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SJPDP to Roncesvalles

MegH

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September/October 2016
I am a little nervous of undertaking the Camino and hoped to break up my first challenging section of the Camino by staying at Orrisson (night of 16th September) but find it is fully booked that night. Can anyone suggest an alternative? Thank you
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
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There is a very simple option.

The 'Mountain Shuttle' with Express Bourricot.

YsORwG.jpg


Caroline will pick you up on your first day from Orrison or other points further up.
Take you back down to St Jean for the night
And next day take you back up to start where you left off the next day.
It's a simple service to understand and use.

It's a great option for those who want to break up that first day 'over the mountain' and find that

Orrison is fully booked, or
They want to walk a bit further than Orrison but not all the way to Roncesvalles.

I used the service last year. Many members here know Caroline and have used her service I think.

Here is the website. you can book online via email, in English.

http://www.expressbourricot.com/persons-transport/
 

Bonita

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September ( 2015)
There is a very simple option.

The 'Mountain Shuttle' with Express Bourricot.

YsORwG.jpg


Caroline will pick you up on your first day from Orrison or other points further up.
Take you back down to St Jean for the night
And next day take you back up to start where you left off the next day.
It's a simple service to understand and use.

It's a great option for those who want to break up that first day 'over the mountain' and find that

Orrison is fully booked, or
They want to walk a bit further than Orrison but not all the way to Roncesvalles.

I used the service last year. Many members here know Caroline and have used her service I think.

Here is the website. you can book online via email, in English.

http://www.expressbourricot.com/persons-transport/
This is basically what I did. Only my host at SJPDP called Orisson and arranged for me to come back with them when they went to town to get the mail. Then he picked me up in the morning. I had my bags shipped because I was nervous. I'm glad I did because I sure did enjoy the mountains. Enjoy.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Time of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Or you can walk the Valcarlos route ;-) Or start in Pamplona - whatever feels right for you. Buen Camino, SY
 
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GettingThere

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
C. Frances sections Apr-Jun 2019
Another option is to start in Roncesvalles - this is the beginning of the Camino Francés and the more traditional starting-point for Spanish pilgrims. It is a beautiful and historic place to being the Camino, with a Pilgrims' mass and blessing to send you on your way. And a more gentle first day's walk (depending on how far you go of course).
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
Or you may just be fine walking from St jpdPort to Roncesvalles, taking it easy.... Stop at Orrisson anyway for a coffee/drink, by then you'll know how you feel and you can consider the different options. The walk to Orrisson is the worst part (imo).
Buen camino :)
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Yep, if you arrive at Orisson, you basically have done the worse and more difficult part. The rest is just a looong uphill trek. And after the Bentartea heights,when you cross into Spain, it is literally a walk in a park.
Just be careful with the final descent to Roncesvalles. The traditional forest way is very steep, lots of pilgrims get serious problems there. The SJPP pilgrim's bureau recommend currently the Ibañeta chapel option, which is quite easy.
 

MegH

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September/October 2016
There is a very simple option.

The 'Mountain Shuttle' with Express Bourricot.

YsORwG.jpg


Caroline will pick you up on your first day from Orrison or other points further up.
Take you back down to St Jean for the night
And next day take you back up to start where you left off the next day.
It's a simple service to understand and use.

It's a great option for those who want to break up that first day 'over the mountain' and find that

Orrison is fully booked, or
They want to walk a bit further than Orrison but not all the way to Roncesvalles.

I used the service last year. Many members here know Caroline and have used her service I think.

Here is the website. you can book online via email, in English.

http://www.expressbourricot.com/persons-transport/
Thank you. Fortunately I have now managed to book Orrison that night. Still a bit nervous but I guess that helps you prepare properly. Meg
 
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Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
Many people, myself included, wanted to do the Napoleon Route - either to see the great views or just to say they have done it. However, if the weather is poor you end up walking all day in low cloud with nothing to see beyond 10 meters in front of you! I have walked the route twice, once in clear weather and once in cloud. It is such a gamble! Kanga pointed this out in an earlier post, describing her Valcarlos experience. It's worth thinking about, as the long climb after Orisson does take a lot of effort and there could well be no view to reward you.
 

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)

Montana Jayne

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2015 - Camino Frances
? Camino Ingles
We did the Napoleon last fall, SJPP to Roncevalles, in one day. As we'd arrived late in St. Jean we had only 5 hrs. sleep before leaving that 1st day. Upon reflection that was the big problem for me. I was really, really tired and so wished we'd stayed an extra night in St. Jean. However, the views on the Napoleon were breathtaking! The visability was as good as it could be. We also had incredible winds the last third of the way up, so that was fatiguing for me. If the visability is comprised I think l'd recommend doing the Valcarlos route.
 

Allan Morris

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2009, 2011 and will walk again August/Septmber 2016
I've walked it twice and will walk it again this year. To walk the whole route to Roncevalles will depend on weather, as another person posted, and your fitness level. I train for a couple of months prior, doing 4-6 hour hikes with hills. So at 69, my fitness level is quite good and I expect again I will have no trouble with the mountain or the distance. I have met some people who have not put in some time to train to walk distance or do hills who get to Roncevalles quite exhausted.
 
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ScotNorth

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plan chunks of it 2016 and 2017
Thank you. Fortunately I have now managed to book Orrison that night. Still a bit nervous but I guess that helps you prepare properly. Meg

The Mountain Shuttle sounds perfect. I am planning to do about 2 weeks of the Camino in October but I have health issues so it will definitely be short segments in slow mo. Still I REALLY don't want to miss the mountains so if I can get transport most of the way up from SJPdeP I can pick my way slowly down to Roncevalles. Does anyone know if the Mountain Shuttle operates everyday?
Thanks very much
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
The Mountain Shuttle sounds perfect. I am planning to do about 2 weeks of the Camino in October but I have health issues so it will definitely be short segments in slow mo. Still I REALLY don't want to miss the mountains so if I can get transport most of the way up from SJPdeP I can pick my way slowly down to Roncevalles. Does anyone know if the Mountain Shuttle operates everyday?
Thanks very much

You need to BOOK the Bourricot shuttle in advance. Contact Caroline directly using this link.

Bon chemin and Buen camino!
 

MargLav

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September - October 2016 Camino Frances
Or you may just be fine walking from St jpdPort to Roncesvalles, taking it easy.... Stop at Orrisson anyway for a coffee/drink, by then you'll know how you feel and you can consider the different options. The walk to Orrisson is the worst part (imo).
Buen camino :)
I'm coming to this conversation a little late but have similar questions about SJPdP to Roncevalles in one day - hubby and I are reasonably fit in our 50's walking in early September. We do train on some good hills but nothing quite like this potential Day 1 - big hill and big distance. I'd like to think we can achieve Roncevalles in one day especially if we "take it easy". If we start about 8am, stop at Orisson for a rest/snack, and keep moving slowly, can we make Roncevalles comfortably in daylight? My guidebook says 25kms but is actually 32kms adjusting for the climb. That is a long day 1 given that other advice says to stay slow. Does start slow mean take it slow for the distance or shorten the distance on day 1? If we haven't booked Orisson or a shuttle bus back to SJPdP, what options do we have but to keep walking to Roncevalles? Am I correct in assuming that lots and lots of people of all ages and fitness levels manage SJPdP to Roncevalles in one day? Thanks so much in advance xx
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
I'm coming to this conversation a little late but have similar questions about SJPdP to Roncevalles in one day - hubby and I are reasonably fit in our 50's walking in early September. We do train on some good hills but nothing quite like this potential Day 1 - big hill and big distance. I'd like to think we can achieve Roncevalles in one day especially if we "take it easy". If we start about 8am, stop at Orisson for a rest/snack, and keep moving slowly, can we make Roncevalles comfortably in daylight? My guidebook says 25kms but is actually 32kms adjusting for the climb. That is a long day 1 given that other advice says to stay slow. Does start slow mean take it slow for the distance or shorten the distance on day 1? If we haven't booked Orisson or a shuttle bus back to SJPdP, what options do we have but to keep walking to Roncevalles? Am I correct in assuming that lots and lots of people of all ages and fitness levels manage SJPdP to Roncevalles in one day? Thanks so much in advance xx
Yes I think you can do it in 1 day, I say this because I have done it and saw lots of people doing it! I would start before 8 if you can. You'll necessarily walk slowly as it climbs. The main thing (imo) is NOT to carry a very heavy pack.

The weather can be very changeable. I walked it a few days ago in rain, wind, cold and low cloud all the way. Today it is 33 deg + in Roncesvalles.
Make sure you have water with you.
Check with the pilgrims' office in StJpdeport before you leave (the night before), they'll be up to date on the weather.
Don't worry and buen camino :)
 

Wolfdog

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2017
I'm coming to this conversation a little late but have similar questions about SJPdP to Roncevalles in one day - hubby and I are reasonably fit in our 50's walking in early September. We do train on some good hills but nothing quite like this potential Day 1 - big hill and big distance. I'd like to think we can achieve Roncevalles in one day especially if we "take it easy". If we start about 8am, stop at Orisson for a rest/snack, and keep moving slowly, can we make Roncevalles comfortably in daylight? My guidebook says 25kms but is actually 32kms adjusting for the climb. That is a long day 1 given that other advice says to stay slow. Does start slow mean take it slow for the distance or shorten the distance on day 1? If we haven't booked Orisson or a shuttle bus back to SJPdP, what options do we have but to keep walking to Roncevalles? Am I correct in assuming that lots and lots of people of all ages and fitness levels manage SJPdP to Roncevalles in one day? Thanks so much in advance xx
We left SJPdP at 7 AM and arrived in Roncevalles at 6 PM. We are mid 50's in good shape and took our time, stopped frequently and snacked/hydrated often. We were very cautious on the trails with loose slippery shale, which just means it takes a little longer. We didn't want to be the pilgrims without our front teeth.:D The following day we were fine and ready to roll without any problems with soreness or pain. Buen Camino, Pete
 
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MargLav

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September - October 2016 Camino Frances
We left SJPdP at 7 AM and arrived in Roncevalles at 6 PM. We are mid 50's in good shape and took our time, stopped frequently and snacked/hydrated often. We were very cautious on the trails with loose slippery shale, which just means it takes a little longer. We didn't want to be the pilgrims without our front teeth.:D The following day we were fine and ready to roll without any problems with soreness or pain. Buen Camino, Pete
Thanks Pete. That is a long day but realistically achievable. Getting very excited now! Just trying to secure a booking for that first night so I'm not worried about a bed at the other end. There are not too many options and many places are already booked out so I am waiting on a response from the main alberque. Much appreciated.
 

MargLav

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September - October 2016 Camino Frances
Yes I think you can do it in 1 day, I say this because I have done it and saw lots of people doing it! I would start before 8 if you can. You'll necessarily walk slowly as it climbs. The main thing (imo) is NOT to carry a very heavy pack.

The weather can be very changeable. I walked it a few days ago in rain, wind, cold and low cloud all the way. Today it is 33 deg + in Roncesvalles.
Make sure you have water with you.
Check with the pilgrims' office in StJpdeport before you leave (the night before), they'll be up to date on the weather.
Don't worry and buen camino :)
Thanks domigee! 33 degrees is too hot up those hills even for a girl from the tropics. I am doing my best for a light pack but it will inevitably be about 7kgs. Thanks for the advice to start earlier - how long before I reach my first coffee :)
 
J

Jas Asyiken

Guest
Starting out tomorrow (22 July) and Pilgrim Office told me that it might be wet the whole way tomorrow. Will see... Getting nervous as I sit and watch the dark clouds hanging low... :)
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I'm coming to this conversation a little late but have similar questions about SJPdP to Roncevalles in one day - hubby and I are reasonably fit in our 50's walking in early September. We do train on some good hills but nothing quite like this potential Day 1 - big hill and big distance. I'd like to think we can achieve Roncevalles in one day especially if we "take it easy". If we start about 8am, stop at Orisson for a rest/snack, and keep moving slowly, can we make Roncevalles comfortably in daylight? My guidebook says 25kms but is actually 32kms adjusting for the climb. That is a long day 1 given that other advice says to stay slow. Does start slow mean take it slow for the distance or shorten the distance on day 1? If we haven't booked Orisson or a shuttle bus back to SJPdP, what options do we have but to keep walking to Roncevalles? Am I correct in assuming that lots and lots of people of all ages and fitness levels manage SJPdP to Roncevalles in one day? Thanks so much in advance xx

You will start slowly, believe me. Right after SJPP is a not too long, but quite steep section.
Yes, thousands of people of every age and condition do it, all the way, every year. It is perfectly doable. I am in my sixties, and rather a slow walker, and did it in around 9.30 hrs., with three short stops.
Try lo leave as early as possible, especially if you intend to walk in summer. Just organize your stuff the day before and make a literally breakfast
I have seen that many physical problems actually come after Roncesvalles, when the body resents the previous effort.
Buen camino!
 
Last edited:
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Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.

Tulle

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1999 Burgos-SDC, 2003 Leon-SDC, 2007-2012 Le Puy-SDC, 2014 Burgos-Covarrubias, Camino Ingles 3 times
Orisson, 7, 6 KM, after a very steep section. There is a guy in a van after Biakorri (that is more or less at half of the stage) but I can't remember if he also offers coffee.
We had our first coffee at Huntto, after 6 km, and the next at Orisson:) Cafe con leche, of course. Loved it!
I have walked to Ronvevalles in one day twice, didn't see anything because of fog.. Perhaps I should try once more...
 

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