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Winter Baztan (8th to 12th Jan 2019)

bokormen91

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Via Podensis, Baztan, Coastal Portugese, sections on others...
First - a big thank you to people that posted their trip reports, and to the person that suggested the Buen Camino app. I should write their names... I am chronically disorganised, lazy, do not make notes - as my day walking seem to disappear into «not thinking», so the following is written with those limitations....

Tue 8th Jan
Bayonne- Ustaritz 14.5 km
Cathedral in Bayonne does not issue Credentials anymore (Superhelpful touristoffice saved me). Easy walk, but hard - as in tarmac to Ustaritz. Stayed with Natalie - booked on AirBnB, she - and cat, are supernice. Access to kitchen, supermarket 5m walk away


Wed 9th Jan
Ustaritz- Urdax 21.5kish km
Detour into Souraide, shop open! Excellent bus shelterfor a picnic. Continued on - plenty shopping at border, + cafe’s 😀
Several walkingpaths marked at border, I took wrong one - anotherhill, beautiful views - got some extra hills/bumps in. Stayed in Monastery - 1 radiator, ice in morning on windows. Bar/restaurantopen+ 24 hour vending machines

Thu 10th Jan
Urdax - Elizondo, 19 k
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful... Ofc I swore a bit at the hill, but spent more time feeling a spoilt brat. There were beautiful mountains, green hills, awesome sheep - and lambs (Looking at lambs- in their playfullness,joy in outside is one of my favourite things, ever). Bar open in Maya- coffee accomplished. Albergue - sort of, open; heating - supermarket less than 30m away. Place has mixed reviews, I loved heating and hot water...




Fri 11th Jan
Elizondo- Lantz 24.5km
back up plan/ bus Elizondo Pamplona
back up plan/ Walk - hitch hike
Walked fron Elizondo. Nothing open. Took path to San Blas Venta. Gorgeous - some road noise, had headphones, Muse alwsys does good. San Blas Venta Closed - followed road as recommended by locals. Took left on gravel/medieval/roman road for Ermita - walked down to Monasterio - needed crampons. Path is a brook, brook frozen, need footwear capable of dealing w ice. After 3-4 km on ice, hit path. Path covered w dry leaves.
Reached San Blas Venta just after13:00, reached Lantz 16:45, not difficult, just slow. Shop and bar/restaurant open in Lantz. No heating, shop and posada open.

Sat 12th Jan
Lantz- Arre, 24km
Mix of mudfest, road and paths... Nothing open. Had the best welcome in Arre- made me cry in gratitude. First time I have joyfully cried tears from a welcome. Hope others get to experience the warmth, acceptance and love. It really is an unusal place of warmth and joy if it all coincides...

Not sure how useful this will be, but I figure there will be others that might consider the Baztan, and like me - might be apprehensive.

It is well marked, it is joyfully beatiful... There is history, architecture, scenery that makes me stop breathing... If your Camino path takes you through Bayonne, and you have the time, consider doing the extra 40km on Voie de Baztan on your path to Santiago. Or - if you are lucky enough to live in Europe,it is a gorgeous, gorgeous place to eat, drink, sleep, live for a week!

In gratitude... mt🙂
(PS if there are questions - happy to answer in pm)
 
Last edited:

bokormen91

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Via Podensis, Baztan, Coastal Portugese, sections on others...
Baztan snaps - January 2019
As I am not sure how to add in original post... Still - posted in gratitude to those that walked before- and hoping it will show "you can" to those thinking "maybe". From an unfit, overweight- "I can do it!" pilgrim..
Go walking! Find joy in your own time - just do it! Find love in spending time with yourself - and much gratitude to the people on this forum which make me believe I can. Much, much love
52576
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
First - a big thank you to people that posted their trip reports, and to the person that suggested the Buen Camino app. I should write their names... I am chronically disorganised, lazy, do not make notes - as my day walking seem to disappear into «not thinking», so the following is written with those limitations....

Tue 8th Jan
Bayonne- Ustaritz 14.5 km
Cathedral in Bayonne does not issue Credentials anymore (Superhelpful touristoffice saved me). Easy walk, but hard - as in tarmac to Ustaritz. Stayed with Natalie - booked on AirBnB, she - and cat, are supernice. Access to kitchen, supermarket 5m walk away


Wed 9th Jan
Ustaritz- Urdax 21.5kish km
Detour into Souraide, shop open! Excellent bus shelterfor a picnic. Continued on - plenty shopping at border, + cafe’s 😀
Several walkingpaths marked at border, I took wrong one - anotherhill, beautiful views - got some extra hills/bumps in. Stayed in Monastery - 1 radiator, ice in morning on windows. Bar/restaurantopen+ 24 hour vending machines

Thu 10th Jan
Urdax - Elizondo, 19 k
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful... Ofc I swore a bit at the hill, but spent more time feeling a spoilt brat. There were beautiful mountains, green hills, awesome sheep - and lambs (Looking at lambs- in their playfullness,joy in outside is one of my favourite things, ever). Bar open in Maya- coffee accomplished. Albergue - sort of, open; heating - supermarket less than 30m away. Place has mixed reviews, I loved heating and hot water...




Fri 11th Jan
Elizondo- Lantz
back up plan/ bus Elizondo Pamplona
back up plan/ Walk - hitch hike
Walked fron Elizondo. Nothing open. Took path to San Blas Venta. Gorgeous - some road noise, had headphones, Muse alwsys does good. San Blas Venta Closed - followed road as recommended by locals. Took left on gravel/medieval/roman road for Ermita - walked down to Monasterio - needed crampons. Path is a brook, brook frozen, need footwear capable of dealing w ice. After 3-4 km on ice, hit path. Path covered w dry leaves.
Reached San Blas Venta just after13:00, reached Lantz 16:45, not difficult, just slow. Shop and bar/restaurant open in Lantz. No heating, shop and posada open.

Sat 12th Jan
Lantz- Arre
Mix of mudfest, road and paths... Nothing open. Had the best welcome in Arre- made me cry in gratitude. First time I have joyfully cried tears from a welcome. Hope others get to experience the warmth, acceptance and love. It really is an unusal place of warmth and joy if it all coincides...

Not sure how useful this will be, but I figure there will be others that might consider the Baztan, and like me - might be apprehensive.

It is well marked, it is joyfully beatiful... There is history, architecture, scenery that makes me stop breathing... If your Camino path takes you through Bayonne, and you have the time, consider doing the extra 40km on Voie de Baztan on your path to Santiago. Or - if you are lucky enough to live in Europe,it is a gorgeous, gorgeous place to eat, drink, sleep, live for a week!

In gratitude... mt🙂
(PS if there are questions - happy to answer in pm)
You were indeed blessed in Arre, The new regime, though that is far too harsh a description, dispensation is nearer the mark: hospitalero and family have made a wonderful job of continuing the welcome in the albergue there, with positive results, which I saw for myself, and also if you have facebook you can see what they do and how... thanks for sharing, you will encourage others to do likewise. I am seriously tempted for some days in July.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
First - a big thank you to people that posted their trip reports, and to the person that suggested the Buen Camino app. I should write their names... I am chronically disorganised, lazy, do not make notes - as my day walking seem to disappear into «not thinking», so the following is written with those limitations....

Tue 8th Jan
Bayonne- Ustaritz 14.5 km
Cathedral in Bayonne does not issue Credentials anymore (Superhelpful touristoffice saved me). Easy walk, but hard - as in tarmac to Ustaritz. Stayed with Natalie - booked on AirBnB, she - and cat, are supernice. Access to kitchen, supermarket 5m walk away


Wed 9th Jan
Ustaritz- Urdax 21.5kish km
Detour into Souraide, shop open! Excellent bus shelterfor a picnic. Continued on - plenty shopping at border, + cafe’s 😀
Several walkingpaths marked at border, I took wrong one - anotherhill, beautiful views - got some extra hills/bumps in. Stayed in Monastery - 1 radiator, ice in morning on windows. Bar/restaurantopen+ 24 hour vending machines

Thu 10th Jan
Urdax - Elizondo, 19 k
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful... Ofc I swore a bit at the hill, but spent more time feeling a spoilt brat. There were beautiful mountains, green hills, awesome sheep - and lambs (Looking at lambs- in their playfullness,joy in outside is one of my favourite things, ever). Bar open in Maya- coffee accomplished. Albergue - sort of, open; heating - supermarket less than 30m away. Place has mixed reviews, I loved heating and hot water...




Fri 11th Jan
Elizondo- Lantz
back up plan/ bus Elizondo Pamplona
back up plan/ Walk - hitch hike
Walked fron Elizondo. Nothing open. Took path to San Blas Venta. Gorgeous - some road noise, had headphones, Muse alwsys does good. San Blas Venta Closed - followed road as recommended by locals. Took left on gravel/medieval/roman road for Ermita - walked down to Monasterio - needed crampons. Path is a brook, brook frozen, need footwear capable of dealing w ice. After 3-4 km on ice, hit path. Path covered w dry leaves.
Reached San Blas Venta just after13:00, reached Lantz 16:45, not difficult, just slow. Shop and bar/restaurant open in Lantz. No heating, shop and posada open.

Sat 12th Jan
Lantz- Arre
Mix of mudfest, road and paths... Nothing open. Had the best welcome in Arre- made me cry in gratitude. First time I have joyfully cried tears from a welcome. Hope others get to experience the warmth, acceptance and love. It really is an unusal place of warmth and joy if it all coincides...

Not sure how useful this will be, but I figure there will be others that might consider the Baztan, and like me - might be apprehensive.
It is well marked, it is joyfully beatiful... There is history, architecture, scenery that makes me stop breathing... If your Camino path takes you through Bayonne, and you have the time, consider doing the extra 40km on Voie de Baztan on your path to Santiago. Or - if you are lucky enough to live in Europe,it is a gorgeous, gorgeous place to eat, drink, sleep, live for a week!

In gratitude... mt🙂
(PS if there are questions - happy to answer in pm)
Hi @bokormen91, welcome to the Baztan fan club! I love your description of it as ‘joyfully beautiful’.

Elizondo to Lantz must have been a really tough walk - well done on that. Great that you stopped in Arre the next day. Sounds like a perfect end to your Camino.
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
What sort of camino IS the Baztan? Never heard of it before! Is it walkable for over 80 (this year part of Mozárabe, next year no time)?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
What sort of camino IS the Baztan? Never heard of it before! Is it walkable for over 80 (this year part of Mozárabe, next year no time)?
I would definitely put this one on your list, pelerine. It goes through Basque Country and is very beautiful. I think it would not be too hard to break up into short stages. Gronze gives you a pretty good idea, and there seem to be accommodations in the mid points, which makes for easy staging. https://www.gronze.com/camino-baztan
The little town of Elizondo is picture perfect, made famous by Dolores Redondo’s mystery series that takes place there. The albergues we stayed in were quite nice, some pretty casas rurales, all in all a great escapade to Pamplona. And what’s not to like about getting to see Bayonne? It is really a pretty city and I had never been there.
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
Well, so now I am starting a new folder within my general planning folder to gather Baztan info into! I have been to Bayonne before on my long haul from Brittany on my first camino, and liked it very much - so don't mind going there again.

Thank you, peregrina!

And thank you all for your contributions on this thread!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I would also just add that for anyone who is planning a repeat Camino Francés and both has the time and the interest in trying some "untraveled Caminos" but is still pulled back to the Francés, the Baztán is a perfect opportunity. Start in a lovely city in France, walk over to Spain on a much gentler but incredibly beautiful camino, and meet up with the Francés in Arres.
 

bokormen91

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Via Podensis, Baztan, Coastal Portugese, sections on others...
What sort of camino IS the Baztan? Never heard of it before! Is it walkable for over 80 (this year part of Mozárabe, next year no time)?

From what I understand, the Baztan was part of the trading routes. Pilgrims would have followed/ joined the route as it was well known. It was a way of joining what we now know as the Camino Frances. There was safety in numbers. It crosses the Pyrennees at a lower altitiude, less perilous in Winter, and it also made sense for those arriving in France at the coast, instead of walking inland to cross at SJPP.

If I am wrong - happy to be corrected.

I walked in Winter, and it was not planned that well. Due to RL- I had about 10 days to plan and find accomodation open. Between April and October accomodation options triples - or quadruples.

I managed it - overweight and unfit! But I am happy walking (did swear a bit at times...) It would be a difficult route to do if you are limited to 5-15km; in Winter that would make it impossible. Between April and October you could make stages ranging from 5-12km.

As for walking it if over 80... Honestly, if you are considering a walk for a break - then you are fit enough. Probably much more so than me... I have not walked the Mozarabe, but lived in Alpujarra for a year. The Baztan has babyhills in comparisons!!!
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
From what I understand, the Baztan was part of the trading routes. Pilgrims would have followed/ joined the route as it was well known. It was a way of joining what we now know as the Camino Frances. There was safety in numbers. It crosses the Pyrennees at a lower altitiude, less perilous in Winter, and it also made sense for those arriving in France at the coast, instead of walking inland to cross at SJPP.

If I am wrong - happy to be corrected.

I walked in Winter, and it was not planned that well. Due to RL- I had about 10 days to plan and find accomodation open. Between April and October accomodation options triples - or quadruples.

I managed it - overweight and unfit! But I am happy walking (did swear a bit at times...) It would be a difficult route to do if you are limited to 5-15km; in Winter that would make it impossible. Between April and October you could make stages ranging from 5-12km.

As for walking it if over 80... Honestly, if you are considering a walk for a break - then you are fit enough. Probably much more so than me... I have not walked the Mozarabe, but lived in Alpujarra for a year. The Baztan has babyhills in comparisons!!!
Hi bokormen! I am always amazed when I read about people who walk a camino in winter. I could never do that. However as far as distances are concerned, normally
I try to do stages of around 20 km, depending on the terrain. So I feel quite encouraged by your description of the Baztan hills.

And I enjoyed the description of your walk and the photos. They have been incorporated in the Baztan folder in my overall planning folder! Thank you!
 

bokormen91

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Via Podensis, Baztan, Coastal Portugese, sections on others...
You were indeed blessed in Arre, The new regime, though that is far too harsh a description, dispensation is nearer the mark: hospitalero and family have made a wonderful job of continuing the welcome in the albergue there, with positive results, which I saw for myself, and also if you have facebook you can see what they do and how... thanks for sharing, you will encourage others to do likewise. I am seriously tempted for some days in July.
I was blessed in Arre - and it is cherished.


I do hope your temptation finds you walking... I took the nightbus from Paris to Bayonne, not the best sleep I have had, nor the worst. For 15€ with less than a week from booking - I was happy; it was dry and warm. If I remember correctly - you did the Vasco Interior- the Baztan will be a breeze. Hope you get the chance.

Happy trails, Buen Camino,
much love mt 🙂
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Pelerine the climb from the monastery at Urdax is steep but doable then we found the walk from Berroetta to Lanz tough climbing the Venta San Blas hill (mountain!)
But take your time, it's a little remote at times on the Baztan but very beautiful and unspoilt. Long may it stay that way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
I was blessed in Arre - and it is cherished.


I do hope your temptation finds you walking... I took the nightbus from Paris to Bayonne, not the best sleep I have had, nor the worst. For 15€ with less than a week from booking - I was happy; it was dry and warm. If I remember correctly - you did the Vasco Interior- the Baztan will be a breeze. Hope you get the chance.

Happy trails, Buen Camino,
much love mt 🙂
Good to get an update on your Arre experience. You are thinking of another person, I have not walked the Vasco Interior. Yes, I do think the Baztan, with all the tips on the forum, will be straightforward, whatever about easy! My knees are about 20 years older than the rest of me! I will have the chance, and hope I just take it. thanks for your lovely response.
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
Pelerine the climb from the monastery at Urdax is steep but doable then we found the walk from Berroetta to Lanz tough climbing the Venta San Blas hill (mountain!)
But take your time, it's a little remote at times on the Baztan but very beautiful and unspoilt. Long may it stay that way.

Thank you Fleur! Considering my age, 79 , I can do the stages, but arrive maybe much later than other pilgrims. So if I ca book iti is much better for me?
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Thank you Fleur! Considering my age, 79 , I can do the stages, but arrive maybe much later than other pilgrims. So if I ca book iti is much better for me?
You can book some places where we stayed. The monastery at Urdax and the Albergue at Berroetta we had to ourselves and didn't book. That was in September.

Please PM me if you'd like more information. Three of our group were not many years,younger than you!
 
Last edited:

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
Thank you, Fleur! Will do when I get nearer to the time - two years from now!
Meanwhile all the best for your caminos!
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Thank you, Fleur! Will do when I get nearer to the time - two years from now!
Meanwhile all the best for your caminos!
Happy trails to you Pelerine. I'm sure you won't regret joining the Baztan fan club.
Baztan walkers are special😊😉

Just keep on walking everyone. 😊
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
What sort of camino IS the Baztan? Never heard of it before! Is it walkable for over 80 (this year part of Mozárabe, next year no time)?
As others have said it is beautiful romp through the Basque Country, ending after five days in Pamplona. The way is less high than from SSPP, but with more ups and downs. Photos here.
From what I understand, the Baztan was part of the trading routes. Pilgrims would have followed/ joined the route as it was well known. It was a way of joining what we now know as the Camino Frances. There was safety in numbers. It crosses the Pyrennees at a lower altitiude, less perilous in Winter, and it also made sense for those arriving in France at the coast, instead of walking inland to cross at SJPP.
If I am wrong - happy to be corrected.
AFAIK you're right...
And you walk up and over the pass on the old way, complete with cobblestones and menhir marking the side of the path. As @peregrina2000 said, this is a wonderful option for those wanting to try a more remote path, but who still want to walk the Frances from France. Starting in Bayonne, getting the first stamp at the beautiful cathedral, was very special.
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