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nerves kicking in about where to begin Camino

Pips

New Member
I plan to leave London by Eurostar on Saturday the 18th of July arriving in Paris with enough time to catch a train to Bayonne and another on to St Jean Pied du Pont- this is in hope of commencing Camino on Sunday the 19th of July. I can't seem to find any reasonably priced accomodation though and I am wondering if I should perhaps look at starting somewhere else?! Can anyone advise me about whether I should go ahead as planned (if so do you know if i need to book Paris- Jean Pied leg in advance? and does train leave from same station as Eurostar?). It's past mindnight and my butterflies have got me onto the computer to start being organised...slightly petrified of challenge i have set myself, but always excited at the same time- any advise will help calm the nerves. Thank you, Pips. :)
 
Hi Pips,
One option would be to stay the night in Bayonne and catch the first train/bus out in the morning. Due to transportation scheduling last fall we were unable to get to St, Jean in the evening so we stayed in Bayonne at the Hotel Paris Madrid. It is located next to the train station and many pilgrims stay there. Of course that puts your start time later so then you may want to stay in Orisson. We had lunch there and the staff was very kind. Here is the link to book a bed there in advance,
http://www.refuge-orisson.com/auberge_compostelle_pays_basque_contact.php

What ever you decide upon an adventure is to be had!
Nicole
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
Hi Pips

I have used http://www.raileurope.co.uk to check out which station in Paris you will need for Bayonne. It's Paris Montparnasse. You should be all right with the Paris Metro which is quite like the London Underground. Just leave enough time to get across from Paris Gare du Nord which is where the Eurostar comes in, without panicking!

I also checked on that website for prices for the journey from Paris to Bayonne. The later the arrival in Bayonne the cheaper the fare got. The journey will be 5 or 6 hours anyway. So arriving in Bayonne at about 8pm was about 30 Euros cheaper than arriving early afternoon. So you would save enough to pay for a night in a cheap hotel or b and b (chambres d'hote) in Bayonne before catching an early train for SJPDP in the morning. The tourist office in Bayonne could help you book a chambres d'hote near the station, I would think. I have emailed tourist offices (having found their address via google) in english and had helpful replies and loads of info sent by post, so don't be shy to do so!

Good luck with the planning - enjoy!
 
I don't know if you have already purchased your Eurostar ticket. However, if you are London based, an alternative is to go with Easyjet from Gatwick to Biaritz. This might work out cheaper than the train. The flight gets you in for mid day. You can catch a bus from Biarritz airport to Bayonne train station. This is what we did last August and managed to get to St. Jean de Pied de Port in time to get our credencial at the Pilgrim's office. You should probably book a place ahead of time in St Jean. The train ride is where we first got our 'camino buzz'. Over half of the people on board had large rucksacks, so we knew they were peregrinos. Once you get out of the train at St Jean, just follow the backpacks. They will lead you to the pilgrims office. I would also recommend buying a shell at St Jean. We had heard about shells on the camino and had read somewhere that you traditionally left something at the iron cross. So, we got the smallest shells that we could find locally and drilled holes in them. We even had a spare shell. When I got to St Jean, I saw the large scallop shells and had shell envy. I wanted to buy one and my boyfriend wouldn't let me (we already have enough junk to carry, you don't need a shell). So, we went up and over the Pyrennes without a large scallop shell. When I was in Roncesvalles, I went ahead and bought two shells anyway. He rather reluctantly attached his to his bag. Needless to say, by day three, he became very attached to his shell and would constantly check to see if it was still attached. Our small shells were left at the iron cross. Our large shells made it all the way to Santiago and live on a shelf in my living room awaiting their next camino. You can fly back from Santiago to Stanstead with Ryan Air.
 

crackmrmac

Veteran Member
It's past mindnight and my butterflies have got me onto the computer to start being organised...slightly petrified of challenge i have set myself, but always excited at the same time-

Hopefully you've gotten some support,and useful advice in previous replies to your post.
I often let butterflies & computer & bargains rule my decisions but everything will work out fine on the Camino if you allow that to happen.
Continue to research,plan & ask.

Buen Camino Pips.
 

JIMBO

New Member
Hi Pips
You have some good info back....
We are flying in to Paris from Australia in September and will take the train down to Bayonne. Can I book the train trip online..Will it be OK to book in Paris...think I might have a buffer day in Paris in case of late plane delay.....
Best wishes for yor trip

happy trails

Jimbo
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
JIMBO said:
Can I book the train trip online..Will it be OK to book in Paris..

http://www.raileurope.co.uk/

You can book online at the above website with no booking fee. Its very easy. You will probably get a better price if you book as soon as possible. You will find there are different fares offered for different trains. I found one for 19 Sept to Bayonne for £33.50.

I am cook-a-hoop today because I have booked our travel from London to Limoges by train for September (we are cycling on the Voie de Vezelay) and got really good deals per person £35 from London to Paris on Eurostar (each bike an extra £20) and then an amazing £16 per person Paris to Limoges (each bike £9, or Euros10).


http://www.seat61.co.uk is another excellent site for information about train travel world wide, how to book etc.


peregrina nicole said:
However, if you are London based, an alternative is to go with Easyjet from Gatwick to Biaritz. This might work out cheaper than the train.
-

In July the cheapest Easyjet flight is £75.99. It looks as if the best train deal in July is about £200 - £65 - £90 for Paris - Bayonne and £100 plus for the Eurostar from London. So train is more expensive. (AMazinbg how much more expensive July is than September).

However, travelling by train to the south of France from London emits 13 kg CO2 per passenger, and flying 197kg per passenger.

And I think travelling by train makes the journey part of the adventure, where as flying is just being crammed in a tube until you get to the airport which is still some distance from where you want to be.
 

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