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Lourdes France to the Camino Frances

2020 Camino Guides

Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
I am considering the Camino Frances and would like to start August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption, from Lourdes France and tie into the Camino Frances. However, my searching has not yet led me to either adequate or reliable resources for such a venture. I would think that this would be a popular consideration for Pilgrims for a myriad of reasons. Can anyone illuminate my ignorance?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
I think Lourdes is a great place to start a Camino. Easy to get to, easy/flat first day's walking along the river, plenty of accomodation at a range of prices, 3 places to get stamps in Lourdes (if you are into that kind of thing), a pilgrim office, etc. More importantly, it's hard not to be moved by the people and the place. The torch-lit Marian procession, even if you are not of the Catholic faith (like me), is a very special experience.

I found the route really quiet and walked alone - I think it's unlikely you'll be walking in a crowd like out of SJPD. I stopped at Oloron-Sainte-Marie so can't give you much help with the route.

Brian Sewell's journey along parts of this route amused me and will give you an idea of what to expect in Lourdes along with lots of history:
 
C

Castilian

Guest
I forgot to say that if you are fine connecting to the Camino Francés in a place other than SJPP, you could walk the Piedmont Way from Lourdes just till Oloron St. Marie. Continuing from Oloron St. Marie to Somport on the Arles Way. From Somport to Puente la Reina is the Camino Aragonés and once in Puente la Reina you would join the Camino Francés. If you want info about the Arles way from Oloron St. Marie to Somport and about the Camino Aragonés, you can take a look at post number 9 at: www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/promoting-the-camino-aragones.39204
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
If you start in Lourdes, you will make a stop in Oloron, where you will meet pilgrims coming from Arles, as mentioned in another post. From there, you can go left to Somport and connect with Aragones (that's what most people do, because it is shorter) or go straight to SJPP, which I did, and it was really great. My notes are for this latter option.
Some tips:
* You will definitely need a good guide. Sometimes guides don't recommend exactly the same path, although they finally go to the same point. The well appreciated Gronze webpage has a good one (in Spanish). The ACIR association in Toulouse will send you its guide (in French) upon request, by e-mail. I don't know if there are guides in English.
* Signposting is good, but sometimes confusing. It generally follows the French GR, but there are other types (as after Lourdes) that go by other, easier paths (the GR generally goes for "scenic", which usually means "higher and more difficult").
* In France, you call for reservations. Oloron, especially, could be problematic otherwise, for the above mentioned reason.
* Some stages are long, because there are not many albergue options. And the terrain is really, really *beautiful*, but hilly. I walked around 8 hours daily, but I am quite slow.
* Prepare in the morning a bit of lunch, because you will not find bars or restaurants; and carry water enough for the journey.
* I'd say that some trekking experience is advisable, especially if you walk alone (as I did). But it is not really a technical mountain trek, and you can see villages and farms most of the time.
* I did it in late September. We were just ten in the Camino, mostly French and from other European countries. It is a good option if you want a personal, less crowded experience.
* On a personal note...when I was near Saint Jean Pied de Port, and I saw a couple of pilgrims after the intersection with the Le Puy way, I almost hugged them. Then, I found another, and another...and coming into the very busy Saint Jean Pied de Port, with queues in the Pilgrim Office and the tourist shops, was almost a shock. But after a while, I became used to the idea and enjoyed the company in the albergue.
 
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Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
Thank you, Felipe, your route is precisely what I'm looking for. I will check out the Spanish guide you mentioned. What was your total trip length and how many days did you take?
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
I am considering the Camino Frances and would like to start August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption, from Lourdes France and tie into the Camino Frances. However, my searching has not yet led me to either adequate or reliable resources for such a venture. I would think that this would be a popular consideration for Pilgrims for a myriad of reasons. Can anyone illuminate my ignorance?
Hi Kevin, I intend to do the same. Arriving in Lourdes 29 Aug, starting to walk 31 Aug to Asson, then Arudy, Oloron, L'Opital St Blaise, Mauleon, St Juste Ibarre and SJPdP, then onto SdC. Buen Camino!
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
Also search the Piedmont route or Le Chemin de Piedmont and GR78 for further info.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Thank you, Felipe, your route is precisely what I'm looking for. I will check out the Spanish guide you mentioned. What was your total trip length and how many days did you take?
I did: Lourdes-Betharram (many guides propose Asson)
Betharram-Arudy
Arudy-Oloron
Oloron-Hôpital Saint Blaise
Hôpital-Mauleon (this is a rather short stage, but the next is the toughest)
Mauleon-Saint Just Ibarre
Saint Juste- Saint Jean Pied de Port.
So, seven memorable days. Guides vary about distances, but the total is around 150 km. This does not seem as too much in average, but the terrain is hilly. I suppose it also depends on the weather, or rather, how muddy are the paths.
And as I mentioned, I am a rather slow walker (I was invariably the last one to arrive at albergues).
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
I did: Lourdes-Betharram (many guides propose Asson)
Betharram-Arudy
Arudy-Oloron
Oloron-Hôpital Saint Blaise
Hôpital-Mauleon (this is a rather short stage, but the next is the toughest)
Mauleon-Saint Just Ibarre
Saint Juste- Saint Jean Pied de Port.
So, seven memorable days. Guides vary about distances, but the total is around 150 km. This does not seem as too much in average, but the terrain is hilly. I suppose it also depends on the weather, or rather, how muddy are the paths.
And as I mentioned, I am a rather slow walker (I was invariably the last one to arrive at albergues).
I was curious about the distances because Google Maps show about 123-124kms only...
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I was curious about the distances because Google Maps show about 123-124kms only...
I think this is because some variants of this Camino take some detours, for scenic or historical reasons. Notoriously, in the Arudy-Oloron stage, instead of going all the way by the paved road, it goes left toward the Gave d'Ossau river and the Pont du Diable (the "Devil's Bridge"). Longer, but much more interesting. See here .
If you stay in the Arudy parish albergue (one of my best Camino experiences), the good priest will give you his own guide for the stage, with the different options.
Other example: In the Oloron-L'Hôpital stage, the Camino goes by Aren and Prechac-Josbaig, so you can go by a beautiful forest until the end of the stage. See this map.
There are other cases. Google Maps is good, but it can't take into consideration (still) little paths. And I suppose it always propose the easiest way.
Again, there are not "official" routes in the Piedmont way, although most guides recommend mostly (but only mostly) the same paths.
 
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NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
I think this is because some variants of this Camino takes some detours, for scenic or historical reasons. Notoriously, in the Arudy-Oloron stage, instead of going all the way by the paved road, it goes left toward the Gave d'Ossau river and the Pont du Diable (the "Devil's Bridge"). Longer, but much more interesting. See here .
If you stay in the Arudy parish albergue (one of my best Camino experiences), the good priest will give you his own guide for the stage, with the different options.
Other example: In the Oloron-L'Hôpital stage, the Camino goes by Aren and Prechac-Josbaig, so you can go by a beautiful forest until the end of the stage. See this map.
There are other cases. Google Maps is good, but can't take into consideration (still) little paths. And I suppose it always propose the easiest way.
Again, there are not "official" routes in the Piedmont way, although most guides recommend mostly (but only mostly) the same paths.
Gracias Felipe
 

Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
Hi Kevin, I intend to do the same. Arriving in Lourdes 29 Aug, starting to walk 31 Aug to Asson, then Arudy, Oloron, L'Opital St Blaise, Mauleon, St Juste Ibarre and SJPdP, then onto SdC. Buen Camino!
NicMen, I am in Lourdes as of now, and I was wondering if your above route is still your plan and if you have any other useful info? Thanks, Kevin
 

BlueBowers

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2016
Frances 2016
Fisstere and Muxia 2016
I did: Lourdes-Betharram (many guides propose Asson)
Betharram-Arudy
Arudy-Oloron
Oloron-Hôpital Saint Blaise
Hôpital-Mauleon (this is a rather short stage, but the next is the toughest)
Mauleon-Saint Just Ibarre
Saint Juste- Saint Jean Pied de Port.
So, seven memorable days. Guides vary about distances, but the total is around 150 km. This does not seem as too much in average, but the terrain is hilly. I suppose it also depends on the weather, or rather, how muddy are the paths.
And as I mentioned, I am a rather slow walker (I was invariably the last one to arrive at albergues).
Felipe, did you call ahead for reservations at the gites? If so where did you get the phone numbers?
Thanks
 

donalomahony

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
"Camino Frances" 2013, "Burgos to Leon," February 2014 - "Frances" June '14
Just reviewing thread from @mspath above. Lots of information there!
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Felipe, did you call ahead for reservations at the gites? If so where did you get the phone numbers?
Thanks
I always called the day before. I am not sure if some of them them really accept reservations (there are some municipal and parochial albergues) but I believe it is customary. Besides, I confess that as I was walking alone in a quite lonely road, I wanted to let a kind of clue about my daily whereabouts...just in case.
My albergues:
Betharram, at the monastery (the entry is not obvious, it is a narrow passage just facing the old stone bridge). Roomy, comfortable. You can join the community in the nightly Mass. The adjacent church is very worth a visit.
Arudy (one of my best experiences in my Caminos), parochial presbytery, 2 rue Baulong, last round point before the main church.
Oloron Sainte Marie: Relais du Bastet (attention, many guides don't have the phone or the persons in charge right, it is currently managed by an association); try this. It is a medium city, there are many options and services. Leaving is a bit complicated, and there is also other (and more favoured) route going to Somport; in the "Relais" the hospitaleros give you a map. If you are not sure, ask for the cathedral, and then follow the signposts.
Hôpital Saint Blaise, public. It is a minuscule village.
Monreal. Gîte municipal, 7 rue des Frères Barenne, facing a public library. Ask in the Tourism bureau or the city hall, main square. It is a little city; also some hostals and hotels.
Saint Just Ibarre. I stayed at a farm-albergue of Family Etcheberry, 1 km before the village. It does not appear in guides. I discovered this wonderful and warm place because of a sign in the panel of albergue municipal of Monreal.
Also, there other albergues in the village proper.
Saint Jean Pied de Port. Lots of options, as you know. I stayed in the parochial, the "Accueil Kaserna". Good feeling.
There are many list of albergues, all in French. For example, this one, with a lot of useful info. But be cautious, because some are not updated.
Buen camino! Bon chemin!
 
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NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
NicMen, I am in Lourdes as of now, and I was wondering if your above route is still your plan and if you have any other useful info? Thanks, Kevin
Hi Kevin. Yes, I keep on looking for options, but I think I'll stick to that route unless I get lost and end up going a different way or someone along the way suggests something different.
Hope you have a great time!!
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
I always called the day before. I am not sure if some of them them really accept reservations (there are some municipal and parochial albergues) but I believe it is customary. Besides, I confess that as I was walking alone in a quite lonely road, I wanted to let a kind of clue about my daily whereabouts...just in case.
My albergues: Betharram, at the monastery (the entry is not obvious, it is a narrow passage just facing the old stone bridge).
Arudy (one of my best experiences in my Caminos), parochial presbytery, last rond point before the church.
Oloron Sainte Marie: Relais du Bastet (attention, many guides don't have the phone or the persons in charge right, it is currently managed by an association); try this. It is a city, there are many options and services. Leaving the city is a bit complicated, and there is also other (and most favored) route going to Somport; in the "Relais" the hospitaleros give you a map. If you are not sure, ask for the cathedral, and then follow the signposts.
Hôpital Saint Blaise, public. It is a tiny village.
Mauleon, municipal. Ask in the Tourism bureau or the city hall, main square. It is a city; also some hostals and hotels.
Saint Just Ibarre, I stayed at a farm-albergue 1 km before the village; it does not appear in guides and the stamp in my credencial is rather blurry. I will try to get it and post here. Also, other albergues in the village proper.
Saint Jean Pied de Port. Lots of options., as you know. I stayed in the parochial, the "Accueil Kaserna"
There are many list of albergues, all in French. For example, this one, with a lot of useful info.
Buen camino! Bon chemin!
Great info Felipe. Thank you!! I'll be there in a couple of weeks!
 

Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
Have a great trip
Hi Kevin. Yes, I keep on looking for options, but I think I'll stick to that route unless I get lost and end up going a different way or someone along the way suggests something different.
Hope you have a great time!!
 

Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
Have a great trip, man! I have done a little investigating and believe I will explore Felipe's route. Kinda like the idea of spending my first night in a monastery, lol! It's all good. And thanks, Felipe!
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
Have a great trip, man! I have done a little investigating and believe I will explore Felipe's route. Kinda like the idea of spending my first night in a monastery, lol! It's all good. And thanks, Felipe!
Yes, I saw his post after writing my reply to you. I might consider it as it is enticing! BonChemin Kevin!
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Have a great trip, man! I have done a little investigating and believe I will explore Felipe's route. Kinda like the idea of spending my first night in a monastery, lol! It's all good. And thanks, Felipe!
Betharram is an interesting place. It has its own story about the miraculous apparition of the Virgin to save a little girl from the waters (there is a sculpture of the girl on the river) and it is a pilgrimage place, too. The adjacent church is remarkable (you will notice a statue of Saint Roch as a pilgrim, in the atrium), and the Camino goes on climbing a steep hill, along a Via Crucis with impressive monuments, considered National Heritage; I did not specially like the style, but it is very worth seeing
The congregation (I am not sure if it is formally a monastery) of Sacred Heart offers private or communal lodging (I choose the latter, and actually I was the only one in a very big room -it felt odd).
You will be invited to share the Mass with the community, in the chapel; it is optional.
Food can be bought in the little village of Lestelle, or dine in the monastery, as I did. The food was, uhm, healthy (with wine, as it is customary in France); an old religious, I believe the doyen of the little community, came to share diner with me, and we had a good and interesting talk about older France and his missional life and works. He was next day in the street, in a cold morning, waiting patiently for us to say "buen camino".
 
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Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
Thank you, Felipe, I look forward to leaving on the 16th, but am enjoying the atmosphere of Lourdes and I am especially looking forward to tomorrow on the Feast of the Assumption. For a first Camino it all feels really special. I truly appreciate your generous efforts and illuminating posts. Kevin
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
Betharram is an interesting place. It has its own story about the miraculous apparition of the Virgin to save a little girl from the waters (there is a sculpture of the girl on the river) and it is a pilgrimage place, too. The adjacent church is remarkable (you will notice a statue of Saint Roch as a pilgrim, in the atrium), and the Camino goes on climbing a steep hill, along a Via Crucis with impressive monuments, considered National Heritage; I did not specially like the style, but it is very worth seeing
The congregation (I am not sure if it is formally a monastery) of Sacred Heart offers private or communal lodging (I choose the latter, and actually I was the only one in a very big room -it felt odd).
You will be invited to share the Mass with the community, in the chapel; it is optional.
Food can be bought in the little village of Lestelle, or dine in the monastery, as I did. The food was, uhm, healthy (with wine, as it is customay in France); an old religious, I believe the doyen of the little community, came to share diner with me, and we had a good and interesting talk about older France and his missional life and works. He was next day in the street, in a cold morning, waiting patiently for us to say "buen camino".
This is great info. Thanks Kevin! I'm interested in hearing how each day in the south of France goes. Where did you stay in Lourdes?
 

Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
At the Notre Dame de la Satre, which is on the River Pou just a 5 minute walk to the entry of the Shrine. WiFi and clean, fairly simple. The staff is very welcoming and helpful. I paid 340E for 7 nights. Booked through hotels.com. I suspect the price may be even lower as the Feast of the Assumption crowd likely will thin after today. I'll keep you posted on my meager progress, NicMen!
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
At the Notre Dame de la Satre, which is on the River Pou just a 5 minute walk to the entry of the Shrine. WiFi and clean, fairly simple. The staff is very welcoming and helpful. I paid 340E for 7 nights. Booked through hotels.com. I suspect the price may be even lower as the Feast of the Assumption crowd likely will thin after today. I'll keep you posted on my meager progress, NicMen!
Did you get your pilgrim passpoert stamped? Where?
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I stamped -twice. Yes, I had a case of stamping greed. Well, I actually wanted both, for different reasons.
The Centre d'Information Jacquaire (remember, Saint James becomes Saint Jacques in France), boulevard de la Grotte, in a kind of rond point (you can't miss it, it is at the other end of the row of shops). See here its webpage.
The other place is the Lourdes pilgrim's bureau (I don't remember the name exactly) just before the sanctuary, at left. It is quite evident. You will be greeted warmly (I suppose that a pilgrim going to Compostela is not a so frequent sight in Lourdes).
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
I stamped -twice. Yes, I had a case of stamping greed. Well, I actually wanted both, for different reasons.
The Centre d'Information Jacquaire (remember, Saint James becomes Saint Jacques in France), boulevard de la Grotte, in a kind of rond point (you can't miss it, it is at the other end of the row of shops). See here its webpage.
The other place is the Lourdes pilgrim's bureau (I don't remember the name exactly) just before the sanctuary, at left. It is quite evident. You will be greeted warmly (I suppose that a pilgrim going to Compostela is not a so frequent sight in Lourdes).
Thank you Felipe. Very interesting and very useful info, as always! Only 11 days to departure now... I hope I can be present and awake at every step if the way!
 

Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
As you walk intothe Lourdes pilgrimage site look for the Information Center on your right. Three Euros and your set, stamp and all. Ignore what I said about the cost of the hotel, I'll update that when I checkout tomorrow.
Did you get your pilgrim passpoert stamped? Where?
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
As you walk intothe Lourdes pilgrimage site look for the Information Center on your right. Three Euros and your set, stamp and all. Ignore what I said about the cost of the hotel, I'll update that when I checkout tomorrow.
I made a reservation in the Hotel Saint Etienne a couple of months ago. Hope it will be fine.
 

Fatty Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
France
I always called the day before. I am not sure if some of them them really accept reservations (there are some municipal and parochial albergues) but I believe it is customary. Besides, I confess that as I was walking alone in a quite lonely road, I wanted to let a kind of clue about my daily whereabouts...just in case.
My albergues: Betharram, at the monastery (the entry is not obvious, it is a narrow passage just facing the old stone bridge).
Arudy (one of my best experiences in my Caminos), parochial presbytery, last rond point before the church.
Oloron Sainte Marie: Relais du Bastet (attention, many guides don't have the phone or the persons in charge right, it is currently managed by an association); try this. It is a city, there are many options and services. Leaving the city is a bit complicated, and there is also other (and most favored) route going to Somport; in the "Relais" the hospitaleros give you a map. If you are not sure, ask for the cathedral, and then follow the signposts.
Hôpital Saint Blaise, public. It is a tiny village.
Mauleon, municipal. Ask in the Tourism bureau or the city hall, main square. It is a city; also some hostals and hotels.
Saint Just Ibarre, I stayed at a farm-albergue 1 km before the village; it does not appear in guides and the stamp in my credencial is rather blurry. I will try to get it and post here. Also, other albergues in the village proper.
Saint Jean Pied de Port. Lots of options., as you know. I stayed in the parochial, the "Accueil Kaserna"
There are many list of albergues, all in French. For example, this one, with a lot of useful info.
Buen camino! Bon chemin!
Fantastic information, I'm planning on walking this route in about a month's time, I was just wondering how much you paid for each place you stayed at. I'm also a little worried about calling ahead as my french is pretty much non existent, face to face I can get by using google transalate so do you think that just turning up would be fine.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Costs were between 12-14 euros for bed. Only Arudy was "donativo".
Arudy gives a free diner (please give generously to support its effort) and breakfast.
Oloron (Relais du Bastet), Hôpital St Blaise and Mauleon have kitchens.
I don't remember shops in Hôpital (it is a minuscule place, actually there were more pilgrims than inhabitants). We bought diner in the only open restaurant of the village; they brought the food to a nice picnic area besides the albergue. It was an unusual sunny day.
Diner is possible in Betharram (+ 9 euros, I remember).
I have added links to the gîtes (auberges) in my previous message.
 
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Fatty Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
France
Costs were between 12-14 euros for bed. Only Arudy was "donativo".
Arudy gives a free diner (please give generously to support their effort) and breakfast.
Oloron (Relais du Bastet), Hôpital St Blaise and Mauleon have kitchens.
I don't remember shops in Hôpital (it is a minuscule place, actually there were more pilgrims than inhabitants). We bought diner in the only open restaurant of the village; they brought the food to a nice picnic area besides the albergue. It wa an unusual sunny day.
Diner is possible in Betharram (+ 9 euros, I remember).
I have added links to the gîtes (auberges) in my previous message.
Thank you so much, this information will be invaluable
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I'm also a little worried about calling ahead as my french is pretty much non existent, face to face I can get by using google transalate so do you think that just turning up would be fine.
There were many available bed (as for late September) in Betharram; the place is huge. I don't know if Arudy accept reservations (it is the presbitery), but certainly, the good priest will help you as much as he could.
I called in Hôpital; by night, the place was full.
I did not call for reservations in Mauleon (I occupied one of the last places; a couple that arrived later found no beds available, and all hostals were full; finally a kind local people, seeing how desperate they were, received them at his home); and Oloron (I had a wrong phone number, I got the last bed)
There are many options in St Just Ibarre.
So, if possible. call for reservations. I don't know if English is ok (I can do a broken French). There were no Anglo speakers when I did this Camino, just French pilgrims and some Germans.
My take was "Bonjour, je suis un pèlerin, je voudrais faire une reservation. Je m’appelle (nom). J’arrive (day)"
I think you can ask a fellow pilgrim to call for you, or the hospitalero will probably volunteer to do it.
I found people always kind and well disposed to aid.
 
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Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
I am on day 5 from Lourdes and presently in Oloron-St. Marie. Two days of rain resulted in a two day layover here and Arudy. My old bones and soar feet are grateful! But I'm in no hurry and the walk is beautiful but lonely. I suggest checking out via comparison the best translator apps. One site compares them all as your needs may differ. WiFi is sketchy so I recommend an offline translator. I downloaded Spanish in Barcelona, dumped it in Lourdes and download French. Finding albergues has been difficult. Not knowing how to find them with limited wifi has been hard. It's hot and muggy so I recommend an early start and also you don't end up late to town as I have!
 

Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
NicMen, you are getting close! The heat and humidity have been brutal. They're forecasting a change Sunday or Monday. I did not find any stores in the villages on my route, so make sure that you have provisions for lunching and snacking. Also, not finding many places to replenish water. I've been carrying 2 liters a day and drinking all of it. Only see a few pilgrims in the gites. Only walked one afternoon with another pilgrim from France. I know your route is slightly different. I'm in Ordiarp and taking my time after some shoe problems. It's truly incredible. Southern France is magnificent. Bon chemin! Kevin.
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
NicMen, you are getting close! The heat and humidity have been brutal. They're forecasting a change Sunday or Monday. I did not find any stores in the villages on my route, so make sure that you have provisions for lunching and snacking. Also, not finding many places to replenish water. I've been carrying 2 liters a day and drinking all of it. Only see a few pilgrims in the gites. Only walked one afternoon with another pilgrim from France. I know your route is slightly different. I'm in Ordiarp and taking my time after some shoe problems. It's truly incredible. Southern France is magnificent. Bon chemin! Kevin.
Hi Kevin, good to hear from you! I was wondering how you managed with your shoes.
Just checked into de hotel in Barcelona. I'll be catching a train to Lourdes on Monday and starting my walk Wednesday morning.
I saw that temperatures were quite high. It's 27C here past 10PM!
Thank you so much for the tips about food and water. Much appreciated. Take care.
 

Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
Hi Kevin, good to hear from you! I was wondering how you managed with your shoes.
Just checked into de hotel in Barcelona. I'll be catching a train to Lourdes on Monday and starting my walk Wednesday morning.
I saw that temperatures were quite high. It's 27C here past 10PM!
Thank you so much for the tips about food and water. Much appreciated. Take care.
Be careful in the Sants train station. One guy came up to ask me for directions while another grabbed one of my bags from behind. I lost my passport and 2 cards. But you probably don't have dumb tourist tattooed on your forehead, lol. Whole thing went down in under 10 seconds. The train trip is great! Have a great time!
 

Fatty Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
France
Just a week before I fly out to Lourdes, @Felipe where did you stay in Mauleon as the only places I could find were in the 40 Euro range which is a bit over budget for me. Also looking at your google maps link for the place to stay in Arudy is it the door where all the people are outside?
@Kevin Cassidy & @NicMen if you have any tips please chip in as I'm getting a bit nervous now for this first leg between Lourdes and SJPP especially as my French is zero.
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
Just a week before I fly out to Lourdes, @Felipe where did you stay in Mauleon as the only places I could find were in the 40 Euro range which is a bit over budget for me. Also looking at your google maps link for the place to stay in Arudy is it the door where all the people are outside?
@Kevin Cassidy & @NicMen if you have any tips please chip in as I'm getting a bit nervous now for this first leg between Lourdes and SJPP especially as my French is zero.
I kept on walking 7km to Ordiarp and got picked up by Jaqueline from Albergue La Loja, a farm house 5km further in Garaibie (I had been walking from L'Hopital St Blaise and couldn't walk anymore...). Jaqueline and Martin are lovely people, they have lovely rooms in a big house, feed you and make you feel at home. All that for a donativo.
There is an ebanistery place 800m before Ordiarp which I believe also receives pilgrims.
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
Just a week before I fly out to Lourdes, @Felipe where did you stay in Mauleon as the only places I could find were in the 40 Euro range which is a bit over budget for me. Also looking at your google maps link for the place to stay in Arudy is it the door where all the people are outside?
@Kevin Cassidy & @NicMen if you have any tips please chip in as I'm getting a bit nervous now for this first leg between Lourdes and SJPP especially as my French is zero.
The Gite in Mauleon was behind the church but it was a Sunday and I would hava had to collect the key from Cafe Europa in the main boulevard in the centre of town. But I decided to continue walking to Ordiarp that day.
 

Fatty Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
France
@NicMen thanks for the information, I can't find anything about the Gite in Mauleon or the Albergue La Loja. I tried emailing Cafe Europa but that came back as undelivered. I've got a busy night tonight sorting out other stuff so I suppose tomorrow morning will be spent using google and it's translate app. Also I haven't a clue what a ebanistery is as google translate just says it's a Galician word with no translation. Thanks again though
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
@NicMen thanks for the information, I can't find anything about the Gite in Mauleon or the Albergue La Loja. I tried emailing Cafe Europa but that came back as undelivered. I've got a busy night tonight sorting out other stuff so I suppose tomorrow morning will be spent using google and it's translate app. Also I haven't a clue what a ebanistery is as google translate just says it's a Galician word with no translation. Thanks again though
@NicMen thanks for the information, I can't find anything about the Gite in Mauleon or the Albergue La Loja. I tried emailing Cafe Europa but that came back as undelivered. I've got a busy night tonight sorting out other stuff so I suppose tomorrow morning will be spent using google and it's translate app. Also I haven't a clue what a ebanistery is as google translate just says it's a Galician word with no translation. Thanks again though
The phone number for Mme Jaqueline Althabe from Gite La Loja is 05 59 28 15 16 (plus France country code in front). I have their email address but can't find it at the moment. You can also ger to the main intersection in Ordiarb. There is a bar across the road from the old church attended by a nice Basque girl whose surname is Etcheverria (at leats when I crawled into the place). She speaks English and called Mme Althabe for me. Their add is pinned outside the bar (to the left of the entry door).
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
Just some additional info, in case you stop at these towns in the Camino Frances.
In Larrasoana (the town after Zubiri), the albergue San Nicolas is a delight. Attended by two wonderfully helpful guys.
In Ventosa, just before Najera, the hospitalera (Yuta, I think is her name) was the most patient, most helpful, most adorable person in charhe of an albergue that I've met on the Camino.
 

Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
Buen Camino FW! Just walked out of Leon myself. I will tell you that the GR78 was a fantastic choice for me. It was peaceful and, with the exception of crossing the Pyrenees from SJPDP, by far the most serene and beautiful portion of the Camino thus far. I get the impression you got the Google language app, which really helped me to with the French. It will be much cooler when you start out, a wiser choice I believe. And you will see the fall colors. It was in the 35 to 38 C range and 90% humidity every day in France. Truly brutal with the rolling hills. Pay attention as things aren't as well marked as on the Camino Frances. The big thing I found important was to carry a sandwich, fruits and nuts, as there is nothing inbetween albergues during the day. Hopefully you will find things slowing a little from SJPDP. I believe there have been record numbers since I left there 31/8. If it's crowded, I recommend stopping between the preferred daily destinations as they have never been full. There is a fantastic Pilgrims shop down from the Pilgrims Office in SJPDP which has everything you could possibly need at a reasonable price. I recommend Brierly's guide. Gotta tell ya I'm glad I picked up walking sticks at the shop in SJPDP. Truly worth the investment. Have no worries. Daily the Camino has been a gift. Turn all over and ride the moment. It's all good! Kevin.
I'd just like to say that I'm in Lourdes at the moment and the nice gentleman at the Jacquaire information centre has been fantastic, looking forward to setting off in the morning now
N
 

Fatty Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
France
@Kevin Cassidy, I was just thinking I'd better pop out and get some food for tomorrow but I'm lay on the bed in the gîte listening to the owners daughter playing the piano upstairs, it's really relaxing. As for walking poles I brought some with me so should be good there. Just got to hope my legs and feet hold out now and I'm hoping that where I stay can phone ahead and book me the next night's bed at least to SJPdP
 

Kevin Cassidy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino this year (2016)
@Kevin Cassidy, I was just thinking I'd better pop out and get some food for tomorrow but I'm lay on the bed in the gîte listening to the owners daughter playing the piano upstairs, it's really relaxing. As for walking poles I brought some with me so should be good there. Just got to hope my legs and feet hold out now and I'm hoping that where I stay can phone ahead and book me the next night's bed at least to SJPdP
Don't worry, never saw more than 3 of us along the way to SJPDP. Buen Camino!
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Just a week before I fly out to Lourdes, ]@Felipe where did you stay in Mauleon as the only places I could find were in the 40 Euro range which is a bit over budget for me. Also looking at your google maps link for the place to stay in Arudy is it the door where all
Yes, the Google Maps link for Arudy is the presbitery/gite, with many people at the door. I warmly recommend it.
A note: maybe you have a better guide, but I got disoriented in Saint Colomme until a monsieur gave me indications. You just pass the church (with a panel about pilgrimages) and almost immediately you will see, at your left, the Camino to Arudy clearly signposted. It goes by a wood, then rejoins the paved road.
In Mauleon, as above commented, you can ask for the key at the City Hall. Problem: it closes for the "siesta". I went to the albergue and knocked at the door...other pilgrims let me in; I remember it is in the 2nd floor. The address is Frères Barenne 7, here, facing the "Centre multiservices" (kind of public library).
Sorry, I just noticed that when I edited my previous post about albergues to add links, I inadvertently deleted a couple of words and tangled the Hôpital and Mauleon info; it is right now.
Buen camino!
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 77020

Guest
Felipe, did you call ahead for reservations at the gites? If so where did you get the phone numbers?
Thanks
I stayed at Betharron, excellent place room dorm and I stayed for a plentiful breakfast. They serve evening meal but I had eaten early so didn't partake but heard it was excellent.
 

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