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Is this a good idea?

#1
I was thinking of booking a round-trip flight from JFK to Pamplona, with the arrival and departure a month apart. After finishing the camino in Santiago, I would catch a cheap flight from the airport there back to Pamplona in time to make the return trip from Pamplona to JFK. This seems the cheapest way to do it using sights like Kayak.com and expedia.com. Is there a better (i.e., cheaper) way?

I was also considering just getting a cab from Pamplona to St. Jean since this just seems the easiest way...unless anyone can explain these train schedules to me.

Thanks in advance!
 

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marktqm

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006)
#2
30 days apart may be squeezing it too much. I don't know how fast you intend to walk, but I suggest adding a few extra days, esp if you plan on starting from SJPP. A couple of rest days may be needed. If you intend to walk SJPP-Fistera then 30 days will certainly not be enough.

Enjoy the view, take your time.

Mark
 

Ulysse

Active Member
#3
Unless you intend to really move, without visiting much and without rest, 30 days is too short in my opinion.

As I do not believe there is a direct flight from JFK to Pamplona you will have a fair amount of switching to do between Madrid Barajaz and train or bus stations to get to wherever you want to start and finish. Do not ignore jetlag as it will afect you for one or two days.

Buen camino
 
#4
Thanks...luckily I haven't booked the flight yet, though from searching just about everywhere on the net JFK to Pamplona seems the cheapest. Oddly enough, there is such a flight and it is somehow cheaper than flying into Biarritz or even Barcelona and Madrid, no trains required. (Does anyone know of a cheaper way to get to Pamplona or St. Jean from NY?)

I'll book the return flight five weeks later instead of four and start in Pamplona rather than backtrack to St. Jean. The latter will save me, I think, about three days (though I do hear that section of road is quite amazing). Thanks again.
 
#5
The trains do seem to be a bit complicated around there. There are regular trains from Irun to Bayonne and Bayonne to St Jean, but it looks like only 3 trains a day from Pamplona to Irun (two in the morning, one at night) - and the whole journey (with the changes, and something of a detour) is over 5 hours. I can't see any suitable buses, either. Maybe you can haggle with a cabbie in Pamplona - or I found this link that includes details of taxi firms running services to Camino starting points, including from Pamplona to St Jean (68 Euros): http://groups.msn.com/ElCaminoSantiago/ ... alles.msnw

Good luck!

Pip
 

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#6
Thanks for the advice everyone, it is much appreciated. I think I will start in Pamplona rather than backtrack to St. Jean, then make it to Santiago in five weeks, which should give me plenty of time (if I have time to spare I'll go to Finisterre and take a bus back to Santiago).

The flight from JFK to Pamplona seems the cheapest seeing as it's only about a thousand dollars (gulp)...to Biarritz or even Madrid or Barcelona is more expensive flying Iberia. Does anyone know a cheaper air service from New York to (or close to) a camino starting point? If so, I'm all ears.

Also...how do most Americans get back FROM Santiago? Flights from Santiago back to Pamplona are only about $100, so that seems a reasonable way to make it back there in time to catch the return flight to New York.

Thanks again pilgrims.
 
#7
How about a taxi?

Hi,

I'm having the same problem with my plans to reach SJPDP. I'm also flying from NYC but I was thinking of going to San Sebastian from Madrid in order to catch the train to Bayonne and then to SJPDP.

The other option is to fly to Pamplona. If I fly to Pamplona, I plan to take a taxi to SJPDP. I got the email from this site of a woman in Saint Jean who does taxi runs from Pamplona or Roncesvalles to SJPDP. I wrote to her and she responded very quickly. She said she would pick us up in Pamplona and drive us to Saint Jean for 77 euros.

Her email is apcaroline@hotmail.com and her name is Caroline.

It might be worth it because the time and cost of the trains to Irun, Bayonne, and Saint Jean.

Buen Camino,
Nick
 
#8
That might be a good option since the San Fermin festival will be happening in Pamplona day I plan to fly in (July 7th or 8th), and it will be a madhouse there. With the albergue closed I wouldn't be able to pick my credentials up until I got to Puenta la Reina.

Just out of curiosity when are you leaving?
 
#9
Cheapest and quickest option frmo Pamplona to St Jean is to get a Taxi.

Possibly cheaper than JFK - Pamplona is JFK - Madrid and then a bus to Pamplona. Check this option. Then, from Santiago possibly is easier to return to Madrid than to Pamplona.

I wouldn't try St-Jean - Fisterra in less than 5 weeks. Possible but not recommended! Sometimes you have to rest, to stop just to visit something interesting, may be physical problems in your feet or knees ...

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Mdrid, Spain.
 

evanlow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
#10
When I started from Roncesvalles last year, I share a taxi with a couple from Pamplona going to SJPDP. I paid 20 euros and got off at Roncesvalles. Go to the bus station in Pamplona in the morning. You might find many pilgrims doing the same thing and share the cost of taxi.

http://camino.wificat.com
 
#11
I arrived in Pamplona around 1pm on a Sunday; no sign of potential pilgrims to share a taxi. My information was no bus to Roncesvalles until Monday evening; (subsequently I saw a sign that indicated a morning time bus during July & August.)
I started walking the route in reverse!
Sunday.....Larrasoana
Monday.....Roncesvalles
Tuesday.....St. Jean (beautiful sunshine)
Wednesday.....Burguete

That evening I saw a sign for a morning time bus from Roncesvalles to Pamplona via Burguete. Following consultation with other pilgrims I decided to take the bus to Pamplona on Thursday morning and start my day's walk from there.
That might be an option for you.
 
#12
That's pretty innovative! I guess you ran in to lots of pilgrims heading towards you.

Where did you stay in Burguete, and is it hard to find lodging there?
We would like to stay there towards the end of the month, at the start of our pilgrimage, and are interested is seeing and maybe trying the Hostal Burguete where Hemingway stayed.
 
#13
The reason I continued on to Burguete was because I was invited by some other pilgrims to continue with them and also the albergue in Roncesvalles doesn't open until 4pm.
So we were a group of 4 and stayed in a private house (casa rural?) in the village. We got 2 rooms ensuite with single beds. I had a very pleasant evening with my German room mate and Norwegian father and daughter.
However if you're on a tight budget you wouldn't stay in a B&B so early on your journey. You'll also eat cheaper in Roncesvalles if you have pilgrims menu in the evening. ( although we did have a "combination" plate for 7euro.
I recall seeing small hotels on main street.

Brian
 


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