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Search 69,459 Camino Questions

upon arriving in St. Jean...


Time of past OR future Camino
Frances from SJPdP 2007, TBD 2017
Since I'm arriving in St. Jean as my strating point after traveling for a long time I'm thinking of spending a rest day before I start walking to Roncevalles.
I'm wondering if anyone can give me a recommendation for an inexpensive hostel or hotel for the first night since I'll be sleeping off jet lag. Also, it's been a long time since I took French in highschool, so I don't think I could manage a reservation by phone. Maybe e-mail? Or will I likely be able to find a place in the evening when I arrive.
My other question is whether I can buy a walking stick and swiss army knife in St. Jean.

Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

You can definitely buy a walking stick in St. Jean. I found a cheap pocket knife in a sort of all-purpose store on the main street of the old part of town. I'd looked up a few French words first, and mumbled "couteau suisse armée." I'm sure my pronunciation and grammar were atrocious, but they understood me. The one I got was a bit of a piece of junk. It was rusty by the time I got to Santiago, but it served.

I made a reservation at the albergue in Orisson by email. I asked them to reply in English or Spanish if possible, and they did (in English, I think). I don't know about hostels in SJPP, though. Sorry. Good luck. And buen camino!
One more thing... If you'd rather take a walking stick on the plane, the last time I checked the rules allowed you to carry them on flights from the US. You might not be able to get away with a set of two, but I managed with one in my carry-on. I was afraid I'd have to pretend I had a sprained ankle or something, but nobody questioned it.
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Ah, thanks. Actually a cheap junkie swiss army knife may be perfect. Since I can't fly with it I'll just get rid of it in Santiago!
Lauren, SJPDP is a picturesque, old, historic, tourist, town. It's got pretty much anything u may want. I was also able to get a solid pole there which I now have at home. The albergue is run by Les Amis du Chemnin de Sain-Jacques Pyrenee-Atlantiques. The address is F.64220 SJPDP. PH: 05 59 37 05 09. E-mail: aucoeurduchemin.org. In my experience the hospitaleros at SJ were very helpful, serviceable, and there was always someone to communicate with, in English, it's the lingua franca. They should be able to help u find accomodations, or even let u sleep a couple of nights at the refugio, depending on what all is going on when u get there. I once arrived very late, & the albergue (housed in three separate bldgs + an office) was packed. Still, they were able to get me a matress which was placed on the floor and I slept like a bebe. You can also get ur "carnet de pelerin" (credencial) there. Bon marche, xm 8)

I think about the Caminos everyday. They are always with me-a pilgrim."
Hi, Lauren,
We stayed last summer at L'esprit du chemin, an albergue run by a very helpful and pleasant young Dutch couple. Some of the people who were there when we were had spent a couple of days in the albergue to work through jet lag, so you can definitely spend more than one night in this private albergue if you don't want to go to a hostal/hotel.

Their website is http://www.espritduchemin.org. (email address is on the website). It's in a great location, right across the street from the official Camino office on Rue de la citadelle (not sure about spelling). We also ate dinner there (as well as breakfast) and the meal was very good. Great atmosphere, lots of talking and sharing of ideas and experiences.

We had been walking from LePuy, so it wasn't our first stop, but I think it'd be a very nice introduction to the way of the Camino.

Buen camino, Trisha
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A peregrina told me that she made a reservation "on time" at the Orisson albergue towards the end of the month before it got all booked, so that, along with Honto, they do take reservations. I know that for the latter one, last year the hospitaleros at SJ recommended calling in first. Matter of fact they phoned in a reservation (Honto) for me for the following day. But as mentioned previously, "reservations" r not the norm in public albergues, which do not (or should not) take them in any case. Buen Camino, xm 8)

39, rue de la Citadelle
F.64220 SJPDP
PH: 05 59 37 05 09
I really don't know what I would do without this forum. As I get closer to my departure date I'm getting more anxious. This forum and all the wonderful people here are a huge source of comfort.
Sorry to be so ignorant about St. Jean. I'm sure with a whole day to spend I'll have little else to do but find anything I could possibly need.
I don't want to check any luggage. I originally wasn't going to carry a walking stick but after reading several posts here I've changed my mind. I think I'd rather take a wooden one than one of those telescoping things as long it's not TOO heavy. It'll be better for fending off dogs should I need it and just FEELS more traditionally pilgrim-y. There's something about wood that's just comforting.
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Walking sticks 'n things

Hello peregrina Lauren,
Your excitement and anticipation just shouts out from your posts - its wonderful! I feel like saying, "Only 31 more sleeps my girl!"
I started my first camino on the 17th May (Norwegian Independence Day) and I can still remember the butterflies I had in my tummy that day. When we started out it was like 'One small step for nervous pilgrims, one giant leap for Sil'.
If you look in the Photo section of the forum you will see a picture I posted some time back of a shop with walking sticks in St Jean. I'm sure there is a special stick with your name on it just waiting for you to arrive.
If you go to this website you can download two pdf profile maps of the whole route from St Jean to Santiago that will fit on two pages - easy to carry with you.
http://www.aucoeurduchemin.org/spip/spi ... rticle=774
Pilgrim hugs,

If you want to have a unique stick there's a shop in St. Jean (on the left if you're going towards Roncesvalles) that sells a wooden walking stick with a built in umbrella!

I've never seen a pilgrim walking with one though.

Thanks. Don't know about the umbrella though.
Sil, actually 28 more sleeps today! Yes, I'm counting. Oh, wow... :shock: 8)
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.
28 more sleeps

You are already on your way girl!

Here begins the Journey
Now begins the Day.
With one step upon the Road
Your soul is on its Way.
Does anyone know how long it takes to take the bus from Biarritz to Bayonne? I get into Biarritz at about 3pm. I'm trying to figure out how late I'll arrive in St. Jean. (Of course it all depends on whether I make my connection at Stansted, still a bit worried about that!)
I some ways I'm more nervous about actually getting to St Jean than I am the walking part!
Does the airport bus from Biarritz let out directly at the same train station that will get me to St. Jean?
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Hi Lauren:

You take the #6 bus from the Biarritz airport to the Bayonne train station. It leaves about every 30 minutes and takes about 45 minutes.
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

Ah, but that walk, from the SJPDP to the auberge, is such a rush :!:

Bon marche :arrow:

xm 8)
Really? Only 18 euro for a taxi from Bayonne and it only takes 15min? How much does the train cost? :eek: Is a taxi safe/OK for a non-french speaker? (Well, I know a little) I might be able to make it in time for dinner after all!
some confusion here - the taxi fare quoted (15/18 euros) is for the 3 or 4 mile trip from Biarritz airport to Bayonne railway station - if you are close to missing the last train to SJPP that leaves just before 6.15

if you miss the last train, then the only way to get to SJPP would be by taxi - prob 60-90 euros; alternatively you could stay in Bayonne the night and catch the first train the following morning
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Transport luggage-passengers.
From airports to SJPP
Luggage from SJPP to Roncevalles
LaurenE it looks like I am now taking the same route you are from Stanstead. What date are you going exactly? I arrive in London on May 9th in the morning.

Also I keep going to the website below but can't find the 2 page map of the whole trail. It might just be the jitters that are setting in, I can't focus on much these days! Can somebody help? What tab is the map under?

http://www.aucoeurduchemin.org/spip/spi ... rticle=774

also... (i truly am losing it)

i didn't see the email address for http://www.espritduchemin.org ANYWHERE on their site although they do mention you can reserve by email.

and xm, i went to
aucoeurduchemin.org but didn't see hotel info on there.

yikes. what's happpened to me??
xm, i went to aucoeurduchemin.org but didn't see hotel info on there.

Don't understand, buena! :? Best, xm 8)
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

i meant albergue not hostel...you gave the address for a place you reccommended and listed that website but it's the same addy for the maps i can't find. and i didn't see accommodation either.

...you gave the address ...for the maps...accommodation???

Yo :?: Please, remind me, am over 16, I mean 60, my mind is sliping/sleeping :lol: Best, xm 8)
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.


Thanks for the great link to the maps! Wonderful, I needed some city maps of Pamplona and the profiles are also important for us, as we are biking.
If I'm arriving in St jean around 7:30pm, should I make a reservation? Are the alberges likely to be full in mid-May?
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Lauren, I've arrived late at night at the SJPDP albergue during peak season and they've found a place for me, even if it meant putting a matress on the floor. U can't make reservations at albergues, but then there r ways...like when u have pilgrim friends that walk ahead and save u a place. Not nice, particularly when someone already there wants a bed and is told by those pilgrims that "it's taken," but it happens. Best, xm 8)
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
spurfsan- you say the bayone train station is 3-4 miles from the airport, but jef001 you sai it takes 40 minutes.

i'm confused :(
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