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SJPdP do Roscenvalles (start at.10.30am?)

kubapigora

Active Member
#1
Hello everyone!
I will be walking my first camino in september later this year. I'm arriving from Paris after swaping plane to train. I'm travelling on the night train, which will arrive at SJPdP at 9.37am.
I was wondering if it is worth to start the camino so late in the day? Will it be possible to get to Roscenvalles if we get on the track at about half past ten (we have to get our credencials and do some shopping). If not- we will have to spend a night in SJPdP.
Please help.
Kuba
 

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Minkey

Active Member
#2
You'll be struggling to get a bed at the Refugio in Roncesvalles, I suspect. Remember that some people will start from Roncesvalles and most people will have left SJPP considerably earlier than you.

My advice would be to chill in SJPP for a day, rest yourself and enjoy the town, then head off the next day.
 
#3
If time is not critical I'd stay in St. J. We spent the day enjoying the town, shopping, getting credentials and visiting the post office. That night we stayed in a hotel, eat a good meal and even had an afterdinner drink to celebrate the beginning to the trip. It also helped with the jet lag we were feeling.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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:
#5
You could aim for Hunto or Orisson - 8 and 10km from St Jean respectively. Book a room ahead and have a rest at Orisson and do the remaining 15kms the following day.
http://www.refuge-orisson.com/
 

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kubapigora

Active Member
#6
Minkey said:
... and if you do decided to spend some time there, try the cider... ;)
I surely will try it...

No, time is not the case, as I have about 37-38 days for my camino (I'm walking with my wife). But we are flying over from Poland thru Paris, so it's quite short journey. We will not need a rest day at the beginning of the trip (especially because we will be on a train at the night time- having some sleep hopefully). But taking in consideration what you have said about accomodation in Roscenvalles- it will probably be the best thing to stay for another night in SJPdP and hit the road early in the morning.
Orisson refugee is a great option as well, but a bit pricey for us as we are saving for a walk from Poland in 2010 (they have opened new st.James routes in our country as well)

Thanks a lot for your help!
Kuba
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#7
kubapigora said:
which will arrive at SJPdP at 9.37am.
I was wondering if it is worth to start the camino so late in the day?
I would wait until the next day. It is recommended that you begin walking to Roncesvalles no later than 10AM. The pilgrim office is a good walk from the train station, and you should stop there, get a stamp, and check in with the helpers (for a weather report, among other things). Also, you may want to stop at the small grocery store (which is near the train station) and load up on food for the trip over the mountains. All of these things will take more than a half hour, and rushing is not the best way to begin your Camino - especially this stage, which is a tough one.

kubapigora said:
Orisson refugee is a great option as well
To be honest, I would skip that option. When I did the Camino last summer, I thought about stopping there. But the pilgrim office told me that I had to call Orisson by phone and make a reservation right away, and since it was so near to St. Jean I didn't want to get stuck there. The next day I paused there to rest, and I asked to use the bathroom. The guy running the place wouldn't let me use it unless I bought something, and he made his point with an attitude that didn't set well with me. Anyway, just my opinion - I've heard some folks say they had a good experience there, and others have said the opposite... :arrow:
 

kubapigora

Active Member
#8
All of these things will take more than a half hour, and rushing is not the best way to begin your Camino - especially this stage, which is a tough one.
I agree with you. I do not want to run my camino- it will be my well earned holiday, so we will probably stay for a night in SJPdP.

The guy running the place wouldn't let me use it unless I bought something, and he made his point with an attitude that didn't set well with me.
Had a bad day probably. I will try step in there on my way- and let you know if anything have changed.

Ok, thanks for your advice!
Maybe you would be able to help me find something to do for a whole day at SJPdP? Do you have any favourite place to stay or to go for a glass (or a bottle)of vino tinto in the evening?

And- is it really takes 8 hours to get to Roscenvalles?
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#9
kubapigora said:
Maybe you would be able to help me find something to do for a whole day at SJPdP? Do you have any favourite place to stay or to go for a glass (or a bottle)of vino tinto in the evening?
St. Jean is worth a day of exploration. Lots of cool shops and cafes to check out. Look for the Bar Restaurant Paxkal Cillarburu, next to the old city wall. I had a nice meal with a good bottle of red vino there. They also had rooms for pilgrims - if I hadn't already booked a hotel room next to the pilgrim office, I would've stayed at the restaurant.

kubapigora said:
And- is it really takes 8 hours to get to Roscenvalles?
I started walking from St. Jean before sunrise, and I think I staggered into Roncesvalles somewhere around 4 or 5 PM. It is a beautiful stage, but difficult as well. Of course, I was carrying way too much on my back (over 20K), and my boots were too heavy as well. If you go light (and have some training time invested before beginning the Camino), you'll go faster. Buen Camino! :arrow:
 
#11
Hi,kubapigora,

If you decide to spend the day in SJPP, make sure you walk up to the citadel. Lovely views from that interesting old fort.

I also remember speaking with the people who were helping out the owners of the L'esprit du Chemin albergue (http://www.espritduchemin.org/), which I would highly recommend for accommodations. They told me that the GR10 (?-- could be wrong on the number) crossed through St. Jean, and that when they finished cleaning up the albergue they frequently took off on a 4-6 hour hike in either direction. If you're eager to start walking, that might be a good way to spend part of the day.

Laurie
 

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