A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Staying at Orisson - An Irish Analogy

John Finn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances - Sarria to Santiago (2013), Burgos to Leon (2014), St Jean Pied de Port to Logrono (2015), Logrono to Burgos (2016), Leon to Sarria (May 2017).
#1
This will only make sense to Irish readers. A Twitter acquaintance said that staying at Orisson is like driving from Dublin to Cork and staying overnight in Naas :)
 

Advertisment

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Burgos, Camino Frances (2012 - 2018)
#2
I agree, even though I don't live in Ireland! I've done the crossing twice and both times gone all the way over.
HOWEVER - not everyone is fit/brave/mentally equipped/over their jetlag/ in SJPdP in the early morning enough to do it in one go, and, for them, Orisson is, as it says, a refuge.
Everyone has to do their own Camino. As my mother used to say, it would be a poor world if we were all the same.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#3
I'd die trying to walk all the way to Roncesvalles in one day. I've always stayed at either Orisson, Valcarlos or a couple of times at Huntto. Which is only about 5km out of SJPDP but those km are all up hill, and every bit helps!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Only done the 1st 3 days
#4
Stayed at Morrison last year when I find the first 4 days of the Camino. St jean to Pamplona. Was 4 days . But only 3 stages. I watched the programe tonight and liked it. For the memories and scenery. I am just back from my second trip. I walked from Pamplona to Leon. 17 days of great experiences. And great people. I'm hoping to go to the end in October. The winter is a great time to be on the Camino. And also lots of people. So to the next time beun Camino. Prob not spelled correctly. But who cares. Paul
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#5
This will only make sense to Irish readers. A Twitter acquaintance said that staying at Orisson is like driving from Dublin to Cork and staying overnight in Naas :)
Crossing the Pyrenees is not like driving anywhere...

Climbing 1200 m and descending another 500 m on Day 1 of a 500 mile journey can be very tough for the underprepared, and the overnight stay at Orisson reduces the risk of a camino-ending injury on the first day.
 

Advertisment

Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#6
This will only make sense to Irish readers. A Twitter acquaintance said that staying at Orisson is like driving from Dublin to Cork and staying overnight in Naas :)
I've done it both ways.
I've walked all the way from SJPP to Roncesvalles in one day.
I'll never do it again.
There's nothing in the law that says people have to suffer on that stage.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#7
I'd die trying to walk all the way to Roncesvalles in one day. I've always stayed at either Orisson, Valcarlos or a couple of times at Huntto. Which is only about 5km out of SJPDP but those km are all up hill, and every bit helps!
I'm with you Kanga.

There is no way I would try to walk to Roncesvalles in one day.
I am simply not fit enough and healthy enough.
Would I make it? Yes. No doubt.
But I would probably have to end my Camino right there through injury :(
 
Last edited:

FionaLucy

I promise to stay true to my Butterfly....
Camino(s) past & future
April 2016
June 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
April 2017
#11
This will only make sense to Irish readers. A Twitter acquaintance said that staying at Orisson is like driving from Dublin to Cork and staying overnight in Naas :)
Brilliant! Only an Irish person will get this. No disrespect to the replies above but it's not about driving etc. It's a hilarious analagy. Thank you for sharing. I for one badly needed to stop at Naas and it was a magical evening where I made lifelong friends for my Camino! Coincidently, I actually live in the next village to Naas! :D Happy St. Patrick's Day fellow perigrino's!
 

John Finn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances - Sarria to Santiago (2013), Burgos to Leon (2014), St Jean Pied de Port to Logrono (2015), Logrono to Burgos (2016), Leon to Sarria (May 2017).
#12
Crossing the Pyrenees is not like driving anywhere...

Climbing 1200 m and descending another 500 m on Day 1 of a 500 mile journey can be very tough for the underprepared, and the overnight stay at Orisson reduces the risk of a camino-ending injury on the first day.
Indeed, Les. However, I'm puzzled at those who are unprepared (and, yes, I've come across them) for what is a challenging trek. If, like most people, one has spent months planning the journey then surely a regular fitness regime should be an integral part of that process? One shouldn't attempt a marathon without preparation.

For what it's worth I found the SJPdP to Roncesvalles stage to be a lot easier than I expected: the incline was relatively gentle, as was the descent, and that was in poor conditions - shortly after stopping for coffee at Orisson the weather changed to high winds and driving rain. When I arrived in Roncesvalles I decided to keep going as far as Espinal, another 6 kms, where I arrived at 3pm having left SJPdP at 6.30am. And I'm no athlete - just a reasonably fit man in my sixties.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2016, completed 1/6/2016
(April 2018)
#14
Don't be
I've booked orisson and I'm still worried about the following day from there to Roncesvalles.
Don't be worried. Two years ago on my 72nd birthday I did the whole distance with a break at the top where several kind Peregrinos sang happy Birthday to me. Looking forward to seeing you this year at Orisson.
Buen Camino
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
#15
I'm one of those who advocate stopping at Orisson even though I myself easily can walk from Saint Jean to Roncesvalles in one go.

But, said advice is not about what I can do, and it's not about what you can do. It's about expectations of those people that read your advice!

What you are essentially doing by poh-poh'ing a stop at Orisson, is telling every out-of-form, slightly overweight person with ill-fitting boots and a heavy backpack, that they can easily make Roncesvalles the very first day.

You may be trained, and I may be trained, and those out of Le Puy or the other French Routes will be in shape by then, but there are those who arrive at Saint Jean, woefully unprepared and jetlagged. People who perhaps have not walked before and thus have no way of judging what is best for them.

I have seen far too many people arriving at Roncesvalles absolutely knackered and/or with problems with their feet or knees that would follow them all the way to Santiago - if they didn't give up before reaching their dream. You may even be promoting a few heart attacks - just try looking at all those little memorials along the ascent, people who died on that ascent. Coincidence?

Like with quite a few other things, it is best to ease into things - in stead you advocate untrained people taking the hardest of all the bloody Brierly stages in one go, the very first day.

I repeat: this is not about what you can do - or did. It's about not giving untrained couch potatoes expectations that they cannot, and should not, live up to.
 

JeanB

Explorer Jean
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#16
This will only make sense to Irish readers. A Twitter acquaintance said that staying at Orisson is like driving from Dublin to Cork and staying overnight in Naas :)
Oh no! I plan to stay there in a few weeks' time. Is it bearable?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: St-Jean-PdP - Santiago dC - Muxía - Fisterra (Aug 2017 and March/April 2018)
#17
As a reasonably fit 69 yo, I left Biarritz by train early morning, connected at Bayonne to the SJPdP train, arrived there about 9.15, did the formalities and headed off. After one of the most enjoyable and memorable days of my life I arrived in Roncesvalles in the mid afternoon.
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
#19
Oh no! I plan to stay there in a few weeks' time. Is it bearable?
It's a nice place and the food is good. And it doesn't hurt that the owners have a delightful sense of humor.

Equally important, stopping at Orisson is a nice way to ease into walking. Breaking early on the first day, giving your feet time to rest, may prevent problems that could follow you all the way to Santiago.
 

Dan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013
Chemin Le Puy 2014
Pennine Way, UK 2015
Camino Del Norte 2016
Arles Route 2018
#20
Stopping at Orisson on our first Camino was the best thing we ever did. Gave us time to get to know people whom we then met from time to time all the way to Santiago - and we had a blast when we all met up at the end. A poster above mentioned being apprehensive about the Orisson to Roncesvalles stage. Don't be. It's ok.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September - October 2016 Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port - Leon
September - October 2017 Leon to Santiago
#21
The beauty of this post (and many others) is that there is a choice on this first day. For people considering undertaking the beautiful (and uniquely personal) experience of the Camino, the daunting distance over the Pyrenees, and the comments of incline and decline may stop some. But with alternative options and choices the Camino de Santiago achievable for those who aspire to come and walk.
As for training, I train for half marathons and walk frequently, but the daily distances and experience of the Camino was something else! I had blisters (never have had these in all my running). I ached in places (every town and albergue) that I didn't know could ache, but I am not the same man who started out, and I loved the experience, the people I met, and the hospitality I was given. I will do it all again (and again) and look forward to greeting the friends I have yet to meet. "Sláinte mhaith!" - good health to all us Irish, and to everyone, not just St Patrick's day, but for every day ahead.
 

kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
#22
In my experience, stopping at Orisson is one of the best parts to the Camino. Walked the Camino in 2013, only fairly fit, I was really glad I had decided to break the Pyrenees into two stages. Walked it in 2016, starting in Le Puy, and was in fantastic shape by the time I got to SJPDP. The walk to Orisson was very easy that year and I was surprised at how quickly I arrived. But, both times, having a beer (or two) on their deck, soaking in the Pyrenees, was wonderful, and the communal meal, where everyone introduced themselves, was inspiring. I met my Camino family in Orisson both times and kept bumping into members all the way to Santiago. I wouldn't skip Orisson for the world.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#23
Jim Morrison is still safe and well somewhere amongst the headstones and crypts at Pere Lachaise. If you Google it, his is the only tombe marked on the map, but I dare you to actually find it. Light my fire, indeed.
 

JeanB

Explorer Jean
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#24
It's a nice place and the food is good. And it doesn't hurt that the owners have a delightful sense of humor.

Equally important, stopping at Orisson is a nice way to ease into walking. Breaking early on the first day, giving your feet time to rest, may prevent problems that could follow you all the way to Santiago.
Yes, that's what I thought. It is not a very long walk but will just take the edge off that trek on day 2. How is the weather at this time in the Pyrenees?
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
#25
I heard that you need to reserve Orrison in advance. Is this always the case? It seems like it would be nice to be able to decide when you get there...:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#26
Reservations are pretty much required. There are few no shows and some late cancellations but I would not depend on it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Starting April 14 at St Jean Pied de Port
#27
Great comments. I am booked for Orisson with a group on April 14. After considering options, we decided that stopping there would make a much more enjoyable Camino start. Looking forward to it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#28
This will only make sense to Irish readers. A Twitter acquaintance said that staying at Orisson is like driving from Dublin to Cork and staying overnight in Naas :)
I'm not sure it takes the 'Brains of an Archbishop' (or an Irish person) to work out the analogy having looked at a map ;);)
 
#30
I've booked orisson and I'm still worried about the following day from there to Roncesvalles.
It is another 8 km to where the path leaves the road. If needed, Orisson can order a cab to take you to this spot, then there is 10 km left to Roncesvalles. Most paths are also small roads. I did have one car pass by while up there. Make sure to take the path DOWN to the RIGHT, NOT the left path which is very rocky and steep. Remember, it is not a race, lol.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#32
The majority of pilgrims walking from Saint Jean walk all the way to Roncesvalles it seems. To the uninitiated reading this who are fit enough, it is very doable.
The first time I walked the Francais I was not even aware of an albergue at Orisson as I had no guidebook or map. It was definitely a nice place to take a break and fill the water bottles.
 

JeanB

Explorer Jean
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#33
In my experience, stopping at Orisson is one of the best parts to the Camino. Walked the Camino in 2013, only fairly fit, I was really glad I had decided to break the Pyrenees into two stages. Walked it in 2016, starting in Le Puy, and was in fantastic shape by the time I got to SJPDP. The walk to Orisson was very easy that year and I was surprised at how quickly I arrived. But, both times, having a beer (or two) on their deck, soaking in the Pyrenees, was wonderful, and the communal meal, where everyone introduced themselves, was inspiring. I met my Camino family in Orisson both times and kept bumping into members all the way to Santiago. I wouldn't skip Orisson for the world.
That sounds great. I have booked to stay there on 20th April and am now looking forward to it even more. Do you think there will be snow on the way over the hills. Feel slightly anxious about the weather as it is so cold just now.
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#34
I'm puzzled at those who are unprepared

John - my major question weeks before I set out was "how fit is fit enough?" The best advice that I was able to get from those I knew who had done the camino previously, given my training regime, was that I should be OK.

As events happened I was OK - I wasn't underprepared, but at my age and with a history of desk jobs, I was concerned - I didn't want to end my camino prematurely, so I worried...

That said, I could understand others who, despite good advice and intentions, may have been less prepared and ended up with an avoidable injury by trying too much too soon.

Like you, I have no great sympathy for anyone who does not prepare for the physical challenges involved, - these I would describe as "unprepared" which is somewhat different to the "underprepared".
 
#36
I cannot comment on driving from Dublin to Cork, but I do have some thoughts on the Orrison vs. Roncesvalles question.

One important thing to keep in mind is that not all English-speaking people have the same understanding of terms like "reasonably fit." We in the US are at a terrible deficit in terms of normal, average fitness, because we drive when people in most other countries would walk.

I would agree with those who say that Orisson to Roncesvalles is a manageable first day, but I know that many of my US friends would totally disagree. The average person in the US walks less than 5 km a day, whereas that total is much higher in most of the rest of the world. SJPP to Roncesvalles can be a killer or it can be just a hard first day, depending on your normal practices at home. This may be a good wake-up for those of us in the US. We should get out of our cars so we can walk the camino!
 

OLDER threads on this topic



A few items available from the Camino Forum Store



Pilgrims here right now

Advertisement

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 8 1.1%
  • February

    Votes: 4 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 32 4.6%
  • April

    Votes: 106 15.1%
  • May

    Votes: 172 24.6%
  • June

    Votes: 51 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 14 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 203 29.0%
  • October

    Votes: 85 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
Top