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To Orisson or not to Orisson...

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Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
...that is the question.

Planning such a journey gives way to many questions. Excited to start the walk April 5th 2020 and wondering if stopping at Orisson for the first night is something I should consider. Not so much for the rest but the experience. If I do stay there I would potentially not want to stop walking for another night at Roncesvalles...and would this be a « miss ».

Your thoughts and experiences are invaluable. I know this is a subjective question but was wondering. Thank you :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Santiago (Sep/Oct 2018)
There is no wrong answer. If you're planning to do the full Camino (to SdC) you will have more than enough experiences for a lifetime. Orisson, especially on a clear day is beautiful. You're basically making the choice between having Day 1 be the hardest day of your trip, or the easiest. If you do plan to stop, 1) Make sure you have a reservation and 2) Consider getting a later start as it won't take that long to get there. There's still a lot of Camino left to get to Roncesvalles, I would consider stopping there as well.

Buen Camino!
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
I'm a fan of stopping at Orisson. I liked easing into those first two days of the camino, taking my time on the first day, knowing it was a short day and I could take it slowly and really savour the start of my journey. I made wonderful friendships that first night and was happy to walk to Roncesvalles the next morning feeling rested. I think those 2 days really defined the rest of the camino for me in a wonderful way.

That being said, you will be starting right on the edge of when the Napoleon route will open. It may still be closed due to snow. You should check with the Pilgrim's Office in St. Jean when you arrive to confirm which route to take to Roncesvalles on that day. If you do decide to stay at Orisson it's best to contact them to reserve but also to confirm their opening day. Their email is refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr
 
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jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (1994)
Camino Francés (2013 - 2018)
Camino Portugués (2015 - 2018)
...that is the question.

Planning such a journey gives way to many questions. Excited to start the walk April 5th 2020 and wondering if stopping at Orisson for the first night is something I should consider. Not so much for the rest but the experience. If I do stay there I would potentially not want to stop walking for another night at Roncesvalles...and would this be a « miss ».

Your thoughts and experiences are invaluable. I know this is a subjective question but was wondering. Thank you :)
To Orisson (leave SJPdP in the afternoon)
Book in advance
Buen Camino
 

Mary Doll

Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sarria to Santiago (2018)
Camino Francés SJPDP to Finisterre planned for June 2020
I’m planning my Camino for June 2020. Initially I was thinking I would go all the way to Roncevalles on the first day but my current thinking is that I will stay at Orisson. I will have given up my full time job by then so for the first time in my life I won’t have any time constraints so why put myself under pressure on the first day. I’m now envisioning a late breakfast in St Jean followed by a leisurely stroll up to Orisson with plenty of time to take in the scenery. I’m also planning to book Roncesvalles and then just take each day as it comes and trust that I’ll always find a bed.
 

Gingerseed

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances July-Aug 2011
Camino Portugues Oct 2012
I stayed in Orisson as my calves,feet and neck were throbbing from the uphill climb with an oversized heavy pack.
I really enjoyed the communal dinner and getting to know some pilgrims a little. They get you to stand up and introduce yourself. As tacky as that is sometimes it was wonderful in this setting. Very touching to hear the reasons behind why people were taking this journey. Don’t rush, enjoy the view it’s really breathtaking from this Albuerge.
 

edandjoan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St. Gallen to Muxia
2012-2018
We've crossed twice and only stopped for café (espresso). We found the walk to be enjoyable, of course we had some favorable weather both times.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I’m now envisioning a late breakfast in St Jean followed by a leisurely stroll up to Orisson with plenty of time to take in the scenery. I’m also planning to book Roncesvalles and then just take each day as it comes and trust that I’ll always find a bed.
Sounds like a great plan.
 

AlexanderAZ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 (Sept/Oct): CF: SJPdP-->Fisterra-->Muxia (solo)
2019 (late Sept): CF: SJPdP-->Leon (honeymoon!)
I follow the wisdom of "Start the Camino like an old person, finish like a young person...Start the Camino like a young person, finish like an old person." I consider myself to be in superior shape and I still stop at Orisson.
Besides, I don't like passing up the opportunity to spend an evening in the Pyrenees. 😉
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
I follow the wisdom of "Start the Camino like an old person, finish like a young person...Start the Camino like a young person, finish like an old person." I consider myself to be in superior shape and I still stop at Orisson.
Besides, I don't like passing up the opportunity to spend an evening in the Pyrenees. 😉
Beautiful wise quite indeed!! Thank you
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
...that is the question.

Planning such a journey gives way to many questions. Excited to start the walk April 5th 2020 and wondering if stopping at Orisson for the first night is something I should consider. Not so much for the rest but the experience. If I do stay there I would potentially not want to stop walking for another night at Roncesvalles...and would this be a « miss ».

Your thoughts and experiences are invaluable. I know this is a subjective question but was wondering. Thank you :)
Personally, I have not had a desire to stay in Orisson. I stop for a 30 to 45 minute rest break and a bocadilla on the way to Roncesvalles, but that's the extent of my wanting to stop there.

I enjoy the camino walk, and I would be bored by such a short walking day from spending the night at Orisson.. The solution to start late in the day from SJPdP and stop in Orisson simply means that I spent the day being bored in SJPdP while waiting to start walking :).

Also, I look forward to getting to know some of my fellow pilgrims at the end of the first day on Camino in Roncesvalles, so I don't feel that I am missing out on the social aspect at Orisson which others enjoy.

That's my singular viewpoint. There are others who very much enjoy stopping at Orisson that first day out of SJPdP. The large majority of folks who leave from SJPdP will walk to Roncesvalles that first day, so if you decide to do so, you will have fellow pilgrims following with you :)
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
Thanks « davebugg » for your thoughts. Mine are very similar and for the same reasons. I am already spending 2 nights in SJPdP as I arrive late afternoon or early evening in the Friday. With jet lag and ground travel my Saturday in SJPdP will allow me to appreciate this village. My feet will be itching by Sunday.

Thanks to this community for always so generously taking the time to share your love and experience with the new peregrinos like myself who are planning their first one.

Grateful! 🙏
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Thanks « davebugg » for your thoughts. Mine are very similar and for the same reasons. I am already spending 2 nights in SJPdP as I arrive late afternoon or early evening in the Friday. With jet lag and ground travel my Saturday in SJPdP will allow me to appreciate this village. My feet will be itching by Sunday.

Thanks to this community for always so generously taking the time to share your love and experience with the new peregrinos like myself who are planning their first one.

Grateful! 🙏
Given your scenario I would much rather do a short walk to Orisson and spend a pleasant afternoon on their terrace after spending the morning in St Jean than to spend two nights in St Jean.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
I always stop at Orson. I have seen more pilgrims and their Camino at Roncesvalles from injury. Take those first two days easy. Stop at orison and either take a shuttle back to St. John At four and then shuttle back up for day two or if you can get a reservation at Oregon sleep there for the nightI always stop at Orson. I have seen more pilgrims end their Camino at Roncesvalles from injury. Take those first two days easy. Stop at orison and either take a shuttle back to SJPP and then shuttle back up next day, or if you can get a reservation at Orisson, sleep there for the night and continue on next day. In April, there is also the possibility of snow which means you would take the lower route. I would still break this into two days
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Given your scenario I would much rather do a short walk to Orisson and spend a pleasant afternoon on their terrace after spending the morning in St Jean than to spend two nights in St Jean.
I can agree with that. The walk to Orisson is rather short. If I needed two days for jet lag recovery, that could be a good second night option. I enjoy spending a full afternoon and evening in SJPdP, but after that I've seen all I need to, and it's time to for me to move on.

I do love the little bakery/macaroon cookie shop, though. I end up making several visits within a short time before it closes for the evening. :)

Typically, I schedule a flight from Seattle to arrive in CDG or Ory by early morning and then catch a hop to arrive in Biarritz by early afternoon to catch Express Bouricott into SJPdP. Then I have most of the afternoon to get settled into lodging, arrange my backpack for departure by 0730 the next morning, relax, eat, sightsee, etc. . .

The next morning I head to Roncesvalles, with my long rest stop at Orisson. if I were to need an extra day for jet lag, I would leave SJPdP in the late morning and then walk to Orisson and spend the night.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
...that is the question.

Planning such a journey gives way to many questions. Excited to start the walk April 5th 2020 and wondering if stopping at Orisson for the first night is something I should consider. Not so much for the rest but the experience. If I do stay there I would potentially not want to stop walking for another night at Roncesvalles...and would this be a « miss ». Your thoughts and experiences are invaluable. I know this is a subjective question but was wondering. Thank you :)
In my May 2017 Camino I had planed to walk via Orisson, I had even paid for the bed and evening meal. Unfortunately the weather turn adverse (sleet/rain & 80km winds; temps of 8C or Minus 1 with the wind chill) and the Valcarlos option was taken. The Napoleon Route is closed (in Spain) until 31 March so planning to walked via Orisson in early April does have an element of risk. Its your choice.
I have a sketchy plan to return to St Jean in late May/June and just walk via Orisson to Roncesvalles.
 

andywild

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
april '2018'
Start early... Stop for cocktails/tequila at orisson.. after meeting all the occupants for a good old chinwag simply carry on over the hillock to Roncesvalles... There you can partake in several more drinks and if you're lucky there may be some pork scratchings..
(I stayed at orisson... I'm ridiculously unfit and it saved my life.... Either option will be perfect, just start early... My mistake was leaving sjpdp at 10ish.. after 30years of neglecting my body)
 

TammyLynn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
13/9/13 to 1/10/13 Pamplona to Leon

5/6/2014-9/7/2014
SJPP to Santiago
...that is the question.

Planning such a journey gives way to many questions. Excited to start the walk April 5th 2020 and wondering if stopping at Orisson for the first night is something I should consider. Not so much for the rest but the experience. If I do stay there I would potentially not want to stop walking for another night at Roncesvalles...and would this be a « miss ».

Your thoughts and experiences are invaluable. I know this is a subjective question but was wondering. Thank you :)
Yes. You’ll be glad you did. Buen Camino!
 

Nezabudka

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Burgos (Oct 2018)
Agree with the opinion, that two nights in SJPP might be too many.
I arrived into town around 11.30am, in a couple of hours I walked it through and was starting to get bored, though its a beatiful town of course, and walked to Orisson. Next day was an easy stroll to Roncevalles.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
I could also stay in Bayonne the first night and SJPdP the Saturday and leave the planned Sunday. French is my first language and I do live everything about France.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
4 reasons NOT to spend a night at Orisson.

1. You are time constrained. You’ve planned your trip itinerary to the day and you have no buffer, no zero days, no recovery days etc…

2. You are budget constrained. The 10 or 20 extra Euros you will spend here means you will miss a meal or two during the remaining 33+/- days of your trip.

3. You don’t care for socializing, meeting new people and then dinning with them in one large room of 30+ people (10 people per long table, not round). I’m a social introvert and would prefer a table for 2 or 4 people any day over a table for 6, 8 or 10 but it was not an option at Orisson and I knew that going in. My social discomfort dissipated as the meal and vino tinto progressed.

4. You can’t get a reservation. I’m sure 99% of the people who try to get a reservation fail, due to waiting until the last minute months to make it. Your first email or phone call, 3 months before your desired date is not too early to start trying. It may take a few attempts to get a response so don’t give up. Most of the people who know of this place ahead of time and desire to stay here are very motivated…for good reason. I’ve heard the overflow bunk room is not as nice as the main building so reserve early.

There are many good practical reasons to stop at Orisson for a night but even if there were none, I would still stay there again for the reasons below.

Presume for a moment that you come from a very large family of brothers and sisters. Everyone loves and respects each other. Everyone has fun together, laughs together and wants to spend as much time together as possible. There is a special bond and history with each other that is unique to this family.

You will grow a Camino Family on your trip. Only a select few will fit the description above where you are like brothers and sisters. You will also have a few that are like cousins who live in the next town. And then even more like cousins that live 500 miles away that you rarely see.

By the end of the night at Orisson there is a good chance you will have formed the foundation of those brother/sister relationships with a number of people as well as many near and far cousin relationships. As you interact with these people along the remainder of your 495 mile journey the bonds grow progressively tighter. There is great joy bumping into them unexpectedly during your travels and a select few you will be seeing regularly with or without a plan to do so. It was really special that it worked out where I walked into Santiago with a “brother & sister” from my table of 10 that first night at Orisson. I did meet and form some other “brother/sister” relationships on the Camino and of course a bunch of friends and acquaintances but Orisson had the special sauce. It was a petri dish perfect for growing tight relationships. The food, the wine the atmosphere the orchestration of it all plus the first night excitement, energy and attitudes of the pilgrims made for a unique environment that was not duplicated during the next 495 miles.

I experienced dozens of additional group meals with wonderful people and made many friendships as will you on your Camino. Each of those meals was unique, special and no better or worse than Orisson but just different. If you can figure out a way to stay at Orisson, I’m certain you will not be disappointed. And if you need to burn a few more calories after arriving, leave your pack at Orisson, stroll back down to San Jean Pied de Port…have a few macaroons, then skip back up the hill for the dinner party that awaits you.
 
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Lindsay53

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April / May 19
Personally I feel that it is far too early in the day to stop at Orrison (unless you like hanging around in SJPDP all morning before starting) and the walk over the hills to Roncesvalles is a good first day. The huge albergue there is a 'deep end' introduction to the camino experience and not to be missed.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
Personally I feel that it is far too early in the day to stop at Orrison (unless you like hanging around in SJPDP all morning before starting) and the walk over the hills to Roncesvalles is a good first day. The huge albergue there is a 'deep end' introduction to the camino experience and not to be missed.
I’m an early riser and would want to leave early. That would mean arriving early at Orisson and that for an introvert like myself who is quite social, but in small doses, may be too much Socializing too early into my journey.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
4 reasons NOT to spend a night at Orisson.

1. You are time constrained. You’ve planned your trip itinerary to the day and you have no buffer, no zero days, no recovery days etc…

2. You are budget constrained. The 10 or 20 extra Euros you will spend here means you will miss a meal or two during the remaining 33+/- days of your trip.

3. You are an antisocial introvert that finds meeting people and forming new friendships uncomfortable. (I am an introvert but a social one in small doses)

4. You can’t get a reservation. I’m sure 99% of the people who try to get a reservation fail, due to waiting until the last minute months to make it. Your first email or phone call, 3 months before your desired date is not too early to start trying. It may take a few attempts to get a response so don’t give up. Most of the people who know of this place ahead of time and desire to stay here are very motivated…for good reason. I’ve heard the overflow bunk room is not as nice as the main building so reserve early.

There are many good practical reasons to stop at Orisson for a night but even if there were none, I would still stay there again for the reasons below.

Presume for a moment that you come from a very large family of brothers and sisters. Everyone loves and respects each other. Everyone has fun together, laughs together and wants to spend as much time together as possible. There is a special bond and history with each other that is unique to this family.

You will grow a Camino Family on your trip. Only a select few will fit the description above where you are like brothers and sisters. You will also have a few that are like cousins who live in the next town. And then even more like cousins that live 500 miles away that you rarely see.

By the end of the night at Orisson there is a good chance you will have formed the foundation of those brother/sister relationships with a number of people as well as many near and far cousin relationships. As you interact with these people along the remainder of your 495 mile journey the bonds grow progressively tighter. There is great joy bumping into them unexpectedly during your travels and a select few you will be seeing regularly with or without a plan to do so. It was really special that it worked out where I walked into Santiago with a “brother & sister” from my table of 10 that first night at Orisson. I did meet and form some other “brother/sister” relationships on the Camino and of course a bunch of friends and acquaintances but Orisson had the special sauce. It was a petri dish perfect for growing tight relationships. The food, the wine the atmosphere the orchestration of it all plus the first night excitement, energy and attitudes of the pilgrims made for a unique environment that was not duplicated during the next 495 miles.

I experienced dozens of additional group meals with wonderful people and made many friendships as will you on your Camino. Each of those meals was unique, special and no better or worse than Orisson but just different. If you can figure out a way to stay at Orisson, I’m certain you will not be disappointed. And if you need to burn a few more calories after arriving, leave your pack at Orisson, stroll back down to San Jean Pied de Port…have a few macaroons, then skip back up the hill for the dinner party that awaits you.
Food for thought. Thank you
 

Monasp

I'm a manager of pilgrims office in SJPP
Camino(s) past & future
Camino in 2008.
...that is the question.

Planning such a journey gives way to many questions. Excited to start the walk April 5th 2020 and wondering if stopping at Orisson for the first night is something I should consider. Not so much for the rest but the experience. If I do stay there I would potentially not want to stop walking for another night at Roncesvalles...and would this be a « miss ».

Your thoughts and experiences are invaluable. I know this is a subjective question but was wondering. Thank you :)
April 5th 2020 maybe it will be too much snow and you will have to go by Valcarlos !
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
April 5th 2020 maybe it will be too much snow and you will have to go by Valcarlos !
Totally agree. There’s definitely a chance that might happen. I’m mentally working on accepting that potential reality. It will be one of many opportunities to « live in the moment » and practice surrendering to events out of my control. 😊
 

peterbells

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2018 (Sarria to Santiago), repeating Sept 2019
Something I am hoping to do next year so have been reading the many related threads that appear. The impressions I get is that as long as I train in advance going straight though to Roncesvalles is very feasible and large numbers do. I hope that's right as what I am planning!
 

Evvie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
I could also stay in Bayonne the first night and SJPdP the Saturday and leave the planned Sunday. French is my first language and I do live everything about France.
That's exactly what I'm doing. After an overnight flight from the US to Paris I'm taking the train to Bayonne and spending the night. Then to SJPDP the next morning, a leisurely day and night in SJPDP, then onto the Camino the following morning. Staying in Orisson that night. It all sounds easy and that's the whole idea. Ease into the Camino, savor the time. It's a long walk and if you have the time, why rush it?
 

Peadarmac

Irlandes Pedro
Camino(s) past & future
Astorga-Santiago '11 & '18
St Jean-Belorado '13 & '17
Belorado-Astorga '15
Fisterra-Muxia '11 & '18
I’m planning my Camino for June 2020. Initially I was thinking I would go all the way to Roncevalles on the first day but my current thinking is that I will stay at Orisson. I will have given up my full time job by then so for the first time in my life I won’t have any time constraints so why put myself under pressure on the first day. I’m now envisioning a late breakfast in St Jean followed by a leisurely stroll up to Orisson with plenty of time to take in the scenery. I’m also planning to book Roncesvalles and then just take each day as it comes and trust that I’ll always find a bed.
May I say this is a perfect plan ! (In my humble opinion)
Having walked this route twice, both times having arrived in St Jean on the noon train from Bayonne, both times I had to leave St Jean at 2.30pm in order to reach Orisson in time for the evening meal. Although technically an 8km walk it takes a good 3hours because of the ascent. The 3 hour walk to Orisson will ease your body into your Camino adventure and set you up nicely for the following days walk to Ronscesvalles. To cap it off the communal meal at Orisson is always a highlight which will enrich your Camino experience.
Travel safe and well y Buen Camino.

P
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walking May 2019
I just finished my walk a few weeks ago. No it wasn’t life changing but buy am I glad I did it. I learnt so much about different cultures and all the new friends I met along the way. One of the highlights of my conversations was "did I stay in Orrison?" I did and I’m so glad I did. There are 6 of those acquaintances that continued with me over the next 5 weeks that became wonderful friends. We are in contact daily now that our walk is completed. As you will find Roncesvalles to be a very busy place with many pilgrims. I found myself in constant motion while I was there. It was wonderful. However resting, drinking, eating and some great conversations at Orrison was a GREAT START TO MY CAMINO. I can’t tell how much it meant to me . . . and relaxing.
 

QuailHiker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino del Norte y Primitivo (2018)
Another person's opinion ..... I walked to Roncesvalles the first day and was glad I did. As a then-62 year old, I did not find this first day all that tiring. Maybe it was the adrenaline. I stopped at Orrison for a break and then just took my time on the walk. I agree that you should stay in Roncesvalles and I'd find breaking it up at Orrison to be two too-short days. My experience in the albergue in St. Jean was probably what others describe about Orrison. IMHO.
 

ChristinaD

Wandering Foot
Camino(s) past & future
CF May 2017
CF Sept 2017
CF Aug 2019
I would not stay in Orisson - our experience was not good.

We were jet-lagged, and thinking it would be a short walk, slept in. We had breakfast and shopped in SJPdP before starting the hike. Although I was used to walking every day at home, we lived at sea level, and the altitude really bothered me, so we were glad to have reservations at Orisson.

When we got to Orisson, we decided to have a beer and sit out on the veranda. The first voice we heard was loudly denouncing Americans. We ignored her, but it wasn't pleasant. We had read that older pilgrims get the lower bunks but none were available. We could not settle in, because people were napping the in the larger dorm we were assigned. We were given coins for showers but not shown where they were. I ended up in the men's with Hubby guarding the door. When we tried exploring, Hubby peeked into a room and a woman demanded to know what he was doing, so we quit looking around. He washed our clothing, but there was no space on the lines so we hung them from a single clothespin amongst others who were spread out. No one offered to share, although a woman did approach and make sure our wet things were not touching hers. The toilets had no seats!! It was really hard to balance my tired thighs above a gaping hole. Not once did anyone offer help or greeting until the communal meal. Dinner was pleasant, but the night was terribly long. That room of ten had 5 snorers! I slept very little and felt saddened by our experience.

Our stay was thankfully atypical, as you have read. Most folks find it charming but I would never do it again.
 
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Adelina

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - s'2018- Astorga to Santiago
Camino Frances - s' 2019- St Jean to Carrion
I began in Lourdes and took the train to St. Jean arriving there mid-day, had a bite to eat, walked around, waited for the Pilgrim's office to open, got my credential and then headed up to Orisson (I had made a reservation) for a wonderful evening in the Pyrenees. It felt great to stretch my legs after the train ride, etc. and I was not too tired. I was able to begin walking the next morning feeling fully refreshed and had wonderful walk through the mist in the Pyrenees. No matter your choice, be present, and enjoy your camino.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
I would not stay in Orisson - our experience was not good.

We were jet-lagged, and thinking it would be a short walk, slept in. We had breakfast and shopped in SJPdP before starting the hike. Although I was used to walking every day at home, we lived at sea level, and the altitude really bothered me, so we were glad to have reservations at Orisson.

When we got to Orisson, we decided to have a beer and sit out on the veranda. The first voice we heard was loudly denouncing Americans. We ignored her, but it wasn't pleasant. We had read that older pilgrims get the lower bunks but none were available. We could not settle in, because people were napping the in the larger dorm we were assigned. We were given coins for showers but not shown where they were. I ended up in the men's with Hubby guarding the door. When we tried exploring, Hubby peeked into a room and a woman demanded to know what he was doing, so we quit looking around. He washed our clothing, but there was no space on the lines so we hung them from a single clothespin amongst others who were spread out. No one offered to share, although a woman did approach and make sure our wet things were not touching hers. The toilets had no seats!! It was really hard to balance my tired thighs above a gaping hole. Not once did anyone offer help or greeting until the communal meal. Dinner was pleasant, but the night was terribly long. That room of ten had 5 snorers! I slept very little and felt saddened by our experience.

Our stay was thankfully atypical, as you have read. Most folks find it charming but I would never do it again.
Oh ChristinaD I am saddened by your experience. Hopefully the rest of your Camino was filled with more memorable moments and encounters. Wishing you joy and fond memories for your upcoming Camino. Thank you for sharing your story. ❤
 

Phoebe

New Member
Yes, unless you are super fit and have a shedule to meet stay at Orrison. We flew to Paris, (stayed the night) a night in Bayonne and a night in St. Jean, Orrison and then Roncesvalles. It still seemed like a long slog from Orrison to Roncesvalle.
But we each have to do what works for us.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
...that is the question.

Planning such a journey gives way to many questions. Excited to start the walk April 5th 2020 and wondering if stopping at Orisson for the first night is something I should consider. Not so much for the rest but the experience. If I do stay there I would potentially not want to stop walking for another night at Roncesvalles...and would this be a « miss ».

Your thoughts and experiences are invaluable. I know this is a subjective question but was wondering. Thank you :)
Hi Dani7,

Orisson is one way to go. But it is not the only one. The route through Valcarlos has its own charms. It also gets you into Spain a bit sooner. And the climb up and down is not as great as the Napoleon Way. It is also a few km shorter.

It is a choice, an option.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Hi Dani7,

Orisson is one way to go. But it is not the only one. The route through Valcarlos has its own charms. It also gets you into Spain a bit sooner. And the climb up and down is not as great as the Napoleon Way. It is also a few km shorter.

It is a choice, an option.
I understand that the biggest climb on the Valcarlos route is towards the end, whearas on the Napoleon route its the part before Orisson. For that reason I like getting that one big climb over with on a short (km wise) day, then spending the night at Orisson before tackling the rest.
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
I loved waking up to the dawn in the Pyrenees. Truly one of the highlights of my Camino.

Finding the womens' showers was not that difficult and working out how to use the coin wasn't tough either. Yeah, I didn't like not having the toilet seats, but there are worse things in life. Sorry to hear the people weren't friendly though. That seems rather unusual.

I would stay there again. The next day I really, really struggled (8 hours and was on the verge of collapsing) getting to Roncesvalles so it was a good thing that my first day was spent at Orisson. Yes, I thought I was fit. That is what thinking gets me into sometimes.
 

ChristinaD

Wandering Foot
Camino(s) past & future
CF May 2017
CF Sept 2017
CF Aug 2019
Oh ChristinaD I am saddened by your experience. Hopefully the rest of your Camino was filled with more memorable moments and encounters. Wishing you joy and fond memories for your upcoming Camino. Thank you for sharing your story. ❤
Thank you Dani7, I should have said that the camino was very kind to us on the rest of our journey. Lots of friendly people with smiles and help when we needed it. But we did try to get a private room each night - showers, laundry and sleep were much easier that way.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
We were jet-lagged.
Hello ChristinaD,

Like Dani7, I’m sorry that you missed the magic of Orisson. I think your very honest and open post is extremely helpful to newbies traveling long distances to their starting point on the Camino.

Jet lag is real. It slows you down physically and mentally. Everything is harder to do when jet lagged. One’s patience, compassion and understanding are all depleted. Irritability, negativity and confusion are heightened.

You clearly state in your first paragraph you were jet lagged and then you give multiple examples of how a jet lagged person would react to the minor inconveniences that seemed to snowball for you. None of these inconveniences you mentioned are unique to Orisson…they can and do happen at almost every Albergue on the Camino with bunk beds in a dormitory. Even the best part of Orisson, the group meal was “terrible long” for you. If I arrived jet lagged at Orisson I think I’d feel the same way. While jet lagged, a private room is a great idea and it can still be economical when sharing it with another person.

Each person is affected differently when it comes to jet lag. There are many factors that contribute to both the degree and duration of your recovery from it. Two nights in the same hotel where you arrive after your long travel is helpful.

I'm glad the rest of your Camino journey was better for you.
 

CAJohn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept/Oct 2019
This September, I plan to walk to the Vierge De Biakori and take Express Bourricot back to SJPDP. Next day, Express Bourricot back to the Vierge de Biakori, and then I am off to Roncenvallas. That will split the walk in half for my first two days with jet lag. I just thought that Orisson would be too short of a walk that day, even though I did not want to overdo it.
 

milo4ever

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, June-July 2019
I’m relatively in shape, not jet lagged, and SO glad I stayed at orisson. It’s one of the most beautiful sections of the Camino so no need to rush though it. Everyone talks about the first day as being such a challenge, but for me the first 2 days were relaxing and beautiful. Plus I made great friends!
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Although I was used to walking every day at home, we lived at sea level, and the altitude really bothered me, so we were glad to have reservations at Orisson.
I can understand a lot of factors creating difficulties, because simply walking as a pre-training workout is not adequate preparation for a walk up a steep grade. This is where muscle strength really comes into play from lifting one's body weight with each step. The combined factor of less developed muscle strength and inadequate cardio-vascular training will make huffing and puffing on the Route Napoleon a part of the walk. :)

The altitude change from sea level is not significant on the way to Orisson, nor even to the top near the Col de Lepoeder before heading downhill to Roncesvalles. The altitude in this area of the Pyrenees is well below the threshold of altitude issues; unless one has significant cardio-vascular medical issues. In fact, the cabin pressure of an airliner is set at an altitude equivalent higher than at the top of the route near the Col.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I’m relatively in shape, not jet lagged, and SO glad I stayed at orisson. It’s one of the most beautiful sections of the Camino so no need to rush though it. Everyone talks about the first day as being such a challenge, but for me the first 2 days were relaxing and beautiful. Plus I made great friends!
If there are people who are 'rushing' it, then this advice may be very pertinent and worth considering.

I find that for me, 'rushing it' is not at issue as to why I travel to Roncesvalles from SJPdP in a single walk. I think it is important to recognize that what is comfortable and enjoyable for one person, can be tedious and boring and aggravating to another. :)
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Let me bring up an issue that has previously been mentioned as it applies to Orisson. This is NOT a criticism, but an explanation. Hopefully it provides a bit of insight, or reinforces previous thoughts on the issue.

Many talk about the fact that they very much enjoy staying at Orisson because of the the Orisson Social Experience, and the creation of a Camino Family and Friends. For some, that can be entirely an entirely off-putting thing.

For example, I hate forced socialization as I am more introverted than extroverted. Among those things that I truly dislike is being in a situation where I am forced into the company of others with an expectation of being a contributing part of the gathering.

From all of the descriptions given by those who stay at Orisson and love it, the YouTube videos, the pictures showing the 'Orisson Experience'. . . all are reason enough for me to avoid staying there. The very thing that exhilarates many who love staying at Orisson, is the very thing that is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Even if I decided to split my walk to Roncesvalles over two days instead of one, I would chose to walk to Orisson or to the Virgin and then shuttle or taxi back to St Jean Pied de Port to spend the night. Then the next morning I would taxi back to where I left off, and finish the walk to Roncesvalles.

I simply do not have that temperament and social drive which others happily enjoy. No, I am not missing out on anything as far as personal desires or needs go or personal enjoyment goes; I simply do not want or need that same level of social interaction. Yes, I interact with a lot of fellow pilgrims, and I do become involved with small gatherings and fellowships: but it occurs at my pace, under my direction, and I make the approach to others. I do not enjoy becoming engulfed by others as part of an experience.

This is just a bit of insight as to why some may not be as enthused about staying at Orisson, or see it as a good thing. For those who do enjoy it and think fondly of it, it is great that you have such a wonderful addition to your Camino experience. it is simply a matter of what fits a need. :)
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
This September, I plan to walk to the Vierge De Biakori and take Express Bourricot back to SJPDP. Next day, Express Bourricot back to the Vierge de Biakori, and then I am off to Roncenvallas. That will split the walk in half for my first two days with jet lag. I just thought that Orisson would be too short of a walk that day, even though I did not want to overdo it.
Hi CAJohn. We are doing the same thing. We start on 19 September from SJPdP. Thought we would sleep better having two nights at the same place after long journey from Australia.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
Let me bring up an issue that has previously been mentioned as it applies to Orisson. This is NOT a criticism, but an explanation. Hopefully it provides a bit of insight, or reinforces previous thoughts on the issue.

Many talk about the fact that they very much enjoy staying at Orisson because of the the Orisson Social Experience, and the creation of a Camino Family and Friends. For some, that can be entirely an entirely off-putting thing.

For example, I hate forced socialization as I am more introverted than extroverted. Among those things that I truly dislike is being in a situation where I am forced into the company of others with an expectation of being a contributing part of the gathering.

From all of the descriptions given by those who stay at Orisson and love it, the YouTube videos, the pictures showing the 'Orisson Experience'. . . all are reason enough for me to avoid staying there. The very thing that exhilarates many who love staying at Orisson, is the very thing that is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Even if I decided to split my walk to Roncesvalles over two days instead of one, I would chose to walk to Orisson or to the Virgin and then shuttle or taxi back to St Jean Pied de Port to spend the night. Then the next morning I would taxi back to where I left off, and finish the walk to Roncesvalles.

I simply do not have that temperament and social drive which others happily enjoy. No, I am not missing out on anything as far as personal desires or needs go or personal enjoyment goes; I simply do not want or need that same level of social interaction. Yes, I interact with a lot of fellow pilgrims, and I do become involved with small gatherings and fellowships: but it occurs at my pace, under my direction, and I make the approach to others. I do not enjoy becoming engulfed by others as part of an experience.

This is just a bit of insight as to why some may not be as enthused about staying at Orisson, or see it as a good thing. For those who do enjoy it and think fondly of it, it is great that you have such a wonderful addition to your Camino experience. it is simply a matter of what fits a need. :)
I really enjoyed my walk from SJPDP to Roncesvalles, stopped for a coffee in the cafe at Orisson, and then continued on, and stopped again for a cold drink from the caravan on the grass further up. I think stopping there wouldnt have suited me either, I was just getting into my stride.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I would not stay in Orisson - our experience was not good.

We were jet-lagged, and thinking it would be a short walk, slept in. We had breakfast and shopped in SJPdP before starting the hike. Although I was used to walking every day at home, we lived at sea level, and the altitude really bothered me, so we were glad to have reservations at Orisson.

When we got to Orisson, we decided to have a beer and sit out on the veranda. The first voice we heard was loudly denouncing Americans. We ignored her, but it wasn't pleasant. We had read that older pilgrims get the lower bunks but none were available. We could not settle in, because people were napping the in the larger dorm we were assigned. We were given coins for showers but not shown where they were. I ended up in the men's with Hubby guarding the door. When we tried exploring, Hubby peeked into a room and a woman demanded to know what he was doing, so we quit looking around. He washed our clothing, but there was no space on the lines so we hung them from a single clothespin amongst others who were spread out. No one offered to share, although a woman did approach and make sure our wet things were not touching hers. The toilets had no seats!! It was really hard to balance my tired thighs above a gaping hole. Not once did anyone offer help or greeting until the communal meal. Dinner was pleasant, but the night was terribly long. That room of ten had 5 snorers! I slept very little and felt saddened by our experience.

Our stay was thankfully atypical, as you have read. Most folks find it charming but I would never do it again.
Orisson has the best pilgrim dinner and the worst bathrooms on the Camino Frances. 😊
 
Camino(s) past & future
2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 (2019) CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
Something I am hoping to do next year so have been reading the many related threads that appear. The impressions I get is that as long as I train in advance going straight though to Roncesvalles is very feasible and large numbers do. I hope that's right as what I am planning!
Other factors to consider, in addition to training in advance, are jetlag, the weight of your pack, and your experience training on steeeeeep hills with a full pack. Walking to Orisson or Roncesvalles on Day 1 can be the hardest day of walking on the whole Camino.
 

ChristinaD

Wandering Foot
Camino(s) past & future
CF May 2017
CF Sept 2017
CF Aug 2019
I can understand a lot of factors creating difficulties, because simply walking as a pre-training workout is not adequate preparation for a walk up a steep grade. This is where muscle strength really comes into play from lifting one's body weight with each step. The combined factor of less developed muscle strength and inadequate cardio-vascular training will make huffing and puffing on the Route Napoleon a part of the walk. :)

The altitude change from sea level is not significant on the way to Orisson, nor even to the top near the Col de Lepoeder before heading downhill to Roncesvalles. The altitude in this area of the Pyrenees is well below the threshold of altitude issues; unless one has significant cardio-vascular medical issues. In fact, the cabin pressure of an airliner is set at an altitude equivalent higher than at the top of the route near the Col.
You are amazing davebugg, and While I thought it was altitude that bothered me, it was more likely the backpack. I trained for months, walking near home or on the beach, but I never wore my pack. Thanks for the info.
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
Being 9 time zones away, I prefer to start in Pamplona (fly to Madrid take bus, or fly MAD-PNA) then walk the 5km to Cizur Menor to shake the jet lag. Then an easy 18km next day to Puente la Reina. And all is good!

I have never stayed at Orisson but once (2010) in Honto (from Ostabat) and it was wonderful. My hiking companion on my first Camino blew out his knee coming down Collado de Lepoede: had fluid drained in Pamplona hospital and was mostly on public transportation until Ocebrerio. So I am not a fan of the hard camino start.

And there is plenty of time to develop that 'camino family' so no need to rush it. There are many equivalents of 'Orisson experience' along the way. For those of us who tend towards introversion, it is hard to avoid a "family'. I do caminos primarily because I love to walk--the socialization, scenery, and food are nice but secondary.

And my old age mantra has always been "start slowly then taper off" which pretty much eliminates the traditional first day stage.
 

Blanco

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept. 2019
Personally, I have not had a desire to stay in Orisson. I stop for a 30 to 45 minute rest break and a bocadilla on the way to Roncesvalles, but that's the extent of my wanting to stop there.

I enjoy the camino walk, and I would be bored by such a short walking day from spending the night at Orisson.. The solution to start late in the day from SJPdP and stop in Orisson simply means that I spent the day being bored in SJPdP while waiting to start walking :).

Also, I look forward to getting to know some of my fellow pilgrims at the end of the first day on Camino in Roncesvalles, so I don't feel that I am missing out on the social aspect at Orisson which others enjoy.

That's my singular viewpoint. There are others who very much enjoy stopping at Orisson that first day out of SJPdP. The large majority of folks who leave from SJPdP will walk to Roncesvalles that first day, so if you decide to do so, you will have fellow pilgrims following with you :)
Thank-you so much for your comments. It has really helped me decide that I will start from SJPdP and walk straight through to Roncesvalles. Thank-you so much
 

IcEaNa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to go in Sept/Oct '16
Hi CAJohn. We are doing the same thing. We start on 19 September from SJPdP. Thought we would sleep better having two nights at the same place after long journey from Australia.
I'm intending to start on the 19th Sept from SJPDP too! I'll probably work towards staying at Orrison for a night though... maybe I'll see you on the Camino!
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
I'm intending to start on the 19th Sept from SJPDP too! I'll probably work towards staying at Orrison for a night though... maybe I'll see you on the Camino!
Will look out for you IcEaNa - I will be easy to spot as I will have a toy helicopter 🚁 on my backpack. One of the reasons for my Camino is to raise funds back in Mackay where I live for the CQ Rescue Helicopter Service. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Not so much for the rest but the experience.
Davebugg has a really good point about “forced socialization”. I can’t sing and at one place I was ridiculed and hackled because I wouldn’t sing a song from my country (I forgave them because they had all drunk too much anyway).

However, I stop at Orisson because I see no point whatsoever in walking 25kms on the VERY FIRST DAY when I can break it into two.

OK, so I have to stand up and spout out some (made up) reason why I’m doing this (well, who REALLY knows?), but nobody is REALLY interested in what I have to say (least of all me!), and then we can all get back to our grub (and wine).

Many people have commented (over the years) that it “bonds” you (unwittingly) with the others from that night. Perhaps not a bad thing.

Just don’t ask me to sing.
Jill
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
I know exactly how you feel Jill and Dave. However, the introductions one gives at Orisson are very brief. You can get by with "Hi my name is Dave, I'm from Canada, I found an opportunity to do this Camino and here I am". Five seconds of talking, sit back down, performance over. Others will be more loquacious. There is no forced socialization after that. It's then all about the food and wine. Like any normal dinner at a long table the proximity of the conversation is basically the 5 people surrounding you...the persons sitting on either side of you (2) the persons across from them (2) and the person directly across from you (1). It takes more energy to ignore those people than to talk to them. As the evening progresses you may get up and move around. In the introductions you may have heard something by someone that stimulates you to talk to them and vice versa. You might do it that night or two days later when you bump into them. After this evening you have something in common with everyone at Orisson and the barrier to interact with them is lowered.

I heard about the "singing forced performance thing" at some places but was fortunate enough not to stumble into one. I would be the focus of ridicule because I would not participate period. It would be like asking a one legged man to dance in front of everyone. I can't hold a tune and I don't pay attention to song lyrics so participation is not an option. If I found out after checking in that I was in a "singing" albergue I'd either pack up and leave or find another place in town to eat dinner and return afterwards or as a last resort suffer the ridicule of not even trying to sing when it was my turn. While writing this I just imagined being in this predicament with no other albergue or dinning options and I think I'd be ok belting out a quick five seconds of: do-ray-me-fa-so-la-ti-do, for everyone's entertainment. It would quickly illustrate my disability, I would be laughing at the end and hopefully the rest of the room would be too. I might not need to do any explaining after that and I wouldn't look like a complete party pooper.
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
Davebugg has a really good point about “forced socialization”. I can’t sing and at one place I was ridiculed and hackled because I wouldn’t sing a song from my country (I forgave them because they had all drunk too much anyway).

However, I stop at Orisson because I see no point whatsoever in walking 25kms on the VERY FIRST DAY when I can break it into two.

OK, so I have to stand up and spout out some (made up) reason why I’m doing this (well, who REALLY knows?), but nobody is REALLY interested in what I have to say (least of all me!), and then we can all get back to our grub (and wine).

Many people have commented (over the years) that it “bonds” you (unwittingly) with the others from that night. Perhaps not a bad thing.

Just don’t ask me to sing.
Jill
I’m with you on the singing Jill! I cannot sing in tune even if my life depended on it - worse than Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally or Cameron Diaz in My Best Friends Wedding. Karaoke has the same effect on me as a cross in the heart of a vampire. I think a singing albergue would be asking for donativo to prevent me from singing. 😱
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I know exactly how you feel Jill and Dave. However, the introductions one gives at Orisson are very brief. You can get by with "Hi my name is Dave, I'm from Canada, I found an opportunity to do this Camino and here I am". Five seconds of talking, sit back down, performance over. Others will be more loquacious. There is no forced socialization after that. It's then all about the food and wine. Like any normal dinner at a long table the proximity of the conversation is basically the 5 people surrounding you...the persons sitting on either side of you (2) the persons across from them (2) and the person directly across from you (1). It takes more energy to ignore those people than to talk to them. As the evening progresses you may get up and move around. In the introductions you may have heard something by someone that stimulates you to talk to them and vice versa. You might do it that night or two days later when you bump into them. After this evening you have something in common with everyone at Orisson and the barrier to interact with them is lowered.

I heard about the "singing forced performance thing" at some places but was fortunate enough not to stumble into one. I would be the focus of ridicule because I would not participate period. It would be like asking a one legged man to dance in front of everyone. I can't hold a tune and I don't pay attention to song lyrics so participation is not an option. If I found out after checking in that I was in a "singing" albergue I'd either pack up and leave or find another place in town to eat dinner and return afterwards or as a last resort suffer the ridicule of not even trying to sing when it was my turn. While writing this I just imagined being in this predicament with no other albergue or dinning options and I think I'd be ok belting out a quick five seconds of: do-ray-me-fa-so-la-ti-do, for everyone's entertainment. It would quickly illustrate my disability, I would be laughing at the end and hopefully the rest of the room would be too. I might not need to do any explaining after that and I wouldn't look like a complete party pooper.
I really appreciate your willingness to try and understand why some have personalities and concerns which are not conducive to staying overnight at Orisson. I wish I wasn't so lacking in my ability to better explain how someone, with a tendency toward being an introvert, feels in the very situation which you describe. And how your descriptions - and those of others - match what I have viewed of videos and pictures of Orisson's experience.

It is like trying to describe what an orange tastes like to one who has never experienced the fruit.

You mention: "Like any normal dinner at a long table the proximity of the conversation is basically the 5 people surrounding you...the persons sitting on either side of you (2) the persons across from them (2) and the person directly across from you (1). It takes more energy to ignore those people than to talk to them."

That sounds positively discomforting to me. Again, it is fingernails on a chalkboard. When one is in a social situation in the proximity of strangers, and is faced with a social choice of either having to rudely ignore these strangers that are surrounding you, or be forced to converse and pretend enjoyment, THAT is forced socialization. For me, I would probably skip the communal meal, feigning some sort of tummy upset.

I appreciate that many enjoy Orisson. Personally, I feel the same about spending the late afternoon and evening in Roncesvalles, where I am able to ease my way into a casual 'hello' with others, and then flowing into some one-on-one conversations. Things are more spread out, there is a lot of space in the alburgue and on the grounds which suits me better :)
 

DevereUx

Devereaux
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept-Oct 2018
I'm in the "stop at Orisson " crowd. I'm a very solitary walker, as a rule. I love my quiet. But...I did enjoy Orisson. Yes, the dinner was a bit tight, but I met some very nice people there. And, most that stood up to say why they were doing the Camino, just said, "I really have no idea!" Comforting to know I wasn't alone! Ha. ha!
Strangely, I only really connected with my "Camino family" on the way over to Roncesvalles and after I "remet"some them at Roncesvalles. Of all the people I met on the Camino, these are the ones I still communicate with, even though I "lost" most of them along the Way. Im with Dave on that issue, I chose my "family ".
Finally, I will add that of all the morning walks I had on the Camino, the early morning start at Orisson was absolutely the most memorable....hands down. Clouds dropping down the mountainside; at times engulfing the walkers ahead. Sun coming up over the Pyrenees. Cow bells jingling as they were turned out in the early dawn to farmers and dogs shouting instructions in French (I'm assuming the dogs bark in French). Absolutely stunning.
And...The only singing was a group of Frenchmen, which was rather fun and funny all at once!
 

Attachments

Felipe

Veteran Member
"Oh, again, another thread on Orisson...so reiterative and uninteresting" -that was my first reaction. Actually, I had not read it until now. To my surprise, I have found it very exhilarating. I thought that I was a odd case of a "not particularly social" pilgrim, the type that does not particularly like talking about himself, but does not want to be impolite at dinner. And walk mostly alone...with just an occasional talk with fellow walkers. Probably it is an oxymoron, but I have enjoyed discovering that I have a good company...
Nothing against Orisson, evidently. I don't know if I will do this way again, but in this case, it will be on my list.
 
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