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Lescar to Jaca end of June

Elizabethab

New Member
I am planning to walk from Lescar to around Jaca at the end of June and would like to know about the track. Is it well marked? What is the surface of the path? What is an average temperature for this time of year? Will there be a few others walking at that time of year?
Thanks I look forward to a response.

jane
 
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Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
Hi Elizabethab,
I flew to Pau on 3rd of April last year and walked from there to Lescar that day. We went to the tourist bureau in Lescar and the charming young lady on duty gave us the key for the albergue and directed us where to find it. She then called the caretakers [who don't live on site] to let them know that they had guests. She then advised us that the walk to Oloron Ste. Marie the next day was very arduous and to take plenty of water and food as there were no shops on the way. I would not have said arduous, I would have used a stronger adjective, perhaps brutal. It was 32 km on wet and slippery slopes [some very steep] and we arrived in Oloron at 6.15 pm. after the tourist bureau had shut. By great good fortune we found a wonderful gite run by a French/Canadian valled Pierre [I will post its name and address here tomorrow].
Unless you are very fit you will find the Lescar/Oloron path difficult. If you do go that way it might be best to take the next few days a bit slower e.g. 15 km from Oloron to Sarrance [ you will need to ring ahead the previous eveving to book a bed- Pierre will do this for you] and about the same distance the next day to Borce. Both of these days can be walked beside the main road, as can be the leg from Borce to Somport Pass. This is longer, but it is not so much steep as always climbing with just the last half km a bit more strenuous.
I walked from Somport to Jaca in the one day and my diary notes that it was 32 km of often steep and rocky going on the descent down from the Pyrenees. All up it took me 5 days with the stages as following : 10 km Pau to Lescar, 32 km Lescar to Oloron, 15 km Oloron to Sarrance, 40 km Sarrance to Somport, 32 km Somport to Jaca.
The track is mostly well marked but I had the CSJ guide with me and it was valuable for the Lescar/Oloron leg. About 3 km from Somport on the main road I found 2 signs telling me I was going the wrong way-ignore them and keep going.
There was no-one else staying in the albergue at either Lescar or Oloron There was one other pilgrim at Sarrance, and one at Somport. At Jaca there were about a dozen, and the numbers kept building as I went west.
I can't comment on temperatures for June as I was there much earlier [still a lot of snow at Somport]
I hope I have been of some help.
Buen Camino
Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 

Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
Hi Elizabethab
The address for the gite in Cloron Ste Marie is: Maisson Guerra LaRocque, 18 rue de reval, phone is 05 59 36 09 99. I slept in a converted hay loft behind the main building, which had a double bed a single bed and a double bunk, and private facilities. Pierre cooks gourmet pizzas and it is best to let him decide which sort you should order if you have your night-time meal at the gite At breakfast I found a huge bowl in my setting, which puzzled me as there was no cereal present. After I had some yoghurt, bread and jam, Pierre filled the bowl with lovely coffee, and when I complimented him on how nice it was, he filled my bowl again. A great start for the day.
You can find details of the gite on the web. Perhaps you might buy a local delicacy at the bakers to take with you on your walk to Sarrance, as there are no shops until you get there. The delicacy is called, I think, pommmier, and is a pastry made with apple and which is sold only in Oloron.
Buen Camino.
Alan.

Be Brave. Life is Joyous.
 

Elizabethab

New Member
Hi Alan,
Thank you very much for your ideas. Can you tell me what the surface of the track is like and whether it is beside the road or not? Did you enjoy the walk?
Regards,
Elizab
 
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.
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Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
Hi Elizabethab,
The surface of the path between Lescar and Oloron varied between muddy, steep and therefore very slippery [there must be a lot of rain in that area, it is SOOO green] which was well away from main roads, to well formed gravel roads on which I saw little or no traffic. From Oloron to Sarrance I walked beside the main road which could be done quite safely. And from Sarrance to Somport I also walked beside the main road as I was short of time and that was the quickest way. On this part of the walk you will travel up a fairly narrow valley with the road on one side of the river and the camino path on the other side. I crossed the river on one occasion just to see what the path was like and found it firm underfoot with a rocky base, but it was too slow for me to stay on it for any length of time.
There is a tunnel that runs under the Pyrenees, and emerges at Canfranc in Spain. The road to Somport turns sharp left about 750 m before the tunnel entrance. Predestrians are not allowed through the tunnel. I was turned back so had to backtrack to the Somport turn. Just what I needed, a further 1500m on top of an already long day.
The pastry and apple delicacy I wrote about in my last post will be found at Lescar, not Oloron. And as a piece of trivia, where was the first flying school in the world? It is between Pau and Lescar and was established by the Wright brothers. I walked past on April 3rd last year.
Did I enjoy the walk? Did I what! The sheer greeness and the continuous sound of running water everywhere I walked was a soothing balm for Australian eyes and ears inured to years of drought. And the walk to Somport with the mountain scenery and the mountain air was grand. The best thing I can wish you is that you enjoy it as much as I did!
Buen Camino
Alan

Be brave Life is joyous.
 

Elizabethab

New Member
I can't believe we'll be on the track in less than 2 weeks. My pack will weigh 8kg which includes a sleeping bag 88ogm and 2 litres of water. I don't know what to toss out. Can't wait. Any tips about leaving Lescar? Also we arrive in Lescar Saturday evening and will need passports, I'm expecting to get them at the Church or the gite. I have the CSJ guide and the topo guide in French but no detailed map. Do I need one and if so any idea on where to get one?

Ah the great unknown. Thank you for your ealier responses it is really helpful.

Eliz from Australia
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I did this stretch in 2005 at the same time as jl, and the path is much as was earlier described. The office de tourisme in Lescar, just by the church (it kept its cathedral status after it lost its bishop in 1801), and 3 minutes from the albergue, will give you the information you need for the next day. We were treated to an excellent organ recital at the church and the guide was quite chuffed to run into real foot-slogging pilgrims. jl had detailled notes on the path-- she is in Adelaide and, if you've not been in touch with her, you might want to send a pm.
 

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