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Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Stuck in Bayonne

TanBrack

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 2023 Camino Frances
Managed to get to France from UK this morning (yesterdays flight cancelled). The last train to SJPP from Bayonne has also been cancelled 😞. There are no trains running tomorrow & a taxi costs €130. Not sure if buses are running tomorrow. Does anyone have any ideas or shoud i just pay for a taxi??
 
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In addition to the recommendation to contact Express Bourricot: It does indeed look bleak for tomorrow as the real time departure and arrival boards say that all trains from Bayonne to SJPP are cancelled. However, both sncf-connect and trainline as well as the departure/arrival boards say that replacement busses are scheduled for departure from Bayonne station to SJPP at 6:00 and 18:40 - did you check with the station?

It also looks as if there are next to no trains arriving from Paris tomorrow so the chance to find others in the same situation to share a taxi from the station are not so great. There would be a much better chance to find kindred souls at the airport.

Best of luck!
 
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Most likely there will be other pilgrims with the same problem.

So I'd probably go to the train station in the morning, hoping that there will be replacement busses. And if there's no bus, there's still the option of sharing a taxi with other pilgrims (who will also be trying to find a solution) which will keep the cost down.

Buen Camino!
 
Fwiw, I had not realised that tomorrow Tuesday 28 March is a bigger transport strike day than usual. https://itineraires.txiktxak.fr/fr/infos-trafic says that the regular urban bus lines of Biarritz and Bayonne will be served as usual but a number of bus stops will not be served between 10:00 and 14:30 because of a march/demonstration.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
The first edition came out in 2003 and has become the go-to-guide for many pilgrims over the years. It is shipping with a Pilgrim Passport (Credential) from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
Could always walk.... I'm serious, there is rather a pleasant route along the river valley. Or just head along the Coast and pick up the Norte. Or the route of the Basque Interior.
You beat me to the punch. Start the pilgrimage early!!
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Could always walk.... I'm serious, there is rather a pleasant route along the river valley. Or just head along the Coast and pick up the Norte. Or the route of the Basque Interior.
Absolutely!
Instead of walking to SJPP, just go straight to Pamplona on the Baztan. 5 walking days will get you there. I can say from experience that it's a beautiful and quiet camino.
 
An update for anyone else stuck in Bayonne today:

- A replacement bus is scheduled for departure from Bayonne to SJPP at 18:40 from just outside the Bayonne train station.

- Express Bourricot has currently two last minute offers on their website for today, and they may well arrange additional transfers:

March 28 : Biarritz airport - SJPP​
9h30 from 22€​
19h15 from 65€​
- Train traffic from Paris is severely affected but there are a few high speed trains to Bordeaux and then slow trains from there to Bayonne scheduled for today, and very few cancellations of flights are expected. IOW, there will be other pilgrims with whom one could share a taxi …

Buen Camino and let us know how it goes. Up to date feedback is always useful for future pilgrims!
 
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The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Managed to get to France from UK this morning (yesterdays flight cancelled). The last train to SJPP from Bayonne has also been cancelled 😞. There are no trains running tomorrow & a taxi costs €130. Not sure if buses are running tomorrow. Does anyone have any ideas or shoud i just pay for a taxi??
I see there is the road to SJ. You could start walking and put your thumb out? I wouldn't accept a lift in normal circumstances once on route but I think you would not only be forgiven for hitching a ride but might find interesting company?
 
So do tell, TanBrak, what did you decide to do? Not that a day in Bayonne is unpleasant, but just enquiring?
 
Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
Managed to get to France from UK this morning (yesterdays flight cancelled). The last train to SJPP from Bayonne has also been cancelled 😞. There are no trains running tomorrow & a taxi costs €130. Not sure if buses are running tomorrow. Does anyone have any ideas or shoud i just pay for a taxi??
Have you tried blablacar.com We have used this service a few times and it's wonderful. Both you and the driver are vetted. It's not quite the same as LYFT or UBER in the U.S. Our drivers have been individuals who just happened to be going somewhere that we wanted to go and it helps them pay for the gas, etc. of their drive. It's in France.
 
Absolutely!
Instead of walking to SJPP, just go straight to Pamplona on the Baztan. 5 walking days will get you there. I can say from experience that it's a beautiful and quiet camino.
Another vote for the Baztan. I'm walking it right now and it is beautiful as well as quiet.
 
I too am curious as to the solution. I thought "why not walk?" and saw that someone suggested to hitch a ride. With a backpack and strikes, I am sure you would get picked up by an interesting stranger. I have often hitched when the situation is difficult. Only met lovely helpful people this way.
 
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I too am curious as to the solution. I thought "why not walk?" and saw that someone suggested to hitch a ride. With a backpack and strikes, I am sure you would get picked up by an interesting stranger. I have often hitched when the situation is difficult. Only met lovely helpful people this way.
Not something that I would recommend to a woman traveling alone.
 
There is something here that I don't understand. If someone sets out on a long walk, for whatever reason, and has got close to their desired starting point, why not just walk from the place they are at?
I'm not suggesting we all start from home, which could be very impractical for many, just that if a failure of public transport happens, then instead of looking for an alternative, why not start from where they are at? If time is short then it's surely possible to skip a bit of the journey later, and catch up that way? I think I must be missing something obvious here. Maybe pre-booked accommodation enters into the equation, or a concern about stepping into the unknown without an appropriate guide book?
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Well, I guess that the people who have already been there and done that don’t ask on the forum what to do when they are stranded in Bayonne; they know their options.

And those who have never done anything like this before? I can understand that they want to get to SJPP and start from there as they had planned, get acquainted with the albergue system, get used to with being in France and Spain when it is their very first visit, get used to walking day in day out for the first time in their lives … that sort of thing.

Besides, even during these weeks of traffic interruptions I doubt that anyone was held up in Bayonne for more than half a day or an unplanned overnight stay. It is just a minor hurdle and no need to adopt a new plan for walking.
 
There is something here that I don't understand. If someone sets out on a long walk, for whatever reason, and has got close to their desired starting point, why not just walk from the place they are at?
I'm not suggesting we all start from home, which could be very impractical for many, just that if a failure of public transport happens, then instead of looking for an alternative, why not start from where they are at? If time is short then it's surely possible to skip a bit of the journey later, and catch up that way? I think I must be missing something obvious here. Maybe pre-booked accommodation enters into the equation, or a concern about stepping into the unknown without an appropriate guide book?
I'm still embarrassed to admit that when I first started my research I asked if the SJPDP train station was walking distance from the center of the town... Here I was, planning an 800km walk, worried about whether or not I would be able to walk from the train station to my hotel. Old habits and ways of thinking are hard to break, and at that moment it didn't occur to me just how ridiculous my question was...
 
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I'm still embarrassed to admit that when I first started my research I asked if the SJPDP train station was walking distance from the center of the town... Here I was, planning an 800km walk, worried about whether or not I would be able to walk from the train station to my hotel. Old habits and ways of thinking are hard to break, and at that moment it didn't occur to me just how ridiculous my question was...
A bit like trying to get a carpark near the entrance to the gym!
 
There is something here that I don't understand. If someone sets out on a long walk, for whatever reason, and has got close to their desired starting point, why not just walk from the place they are at?
I'm not suggesting we all start from home, which could be very impractical for many, just that if a failure of public transport happens, then instead of looking for an alternative, why not start from where they are at? If time is short then it's surely possible to skip a bit of the journey later, and catch up that way? I think I must be missing something obvious here. Maybe pre-booked accommodation enters into the equation, or a concern about stepping into the unknown without an appropriate guide book?

For someone who has never done a long distance hike, or travels on foot/alone/without pre-booking whatever, it might just be a bit too much out of their comfort zone to just improvise a walk into totally unknown territory (different to the route that has been planned to walk).

On my first Camino, the bus driver for some reason didn't want to let me out in Bayonne (as planned) and I had to get off the bus in San Sebastian. Now, of course I could have started walking the Norte from there. But all my planning had been for the Francés, I was on a low budget, and there at least I knew a little bit about it and had marked the cheapest albergues with kitchens on my list.

So I walked around San Sebastian 4:30am until I found the bus stop to Pamplona and then from there to St. Jean (again, unnecessary, could have walked from Pamplona). But it just felt right to walk from the French side of that hill, so that's what I did, and didn't regret it.

I learned how to use the spanish bus systems that first day, which was useful for all my later Caminos. I also learned that even though I felt lost in that big city of San Sebastian which I hadn't intended to visit, I could handle to find my way back to a place I at least knew on paper. I also learned that I really liked San Sebastian and returned there a few times since then.

We're all different. Nowadays I might just change plans in a minute when I'm stuck somewhere or took a wrong turn. But that first year, that was not an option, so I totally understand why walking the Baztan or from Bayonne to St. Jean is not the first idea that comes to mind for a pilgrim facing irregular train transport to his planned Camino starting point in St. Jean.
 
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The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Smiley shrug emoji
I was merely trying - for those who can’t fathom it - to help them gain insight into why people for whom all this is new and who aren’t born hitchhikers and long-distance walkers or who don‘t have already what feels like two hundred caminos under their belt, why these people don’t start to walk to Hendaye or walk the Nive valley or the Baztan trail. Maybe they have set their heart on crossing the Ibañeta pass, maybe they don’t want to miss Roncesvalles with all its history, maybe they don’t want to trudge along all by themselves from Bayonne and are instead looking forward to meeting kindred souls in SJPP for whom all this is new too and they, together, find encouragement and build confidence during their very first Camino days.

Besides, and maybe this got perhaps lost among all the other advice and reminiscences, even on a major strike day like yesterday, there were two replacement buses at different times of the day for Bayonne to SJPP and today there will be three trains (instead of the regular five trains daily), and the first train is already about to arrive in Saint Jean at 7:46 this morning.
 
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5 years ago I was in France during a train strike. There were replacement buses available. So I would check with the train station.
 
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Managed to get to France from UK this morning (yesterdays flight cancelled). The last train to SJPP from Bayonne has also been cancelled 😞. There are no trains running tomorrow & a taxi costs €130. Not sure if buses are running tomorrow. Does anyone have any ideas or shoud i just pay for a taxi??
Two of us are on the plane from CDG at the moment and due in at 10.40. We are happy to share a ride if there are no buses going to SJPP
 
Fwiw, I’ve now read a few times on the forum that Express Bourricot does not organise transfers after 6 pm. However, I’ve seen Last Minute trips announced on their website that departed later from Biarritz or Bayonne, see quote below. It’s definitely worth checking with them, train strike or no train strike:

April 2 : Biarritz airport - SJPP​
13h30 from 65€​
20h30 from 19€​
 
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Not

Not sure it was that much safer in 80s but agree hitching is dodgy for men too!!

Good point.Might have been my youthful innocence.
Only some years later here in Belgium we had the most awful abductions by a serial killer / predator and by then perception about hitching completely changed.
Some even call it the pre and post era of D. ( the man does not deserve his name being spoken out ).

Ok, back on track now... ;)
 
Good point.Might have been my youthful innocence.
Only some years later here in Belgium we had the most awful abductions by a serial killer / predator and by then perception about hitching completely changed.
Some even call it the pre and post era of D. ( the man does not deserve his name being spoken out ).

Ok, back on track now... ;)
yes agreed! Ignorance was bliss in those days!
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Perhaps of interest for those who travel soon to SJPP: The strike continues but it is not an all-out strike. SNCF advises travellers to check after 5 pm each day which trains or replacement busses are scheduled to run the next day. Today for example, on average, 4 out of 5 high-speed trains (TGV) will run and 3 out of 4 TER trains; TER trains go from Bayonne to SJPP.

After yesterday, 28 March, the unions have called for a similar action day on Thursday, 6 April, but it remains to be seen how many SNCF employees and others will participate in the end and how this will affect your own train journey(s).
 
One assumes the OP managed a plan.

The Baztan and the Nive are nice choices. My first thought was get a bus to Saint Palais and walk south on the camino to SJPDP from there.

Yes, they're nice choices. But you have walked several caminos already, in France and Spain, looking at your "past or future caminos". Also the european peace walk. So you're a very experienced hiker and you judge differently than someone who is on their first Camino maybe.

"Let's walk a walk I've never heard of before the first moment something is not going 100% to plan" is usually not the first thought for a first time walker.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I was merely trying - for those who can’t fathom it - to help them gain insight into why people for whom all this is new and who aren’t born hitchhikers and long-distance walkers or who don‘t have already what feels like two hundred caminos under their belt, why these people don’t start to walk to Hendaye or walk the Nive valley or the Baztan trail. Maybe they have set their heart on crossing the Ibañeta pass, maybe they don’t want to miss Roncesvalles with all its history, maybe they don’t want to trudge along all by themselves from Bayonne and are instead looking forward to meeting kindred souls in SJPP for whom all this is new too and they, together, find encouragement and build confidence during their very first Camino days.

Besides, and maybe this got perhaps lost among all the other advice and reminiscences, even on a major strike day like yesterday, there were two replacement buses at different times of the day for Bayonne to SJPP and today there will be three trains (instead of the regular five trains daily), and the first train is already about to arrive in Saint Jean at 7:46 this morning.
Well, I'm sure you have a good point or even many. It's just that I've been traveling since long before the internet, or if it comes to that, mobile phones. So it comes naturally to me to sort stuff out by myself. Currently sorting out a route from Shropshire to somewhere on the avenue verte to Paris. Then Tours route to home as part one of a two part cycling Camino. Main problem will be bike friendly accommodation in London that doesn't require a new mortgage. Looks like I might have to bypass the London bit and join around Brighton. And no, I won't be going via SJPP.
 
Hello All
I submitted a post last week re our dilemma being caught out by the national strike in France. Our train that we had booked from Paris to Saint Jean Pied de Port was cancelled. BlaBlaCars came to the rescue and linked us with a driver who drove us to Bayonne. The price was reasonable. We were able to get a refund for our train ticket as well. These drivers are just individuals that are travelling in the same or similar direction and are able to help out. Hope this information is useful.
Buon Camino
Ray and Glenys
 
It's just that I've been traveling since long before the internet, or if it comes to that, mobile phones.
Now that you mentioned it: so have I.

For fear of losing the youthful image that I no doubt project :cool:, I don’t dare to say how long ago it was that I organised a first crossing of the Alps on foot for myself and two friends. It was definitely before mobile phones and the internet. You wrote to tourist offices to get brochures, bought paper based maps, did not know in advance where you would stay the following night and asked around when you arrived in a village in the valley or went to the tourism office who helped to find beds. Funnily enough, it never felt in any way liberating - not what today‘s peregrin@s describe as their feelings. It was just the way it was. I’ve embraced new technologies from the start and today I enjoy making use of them. For me, it is just the way it is and when I can use these tools to help others, I am happy to do so.
 
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It's just that I've been traveling since long before the internet, or if it comes to that, mobile phones.
And it is that experience from years of travel (whether before or after the internet) that gives you confidence. Younger or less frequent travelers may not have it yet, or it is exhibited differently.
 
"Let's walk a walk I've never heard of before the first moment something is not going 100% to plan" is usually not the first thought for a first time walker.
Yet … it’s exactly what I did… from Bayonne.
It’s not right for everyone, but when I was in Bayonne and it was proposed to me — I took the bait!
Those 5 days to Pamplona are some of my favorite days in Camino memory. I spent a lot of time furiously googling because there was less information available and I was not yet aware of Gronze, but it was the most wonderful walk and I have less-than-zero regrets. The cathedral and downtown area are a lovely place to gain your bearings and once you begin the walk up river, literally all of your worries drift away.
 
I was merely trying - for those who can’t fathom it - to help them gain insight into why people for whom all this is new and who aren’t born hitchhikers and long-distance walkers or who don‘t have already what feels like two hundred caminos under their belt, why these people don’t start to walk to Hendaye or walk the Nive valley or the Baztan trail. Maybe they have set their heart on crossing the Ibañeta pass, maybe they don’t want to miss Roncesvalles with all its history, maybe they don’t want to trudge along all by themselves from Bayonne and are instead looking forward to meeting kindred souls in SJPP for whom all this is new too and they, together, find encouragement and build confidence during their very first Camino days.

Besides, and maybe this got perhaps lost among all the other advice and reminiscences, even on a major strike day like yesterday, there were two replacement buses at different times of the day for Bayonne to SJPP and today there will be three trains (instead of the regular five trains daily), and the first train is already about to arrive in Saint Jean at 7:46 this morning.
Damn good response. Compulsory reading fr all pilgrims; past and present.
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
Why the black and white thinking? For goodness sake, everyone is right!
Sometimes we humans are too quick to pick a side and argue a case, but it's not necessary here.

There are various kinds of people.
Those who are well travelled, and those who are not.
Those who are comfortable with the new and uncertain, and those who are not.

Travelled /Comfortabe?
Untravelled/Comfortable?
These two groups can strike out into the unknown once they know their options, offerred here. The Baztan and the VdN are pretty tame, as far as adventure is concerned, but you have to know about them.

Travelled /Unomfortabe?
Untravelled/Unomfortable?
These folks can find their way up to SJPP once they know their options, offerred here. Bus, Express Bourricot...they can relax a bit, knowing these are available.

And the OP can decide where she fits and go from there.
 
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I figure if someone has already made their way from elsewhere to Bayonne, they can surely manage to make a personal choice, when given a number of options and suggestions. More options may give them an idea that had not previously occurred to them. I won’t feel the need to withhold a suggestion, based on an assumption they might be uncomfortable or incapable of choosing something that some may find hard. They are free to ignore any of the suggestions that are offered.

[ I may be an extremely experienced world traveler now, but I started with a single trip by myself to somewhere new.]
 
Hello All
I submitted a post last week re our dilemma being caught out by the national strike in France. Our train that we had booked from Paris to Saint Jean Pied de Port was cancelled. BlaBlaCars came to the rescue and linked us with a driver who drove us to Bayonne. The price was reasonable. We were able to get a refund for our train ticket as well. These drivers are just individuals that are travelling in the same or similar direction and are able to help out. Hope this information is useful.
Buon Camino
Ray and Glenys
Very cool, may I ask how you got in contact with BlaBlaCars? I might put that one in my back pocket
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Hello ilbestro12
BlaBlaCars have a site on the internet that you can join. Drivers that are registered and have listed their availability will post where they are travelling from and the destination they are heading to. Some will require you to find your way to where they are based. In our case the driver picked us up from our hotel which was very convenient. Hope this helps.
Ray
 
Another update, Sunday 2 April:

On Thursday 30 March, 160 pilgrims arrived at the Pilgrim Office in SJPP, and 245 pilgrims on Friday.

Trains are running according to schedule again.

On Maundy Thursday 6 April, disruption of the regular train schedule is possible as the railway unions have called for a day of action but it is uncertain to what extent members will follow.

Express Bourricot do pick up after 6 pm. Last minute offers for 4 April include pick up times at Biarritz airport at 18:15 and 19:15.

Bon voyage and Buen Camino!
 
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It's all fine - improvise and walk a different route than planned, or stick to the plan and use alternative transport to get to the desired starting point.

It's always good to have several options.

What I felt was the problem here was not that alternative options (walk to St. Jean, walk the Baztan...) were pointed out, but that the tone in some responses was a little condescending, like, why even look for transport, just walk, dummy 🙄 (even though of course much nicer words were used and it was more between the lines).

But maybe that's only my impression as someone whose native language is not english.
 
It's all fine - improvise and walk a different route than planned, or stick to the plan and use alternative transport to get to the desired starting point.

It's always good to have several options.

What I felt was the problem here was not that alternative options (walk to St. Jean, walk the Baztan...) were pointed out, but that the tone in some responses was a little condescending, like, why even look for transport, just walk, dummy 🙄 (even though of course much nicer words were used and it was more between the lines).

But maybe that's only my impression as someone whose native language is not english.
I think it's just your impression. At least I hope so, because on the whole this is a helpful site. I sometimes wonder what we did when less information was available. I know I often had to go by bike to the library.
 
....
It's always good to have several options.

What I felt was the problem here was not that alternative options (walk to St. Jean, walk the Baztan...) were pointed out, but that the tone in some responses was a little condescending, like, why even look for transport, just walk, dummy 🙄 (even though of course much nicer words were used and it was more between the lines).

But maybe that's only my impression as someone whose native language is not english.
Perhaps the native language of some of the posters was also not English.
À chacun ses goûts/To each his own !
 
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I once travelled by train across Europe from what used to be Yugoslavia, via Munich, Heidelberg and on to Paris without a ticket because a train guard put me into the wrong compartment. The part of the train I found myself on was on its way to Denmark; the part for which I had a ticket went through Switzerland to Paris.
I really enjoyed the Beer Festival!! 😄

It was the first time I’d ever left the UK.
When ‘things fall apart’ you just get on with sorting it out … as, I suspect, most of us do.
The only German I can speak is: Können sie mir helfen bitte? … (hope that’s spelt correctly) … which is good as far as it goes … replies can be another matter … and mime is an international language 😉

I think what I’m trying to say is that life is good when there are adventures to be had!!
 
God yes! I am 77 and really didn't start traveling much until the mid 1970's; Rick Steves guidebooks, paper maps from Michelin, no Internet and no blogs was the way of the World. An OAG book was necessary to lug around if your flight was canceled or disrupted. Trying to get your hands on some of those handy little stickers to change a flight itinerary was illegal, I am sure, but it was done by many people I knew.
After several Caminos the concept of changing course due to a work stoppage, nasty weather, a forest fire has become second nature to me. C'est la vie.
 
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Just been notified by SNCF that the train from Bayonne to SJPDP on Wednesday at 12.35 has been cancelled. The first part of the journey, from Bordeaux to Bayonne seems to still be fine.

In true French style no further information is given - does anyone with any specific experience of SNCF in recent days know if this means they are definitely not running a replacement bus service, or is it just a case of turning up in Bayonne and seeing what's on offer?

Not looking for advice on alternative walking routes as I need to be in SJPDP that day
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
notified by SNCF that the train from Bayonne to SJPDP on Wednesday at 12.35 has been cancelled
@KennyH, the standard advice given by SNCF is to go to www.sncf-connect.com after 5pm to check which trains or replacement buses are scheduled for the following day. If you see a train icon followed by a code/number, there will be a train and if you see a bus icon followed by one or two codes/numbers there will be a replacement bus.

At the time of writing (Monday evening) the outlook for a train journey or a journey on a SNCF replacement bus from Bayonne to SJPP on Wednesday is not good. Check again tomorrow, Tuesday, after 5 pm.

1680540422224.jpeg
 
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@KennyH, it looks bleak for Wednesday 5 April. The standard advice given by SNCF is to go to www.sncf-connect.com after 5pm to check which trains or replacement buses are scheduled for the following day. If you see a train icon followed by a code/number, there will be a train and if you see a bus icon followed by one or two codes/numbers there will be a replacement bus.

At the time of writing (Monday evening) the outlook for Wendesday is not good. Check again tomorrow, Tuesday, after 5 pm.

View attachment 144178

Many thanks - I did try to look on SNCF but didn't find that page. Really helpful, though as you say, travel wise it does indeed look pretty bleak!! : )

Hopefully I can at least get from Scotland to Bordeaux to Bayonne - then if worst case, I'll stump up for a cab just to get to SJPD at a decent time
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Hopefully I can at least get from Scotland to Bordeaux to Bayonne - then if worst case, I'll stump up for a cab just to get to SJPD at a decent time
Bordeaux to Bayonne looks fine for 5 April (see below for departures during the morning). As already suggested, check with Express Bourricot. They pick up from Biarritz airport, Biarritz train station, and Bayonne train station - price is the same and quite affordable when there are several passengers.

1680541826434.jpeg
 
I'm booked on the 10.19 train and that ticket still seems valid. Will wait until I'm in France, in case there are flight cancellations, which might be the next obstacle if French Air Traffic Control walk out, and will contact Express Bourricot once over there to see if there are options.

Nice that the walking part will be the easiest and least hassle free part of the next six weeks!! : )
 
But I can understand that for someone who's not really comfortable travelling abroad, that might be scary - the thought of being stuck in a foreign country without being able to withdraw money when you need it might make some people panic.

There are many ways of getting hold of money in Europe, as long as you have it - or know someone who has it 😉 - in your/their local bank.

[ On that ticketless pan-european train ride I had no money, no debit or credit card - they didn’t exist -and Brits were only allowed to take a paltry sum out of the country anyway. Six weeks in Crete had used up my ‘allowance’ and so I couldn’t have had any ‘telegraphed‘ to me.
My angel was definitely looking out for me … but the angels help those who help themselves 😉 ]

And - why don’t you start that thread? 🙂
 
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Another update, Sunday 2 April:

On Thursday 30 March, 160 pilgrims arrived at the Pilgrim Office in SJPP, and 245 pilgrims on Friday.

Looking at the "Calendar - Check in Here!" thread on this site, there are around 4 pilgrims departing SJPP on May 16. I'm not suggesting there will be that few people departing, as it's a safe assumption that the numbers will be larger than the March numbers. But it's interesting how few have listed themselves on the calendar.

Once I found this forum I stopped looking for other camino forums, but clearly either most people don't use a forum, or they use a different one, or simply chose not to list themselves as departing on May 16. Hope it wasn't anything I said... :)
 
Looking at the "Calendar - Check in Here!" thread on this site, there are around 4 pilgrims departing SJPP on May 16. I'm not suggesting there will be that few people departing, as it's a safe assumption that the numbers will be larger than the March numbers.
A pretty safe assumption! We haven't reached Easter yet and already the SJPDP office has recorded 245 pilgrims on a single day. The signs so far suggest that numbers this year may be more than 2022 even though that was officially a Holy Year.

 
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Looking at the "Calendar - Check in Here!" thread on this site, there are around 4 pilgrims departing SJPP on May 16. I'm not suggesting there will be that few people departing, as it's a safe assumption that the numbers will be larger than the March numbers. But it's interesting how few have listed themselves on the calendar.
I'm surprised that there are 296 on the list for April and only 175 for May.
 
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Once I found this forum I stopped looking for other camino forums, but clearly either most people don't use a forum, or they use a different one, or simply chose not to list themselves as departing on May 16. Hope it wasn't anything I said...
I had walked my first camino before finding this forum and I’ve never felt the need to list my departure dates on subsequent caminos. I suppose the calendar is a useful tool for those who need some reassurance that they won’t be alone out there. And this is an English language forum, so the vast majority of pilgrims won’t ever look here.
 
A pretty safe assumption! We haven't reached Easter yet and already the SJPDP office has recorded 245 pilgrims on a single day. The signs so far suggest that numbers this year may be more than 2022 even though that was officially a Holy Year.
Although last year's numbers arriving in Santiago broke records the numbers starting from SJPdP were still down to around 2014 levels as I detailed in this post.

I read @henrythedog's FindPenguins blog today, and he mentioned meeting up with @ivar and @natefaith when he arrived in Santiago. The consensus was that the record numbers of pilgrims receiving a Compostela last year was mostly due to those starting close to Santiago. This is borne out by statistics from León mentioned in this thread by @Bradypus and statistics from the Pilgrim's Office in St Jean.

Pilgrim numbers starting from SJPdP were down 13.38% compared to 2019, and lower than any non pandemic year since 2013.

There have also been several recent threads about the decrease in pilgrim numbers on the Meseta.



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Another update, Sunday 2 April: On Thursday 30 March, 160 pilgrims arrived at the Pilgrim Office in SJPP, and 245 pilgrims on Friday.
Looking at the "Calendar - Check in Here!" thread on this site, there are around 4 pilgrims departing SJPP on May 16
Fwiw, I posted these numbers in this “Stuck in Bayonne” thread mainly for one reason: to illustrate that pilgrims managed to arrive in SJPP in significant numbers despite the fact that numerous trains were cancelled due to the railway strike …. as an encouragement for others who also found themselves “stuck” upon arrival in Bayonne.
 
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I am bit surprised to see that - according to current information on https://www.sncf-connect.com - there will be no trains or replacement busses for the line Bayonne to SJPP on 5 April while the trains between Bordeaux and Bayonne are running on that day.

My only explanation, but this is pure speculation on my part: the Fête du Jambon, the Ham Festival, starts on the following day in Bayonne and perhaps the French Railways use all their available staff to allow as many people as possible to travel to Bayonne …. perhaps something to visit while you are stuck in Bayonne? 😊
 
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I am bit surprised to see that - according to current information on https://www.sncf-connect.com - there will be no trains or replacement busses for the line Bayonne to SJPP on 5 April while the trains between Bordeaux and Bayonne are running on that day.

My only explanation, but this is pure speculation on my part: the Fête du Jambon, the Ham Festival, starts on the following day in Bayonne and perhaps the French Railways use all their available staff to allow as many people as possible to travel to Bayonne …. perhaps something to visit while you are stuck in Bayonne? 😊

Thanks - I am partial to a bit of jambon!!

But all seems good with Bordeaux to Bayonne train - and with 5 hours to go, Ryanair haven't cancelled Edinburgh to Bordeaux. So tentatively, it could be worse - though I generally only believe Ryanair are flying once I actually land at the destination!! ; )

I did have a chat with my Travel insurance company - so looks like if I can show there is no available means of transport based on a cancellation by a transport operator, I can claim back reasonable travel costs to get me to my final destination.

So, if no bus, I'll likely take a cab and can have a quick look around the train station and see if I can assist any lost souls who are stranded in Bayonne (obviously after sampling some of the local ham!!).

Leaving home in an hour, so wish me luck, and hopefully Buen Camino!!
 
I'm surprised that there are 296 on the list for April and only 175 for May.
I'm not, for those people who bother to read the published statistics rather than making guesses based on their "expertise" then they will see that there is an ongoing trend to start earlier in the year.

It is possible that previous years posts highlighting the huge wave in May and September from SJPdP may have influenced people to start earlier.

How this year actually turns out is beyond everyone's expertise. Lets wait and see rather than using chatter and guesses and let's not frighten the horses and pilgrims in the process.
 
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Leaving home in an hour, so wish me luck, and hopefully Buen Camino!!
Fingers crossed.
Smooth journey snd buen camino, Kenny!
can have a quick look around the train station and see if I can assist any lost souls who are stranded in Bayonne (obviously after sampling some of the local ham!!).
Three or four people in a cab will be a whole lot cheaper than getting taxis one by one.
 
Thanks - I am partial to a bit of jambon!!

But all seems good with Bordeaux to Bayonne train - and with 5 hours to go, Ryanair haven't cancelled Edinburgh to Bordeaux. So tentatively, it could be worse - though I generally only believe Ryanair are flying once I actually land at the destination!! ; )

I did have a chat with my Travel insurance company - so looks like if I can show there is no available means of transport based on a cancellation by a transport operator, I can claim back reasonable travel costs to get me to my final destination.

So, if no bus, I'll likely take a cab and can have a quick look around the train station and see if I can assist any lost souls who are stranded in Bayonne (obviously after sampling some of the local ham!!).

Leaving home in an hour, so wish me luck, and hopefully Buen Camino!!
[Edited to add - I started a thread for you and others…] I suggest you post a new thread on this specifically, also on any FB groups you are on. There is someone in one of my private groups in the same pickle (same train as you) so there will be many more (I sent her a screenshot and suggested same)
 
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I'm not, for those people who bother to read the published statistics rather than making guesses based on their "expertise" then they will see that there is an ongoing trend to start earlier in the year.

It is possible that previous years posts highlighting the huge wave in May and September from SJPdP may have influenced people to start earlier.

How this year actually turns out is beyond everyone's expertise. Lets wait and see rather than using chatter and guesses and let's not frighten the horses and pilgrims in the process.
You are right of course. We won't know until the "season" is over. I also noticed. that less than half of those signed up for May indicated that they will walk the Francés. Of course those who are on the forum and post their starting dates/places are only a small portion of the total pilgrim community.
 
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the standard advice given by SNCF is to go to www.sncf-connect.com after 5pm to check which trains or replacement buses are scheduled for the following day
It is after 5 pm in France and there have been some updates and improvements for tomorrow Wednesday 5 April: there will be a replacement bus leaving Bayonne for SJPP at 6:00 and another one at 12:35.

1680623618101.jpeg
 
I did have a chat with my Travel insurance company
@KennyH, I hope you had a good flight and a good night’s rest in Bordeaux. Your info about reimbursement of expenses when there is no suitable public transport due to a strike is interesting. We should add it to our forum portfolio of advice for pilgrims stranded in Bayonne. :cool:

I know that you are sorted but just for the sake of completeness: in the end, three departures of replacement buses are scheduled for today. The early morning bus has already arrived in SJPP and there are two more departing in Bayonne at 12:35 and 18:40 today - info on trainline and sncf-connect (itinerary tab, not prices tab!).

Here is today’s real time arrival board in SJPP - “car TER” means bus.

1680676878553.jpeg
 
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A quick note to thank everyone for the advice and support.

As Mentioned above by Katherina, replacement buses were running today. SNCF staff in Bordeaux didn’t know this, so don’t be put off if you hear otherwise - staff at Bayonne were very patient in loading on about 50 pilgrims at 12.35 today (5th April).

Weather is really nice - sunny, warm and with a nice breeze!!
 
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Thank you for your feedback, @KennyH, much appreciated!

For those who feel stuck in Bayonne on 6 April with major announcement about strike action today: There will be a replacement bus leaving Bayonne for SJPP at 18:40 (check trainline and sncf-connect) and sncf-connect also lists the regular bus connection Bayonne to Saint Palais to SJPP, a journey of about 3 hours, regional bus lines 10 and 11, leaving Bayonne around 13:00.
 

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