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St Jean to Roncesvalles

gracielousmiles

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: July 3rd 2017
Hello everyone!

I'm a 21-year-old, reasonably fit, who will begin walking the camino on July 5th starting in St. Jean.

I've read a lot about breaking up the first day into two stages but I don't have the extra time to stay in Orisson. I'll be arriving in St Jean at 08:38 in the morning and will be getting my credencial that morning.

Is this too late in the day to start? Should I be concerned about that first day?
 
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Rick M

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 21)
Reasonably fit 21 year olds have very little to be concerned about.

You can make this call at the pilgrim office in St. Jean. If you set out before 9:00, you will be fine, but a reservation at Roncesvalles might be a good idea. If it gets late in the day before you actually leave, split the day and stay in Valcarlos.

Buen Camino!
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Year of past OR future Camino
Reality is frequently inaccurate
St. Jean to Roncesvalles is a 25 km hike and took me about 7 hours, so taken your arrival time and reasonable fitness it is doable. Quick dash to the pilgrim office for your credential and off you go.
In Roncesvalles you can check in until 22:00, so no problems there either. Buen Camino!
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Last year this fat 55 year-old couch potato left St Jean a little after 8am, walked via Valcarlos, stopped three times on the way for breakfast & coffee & beer, and arrived at Roncesvalles by 3.30pm. Getting there should be no problem for you. However, the place was heaving with people by the time I arrived. As the number of bed places has recently been reduced it might be a good idea to consider making a reservation. Not my usual practice but if I were to walk the CF again I might make an exception for Roncesvalles.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
More than doable. However, if you wish to attend pilgrim's mass and eat dinner in Roncesvalles stop at Orissin or have rest day in SJPP then start early next morning. You can makeup time along the camino.
Ultreya.
 
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Felipe

Veteran Member
The vast majority of pilgrims do the SJJP-Roncesvalles in one stage, and do well.
I spent around 9 hrs, but I am in my "sixties", and rather in the slow style.
As far as you reach Roncesvalles before nightfall, it will be no problem.
Reservation, as eveybody have said, is recommendable in July.
 

Mckarash

A Coddiwomple expert
Year of past OR future Camino
St Jean - Belorado July 2016
St Jean - Sahagun April 14th- 29th 2017
St Jean - Lagrono July 2017
I'm 45, fit-ish and walk lots. I left St Jean at 8am on Easter Friday via Orisson and arrived at Roncesvalles about 2.30. There were plenty of beds and i had no need to book ahead. It was almost full by 4pm due to a coach load of students turning up, but they still provided extra mattresses for late comers Food is pretty awful there though. I'm walking for 2 weeks again mid July and this time i might pass through Roncesvalles and stay in the next village of Burguete. Its only a few Km further but a lot more peaceful. If you stay in Roncesvalles I'd recommend saving Breakfast for Burguete too. I need to do research on the hostels there though. Buen Camino!
 
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Mckarash

A Coddiwomple expert
Year of past OR future Camino
St Jean - Belorado July 2016
St Jean - Sahagun April 14th- 29th 2017
St Jean - Lagrono July 2017
The trout (fish) in the 7:00 pm (?) pilgrim's meal in the "monastery" was so fresh, tender and juicy. It was April 21, 2017.
Ahh..I was referring to the boiled chicken and chips with the banana Yoghurt at the 2 pilgrim meal taverns
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Hello everyone!

I'm a 21-year-old, reasonably fit, who will begin walking the camino on July 5th starting in St. Jean.

I've read a lot about breaking up the first day into two stages but I don't have the extra time to stay in Orisson. I'll be arriving in St Jean at 08:38 in the morning and will be getting my credencial that morning.

Is this too late in the day to start? Should I be concerned about that first day?

We have just finished the first half of Le Puy en Velay.
The temp was 35c plus for the first 2 weeks.
It looks the same next week here in France so please check the weather before deciding.
I would not walk 25 km plus (allowances for ups and downs ) in that weather on the FIRST day commencing around 9.30am.
Do you know the saying about Mad dogs and Englishman?
Most pilgrims would have gone at 6.30 am that morning.
 

Elizabeth-o

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino de Frances (2014)
Camino de Frances (2016)
Hello everyone!

I'm a 21-year-old, reasonably fit, who will begin walking the camino on July 5th starting in St. Jean.

I've read a lot about breaking up the first day into two stages but I don't have the extra time to stay in Orisson. I'll be arriving in St Jean at 08:38 in the morning and will be getting my credencial that morning.

Is this too late in the day to start? Should I be concerned about that first day?

I am wondering why you wouldn't consider resting the remainder of the day you arrive. Getting your credential is not a 2-minute deal. There is a lot to be said for starting off early the next morning totally rested. The start of your Camino is crucial or you may jeopardize your entire trip. My husband and I are quite fit and found that first day to be the toughest of the entire Camino. It took us more than 8 hours at a leisurely pace. I think you are wise to skip Orisson. Regardless, get reservations just to be safe.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
I am wondering why you wouldn't consider resting the remainder of the day you arrive. Getting your credential is not a 2-minute deal. There is a lot to be said for starting off early the next morning totally rested. The start of your Camino is crucial or you may jeopardize your entire trip. My husband and I are quite fit and found that first day to be the toughest of the entire Camino. It took us more than 8 hours at a leisurely pace. I think you are wise to skip Orisson. Regardless, get reservations just to be safe.

Well said Elizabeth,
I notice the day she is leaving is 32c plus.
The next day unfortunately is 27c with high humidity and guaranteed thunderstorms.
Valcarlos after lunch then next day Burgette would be my suggestion.
Most damage done is in the first few days .
 

Elizabeth-o

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino de Frances (2014)
Camino de Frances (2016)
Well said Elizabeth,
I notice the day she is leaving is 32c plus.
The next day unfortunately is 27c with high humidity and guaranteed thunderstorms.
Valcarlos after lunch then next day Burgette would be my suggestion.
Most damage done is in the first few days .

Oh, I meant to say to get reservations in Roncevalles...
 
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MoniRose

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
The only thing I would do different on my next Camino is enjoy a day in St Jean before starting. Three reasons: 1. I was jet lagged, 2. I was several hours up the mountain when I stopped to look back down into the valley and realized I missed exploring the town because I was 3. Overly anxious to start.
You can make up any "lost" time. Take a day to slow yourself down so you can enjoy.
Monica :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
Hello everyone!

I'm a 21-year-old, reasonably fit, who will begin walking the camino on July 5th starting in St. Jean.

I've read a lot about breaking up the first day into two stages but I don't have the extra time to stay in Orisson. I'll be arriving in St Jean at 08:38 in the morning and will be getting my credencial that morning.

Is this too late in the day to start? Should I be concerned about that first day?
Nope. I did the same thing. Only stop is Orissoon, so bring some energy bars and you will be fine. In Roncevalles in time for dinner
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Hello everyone!

I'm a 21-year-old, reasonably fit, who will begin walking the camino on July 5th starting in St. Jean.

I've read a lot about breaking up the first day into two stages but I don't have the extra time to stay in Orisson. I'll be arriving in St Jean at 08:38 in the morning and will be getting my credencial that morning.

Is this too late in the day to start? Should I be concerned about that first day?

If you read this before you leave just remember these two things
Walk slowly , your own pace , and take plenty of water.
If you have already left home and are on the way keep us informed on your arrival in Spain.
We wish you well,
Burn Camino
 
Year of past OR future Camino
First Camino francais Sept/Oct (2016)
Second Camino Niort Sept/Oct (2018)
VdlP Sept/Oct (2020)
Hello everyone!

I'm a 21-year-old, reasonably fit, who will begin walking the camino on July 5th starting in St. Jean.

I've read a lot about breaking up the first day into two stages but I don't have the extra time to stay in Orisson. I'll be arriving in St Jean at 08:38 in the morning and will be getting my credencial that morning.

Is this too late in the day to start? Should I be concerned about that first day?

Hi Gracie

I walked the Camino France Setember/October 2016 starting St Jean. I to arrived in St Jean around 8:30 am (ish) from Bayonne having travelled from the U.K the day before. I am a reasonably fit 71 year old, I don't know your time frame but mine was open ended. I completed my walk arriving in Santiago 28 days after setting out from St jean. My experience was basic staying in municipals, donnativo's etc: and carrying my backpack every step of the way. I stayed over in Orisson for my first night. This was the best decision I made throughout the whole experience, it gave me a good introduction into the walk and the next stage from Orisson to Roncesvalles was made that more manageable.

Had I tried to do St Jean to Roncesvalles in one hit, I think my energy levels would have been challenged and my reflective view is that it would have taken me longer than 28 days. It is a question of knowing what you can do, I met people along the "way" who had set out with great energy from St Jean direct to Roncesvalles, the effort they had put in during those early days resulted in them doing to much for their body and ultimately they were taking days out to recover and suffering blisters making walking difficult and generally slowing them down. I made Santiago without taking any time out, I walked every day and although I had blisters, they were manageable and did not slow me down.

Good luck. Buen Camino
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Hello everyone!

I'm a 21-year-old, reasonably fit, who will begin walking the camino on July 5th starting in St. Jean.

I've read a lot about breaking up the first day into two stages but I don't have the extra time to stay in Orisson. I'll be arriving in St Jean at 08:38 in the morning and will be getting my credencial that morning.

Is this too late in the day to start? Should I be concerned about that first day?

I've gone up out of Saint Jean twice, both times starting at about 10 AM, and both times already with weeks of walking up to that point -- when I was younger and fitter I got over in very good time, then ten years later though I made it, it was a pretty late evening arrival.

I don't think you need worry about not being able to pull it off, but nevertheless I'd advise aiming for a 9:30 start rather than 10 (IIRC the second time I missed the early start was because I'd arrived too late in the evening to replenish my food supplies for the crossing). Hopefully, there won't be a crowd at the pilgrim office before 9, as most people do try and sort their credenciales the day before starting or even earlier ...

Do however take some time to grab yourself some French breakfast pastries at a boulangerie before departing, it'll be your last chance at them !!
 
Last edited:
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Guide to the 16 main caminos with maps, pictures, hyperlinks and other information.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
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.

MoniRose

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
Question: As I said in an earlier post, I should have taken a day to acclimate myself. Fortunately I had two egg sandwiches when I left St Jean but only ate one all day. I was so jet lagged but didn't realize it.
When I got to the top I came down thru the forest. It was so frightening, especially when the trail became covered with leaves. At one point I thought I was surely lost. I don't know how long it took me Once I headed down the hill into the forest, ( which by the way caused havoc on my toes!) but it seemed like hours as there was nobody else the entire time! Was there another, better way to get down from that point? Where did all the other people go?

It took me 10 hours from St Jeanvto Roncesvalles. I've always wondering if I mistakenly took the road less travelled.

Thinking back to that still frightens me and I wonder if I was stupid or just naive.
Any thoughts?
Monica
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@MoniRose there is a small sealed road that crosses the path just before you plunge down into the forest, it has a small, rather indistinct signpost, to take the road if the weather is bad, and that is the alternative way down into Roncesvalles. It is a kilometre or so longer, but more gentle and not slippery as over the beach-tree leaves.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
I have received a lovely letter from Gracie.
They arrived a fraction late in the morning and were advised by the pilgrims office to get a cab or I would think start the next day
Not sure what the weather was like , more than likely hot so mid morning start was not on.
A wise and sincere girl,
 

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