I will arrive in Madrid on the 15th of August. I plan on leaving for SJPP on the morning of the 17th. Best way to go? Train? Bus? Leaves from where, and arrives where? Times, etc. ANyone else going at the same time?
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
FLY:http://www.iberia .com (± 60€) to Pamplona Taxi to St Jean (±68.00 €) or bus to Roncesvalles and taxi to St Jean.
Bus to Roncesvalles: Autocares Artieda (formerly Lamontanesa) 948 330 581 to Roncesvalles. Mon-Fri at 18h00 Sat: 14h00 (Not on Sunday) ± 4€
When I began My Camino I took a train from Madrid to Pamploma and a taxi from there to SJpdP. I thought I might find another pilgrim to share the taxi with but I was the only one off the train that morning carrying a backpack, so I had to bear the brunt of the fare alone. The Spanish taxi driver had obviously made the trip to SJpdP many times because he almost flew along that winding, mountainous road, seemingly on just two wheels around some of those narrow, hairpin curves, and for the first in a very long time my stomach began to go from just a little queasy to approaching sick. I was quite thankful when he dropped me off in front of the tourist kiosk in St. Jean. I was not sure how many more km i could have taken. So, if you take a taxi, get in the front seat. It just may help mitigate the car sickness some.
My dates are the same as yours, I'm (hopefully!) staying in Mucho Madrid hostel. I haven't decided if I will start in SJPP or Roncesvalles, I'd like to do that section as I didn't walk it last time, but depends on how much energy I have. I was planning on taking a bus from Madrid to Pamplona and then the afternoon bus from Pamplona to Roncesvalles. I've read that you can take a taxi from Roncesvalles to SJPP.
I was told on various forums that the train from Madrid to Pamploma was considerably faster than the bus-which made quite a few stops along the way, so I went the train route. As I recall, I took a very early one in the morning, still arrived in Pamploma in the early morning and the taxi from right outside the train entrance in pamploma to SJPdP and i still arrived there before noon as I vaguely recall. I know I had to wait outside the pilgrim's office while they closed for lunch siesta so I commenced to take one too, with my back propped up against the wall beside the entrance, waiting for them to return, trying to catch up on a little sleep i was unable to get on the trans-atlantic flight over..
I started my Camino that very afternoon. I was quite tired but started anyway. If I did it over again I would have spent the night there and rested up before striking out early, refreshed, the next morning.
Yes, I guess the train would be faster. I probably took the bus because it was cheaper and while it took longer, got me to Roncesvalles in time to find a room and get a credential, get blessed, etc. I'll probably do it again, especially now that I know how close the bus station actually is to the old part of Pamplona.
No. The older gent that sold me my credential in SJPdP was adamant that I start that afternoon walking towards Roncesvalles and stay in Huunto or Orisson. When I arrived at Orisson about 1730 the albergue was full, they would not let me stay, even on the floor and so I was forced to keep going. I obviously could not make it all the way to Roncesvalles in the little remaining light I had so I was forced to stay in he first available shelter I could find, which was in a little shephard's stone cave of sorts built at the very top of the trail off to the right on top of the Pyrenees before it started down towards the Spanish border. If it were not so cold or had I just a little moonlight I believe I would have kept going
How long did it take you to go from Pamplona to SJPP in taxi? I can´t go from Madrid to Pamplona until the 14:05 train, which arrives in Pamplona at 17:44. I´m afraid I won´t get to SJPP in time to get a room at a hostel or talk to the tourist kiosk. What do you recommend?
There are some private albergues that you can make a reservation in ahead of time in SJPP, if I remember correctly. You can perhaps go to the camino info places in Roncesvalles, and get your SJPP stamp at the albergue when you arrive.