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Solo walking

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012
Le Puy- Roncesvalles & Figeac-Rocamadour 2014
Le Puy-Conques & CeleValley 2016
#1
Hi all,
I'm planning to walk from Oloron Saint-Marie to Puenta la Reina from mid September this year solo. What do people think-will it be safe and are there people to meet on that route? I have done several walks alone (Spain and France) and have enough French to get by and converse but I see a lot of people say that there are still not many people walking this route yet.
Thanks!
 

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sharon w

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007
Camino Portugues 2009
Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre 2012
Cammino di Assisi 2014
Via Podiensis, Camino del Norte, Camino Frances(Astorga to Santiago) 2015
Aussie Camino 2016
#2
Hi all,
I'm planning to walk from Oloron Saint-Marie to Puenta la Reina from mid September this year solo. What do people think-will it be safe and are there people to meet on that route? I have done several walks alone (Spain and France) and have enough French to get by and converse but I see a lot of people say that there are still not many people walking this route yet.
Thanks!
We will be walking the same route. Won’t be in Oloron till end of September though.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#3
You might encounter another pilgrim in September; the French are still walking then. Safety is mostly in the mind. There are no roving bands of street gangs, in part because there is no one! There is road construction on the highway all along the Rio Aragones sections, so the larger towns and the cities have a lot of construction workers. They can be raucous in the bars in the evenings. They are no bother to an old man like me, but others may be intimidated. I was on most sections from Toulouse to Pamplona in January and February this year and never met another pilgrim. Solitude...
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#4
Walk during daylight hours, when the sun is fully UP. If you do meet other pilgrims, ask to tag along, like within earshot of them.

Have a charged mobile / cell phone. KNOW the emergency number 112, throughout most of Europe including in France and Spain. FYI, in Spain, this number is answered by multilingual operators.

Know how to ask for help in English in several languages. I need help please...translates...

In Spanish: "Necessito ayuda (en Inglese) por favor..."

In French: "J'ai besoin d'aide (en anglais) s'il vous plaît..."
"Jh-ai bes-won d'ahd-yea (in ahng-lais) sil vous play..."

Relax, you will be fine...

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

Dan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013
Chemin Le Puy 2014
Pennine Way, UK 2015
Camino Del Norte 2016
Arles Route 2018
#5
We've just finished the Arles Route. Not many pilgrims or casual walkers. But the numbers certainly increased as we got nearer Oloron. Try the municipal gites. It's a good way to meet people. The facilities in most of them in France are really good.
 

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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#6
I walked that route, from Oloron Ste Marie to Puente la Reina (and on to Santiago) from mid September in 2016. I was alone but met many pilgrims in the hostels in France and Spain and was never nervous about my safety. I used the guidebook from the Confraternity of St James: "Pilgrim Guides to the roads through France to Santiago de Compostela 4: Arles to Puente la Reina, part II Toulouse to Puente la Reina." It can be ordered from https://www.csj.org.uk/. Bon chemin.
 

creativegtu

Member, Artist on the Road
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2011)
Le Puy & parts of Frances (2013)
Aragones & parts of Frances (2015)
Primitivo (2016)
#7
Hi all,
I'm planning to walk from Oloron Saint-Marie to Puenta la Reina from mid September this year solo. What do people think-will it be safe and are there people to meet on that route? I have done several walks alone (Spain and France) and have enough French to get by and converse but I see a lot of people say that there are still not many people walking this route yet.
Thanks!
Hi HeatherWriter,
My dad and I walked from Somport to Puente la Reina in June 2015. We didn't see any other walkers until Jaca, which is a lovely town and starting point for some. The Aragones is a quiet path and a couple sections were a little isolated, specifically around the Yesa Reservoir area. However, we never felt unsafe and ended up walking with others after Santa Cilia de Jaca.

As t2andreo suggested, keep handy emergency #s & translated phrases asking for help. Also, when I’ve walked solo have brought a whistle (have never had to use it, though) -- there might even be a cell phone whistle app or something similar available (?)

We really enjoyed exploring the Aragones and learning more about this part of Spain & its pilgrimage history. Once we reached Obanos (where the Aragones connects to the Frances), the pilgrim crowds appeared -- it was a bit of a shock after the peace and solitude of the path before then!

The guides we used included the CSJ Toulouse to Puenta la Reina (mentioned by Albertagirl), the Wise Pilgrim Aragones app, and a guide/information booklet I found online --
http://www.aragon.es/estaticos/Impo...resProvincias/GUIA_CAMINO_SANTIAGO_INGLES.pdf
CSJ has a Miam Miam Dodo guide that includes the Aragones too –

My blog of our walk includes the places we stayed --https://amandapilgrim.blogspot.com/2015/06/somport.html

Have a wonderful journey & Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
4/2011 VdlP,
4/2014 Rota Vincentina, Portugues.
4/2016 Aragones, Frances.
#8
Hi Heather,
I'm a 66 year old female and walked the Aragones starting in Somport early April 2016, I walked alone and only saw two other walkers in albergues at night. Both were walking long distances each day and after leaving the albergue I didn't see them again. I didn't at anytime feel unsafe during my walk.

Buen Camino Judy
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012
Le Puy- Roncesvalles & Figeac-Rocamadour 2014
Le Puy-Conques & CeleValley 2016
#9
Thank you everyone for the fabulous feedback. My concern is not so much safety but loneliness, as one of the things I love about caminos is the people you meet and friendships made. Hmmmm, perhaps I need to find a walking buddy or choose another route this year...
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#10
Thank you everyone for the fabulous feedback. My concern is not so much safety but loneliness, as one of the things I love about caminos is the people you meet and friendships made. Hmmmm, perhaps I need to find a walking buddy or choose another route this year...
You are planning to walk exactly when and where I did, mid-September on from Oloron Ste Marie. There were other walkers in all the albergues every night. One night, at Canfranc-Estacion, there was only one other couple in the albergue. Otherwise, there were lots of people. I tend to prefer a solitary walk, but I would not reject this walk on the grounds that you would be alone. Unless things have changed radically since the fall of 2016, I see no reason to anticipate this.
 

docpam

Pam
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018
#11
Hi all,
I'm planning to walk from Oloron Saint-Marie to Puenta la Reina from mid September this year solo. What do people think-will it be safe and are there people to meet on that route? I have done several walks alone (Spain and France) and have enough French to get by and converse but I see a lot of people say that there are still not many people walking this route yet.
Thanks!
I am on the route at the moment. We reached Col Du Somport today. Have not seen any pilgrims at all. When we were on the road from Borce to the Col 4 cyclists passed us. That is the total of people seen. The waymarking is totally different to that in Spain. If I did not have a guide I would have been l lost.
 

Csutak

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006 C. Frances, from 2008 Norte, Ingles, Primitivo, Aragones, Vasco, Sansalvador.
#12
I have always wondered why there were so few pilgrims on the Aragones. It is so beautiful! Although I didn't meet a lot of people during the day, the albergues sometimes were full. Once in Sangüesa I even had to sleep in a hotel.
 

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