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Oloron-Sainte-Marie to Jaca (not quite live from the camino )

Pilgrim 122

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
currently walking Rome to Santiago
I've just finished walking Toulouse to Jaca on my pilgrimage from Rome to Santiago which I'm in doing gradually 3 weeks at a time.
I spent a lot of time reading the posts about this section and really appreciated @Juspassinthru live updates who was doing this section when I arrived in Toulouse April 3rd.
Day 1. Oloron to Bedous (16th April)
I decided not to walk the GR either side of Sarrance, it sounded pretty slippery when @Juspassinthru walked it and had rained since then. I followed the GR out of town along quiet roads, the GR veered off into woods and fields at times, it was raining and I just stayed on the road which was quiet. I got to Lurbe-St Christau late morning. I planned to get the train to Sarrance, visit the monestary, walk on the main road for a couple of km then back on the GR to Bedous. By the time the train came, an hour later, it was still raining, I was cold and fed up and the rest of the days hiking was abandoned in favour of the train direct to Bedous. I stayed in a great B & B Chez Michel. Bedous is a lovely village and I had a relaxing afternoon. Will post daily otherwise this will be long.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Day 1. Oloron to Bedous (16th April)
I decided not to walk the GR either side of Sarrance, it sounded pretty slippery when @Juspassinthru walked it and had rained since then. I followed the GR out of town along quiet roads, the GR veered off into woods and fields at times, it was raining and I just stayed on the road which was quiet. I got to Lurbe-St Christau late morning. I planned to get the train to Sarrance, visit the monestary, walk on the main road for a couple of km then back on the GR to Bedous. By the time the train came, an hour later, it was still raining, I was cold and fed up and the rest of the days hiking was abandoned in favour of the train direct to Bedous.

I hope you won't mind me hijacking your thread, but just for balance:

I walked this section from Oloron-Saint-Marie to Sarrance in perfect clear weather yesterday, through the picturesque villages of Eysus, Lurbe- Saint-Christau and Escot, and found it really pleasant, with only moderate ascents/descents. Some rocky, broken ground towards the end, which admittedly wouldn't have been fun in the wet or on a bicycle, and a few muddy spots, but overall a far less taxing day than the previous one from Lescar to Oloron, which I found tougher than expected. Both days without services though.. so do stock up with snacks and water!

Sarrance Monastery, with its five resident monks, is an absolute gem. The few Sunday tourists took nothing from the peaceful ambience of this beautiful place yesterday.

Today, I want to walk the 27km by the path to Urdos, which I'm told is possible with care, landslides and tunnels aside, thanks to the help and advice from the kind hospis here, let's see.. It's currently 0°c outside, but it's to heat up a little. I hope to get over the Somport Pass ahead of the snow tomorrow, it mightn't be so bad, but a bus could be on the cards...
 
I hope you won't mind me hijacking your thread, but just for balance:

I walked this section from Oloron-Saint-Marie to Sarrance in perfect clear weather yesterday, through the picturesque villages of Eysus, Lurbe- Saint-Christau and Escot, and found it really pleasant, with only moderate ascents/descents. Some rocky, broken ground towards the end, which admittedly wouldn't have been fun in the wet or on a bicycle, and a few muddy spots, but overall a far less taxing day than the previous one from Lescar to Oloron, which I found tougher than expected. Both days without services though.. so do stock up with snacks and water!

Sarrance Monastery, with its five resident monks, is an absolute gem. The few Sunday tourists took nothing from the peaceful ambience of this beautiful place yesterday
I'm sorry to have missed the monastery, if it hadn't been such a miserable day and I hadnt had such a long wait at the station I'm sure I would have seen it. Good luck on your walk to Urdos today.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Day 2: Bedous to Peyranere.(17th April)
I originally planed to stay in Urdos this night and Peyranere the next but having read about the landslides on the next section of the path and already decided to get the bus between Borce and Urdos I decided to get the bus from Bedous to Urdos and walk from there. I'm not as adventurous as @Flog who is taking the path today!
Not having walked on the N134 yesterday, (which was going to give me an idea of how dangerous it was) I was worried. I am quite happy walking on minor roads with some cars but this is a lot bigger. In the end I opted out and took the bus to Forges d'abel the last stop before the tunnel and just opposite the route du col. From the bus I counted 9 enormous articulated lorries coming from Spain. The road after Urdos is wide in places but in other parts the hard shoulder is narrow and even non existant. No lorries on the route du col just a few cars driving slowly, a bicycle and a couple of motorbikes. I was expecting it to be steep but it was a gradual incline not at all difficult . The views were breathtaking, It was pretty cold and I could see close up the snow capped mountains. There were waterfalls running down the side of the rocks and lots of wild primroses. I arrived at Peyranere (a holiday centre with lots of rooms with bunk beds and some singles €27.50 including breakfast). It was only 11am as I had only walked 5km! definitely my shortest day since I left Rome. I spent the rest of the day sitting outside surrounded by the mountains.
 

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Day 3: Peyranere to Canfrac Estacion (18th April)
It was snowing when I left at 9 am and only 3 more km left from Peyranere along the road to the col. The visibility was very poor I was walking through a white mist. The road seems a bit steeper than the day before. The frontier at the col was very bleak and deserted and shrouded in a white mist. It was a bit eerie. I turned down the road to Candachu passing the camino on my left which went very steeply down some steps. I stayed on the not so steep road hoping to get a cup of tea in Candachu but nowhere was open. I had a break in a bus shelter. It was still snowing lightly. An led display said it was 1°C. I carried on, on the road down to Canfrac Estacion. The camino crossed in several places so I could leave if necessary but there was hardly any traffic, no lorries on this bit There was a good hard shoulder and two lanes going to France so any cars pulled into the middle lane. The camino runs right next to the road for the last km into Canfranc Estacion. It had stopped snowing by the time I arrived and there is a very good bar there. I stayed at the Canfrac Estacion hotel to celebrate arriving in Spain!
 
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The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I've just finished walking Toulouse to Jaca on my pilgrimage from Rome to Santiago which I'm in doing gradually 3 weeks at a time.
I spent a lot of time reading the posts about this section and really appreciated @Juspassinthru live updates who was doing this section when I arrived in Toulouse April 3rd.
Day 1. Oloron to Bedous (16th April)
I decided not to walk the GR either side of Sarrance, it sounded pretty slippery when @Juspassinthru walked it and had rained since then. I followed the GR out of town along quiet roads, the GR veered off into woods and fields at times, it was raining and I just stayed on the road which was quiet. I got to Lurbe-St Christau late morning. I planned to get the train to Sarrance, visit the monestary, walk on the main road for a couple of km then back on the GR to Bedous. By the time the train came, an hour later, it was still raining, I was cold and fed up and the rest of the days hiking was abandoned in favour of the train direct to Bedous. I stayed in a great B & B Chez Michel. Bedous is a lovely village and I had a relaxing afternoon. Will post daily otherwise this will be long.
I had same experience, pouring rain but walking on the road was then not an option due to heavy traffic.
 
Day 4: Canfrac Estacion to Jaca (Fri 19th)
I took the bus because I understand the pilgrim bridge is not in use. I was supposed to get off at Canfranc but not paying attention so it was Villanua. Much warmer than yesterday but not as hot as in Pau the previous Sunday at 30°C! The camino ran alongside the road for a bit then veered off. One part after Castiella de Jaca was along the river, really lovely. I noticed the path which had been brown and muddy in France was now grey and stoney with lots of yellow gorge bushes. It looked very familiar I'm sure there are sections of the CF like this. I can't remember which bits, it was in 2012. I arrived in Jaca pleased to have finished another section of the pilgrimage. I visited the Cathedral and also the museum which had some Romanesque frescoes they had saved from dilapidated churches in the local area and restored which I really liked.
The next day I visited San Juan de la Peña. No bus so taxi. I didn't want to come here and not see this. It was excellent especially the carvings at the top of the pillars in the cloister. They were so well preserved you can clearly tell what Bible scene they are depicting.
I'm home now having a break before I start thinking about my next stage in the Autumn!
 

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