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Orisson: To stop or not to stop?

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
I am debating on whether or not to stop for the night in Orisson or to continue to Roncesvalles on Day One. On the one hand, I don't want to push my self too fast, on the other, Orisson does not seem like much of a push for the first day. I don't want to regret booking ahead and paying for a room I don't use and I don't want to get that far and regret not not having a room. I know it seems minor but 32 euro is 32 euro. Any advice? I am walking alone and have been thinking a lot about this. Thank you! - M :arrow:
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, M,

As with most topics here, you're probably going to hear a wide range of opinions. I have crossed the Pyrenees in two days (stopping in Orisson) and have also walked in one day direct to Roncesvalles from St. Jean. The main consideration is the elevation gain (over 4000 ft), not the distance (25 or 26 kms).

It sounds like you prefer not to stop, so only you can make a good decision about whether this elevation gain is within your range of abilities. If it's going to be your first day walking, that's another thing to consider. When I crossed in one day, I had already been walking for about 3 weeks, so I had built up my endurance. Over-doing it on the first day might set you up for injuries and having to stop. It really is just a question of your own fitness level.

My stay in Orisson was a wonderful afternoon. I was walking with two Dutch friends. We arrived at the albergue between 12:30 and 1:00 if my memory serves, and we had beautiful weather, which made for a lot of nice strolling, sitting, and gazing all afternoon. The views are spectacular, as I'm sure you are aware. The next day's walk to Roncesvalles was very manageable, except for the killer descent, which, IMO, is ten times worse than the ascent.

I don't know what time of year you're walking, but if it's not the high season, you could consider not making a reservation and seeing how you feel when you get there, hoping there are still spots available if you choose to stop. In addition to all the rooms, there are tents out back where people sleep on pads and are apparently quite comfortable. Buen camino, Laurie
 

mralisn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2005), Camino Norte-Fisterra (2010), SJPdP-Muxia-Fisterra (2012), Camino Norte w/Primitivo-Muxia-Fisterra (2014), Camino Portuguese (2016)
I believe you're thinking about it the right way, however since you asked, I would prefer to do the walk all in one day AND save the 32euro. Of the posts I have read in 7 years by those that have stayed in Orisson, none were negative.

If I remember correctly, the big alburgue in Roncesvalles doesn't open until later in the afternoon (13:00-14:00?). Depending on the month you walk, there may be no need to "rush" with 100 beds. With agreeable weather, it will be a good day for a long walk uphill.

I consider myself a "good" walker, and I don't want to sound misleading when I write the first day over the mountains isn't all that difficult (for me). It is ABSOLUTELY amazing! Incredible photos, nothing technical, and a great day to meet others you will mostly see in the next weeks. I walked alone as well (and will again in June), but I remember having all kinds of conversations that helped the walk go by easier. Of course it does help that I train for months before.

Listen to your body. Feed your spirit.

Keep a smile,
Simeon
 
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efdoucette

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
Since 2011 - too many to list
One other consideration for stopping in Orisson: it will be your first meeting with your "travelling family". The dinner is group, the wine flows nicely, and introductions are fun. Some of my best camino friends I met in Orisson and those early days.

Again, it's your call, can't go wrong either way.

Buen Camino!
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
Thank you. I plan to start from SJPdP on May 29. I'm a pretty task-oriented person, which is probably my true motivation for getting to Roncesvalles in one day. I forgot to consider the down-hill, and from all I have read it would probably do me well, in more ways than one, to take my time getting to Orisson and just enjoy. And who knows, my 32 euro may be the best investment I make. -M :arrow:
 

petro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2008 April/May) (2011 May/June) (2014 May/June), Camino Primitivo (May 2016)
Hi M,
I walked the camino twice (2008 and 2011) and stopped in Orisson both times. For me it was a nice way to "ease" into the camino, taking it slowly. The views are breathtaking and the intimate dinner made it easier to meet other pilgrims rather than in Roncesvalles where there are a lot more people. Also I had more time the next day, stopping more often, enjoying the scenery and arrived in Roncesvalles not feeling utterly exhausted.

Whatever you decide, have a great camino!

Petro.
 

jastrace

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2010, 2013, 2015, and 2017.
Camino Portuguese in planning (Sept 2018)
Why not ease into the trip? From what I can tell many sprains, strains, injuries etc occur in the first week of walking. As a risk management measure stopping at Orisson makes sense. Also weather across the Pyrenees can be unpredicable. Better to be rested before making the final ascent. You can think of it as costing you E32 and a day's walking OR an investment in an injury free enjoyable Camino. You could also sleep in and spend more time in St Jean! 8)
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
I think I've decided to stop for all the reasons mentioned above. I've already emailed them to book my spot. Thank you. This forum has been invaluable to me! - M :arrow:
 

ncali12

Member
Hummm, I am beginning the Camino in SJPP in late April (first time) and had planned on walking to Roncesvalles on the first day. But reading these posts gives me second thoughts. I forgot about the steep descent at the end of a long arduous day. I like the idea of leaving options open and responding to the moment--i.e. doing an interior check at Orisson. If it feels right to stop, then I'll stop. And if it IS right to stop, there will be "room at the Inn". I gather everyone does the Camino for his or her own reasons. For myself, I don't see the point of trying to push to a particular destination within a particular time frame. Just seeing the question about Orisson reminds me of this. Ali
 

suzie morgs

Member
Sounds a good plan. We would love to stay at Orisson this time too as we did the big walk last time, which was fabulous, but want the Orisson experience that I keep reading about in the forum. Can you book into Orission online? I have found a phone number but would like to manage it by email.
 

waywardMule

New Member
Hi M

I started May 29th last year from SJDP and had the same question, to stop or not, finally I decided to let the weather decide for me when I get to orrison, if it was raining heavily or if it was too foggy I would stop if not I go on...I wanted to see the view from Pyrenees ...

buen camino
 

micbook

Active Member
I stopped and was very happy that I did! If you are in no rush, I think it's great to be able to stop...the view is spactacular, and your body will appreciate taking the time and not pushing too much on the first day. Physically, I could have walked all the way to Roncesvalles, but I decided there was really no need. I only made reservation when I got to the pilgrims' office in SJPP (the night before) and paid the next day, so I think you can also decide you don't want to stay, but I'm not sure. Also, I preferred the tent (which I think is also cheaper) and it ended up working way better than the rooms (from what I heard from fellow pilgrims the next morning). All and all, I thought it was a great decision for me :)

Buen Camino!
Michal
--
http://michalrinkevich.wordpress.com/tag/camino-de-santiago/
 

jeff001

Active Member
If you start from St Jean in the morning you will be at Orisson well before noon. It should only take 2.5 hours or so.
 

ncali12

Member
Gee, this is a great thread. I'm now hooked on the idea of stopping and I hadn't even given it much consideration before. So now, I'm thinking of arriving in SJPP, checking in at Les Pyrenees for a last day of rest and boning up. Didn't know that Orisson was only 2.5 hours up though. That's a pretty short little walk. Hope the weather is good towards the end of April. AL
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
That's a pretty short little walk.
After you have done it, give us some feedback on the adjectives you use, perhaps after you have walked to Roncesvalles the next day. I suspect you will be glad you stopped, but won't think it short or little! "The Way" makes it look far too easy. Have fun, and buen camino.
 

FatmaG

Active Member
It IS a very short walk, but in my memories, this 8 km walk was the hardest part of it...

In all, the French association speaks about almost 30 km which is hard stuff to start with.
There is an alternative for the descent through the woods: at the summit, follow the tarmac on the right hand. Not specially beautiful but without difficulties.
I stopped at Orisson and would do so next time as well because of the atmosphere and very nice welcome there. We started from Saint Jean about 11 am on a sunny end of april. The next morning, weather conditions worsened, very cloudy and thick fog, and pilgrims starting in Saint Jean were told to follow the Valcarlos road.

At another pilgrims' forum, the owner, Jean Jacques, wrote that he will be opening another place (about 7 km from Orisson) just for sleeping guests. Reservations via his contact for Orisson.
 

pal

Member
And at Orisson you get to experience the first of the Camino's oddities: the token for a 5-minute shower!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
I have never seen a token for a shower. I hope this concept does not catch on, though if it saves the hospitalero some money, it probably will.
 

Mark2012

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014) Camino Finisterre (2012, 2013, 2014) Camino Portugues (2013), Camino del Norte (2015)
I will be starting my first Camino from St Jean on May 21, and had originally planned to walk to Roncesvalles on day 1, but have since changed my mind and feel very excited about the fact that I have booked a bed at Orisson for that first night. It's another one of those little moments for me that makes it all feel more 'real'.

Resisting the temptation to take on the 28 kms in Roncesvalles in one day feels like the best option for me. As posters above said, it's about balancing the various considerations, and for me, the idea of easing myself into the Camino and reducing the chance of picking up an early injury are the decisive factors. On the one hand, it feels a little frustrating to imagine I'll walk less than 10 kms on day 1, particularly as I have a very defined time window for my Camino, but on the other, walking 28 kms up from St Jean and down into Roncesvalles would prove to be a false economy is my body reacted badly to the challenge.

So, this way, hopefully, I will have a wonderful experience at Orisson, meet some fellow pilgrims (I am starting off alone), experience the Pyrenees in a relaxed way, and then press on to Roncesvalles on day 2 in good spirit, both in body and mind!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
it feels a little frustrating to imagine I'll walk less than 10 kms on day 1
It will not be an easy 10 km! The first 600 meters out of SJPdP is a "stairmaster," and you already will be glad you are stopping in 10 km. The best part of the "short" first day is that you will not feel any time pressure, and can stop regularly to tend to your feet; every 100 meters if you need to. Do not walk through hot spots and let them become blisters. Stop and treat them with Compeed, moleskin, duct tape, lubricant, bandaids, or a sock change. Blisters in the first 10 km will be with you for weeks, and it is impossible not to reach your bed in Orisson before dusk even at a crawl. Even if you have already found the perfect Camino friends, do not try to keep up with them. You will meet again in Orisson or later. Make your feet your only priority.

Buen camino.
 

Mark2012

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014) Camino Finisterre (2012, 2013, 2014) Camino Portugues (2013), Camino del Norte (2015)
falcon269 said:
it feels a little frustrating to imagine I'll walk less than 10 kms on day 1
It will not be an easy 10 km! The first 600 meters out of SJPdP is a "stairmaster," and you already will be glad you are stopping in 10 km. The best part of the "short" first day is that you will not feel any time pressure, and can stop regularly to tend to your feet; every 100 meters if you need to. Do not walk through hot spots and let them become blisters. Stop and treat them with Compeed, moleskin, duct tape, lubricant, bandaids, or a sock change. Blisters in the first 10 km will be with you for weeks, and it is impossible not to reach your bed in Orisson before dusk even at a crawl. Even if you have already found the perfect Camino friends, do not try to keep up with them. You will meet again in Orisson or later. Make your feet your only priority.

Buen camino.
That sounds like very good advice, and reading your post reminded me that I plan to make an appointment with a chiropodist here before travelling, just to get a few tips on maintaining my feet in as good a condition as possible, though I imagine it'll be more about damage limitation ultimately, given the fact that I will be walking 800 kilometres in about five weeks (and more if I have time to walk on to Finisterre within my time window!)

Thank you very much!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
it'll be more about damage limitation
I would opine that it is about prevention. I never get blisters because I prevent them. The only Compeed I have used has gone on the feet of other pilgrims.

Prevent.
Prevent.
Prevent.

I have genuinely lousy feet, too. Completely flat. Morton's neuroma in both. Arthritis in both ankles. I do the "Camino shuffle" (those first four staggering steps when you get up) even when I am home. But I do not get blisters! Blisters are completely optional, if you want them to be.

Footwear that fits (do not automatically buy them large, but too small is worse).
Liner socks and wool socks. No cotton.
Lubricant. I use SportSlick or Hydropel. Vaseline is pretty good. Renew during the day.
Dry socks.
Rest every hour with boots and socks off (take a 30 x 30 piece of plastic to sit on the damp ground). Swing the socks around to dry them a bit.
Dry boots at night even if it has not rained. Remove insoles so they dry, too.
Avoid walking at someone else's pace.
If tired muscles have changed your walking mechanics, be ready for new hot spots. They all do not appear the first week! Trekking poles can help maintain your mechanics because you do not react as much to muscle and joint pain.

Your feet will not take care of themselves. You must be proactive.
 

Mark2012

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014) Camino Finisterre (2012, 2013, 2014) Camino Portugues (2013), Camino del Norte (2015)
falcon269 said:
it'll be more about damage limitation
I would opine that it is about prevention. I never get blisters because I prevent them. The only Compeed I have used has gone on the feet of other pilgrims.

Prevent.
Prevent.
Prevent.

I have genuinely lousy feet, too. Completely flat. Morton's neuroma in both. Arthritis in both ankles. I do the "Camino shuffle" (those first four staggering steps when you get up) even when I am home. But I do not get blisters! Blisters are completely optional, if you want them to be.

Footwear that fits (do not automatically buy them large, but too small is worse).
Liner socks and wool socks. No cotton.
Lubricant. I use SportSlick or Hydropel. Vaseline is pretty good. Renew during the day.
Dry socks.
Rest every hour with boots and socks off (take a 30 x 30 piece of plastic to sit on the damp ground). Swing the socks around to dry them a bit.
Dry boots at night even if it has not rained. Remove insoles so they dry, too.
Avoid walking at someone else's pace.
If tired muscles have changed your walking mechanics, be ready for new hot spots. They all do not appear the first week! Trekking poles can help maintain your mechanics because you do not react as much to muscle and joint pain.

Your feet will not take care of themselves. You must be proactive.
I'll be making notes on what you posted. It's great to get the benefit of someone's experience.

Thank you again!
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
Remember you do not have to stop at Roncesvalles the next day you could walk on and stay in Burguete, perhaps at Hostal Burguete where Hemingway used to stay, or in one of the villages further on. Be flexible.

Of course you can pick up a stamp on your pilgrim passport at the monastery of Roncesvalles on the way.
 

Mark2012

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014) Camino Finisterre (2012, 2013, 2014) Camino Portugues (2013), Camino del Norte (2015)
William Marques said:
Remember you do not have to stop at Roncesvalles the next day you could walk on and stay in Burguete, perhaps at Hostal Burguete where Hemingway used to stay, or in one of the villages further on. Be flexible.

Of course you can pick up a stamp on your pilgrim passport at the monastery of Roncesvalles on the way.
Ah! I hadn't thought of that. It's a good point you make - not to be a slave to the guidebooks. And yes, the idea of staying where Hemingway used to stay is very appealling!

Thank you!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Late May can be pretty crowded..not as bad as later..but crowded.
Following Arn's suggestion of getting out of sync with the guide books and staying at intermediate stops can really change the availability of beds. There are some really great places in between the "normal" stages.
Follow Falcon's advice with the feet and you will thank him for it as you see and hear the pain others are going thru. I always carry a spare pair of socks to change during the day even if they are not wet. It changes the places that are rubbing. Switching the feet with the socks you are wearing when you stop also helps with this.
Buen Camino
 

thruhiker

New Member
I fly into Biarritz March 26 but will probable take a day or 2 off in St. Jean to rest up. The stage I am somewhat concerned about is the first one because the basis for a successful long distance hike or walk is to start slow for the first week or so and build up the distance. With that being said I will probable try and stay at Orisson if it is open. I always carry a silnylon tarp, sleeping bag and pad if the weather isn't too bad I may camp out somewhere when the trail leaves the road out of the way. I don't know my exact schedule but I would probable willing to share my tarp with some other walkers if they are pressed for time at the top of the mountain pass. I also understand there is a shelter up at the top.

I have lots of time for my walk so I have no set schedule. The 10 day forecast I have been watching now have temps in the 60's which is perfect temp to walk. Got my Lebara sell phone for Spain (hope it works) so I guess I am all set. During the first few days around 20 klm sounds about right. Looking for to meeting other Pilgrams and maybe picking up a little Spanish.

Buen viaje
Pete
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
Mark2012 - Your thought process is mine exactly...only I will be one week behind you. I have also considered change in altitude as well as jet lag, since I will be coming from the States. I know exactly what you mean about booking the bed......I actually cried after I booked my bed ot Orisson. Every day the journey becomes more real. buen camino - M :arrow:
 

thruhiker

New Member
Mark2012 the reason I haven't booked a bed at Orisson is I don't know at this time the actual date I will start up the Mountain so I am going to wait until I am in St. Jean to try and make a reservation. But don't they allow you to stay in the tents they have set up. The weather could be a big X factor this time of year.

I am sure a lot of walkers have climbed 1200 meters or 4800 feet but I got to tell you that is a lot of elevation gain. Anything over 1000 meters is a big climb, however, the good thing is that it is the only climb of the day. Can anyone tell me if you can get lunch at Orisson and the best place to get a bag lunch in St. Jean? Thanks.
 

LaurelKay

New Member
I booked my room at Orisson for April 2nd. As Thruthinker said, I want to pace and go slow at the start. I think after having climbed up for however long it takes, that it will be nice to stop and enjoy being where I am. I have never been in the Pyrenees before, nor know if/when I will ever get back. I do know the one time I saw them from the top of a hill in San Sebastian that I wanted to go there. So, now that I will be there - stopping is both for rest and appreciating.

I leave April 2nd from SJPP and have plenty of time for this journey. My goal is not only to walk this Camino, but to take my time and enjoy it randomly, since one of my reasons for going is to leave my scheduled and full of deadlines normal life for a bit. Even having my phone off and no laptop will be a new experience. So I have the guidebook for the great information, but will not be sticking to it for where to start/stop each day. That will be up to each day.

Falcon - thank you for the foot care tips!!! This is one of my biggest concerns, and you advice makes sense and is very helpful and appreciated.

Laurel
 

Pieces

Veteran Member
there is other damage than blisters. I just booked for orrison mid june bacause last year i learned the hard way that too much too soon can come back and haunt you even now 11 month after...

so even being fairly fit (as i was myself last year) walking the camino is different from most things one has done to train...

So i will slowly make my way over the mountain as risk free as i can go, I am in no rush, i have 3 weeks and i will end where i am when the time is up...
 

hieudovan

DoVanHieu
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012), VdLP (2014), CF (2017), Rota Vincentina (2018), Cammino di Assisi (2019)
LaurelKay said:
I booked my room at Orisson for April 2nd.

Laurel
Hi Laurel,
How did you book Orisson for April 2nd? I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to book Orisson for April 1st. I kept getting a response saying that they don't know if they'll be open and to telephone them from SJPDP when I get there.
Buen Camino,
Hieu
 

LaurelKay

New Member
Hi Hieu,

I think I read somewhere that Orisson officially opens on April 2nd and only opens earlier if the weather is nice. So since my reservation was for April 2nd, he already knew it would be open so the reservation was made.

I am sure if it is open when you are there it will be no problem to make a reservation the day before.

Laurel
 

thruhiker

New Member
I just received an email from Jean-Jacques who advised to call when you get to St. Jean because he doesn't know if the refuge will be open the last week in May. Sounds sort of positive that he is attempting to open up if the weather is acceptable.
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
Thruhiker - Did you mean to write "last week of MAY"? I just got an email from him today that my May 28 reservation is good to go. - M :arrow:
 

hieudovan

DoVanHieu
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012), VdLP (2014), CF (2017), Rota Vincentina (2018), Cammino di Assisi (2019)
LaurelKay said:
Hi Hieu,

I think I read somewhere that Orisson officially opens on April 2nd and only opens earlier if the weather is nice. So since my reservation was for April 2nd, he already knew it would be open so the reservation was made.

I am sure if it is open when you are there it will be no problem to make a reservation the day before.

Laurel
I sent another email asking for a reservation. This time I was asked to send the payment, 32 Euros, by Paypal, which I did. Afterwards, I received the "official" bill for the reservation and it was for a little over 33 Euros. Apparently to take into account their cost for Paypal fee? Anyway, I will give the difference when I get there April 1. Thanks for the info.

Buen Camino.

Hieu
 

djheg

New Member
Received a prompt response to a message left on the hostal site, and a request for paypal payment, and booked for 31st of March. Seems it's opening end of March.
 

dazzamac

Active Member
While I walked all the way to Roncevalles last time, I am now giving serious consideration to stopping in Orisson this time round. Not because I felt that the distance was too arduous the first time but because I never really got to see much of Roncevalles.

I walked all day at a comfortable pace with another pilgrim I'd met that morning but the two of us found ourselves slightly rushing the end of the day as we were concerned about missing out on the pilgrim dinner or finding ourselves without a bed. And considering it was a Sunday, the lack of an alternative to the pilgrim dinner didn't appeal to our hungry stomachs.

Having walked all day and then arriving late in the evening, Roncevalles was little more than a shower, a bed and a meal to me. Though not necessarily in that order. Reading some of the other posts on the forum, it's clear that I missed quite a lot arriving late and leaving early.

Stopping in Orisson would allow time to explore Roncevalles in a little more detail and seeing as I'll be walking at the end of July, might allow me to get a head start on all the pilgrims rushing to Roncevalles from St Jean. Failing that, it puts the next town in easy enough distance should there be no beds at the inn.
 

merrellj

Member
Well I've received my PayPal invoice for my reservation at Orisson and on the basis of the advice given in this thread am now definitely leaning towards staying.

I was originally intending to walk the complete SJPdP to Roncesvalles stage and thought the distance was do-able, but with no training since being on The South Downs Way last autumn, a pack to carry, and no uphill engine for falcon269's 'stairmaster', I now think I will be doing the leg in two stages.

My cardiovascular system seems to work a bit like an HGV, lots of power and momentum on the flat and capable of 'yomping' along at a good pace, but gearing down very quickly on the inclines. So it will be good for me to ease myself in gently on the first day and enjoy the scenery and company at Orisson.

This is a fantastic forum and the advice provided by everybody has been so useful in getting prepared. Thank you all for that.

John
 

Toobizy

Member
I'm a little worried. Emailed Orisson for reservation April 27 but have heard nothing. I KNOW it would be foolish for me to try for Roncesvalles in one day; could end my Camino right there. They only have 18 beds. What if I just show up there anyway? Will they turn me away?
 

Mysticl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May (2015) - pending
I wouldn't recommend it from what I've heard. I'd try again or maybe even phone them directly. I am pretty sure they also have pup tents in the lawn behind for overflow or at least allow camping but I wouldn't risk that either. If I can't get locked in to Orrison with a paid for reservation on my departure date, I am going to change my departure date :!: . Going all the way to Roncevalles just isn't an option for me and I don't want to risk disappointment ... I suppose another option would be to take a taxi back to town and stay there for the night then return by taxi in the morning to continue from Orrison ... just a thought
 

Toobizy

Member
Thanks Mysticl, I will do exactly that -- er, one of those good ideas! And there's always Valcarlos if Orisson is booked for a few nights...But Orisson sounds so cool!
 

merrellj

Member
Toobizy said:
I'm a little worried. Emailed Orisson for reservation April 27 but have heard nothing. I KNOW it would be foolish for me to try for Roncesvalles in one day; could end my Camino right there. They only have 18 beds. What if I just show up there anyway? Will they turn me away?
I got no reply to my email via their website link, but a couple of days after sending a direct email I received an invoice for my reservation.

May be that they are not replying immediately if they are not yet fully open until the end of the month.

Email: refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr
 

Lysandre

New Member
I contacted them through the website and got an answer after a couple days. They did not ask me to pay by paypal or anything in advance, but to call them and confirm the day before.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPP-Los Arcos (2011), Logrono-Sahagun (2012), Leon-Santiago (2013)
Don't stress too much about reservations at Orisson. We walked in July last year and had no problems getting a room the day before. Our hotel in SJPP called and booked for us. Walking as a family of 3, we got the room under the patio area (with our own toilet/shower). It was lovely - we could stand in the open doorway and talk to the ponies. Another pilgrim showed up later and was put in with us; he became part of our Camino family.
 

Toobizy

Member
Thank you all for your replies. I am comforted. Going to try the direct email. Also thinking they are probably dealing with more immediate requests & addressing late April closer to the actual date. Also, there are probably quite a few who reserve & then, for whatever reason, don't show.
 

merrellj

Member
Toobizy said:
Thank you all for your replies. I am comforted. Going to try the direct email. Also thinking they are probably dealing with more immediate requests & addressing late April closer to the actual date. Also, there are probably quite a few who reserve & then, for whatever reason, don't show.
Don't think many no-shows are likely at Orisson. If you request a reservation you are asked to confirm it by paying the Euro33 by PayPal in advance.
 

hieudovan

DoVanHieu
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012), VdLP (2014), CF (2017), Rota Vincentina (2018), Cammino di Assisi (2019)
Lysandre said:
I contacted them through the website and got an answer after a couple days. They did not ask me to pay by paypal or anything in advance, but to call them and confirm the day before.
The same thing had happened to me. For whatever reason, in responding to my last email, they sent me a request for Paypal to hold my reservation. I complied with the Paypal payment and now have a reservation for April 1. Maybe in your reservation inquiry, tell them that you're willing to use Paypal to reserve your reservation. Good luck to you.
Buen Camino
Hieu
 

Toobizy

Member
After all, on 2nd email I did get a reservation in Orisson! Just a few days ago--immediately paid via Paypal. OMG!
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
THANK-YOU for this post and the responses

I will be travelling mid September and will be staying at Orisson - for a few reasons:
* to fully absorb the surroundings and the trip ahead
* stave off injury by starting too all out- will be my first day
* to meet some company for the next day

I will be booking ahead

Annie
 

antepacem

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June-July (2013)
Hmmm...I'm confused! When I look at a map it says that Orisson is only 2k from SJPP? But here people seem to say it's about a 2.5 hour walk...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
I'm not sure what map you are looking at but I'm pretty sure it is at least 8 k and all of that is a pretty steep climb. You may not be tired by Orisson. The pain starts at the top when you have to go DOWN through the very slippery steep forest trail. If you are tired, it is exhausting. They don't call it hell day for nothing! :lol:

My first Camino I cried every step into Roncesvalles and was hurting for days. Never again.
 

antepacem

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June-July (2013)
Eeep! I'm actually the most afraid of that descent...thanks to a bum knee. But I shall prevail!

Google maps is leading me astray. I've sent an email re: reserving at Orisson, but haven't heard back. I might just see how I feel on the day. I don't want to stress too much!

Thanks!
 

riatolken

Member
Camino(s) past & future
plan to walk end of may 2013
Yes please tell us how long does it take you from StJPdP to Orrison, we will take the morning to explore StJPdP and then walk in the afternoon to sleep over at Orrison.
 

frasert

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April/May 2013 SJPDP to Burgos
April/May 2015 Burgos to SDC or Leon to Finesterre (undecided)
Took me five hours though I stopped for two hours and chatted with a fellow pilgrim at Hunto. Do I guess three hours if slow like me
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
Thanks for the ongoing input ! :) I will be stopping at Orisson because it looks great so why miss it ?

Annie
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
riatolken said:
tell us how long does it take you from StJPdP to Orrison
About 3 hours sounds about right. Allow yourself 4 and just stroll up to Orrison and you will really enjoy this first part of your "way". Just remember they have a communal dinner and don't arrive late or you may miss out!

Buen Camino
Gerard
 
D

Deleted member 12253

Guest
Orrisson, walk takes 1hour, bit more if you walk slow, I find its too early to stop for coffee, so I keep walking , 6 hours to roncesvalles, including, break for rest, food. As on average 300 leaves sjpdep every day and orrisson has 16 beds, tiny number of pilgrims sleep there, Buen camino
 

kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
riatolken said:
Just remember they have a communal dinner and don't arrive late or you may miss out!
Anyone know what time the communal dinner is?

Karl
 

nreyn12

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked (2005) (2007) (2008) (2009) (2010) (2011) (2012) (2013) (2014) (2015); Guide leading groups 2013-present
To Orisson from SJPP in one hour? Huh.

It's eight kilometers, steeply uphill, so if you are budgeting your time, plan on three hours. If you are the type to stop and look around a lot (or if you are out of shape and need to stop a lot to catch your breath), plan on longer.

The views are stunning, and if the weather is nice, what's the rush?

This year the dinner started at 6:30pm, and then the bar and dining room closed at 9:00pm and everyone was off to bed.
 

mralisn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2005), Camino Norte-Fisterra (2010), SJPdP-Muxia-Fisterra (2012), Camino Norte w/Primitivo-Muxia-Fisterra (2014), Camino Portuguese (2016)
mad galway man said:
Orrisson, walk takes 1hour, bit more if you walk slow, I find its too early to stop for coffee, so I keep walking , 6 hours to roncesvalles, including, break for rest, food.
I mean absolute no disrespect here. To say it takes an hour to Orrisson and 6 hours to Roncesvalles can be misleading. The majority of walkers do not have your skills, strength, and pace.

During an extremely rainy, windy, freezing cold day last June, I made this trip from SJPdP to Roncesvalles starting at 7:00 and arriving at 12:15. I arrived in SJPdP from California only 12 hours earlier. I have a pace that works for me, but I can not assume most others can (or want to) do this. I keep this in mind when asked for advice.

Just like on the Camino, we get to "meet" wonderful people on this forum (and others). Even for me, I have to remember we all have different Ways. I would not want to lead another down the wrong path.

Keep a smile,
Simeon

 

kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
nreyn12 said:
This year the dinner started at 6:30pm, and then the bar and dining room closed at 9:00pm and everyone was off to bed.
Thanks. I can't wait.

Karl
 

tjb660

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
My main question is how make a reservation on Orissons website? I only can find a contact page, which I sent a message through a while back and have not gotten a reply. Taylor, beginning June 5th, soon!
 

apilgrim

New Member
Hi - When I got to SJPP in June last year, the people at the pilgrim's office very kindly phoned the albergue in Orisson and booked a spot for me. I think you might be able to do the same thing when you get to SJPP. Not sure you need to book so far in advance, but some may know better than I do.

I am a fairly fit person but found the walk to Orisson tough and I know I couldn't have made it to Ronsconvalles in one day.

As with all things Camino, it's totally up to you, but my advice is to stay in Orisson on your walk through the Pyrenees. It's a lovely, friendly albergue, with nice rooms and good food. They offer a great big communal dinner, which is lots of fun.

I was thrilled to come around the corner of my walk that day and see the wonderful, welcoming albergue in Orisson.

Buen Camino!
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
By the way. I booked the room and when I arrived at Orisson about 9:30 am, I gave up my reservation and walked on, arriving in Roncevalles at 5:00pm after a 10 hour walk from SJPP. I was glad I did, but it was a hard walk. I would do the same again. Monica
 

MaxfromMO

Member
We did it in two days and were mightily thankful we did. We knew our limitations and although the uphill was strenuous, the downhill the next day was a killer for us. Staying at Orisson was a good decision for our capabilities. It was the first two days of the walk for us and we knew we were not hardened enough to do it in one. We wanted to enjoy our Camino, not kill ourselves with unrealistic goals and expectations. You must be completely honest and realistic with yourself about your condition.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
The views, the initial company of pilgrims, the communal meal.
Time to relax and enjoy the start of the Camino Frances.
Orisson is most enjoyable.
One option is to treat it as destination in itself.
Regds
Gerard
 

Jenyat53

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: September 2013 & April/ May 2014
CF: April/May 2016 CP Tui - SDC Feb 2018
My daughter and I arrived at Orrison at 10:30 am and spent the best day chatting with other pilgrims, experienced and inexperienced. We learnt so much.
An amazing opportunity that set the scene for much camaraderie during the days to follow.
Such stunning views, wonderful communal meal ..... unique opportunity!!
Stop and smell the roses
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Two things I learned about Orisson: definitely worth it, but don't rely on their breakfast and pre-ordering their bocadillo/sandwich to sustain you for the walk into Roncesvalles the next day. Buy a banana, a bar of chocolate or something before you leave St Jean, because it's a long walk from Orisson with no shops. Unless it's changed the Orisson breakfast consists mainly of bread and jam and the sandwich is a stick of white bread with a few slices of meat or cheese on it. If it hadn't been for the Man in the Van on the mountain, who sold boiled eggs, fruit, coffee, cold drinks and snacks, and who apparently is not there anymore, the walk to Roncesvalles would have been a hungry walk. Prepare for that, without going overboard, and it will be even more enjoyable!
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
Takes me about 3 hours to get from SJPP to Orisson.
I don't walk fast, just steady one foot in front of the other and stopping often to look at the incredible views.

Takes me MUCH longer to get to Roncesvalles. The downhill is killer on the knees, especially if it's been raining. It's slick as snot! Take sticks!

Most bocadillos are bread with meat and cheese; that's not unusual.
A "sandwich" is something different.

The Man in the Van was there in May and June! Oh WAIT! That was LAST May and June 2012! He wasn't there this year? This year, I walked part of the VDLP then jumped up to Pamplona onto the Frances. So I didn't walk to Orisson this year.

This year I did see a Man in a Van at the top of Perdon, though. First time I've seen him there.
 

Jenyat53

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: September 2013 & April/ May 2014
CF: April/May 2016 CP Tui - SDC Feb 2018
The man (& woman) were there in September 2013.
We indulged in the bananas and hard boiled eggs. Perfect sustenance!!
Friends we met later admitted they had walked straight past thinking 'how weird to try to sell eggs to pilgrims who have no immediate way if cooking them'. They laughed at realising their opportunity missed :)
 

Sue Angles

A favourite sight along 'the Way' ...
Camino(s) past & future
september 2013
Thank you. I plan to start from SJPdP on May 29. I'm a pretty task-oriented person, which is probably my true motivation for getting to Roncesvalles in one day. I forgot to consider the down-hill, and from all I have read it would probably do me well, in more ways than one, to take my time getting to Orisson and just enjoy. And who knows, my 32 euro may be the best investment I make. -M :arrow:
We did the walk in September October and stayed the first night in Orisson. Decided as we were walking over the Pyrenees, we'd stay in them because we could. It was a magic night with a pilgrim meal, followed by persons introducing themselves (if they wished) and talking about why they were doing the Camino. We walked the entire trip to Santiago with some of these people - just kept seeing them along "the Way". It is the start of the Camino Family - very special.
Also my husband is a lot like you - wanting to 'get there' and not linger. The Camino is not about that, unless you don't have much time or just like the quick walk - it is great to take is a bit slower and smell the roses - take in where you are and enjoy it. Tis easy to race on and miss such a lot.
Buon Camino - have a brilliant journey .....
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
I'm very glad to hear the Man in the Van was there again this summer! When we met him in Aug 2012 he said that was his last year, hence the warning to bring some extra food. We soon got used to the plain, dry (I prefer it with oil and tomato to get some moisture) bocadillos that were available just about everywhere, but when we ordered it on arrival at Orisson we didn't know it was going to be that plain or that dry. On Day Two heading towards Roncesvalles we did wish we had had the foresight to bring a bag of peanuts, some fruit or something more substantial. Not a slur on Orisson, which is a fantastic place to start your journey and serves a memorable communal feast in the evening, just a heads up for the new peregrinos who might not know what to expect and are not used to - like me - eating carb heavy breakfasts. After Roncesvalles there will be shops and bars at regular intervals and you will be used to bringing snacks of your choice. I recommend the small cartons of gazpacho, perfect for dunking a dry bocadillo!
 

kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
It was a magic night with a pilgrim meal, followed by persons introducing themselves (if they wished) and talking about why they were doing the Camino. We walked the entire trip to Santiago with some of these people - just kept seeing them along "the Way". It is the start of the Camino Family - very special.
Exactly our experience. Periodically running into pilgrims we had met at the communal dinner in Orrison, catching up with them on how it was going, etc. was really special. I normally hate group introductions, but this turned out to be a wonderful beginning to many friendships.

Karl
 

mralisn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2005), Camino Norte-Fisterra (2010), SJPdP-Muxia-Fisterra (2012), Camino Norte w/Primitivo-Muxia-Fisterra (2014), Camino Portuguese (2016)
Hoping it is ok to give a little insight on what has worked for me twice.

I see many walkers arrive in SJPdP later in the afternoon. Once we get there, all kinds of "logistics" are on our mind usually after long distance travel, finding an alburgue, getting to Pilgrim's office before it closes, a bite to eat for dinner, meeting others just as excited and nervous, and finally preparing to set out in the morning. This is a lot to do especially if in a daze of sorts due to hours of travel (for me 20+) just to get there.

After flying into Biarritz and bussing to Bayonne, I buy my train ticket to SJPdP immediately. Both times I have had well over an hour of wait for the train. It is at that time I'll walk over to the local "supermarket" not far from the station (there is also a great market back over the bridge) and buy any supplies I think I will need for the next day's walk to Roncesvalles. This really puts my mind at ease. In addition to this, there was a small bakery which opened maybe near half 6 where I stopped both times to get something to start my day as I leave SJPdP. I know many alburgues also offer simple breakfast options. I prefer to carry my own provisions for the day and have enough to share with those I meet who might be without.

It would be good for me to do this no matter if I stopped in Orisson (or Huntto) or kept walking into Spain. For the next month of walking, there are plenty of places to get the foods we enjoy. However, this part and a few others have limited or no options. I like to eat…a lot. Good for me to be prepared.

I hope this helps a little.

Keep a smile,
Simeon
 

kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
I'll walk over to the local "supermarket" not far from the station (there is also a great market back over the bridge) and buy any supplies I think I will need for the next day's walk to Roncesvalles. This really puts my mind at ease. In addition to this, there was a small bakery which opened maybe near half 6 where I stopped both times
For some unbelieveably good cheeses in SJPdP try Garaziko Gasna Etxea.LRS cell download 8-27-13 233.jpg
 

homa_bird

Member
I booked a bed at Orisson, but fell in early (at the Napoleon Alberge) with a great group of people the night before. Somehow intense bonds were formed early on (we became immediate family and stayed close on and off through the whole Camino, met up at the end etc.)

My new, sweet friends did not have a room at Orisson, and even though it was pouring rain, I headed back out with them after we had a break for hot tea and coffee, and I let my room go. The sense of adventure and momentum and traveling with a great group of folks was just toooo strong. The camino pulled me onwards, and I was so glad it did. The 32 euro I lost out on was nothing compared to the feeling of being left behind.

The only problem with Orisson is that it is just too early of a stop. If you are starting at SJPDP, and you are like me, it's just all still too exciting. The Pyrenees calls, Spain calls, the Camino beckons like a lover, and stopping seemed counter.

You never know how you will feel till you get there. I think it could go either way, you could have a great instinct to stay there, and it would be fabulous. Once again, I think flexibility and spur of the moment, heartfelt decisions take the day on the Camino.
 

pattymo97206

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked 360km (2012) Planning 790K May (2014)
Two things I learned about Orisson: definitely worth it, but don't rely on their breakfast and pre-ordering their bocadillo/sandwich to sustain you for the walk into Roncesvalles the next day. Buy a banana, a bar of chocolate or something before you leave St Jean, because it's a long walk from Orisson with no shops. Unless it's changed the Orisson breakfast consists mainly of bread and jam and the sandwich is a stick of white bread with a few slices of meat or cheese on it. If it hadn't been for the Man in the Van on the mountain, who sold boiled eggs, fruit, coffee, cold drinks and snacks, and who apparently is not there anymore, the walk to Roncesvalles would have been a hungry walk. Prepare for that, without going overboard, and it will be even more enjoyable!

I remember the Man in the Van! He was a life saver! When I went over the Pyrenees, the rain was hitting me in the face and It was cold. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the blue tarp and the van. Coffee and a boiled egg and a hunk of cheese never tasted so good. Often times on a long, uphill hike in the Sierras in California or the Cascades in Oregon, I and my hiking friends would say..”is there a Starbucks at the top?”. The Man in the Van was better than Starbucks! Bummed that he is not there any more.
 

Franpio

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Camino Frances May/June 2014
Two things I learned about Orisson: definitely worth it, but don't rely on their breakfast and pre-ordering their bocadillo/sandwich to sustain you for the walk into Roncesvalles the next day. Buy a banana, a bar of chocolate or something before you leave St Jean, because it's a long walk from Orisson with no shops. Unless it's changed the Orisson breakfast consists mainly of bread and jam and the sandwich is a stick of white bread with a few slices of meat or cheese on it. If it hadn't been for the Man in the Van on the mountain, who sold boiled eggs, fruit, coffee, cold drinks and snacks, and who apparently is not there anymore, the walk to Roncesvalles would have been a hungry walk. Prepare for that, without going overboard, and it will be even more enjoyable!
Great ideas about stocking up for the walk into Roncesvalles. Thanks for the reminder. If Orisson costs 34euro for the night does this also include the dinner ?

Thanks
Frances
 

mralisn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2005), Camino Norte-Fisterra (2010), SJPdP-Muxia-Fisterra (2012), Camino Norte w/Primitivo-Muxia-Fisterra (2014), Camino Portuguese (2016)
I've been thinking more of this from outside my own point of view.

Stopping could also be beneficial for those not starting the walk in the morning. There are many who arrive early in the day in SJPdP. At these times, all "necessities" can be sorted, some time to walk around the little town (It's really cool.), take in some coffee and/or lunch at outside cafe', and start walking later in the afternoon so as to arrive in Orisson maybe 17:00/18:00. A nice dinner with others and head start for the next morning is quite enticing.

Whatever we choose, we're on the Camino. That ain't so bad.

Keep a smile,
Simeon
 

DurhamParish

Un Cerveza, Por Favor
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portuguese 2012 & 2018
Camino Frances 2014, 2015, 2015, 2017, 2018
Stopping could also be beneficial for those not starting the walk in the morning. There are many who arrive early in the day in SJPdP. At these times, all "necessities" can be sorted, some time to walk around the little town (It's really cool.), take in some coffee and/or lunch at outside cafe', and start walking later in the afternoon so as to arrive in Orisson maybe 17:00/18:00. A nice dinner with others and head start for the next morning is quite enticing.
That's my current plan.
 

mralisn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2005), Camino Norte-Fisterra (2010), SJPdP-Muxia-Fisterra (2012), Camino Norte w/Primitivo-Muxia-Fisterra (2014), Camino Portuguese (2016)
Hi DurhamParish,

I see you'll be walking in April. I believe sunset is a bit after 20:00 during that time. This is probably something to take into consideration for you and others so as to not wander around in the dark on the first day. So leaving late afternoon could work out quite nicely for a stop at Orisson for many.

I'm excited for you!
 

billmclaughlin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
Orisson's bocadillo was very simple fare, but as I ate it hungrily about 10:30 am, alone in high winds near the Spanish border and wondering why no one was catching up with me, it was just about the best damn meal I've ever had.

Bill
 
Camino(s) past & future
Apr 2014 SJPP to SDC to Finisterre
I decided to split the first day into 2, I hope the weather is good for some sunsets/Sunrise photography, I have booked a bed at Orisson on 25th April
 

Tumbleweed

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
I decided to split the first day into 2, I hope the weather is good for some sunsets/Sunrise photography, I have booked a bed at Orisson on 25th April
April 25th, my birthday, so remember to celebrate your first day on the Camino. :) I decided to do it in one day. I was probably the last pilgrim out of St Jean that morning but managed to get to Orrison and have lunch with others I had met the night before. It took me the average 8 hours, this does not include the time for lunch. It was tough but would probably to it the same next time. Enjoy your extra time and Buen Camino!!

May His peace, joy and love fill you this New Year.
 

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