent value for cost. There are many other similar places in town. All are fine. I just have my personal preference.

The reason I always recommend staying for the first TWO nights is that you typically arrive in the evening. The next morning you will be jet lagged and tired from travel. I spend the day in-between touring, topping off supplies, visiting the Pilgrim Office, attending the evening Pilgrim Mass at the ancient church, and buying souvenirs.

The souvenirs are sent to Santiago with one suitcase or duffel bag, using Express Bourricot. This is an excellent, though not inexpensive, way of getting stuff you will want at the end of your pilgrimage at Santiago. They make a van run regularly to store your items securely at the Albergue / Hostal La Salle, at Santiago. Two or more folks could share one suitcase. I usually send a rolling carry-on sized bag ahead with tourist clothes, etc.

Also, the first day's walk contains a VERY steep incline. While mostly paved, it does continue for nearly 10 km.

Even if I sleep for two nights at SJPdP before starting, I still book my first Camino night at Refuge Orisson. It is 8 km up the Pyrenees from SJPdP. While it only takes 2.5 - 3 hours to reach, you will be glad you stopped there the first night.

Many folks, including moi, claim that the first 8 - 10 km out of SJPdP is the most daunting climb of the entire Camino Frances. Yes, there are higher altitudes to walk up to, and steeper inclines to come. But on the FIRST day out, this is a doozie...

Hope this helps.
I also recommend using Express Bourricot, for all sorts of good reasons. Travelling from Australia and planning for a few days with friends in Provence after our walk, we packed our backpacks and poles in a suitcase for the trip from Adelaide to St Jean PP. We realised on our rest day in St Jean PP that we had to jettison stuff from the packs, to lighten our load, so it all went in the suitcase. Eventually, the case was transported to Hostal LaSalle in Santiago de Compostella, where we found it all safely stored on our arrival. A bonus is that customers of Express Bourricot get a discounted rate on their accommodation if they choose to stay at Hostal LaSalle- we did, and were very comfortable. The Express Bourricot staff are very efficient and friendly. It was all worth the €70, for sure.
 

Dogbreath

Doug Johnson, Indiana, USA
Camino(s) past & future
CF (SJPdP --> SdC) Sep/Oct 2019
AT (Sections) 2003-2019+
Hello All,

Thanks for the good info. I have some free time, starting to browse the blog. I have seven months until I start my inaugural Camino, will likely over-plan and over-worry. Your comments are very helpful. This is the first thread I linked into, will explore others during this three-day weekend in the States.

See you in September! (Old song title, BTW)
 

Thomas@Albany

Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Part Oct. 5 2018 (StJ)-Oct. 19 (Boadillo); 2nd Part May 5 (Boadilla) to May 26, 2019.
The night at Beilari helped a lot--I met most people again and again during the way and we became great walkmates. But I also met others also who were not at Beilari, right from Day 1 in Express Bourricot, then during the looong walk to Roncevalles and afterwards. As long as your heart is open, you'll find fellow walkmates even if the 1st night is lonesome.
 

Jackieduda

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2018)
How important was the place you stayed in SJPdP the night before you started in creating your "Camino Family?"

I'm about to book my first night's stay at an albergue in SJPdP. The place that I'm considering booking has minimal common areas. I'm wondering whether I should stay at another place with a more communal feel? My intent is to go to mass the night before and find dinner in the town, so I'm hoping to meet people there. This isn't about asking for albergue recommendations, but rather the social aspect of the first night.

Thanks in advance for the insight!
If you are coming from afar, you will want to rest up the night before and deal with jet lag and the new time zone.
 

Fiona de Camino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés September–October 2018

AlexanderAZ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 (Sept/Oct): CF: SJPdP-->Fisterra-->Muxia (solo)
2019 (late Sept): CF: SJPdP-->Leon (honeymoon!)
I have stayed here 5 times http://www.beilari.info/en/reservations and Joseph celebrates being a Camino family at dinner. The people I meet that first night I see though out the entire Camino even with so many different paces. The dinner is delicious too.
Definitely agree with this as the Belari “Camino Family” that 7 of us created maintains a very active WhatsApp group conversation (as in weekly) and it’s been 18 months since that first night!
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
We didn't even start in Saint Jean - either time we walked, so I would say that the choice of alberque in Saint Jean had zero impact on our Caminos :)

We met people all along the way - new people are always joining the Camino, others move ahead or drop behind, sometimes you are the one moving ahead or dropping behind. Some people you meet and never see again and others you run into all the time.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Via Tolosana
How important was the place you stayed in SJPdP the night before you started in creating your "Camino Family?"

I'm about to book my first night's stay at an albergue in SJPdP. The place that I'm considering booking has minimal common areas. I'm wondering whether I should stay at another place with a more communal feel? My intent is to go to mass the night before and find dinner in the town, so I'm hoping to meet people there. This isn't about asking for albergue recommendations, but rather the social aspect of the first night.

Thanks in advance for the insight!
Not important at all! I met people who came to matter to me 1) waiting for the bus outside Biarritz airport, 2) in Roncesvalles 3) somewhere in the middle of nowhere (vineyards!) after I’d got lost 4) in a cafe in Burgos....
Etc.
Just go with the flow. ;)
 

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