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Oleron Sainte Marie or Somport?--directions?

Steeltown Pilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Tunnel Le Puy Via De Plata Ingles Primitivo Norte Frances Portuguese Fisterra Muxia hospitalero
I am probably going to walk the Aragones in the spring, 2014. I am curious as to the pros and cons of two potential starting points, Oleron Sainte Marie or Somport. Also, I am wondering if some one can provide the best way to reach either location from Paris, my likely entry point. Thanks.
 
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You cannot get to Somport from France without going through Oloron-Ste.-Marie. From Paris a train would be most convenient. It probably will connect through Bordeaux or Pau.

From Somport you descend for a couple of days. From Oloron you ascend for a couple of days, then go abruptly up to Somport.
 

Steeltown Pilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Tunnel Le Puy Via De Plata Ingles Primitivo Norte Frances Portuguese Fisterra Muxia hospitalero
Thanks Falc0n269. Guess I'll start in Oleron if I land in Paris
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Another option is to fly to Madrid, take a bus to Pamplona, then a bus to Jaca, and from there, you can get a bus to Oloron or Somport.
I'll be walking the Aragones around mid-April. If you see me, say hola!
 
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dalston999

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked Le Puy/Santiago/Fisterra/Murxia Sept/Oct 2012, Portugues march 2013, Arles April 2013
Walk from Pau, easy to get to and you can stay with the delightful Martine near the route to Lescar and the Gite at Lacommande, recommended!
 

Steeltown Pilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Tunnel Le Puy Via De Plata Ingles Primitivo Norte Frances Portuguese Fisterra Muxia hospitalero
Another option is to fly to Madrid, take a bus to Pamplona, then a bus to Jaca, and from there, you can get a bus to Oloron or Somport.
I'll be walking the Aragones around mid-April. If you see me, say hola!
Of course I'll say hi--would be nice. O am trying to firm up dates (and itinerary) right now! Buen Camino, eh!
 

karenhypes

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (09), Chemin Le Puy (10/11), hospitaleros (11), Chemin Arles (Apr 13), Caminho Portuguese (15).
Walk from Pau, easy to get to and you can stay with the delightful Martine near the route to Lescar and the Gite at Lacommande, recommended![/quot

Agree with Dalston999. Pau would be a great place to start. Nice walk to Lacommande and another nice day to Oloron St. Marie. Definitely stay with Martinez Réau in Pau (campostellae.fr or martine.reau@pau.fr)
and the gite in Lacommande is quaint (4 beds) and there is actually a winery across the street. It's also a nice walk from Oloron to Somport, albeit you might have a bit of road walking on the highway.
Bon Chemin. Dayton
 

jennysa

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
I am probably going to walk the Aragones in the spring, 2014. I am curious as to the pros and cons of two potential starting points, Oleron Sainte Marie or Somport. Also, I am wondering if some one can provide the best way to reach either location from Paris, my likely entry point. Thanks.
I walked the Camino Aragones in September last year and started off from Somport. My biggest regret was that I didn't start at Oleron Sainte Marie which is where everyone else seemed to start (there were no more than 6 pilgrims each day). I felt that I had sold myself a bit short, as I believe that the scenery is superb, and I would have loved to walk up and over the Pyrenees as opposed to catching the bus from Jaca (or Pau) to Somport and walking down from there. If you dont have any time constraints, go for Oleron St Marie.
 
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albeit you might have a bit of road walking on the highway.
The French randonneur organization's guidebook tells walkers to take the bus from about Bedous to the base of the climb to Somport because the road is so dangerous in this section. Other guidebooks do not make that recommendation, but it is no safer if you use a different guidebook!!! When the principal walkers organization says not to walk, it may be a good bit of advice.
 

Steeltown Pilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Tunnel Le Puy Via De Plata Ingles Primitivo Norte Frances Portuguese Fisterra Muxia hospitalero
I walked the Camino Aragones in September last year and started off from Somport. My biggest regret was that I didn't start at Oleron Sainte Marie which is where everyone else seemed to start (there were no more than 6 pilgrims each day). I felt that I had sold myself a bit short, as I believe that the scenery is superb, and I would have loved to walk up and over the Pyrenees as opposed to catching the bus from Jaca (or Pau) to Somport and walking down from there. If you dont have any time constraints, go for Oleron St Marie.
Thanks Jenysa--not to worry--no chance I'll start from Somport--don't want that "regret" feeling!!!
 
A

AJ

Guest
The French randonneur organization's guidebook tells walkers to take the bus from about Bedous to the base of the climb to Somport because the road is so dangerous in this section. Other guidebooks do not make that recommendation, but it is no safer if you use a different guidebook!!! When the principal walkers organization says not to walk, it may be a good bit of advice.

This was my information too for that section. So I asked at the tourist office in Oloron and was told that there was no problem with the road. I walked the road and had no problems, but I have walked a lot of roads and am used to it. It would be dodgy if two trucks passed at the same time.
 
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dalston999

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked Le Puy/Santiago/Fisterra/Murxia Sept/Oct 2012, Portugues march 2013, Arles April 2013
I walked up the road as there was still some snow in May this year which covered many of the marks and no one around, so the locals advised staying in the road. It was the weekend and very little traffic, no trucks. Not sure what a weekday would be like.

I still advocate starting in Pau for the 'full experience'!
 

Steeltown Pilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Tunnel Le Puy Via De Plata Ingles Primitivo Norte Frances Portuguese Fisterra Muxia hospitalero
Snow? May? Gee, I was thinking early April!!! Will check my closet for snowshoes.
 

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
I walked up to Somport on 6th April 2008 and there was a [very] little snow beside the road, but definitely nothing on it. My signature photo shows the snow on the hills around Somport at daybreak on April 7th, with the metal statue of a pilgrim gazing into the west, towards St James. I followed the pilgrim trail signs that morning, which meant that I walked on snow for about one km. until I got below the snow line. I could have avoided the snow by walking down the road to Canfranc.

The last couple of posts on this thread demonstrate the futility of asking what the weather in a particular area will be like in a years time.

I started in Pau and walked to Lescar the first night. I got my credential at the very helpful tourist office in Lescar, but the next days walk to Oloron was tough.

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 
Last edited:

ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Thanks Jenysa--not to worry--no chance I'll start from Somport--don't want that "regret" feeling!!!
I started from Oloron mid May last year and I saw nothing until Somport. Fog and heavy rain all the way. Was advised to take the road because the path was too bad. Lots of heavy traffic along a narrow highway. At Somport the sun showed up and gave me some nice days through Aragon. If the weather is bad, do not feel loosing something if you take the bus to Somport!
randi
 

Debinq

Active Member
hi Steeltown

this url is in Spanish but it gives you the lowdown on the C Aragones from Oleron

http://www.jacajacobea.com/ficha_poblaciones.php?pob_id=1

there is also a French site called 'aucoeurduchemin' that has similar info and diagrams...

happy trails (b t w I did the C from Somport - starting from Jaca by bus; I had intended a start from France but as I flew in to Barcelona it worked out better to take the bus to Jaca and Somport - that was in Sept 06 - at Puenta la Reina the crowd waiting at the alberge at 2.30pm 'scared' me off ( i had heard ppl saying how crowded the C Frances was) So I took a train from Pamplona to Salamanca and parachuted (s t s) onto the VdlP

Peter
 
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