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Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Your Opinion on how I will start

SirRon

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May-July 2023
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
 
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, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop
I've stopped there three times.
The key is not to get an early start when you are going to stop at Orisson or the newer Borda up the road.
Spend the morning exploring St Jean Pied de Port and have a leisurely breakfast before starting.

Personally, I wouldn't be in a rush to get to SJPdP.
 
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I've stopped there three times.
The key is not to get an early start when you are going to stop at Orisson or the newer Borda up the road.
Spend the morning exploring St Jean Pied de Port and have a leisurely breakfast before starting.

Personally, I wouldn't be in a rush to get to SJPdP.
Part of me loves the look of the Refuge Orisson. Seems to be a great locale so that's the temptation! Good point about not starting early that day.
 
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I've stopped there three times.
The key is not to get an early start when you are going to stop at Orisson or the newer Borda up the road.
Spend the morning exploring St Jean Pied de Port and have a leisurely breakfast before starting.

Personally, I wouldn't be in a rush to get to SJPdP.
Great advice. I stopped in Orisson on first day after staying in St. Jean the night before. Didn't get started until about 11 am ish and it worked out quite well. Really helped the next day and easing into the journey as well.
 
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
This looks to me like a plan of your own making. Trust yourself.

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
 
It is 5 miles straight up to Orrison from SJPDP. I would stop there or Borda or go through Valcarlos and stay over there.
Straight up is an understatement for someone who is not used to walking the Camino on their first day after some minor jet lag. One year I walked there with a friend from Biarritz who walks for hours every morning along the beach. We made it as far as the cut-off and then he thumbed a ride back to SJPdP to get his car to meet up with me later at Orisson. He kept complaining to be that the way markers weren't correct after 3k to go, and then 5k to go; someone must have been incorrect in calculating the distances...
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
The first edition came out in 2003 and has become the go-to-guide for many pilgrims over the years. It is shipping with a Pilgrim Passport (Credential) from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
After flying from Hannover via Paris CDG and Orly (had to change to get a decent price) to Bayonne I arrived on the train on Sunday evening in SJPdP and started walking the Route Napolean on 6:30 Monday morning. Like you, I was 49.

I walked to Roncesvalles in one go with a coffee-break at Orisson. It was a pleasant and very quiet walk, the forecasted rain didn't fall, but it was quite windy and the sun was lurking through the clouds.
I stopped again right before the spanish border. After that I walked on to Roncesvalles where I met some amazing pilgrims. We had dinner in the hotel and talked a lot about the oncoming way.

As far as I am foreseeing my future I would stop in Orisson the next time, too. All pilgrims I met, that stopped there told my about their connections they made and the awesome time they had in Orisson.

But it's just on you, if you will stop there. It's your Camino and you decide, if you use this Albergue or not.

Have fun planning your Camino and have a walk full of new insights.
 
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
You can walk up and over in one day, if you do get an early start. I have walked St Jean to Roncesvalles with my pack, and it was fine, but I was fit and used to hills, stopped at Orrison, and then later at the food truck for refreshment. Dont underestimate the steepness, the first 8 kms are relentlessly steep.
However next time, I will have more time, and will break the walk by stopping at Borda.
 
I was 62 when I walked my first from SJPdP to SdC. The Napolean was closed in late May due to snow so I walked from SJPdP to Roncevalles on day one on the Valcarlos. I didn't know what I didn't know - reading many comments here, you would think it was impossible!
But it isn't (and trust me, I could have been in better shape, LOL).
 
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If you click on the tag "sjpp to roncesvalles" now placed under the title at the top of this thread, you will find a lot of threads that address the topic of organizing yourself and walking that first day or two.
 
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
I agree that it’s hard to know what your body will feel like after a transatlantic flight, especially if you haven’t done it recently. When you talk about forcing yourself to get adjusted, what your plan does is spread one day’s worth of travel over two days. I think you might want to consider just forging ahead and getting the Paris to SJPP travel done on your arrival day. You are not going to have time to enjoy Bayonne or wherever you stop, but you will have to get off the train, find a place to sleep, etc etc. And then repeat that the next day.

If you get all the travel to SJPP done in a day, you then will have a whole day to enjoy SJPP. It’s a pretty little place. Or you might actually feel like walking, especially if you sleep in and take a short day to Orisson. Exercise and exposure to sun and daylight are important ways to get over jet lag and reset your circadian rhythms, so my experience has been that I feel better if I walk the day after I arrive than if I sleep and take it slow.
 
Looks like a good plan. Go with it. If you're in just half ass decent shape the walk to Roncesvalles isn't that difficult. No necessity to stop at Orrison unless you want to. I've walked all the way to Roncesvalles four times and only once did I not walk all the way and that's because I left St Jean and noon so I spent the night in Valcarlos.
 
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One other option (if you have time) would be to get straight to Bayonne, stay in the albergue there, and then walk La Voie de la Nive to Saint Jean. After those three days you would be in a great state to approach the climb.
 
Rest don't rush. If you think the walk to Orisson is really short. Tell us that when you get there haha. There are alot of great places to stay in SJPP. I love Beilari. Wonderful people, great food and comfortable and really a supportive atmosphere especially for new pilgrims. You can't beat it.
In Roncesvalles there are some hotels. I have no idea how good or bad they are. Then you have the pilgrim hostel. I have only stayed there. It is big but it is a wonderful albergue. You can book a bed there ahead of time.
 
Great advice. I stopped in Orisson on first day after staying in St. Jean the night before. Didn't get started until about 11 am ish and it worked out quite well. Really helped the next day and easing into the journey as well.
I have rethought things and I'm considering this now. Just trying to get from Paris to SJPDP in one day then sleep in a bit, and walk to Orisson. Make a shorter day out of it due to the incline!
 
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Rest don't rush. If you think the walk to Orisson is really short. Tell us that when you get there haha. There are alot of great places to stay in SJPP. I love Beilari. Wonderful people, great food and comfortable and really a supportive atmosphere especially for new pilgrims. You can't beat it.
In Roncesvalles there are some hotels. I have no idea how good or bad they are. Then you have the pilgrim hostel. I have only stayed there. It is big but it is a wonderful albergue. You can book a bed there ahead of time.
to be fair I do walk a lot on inclines and have been walking 15 miles in a day on pavement without terrible discomfort. But I've thought it over and might just get to SJPDP faster and then leave leisurely and stop in Orisson just because it looks beautiful :)
 
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
Well, if you're not that fit, you will without any doubt think, when you reach Orisson those first five miles will be enough. Or you could walk one km further to Borda. But believe me, it's up the mountain to Borda as soon as you get out of St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. And if it's a hot day, I certainly wouldn't advise you to continue to Roncesvalles.
 
Well, if you're not that fit, you will without any doubt think, when you reach Orisson those first five miles will be enough. Or you could walk one km further to Borda. But believe me, it's up the mountain to Borda as soon as you get out of St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. And if it's a hot day, I certainly wouldn't advise you to continue to Roncesvalles.
I walk 15 or so miles a day a few times a month and I live on a mountain that I practice walking up. I'm sure i am going to be tired but I'm just saying I'm not a novice at it.
 
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.
I was 62 when I walked my first from SJPdP to SdC. The Napolean was closed in late May due to snow so I walked from SJPdP to Roncevalles on day one on the Valcarlos. I didn't know what I didn't know - reading many comments here, you would think it was impossible!
But it isn't (and trust me, I could have been in better shape, LOL).
Kathy, so the “downhills” sound doable in the Valcarlos route from SJPP to Roncesvalles. I’m 69 and have walked the last section of the Camino and several 100+trails in the UK. Any advice? Thanks!!
 
to be fair I do walk a lot on inclines and have been walking 15 miles in a day on pavement without terrible discomfort. But I've thought it over and might just get to SJPDP faster and then leave leisurely and stop in Orisson just because it looks beautiful :)
It is beautiful and you will enjoy it. Take your time getting up to Orisson. Buen Camino
 
So many options, it’s hard to decide :). I was absolutely indecisive as to how to start my Camino too, but you just end up making a decision, do it, and make the most of it.

You’ll be faced with many somewhat similar questions every day on the Camino (eg should I stop walking after 25kms, should I push on to the next town, should I book ahead or not, should I stay at a donativo tonight or a more expensive albergue that has proper bedsheets, should I pay for community dinner or get something cheap from the supermercado, should I skip a stage due to blisters etc).

Whatever you decide, it’ll be an experience, just enjoy it! Buen Camino.
 
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Lost 30 pounds both times I walked the FRANCES from SJPDP. Orrison is an easy walk and I really could not see myself sitting there most of a day instead of just walking further. Don't let the profiles in the guide books scare you. The grade is NOT as steep as you think. Remember horses pulled artillery up this hill years ago. The vast majority of pilgrims do NOT stop in Orrison. For me, on each of my five Caminos, the first three days were the hardest. And a lot of people say that walking from SJPDP to Roncevalles was the confidence builder they needed in order to feel they could walk all the way to Santiago. I was 69 the last time I walked out of SJPDP--August 2019 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit and carrying a big pack--I made it and so did the Swedish woman carrying her gear and 20 kilos of "Special" dogfood for her two dogs.
 
I have rethought things and I'm considering this now. Just trying to get from Paris to SJPDP in one day then sleep in a bit, and walk to Orisson. Make a shorter day out of it due to the incline!
Do your own profile of that "Incline". The guide books use EXTREME difference in vertical and Horizontal scales. Draw your own profile using something like 200 meters vertical to 200 meters horizontal and it will not look so steep. Actually I think the worst part is going downhill to Roncesvalles.
 
I have done the route four times. This last time (June 2022), we spent the night in Orisson for the first time. It was wonderful! A great start to the Camino which we had never experienced before, and a great place to really savor the views!
 

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Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
The trek to Orisson is all on well kept paved roads at suitable incline for commercial traffic except for a very short detour on gravel. Steeper than most of the rest of the way to the pass, but nothing like the roads you might see in Scotland or Ireland. In good shape, you can walk smoothly to Orisson in 2 hours, take a long coffee break, get to the pass in 2 hours and Roncessvalles 2 hours later. In reasonable shape its a bit longer. Orisson has great views, but it is just an albergue and restaurant. There are great views to enjoy all the way up, so no overwhelming reason to spend nearly the whole day at Orisson. You will have plenty of time to rest in SJPP, so take a long easy day with breaks to view the scenery and talk with the dozens of pilgrims you will meet. At the time of your travel, there will likely be a cheese and snack vendor just before the pass, and another large concession vendor a few miles after the pass. You will have daylight until 10pm, so don't sweat walking in the dark.
 
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
Stop in Orrison - starting and doing the first day all the way to Roncesvalles- one of the most difficult portions, prone to cold, rain, and fog more than any other part I walked, on your first day out is likely a mistake. I suffered for just doing Orrison to R on my second day out and am considering how to start this time, but I'm pretty sure it will be a section hike that doesn't start with that part. Leaving next week. I took that part at almost exactly this time of year when I did it, and it was a MISERABLE day
 
I was very glad I spent the night at Borda. In fact if I could do the first few days over again I’d go even slower: SJPDP-Borda-Roncesvalles-Espinal-Zubiri.

That stretch presents many physical challenges, I think if you have the time it’s a good idea to take them very slowly. I didn’t and it led to injury on the descent to Zubiri (in fact if I ever repeat the CF I’m skipping that bit).
 
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Kathy, so the “downhills” sound doable in the Valcarlos route from SJPP to Roncesvalles. I’m 69 and have walked the last section of the Camino and several 100+trails in the UK. Any advice? Thanks!!
Hahaha - I don't remember any downhills on the Valcarlos!! But that might have just been my lack of fitness!!

I have now walked both routes out of SJPdP and, honestly, am thinking of walking the Valcarlos the next time instead of the more popular Route Napolean. I think the Valcarlos is more consistently uphill while the Napolean goes up, then down, then up a little higher, then down (check the topo maps in the Brierly guidebook). There are albergues along the Valcarlos, although I was unaware of them at the time.

The Napolean was much more crowded. The albergue I stayed at in Orrison was crowded and noisy, I didn't really enjoy it that much. The Valcarlos was definitely a challenge but more peaceful and strangely beautiful. I'll never forget hearing the sound of belled sheep on the deep green pastures in the valleys as I trudged past. Even exhausted, I knew beauty when I saw/heard it.

Personally, I think my slow and steady approach on the Valcarlos, especially now that I know what to expect, would be more pleasant for me. I think that route might be a bit shorter than the Napolean, the joy of finally seeing Roncevalles in the distance is the same, and if you absolutely can't make it, it is much easier stop and get a taxi! But there is a coffee shop right where you need it most on the Valcarlos!

Congrats on going for this adventure. Both routes are challenging. Warning - No matter how hard you train, the Camino will break you down before it builds you back up again but, don't worry, you will build back up. Don't give up on yourself - you can do this!! There are people older than you and I who will be walking also, and people much younger than us who will not make it to the end.

My motto continues to be: Start out like an old man so you can finish like a young man.

Buen Camino, my friend!! Keep me posted!!
 
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
I recommend to everyone to plan a very short day for day one. I call it a gear check, but really it allows for feet to adjust to the weight and avoids blisters. I recommend Orisson.
 
Do your own profile of that "Incline". The guide books use EXTREME difference in vertical and Horizontal scales. Draw your own profile using something like 200 meters vertical to 200 meters horizontal and it will not look so steep. Actually I think the worst part is going downhill to Roncesvalles.
Here is a double profile I did using some GPS tracks and gpsvisualizer.com. Click on the graph, it links to details, one of which is "On both the Napoleon and Valcarlos routes there are 3 km stretches that average a 15% slope."
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Part of me loves the look of the Refuge Orisson. Seems to be a great locale so that's the temptation! Good point about not starting early that day.
We walked through Orrison this past May on our way to Borda -- unfortunately for us, a dense fog blanketed the Pyrennes and so we never really got to see the views everyone raves about. I loved my stay at Borda --- the host was very genial and we had a wonderful communal supper during which everyone shared where they were from and what made them decide to walk the Camino. To me, that was a great way for all of us to "connect" with each other on that first night spent on this ancient pilgrimage route.
 
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
I would recommend taking three nights, two in Paris, one in SJPD before beginning the camino. You still won't be over the the jet lag but well on your way.
 
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
I loved spending an extra day in SJPdP. It’s such a pretty town and geared me up for my first day on the Camino. I only went as far as Auberg Borda on day 1 which I didn’t regret. I can highly recommend its food/location/showers/beds etc and especially the host Laurent who was very friendly and cooked an amazing evening meal and made a great packed lunch for the following day. He responds quickly on WhatsApp and I’m happy to give you his number if you need it. Buen Camino
 
Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading Abbey to Southampton, 110 kms
The Camino starts from your door, so it doesn’t really matter how long it takes to get to SJPP. Coming from Australia I usually spend time with overseas friends or family before I begin. This year I left home on 18 August and will start my Camino on 20 September. Everything that happens along the way is part of the Way. On my first Camino I loved travelling through Paris and Bayonne before arriving at SJPP. Whatever you do, just enjoy.
 
The Camino starts from your door, so it doesn’t really matter how long it takes to get to SJPP. Coming from Australia I usually spend time with overseas friends or family before I begin. This year I left home on 18 August and will start my Camino on 20 September. Everything that happens along the way is part of the Way. On my first Camino I loved travelling through Paris and Bayonne before arriving at SJPP. Whatever you do, just enjoy.
I wish I had some overseas friends to go visit haha. I'm going for about 36-39 days this year. I have to be back though because my daughter in my avatar gets married on July 23rd haha. So I'm aiming to fly home around July 7th or so. Hopefully I can be adjusted back to the real world in time lol
 
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
Check out Bouricott Express! Excellent service and great, inexpensive company for transportation from the airports (Biarritz) to SJPDP

Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
 
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I have to be back though because my daughter in my avatar gets married on July 23rd haha. So I'm aiming to fly home around July 7th or so. Hopefully I can be adjusted back to the real world in time
I have found that having something to focus on (a wedding is ideal) helps to transition. Otherwise I'm lost without my walk, eat, sleep routine.
 
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
It may only be 5 miles, but I think it is the toughest 5 miles (7.5km) of the whole Camino Frances, especially if you are experiencing jet lag after a long flight to Spain and/or if you haven't done much walking with a full pack before leaving home.
The trail from St. Jean immediately goes steeply uphill for the first 7.5km to Orisson - there is no 'warm-up' opportunity - and it continues steadily uphill after Orisson. It may only be 5 miles, but I have encountered many people (young and old) further on the Camino who were injured on that first section to Roncesvalles because they went too far and/or too fast, and eventually had to end their Camino long before they had planned. Don't underestimate the difficulty of those 5 miles!
 
I loved spending an extra day in SJPdP. It’s such a pretty town and geared me up for my first day on the Camino. I only went as far as Auberg Borda on day 1 which I didn’t regret. I can highly recommend its food/location/showers/beds etc and especially the host Laurent who was very friendly and cooked an amazing evening meal and made a great packed lunch for the following day. He responds quickly on WhatsApp and I’m happy to give you his number if you need it. Buen Camino
I like this idea!
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
We walked through Orrison this past May on our way to Borda -- unfortunately for us, a dense fog blanketed the Pyrennes and so we never really got to see the views everyone raves about. I loved my stay at Borda --- the host was very genial and we had a wonderful communal supper during which everyone shared where they were from and what made them decide to walk the Camino. To me, that was a great way for all of us to "connect" with each other on that first night spent on this ancient pilgrimage route.
Thank you I have this down as an option too!
 
The trek to Orisson is all on well kept paved roads at suitable incline for commercial traffic except for a very short detour on gravel. Steeper than most of the rest of the way to the pass, but nothing like the roads you might see in Scotland or Ireland. In good shape, you can walk smoothly to Orisson in 2 hours, take a long coffee break, get to the pass in 2 hours and Roncessvalles 2 hours later. In reasonable shape its a bit longer. Orisson has great views, but it is just an albergue and restaurant. There are great views to enjoy all the way up, so no overwhelming reason to spend nearly the whole day at Orisson. You will have plenty of time to rest in SJPP, so take a long easy day with breaks to view the scenery and talk with the dozens of pilgrims you will meet. At the time of your travel, there will likely be a cheese and snack vendor just before the pass, and another large concession vendor a few miles after the pass. You will have daylight until 10pm, so don't sweat walking in the dark.
I appreciate your opinion. My first thought now is to get a later start and stop in Borda. If I change y mind,I might leave SJPDP by 7am, at the latest I should be in Orisson by 10 and that's compensating for resting and taking it easy due to the incline so that would. I will take a break then for an hour or so then head off to Borda. Then take another break for a bit. Then continue on to Roncesvalles, resting as needed.
I'll make my final decision closer to my departure based on our family.
 
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I appreciate your opinion. My thoughts are that if I leave SJPDP by 7am, at the latest I should be in Orisson by 10 and that's compensating for resting and taking it easy due to the incline so that would. I will take a break then for an hour or so then head off to Borda. Then take another break for a bit. Then continue on to Roncesvalles, resting as needed.
While Orisson has a restaurant that serves the general public, I don't know that Borda has facilities for people other than their overnight guests.
 
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I wish I had some overseas friends to go visit haha. I'm going for about 36-39 days this year. I have to be back though because my daughter in my avatar gets married on July 23rd haha. So I'm aiming to fly home around July 7th or so. Hopefully I can be adjusted back to the real world in time lol
Hopefully you will adjust forward rather than back to the ‘real’ world. Enjoy the afterglow. I think that’s why we hang around the forum too. I love hearing others Camino stories.
 
...Then you have the pilgrim hostel. I have only stayed there. It is big but it is a wonderful albergue. You can book a bed there ahead of time.
I remember one of my early Caminos (2011? 2012?) when someone asked if you could make reservations at the big albergue in Roncesvalles...the answer he got was,
"That albergue has 184 beds! You will never have to make a reservation!"
Never say never?
 
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I remember one of my early Caminos (2011? 2012?) when someone asked if you could make reservations at the big albergue in Roncesvalles...the answer he got was,
"That albergue has 184 beds! You will never have to make a reservation!"
Never say never?
So true! I have heard of many pilgrims being turned away in the busy months of May and September.
 
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
Shouldn't you decide that yourself before you step on a plane? First time overseas?
 
I remember one of my early Caminos (2011? 2012?) when someone asked if you could make reservations at the big albergue in Roncesvalles...the answer he got was,
"That albergue has 184 beds! You will never have to make a reservation!"
Never say never?
You are so right about that! My first camino was, of course, the CF. In fact at the the time I wasn't even aware there were other caminos. I started about September 21st. Never had a problem finding a bed. There was a long line in Roncesvalles but there were beds for everyone. Now not so much!!!!
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
Good morning from "near" Atlanta, Georgia! My May 2023 Camino is on my mind this morning. Yes, I know I have time but I like to think about it haha. I guess to better offer advice, I'll be 49 when I walk my first Camino. I probably need to lose 30 pounds haha but I'm okay walking. :)

I'm landing in Paris on Monday May 29th early in the morning. I might spend a few hours in Paris before catching a train to Bayonne or other recommended city and spend the night. Then, I will catch an early morning train to SJPDP on the 30th. I will then start my Camino on the 31st.
Part of me really wants to just land on the 29th and push myself to get to SJPDP the same day and then start my hike on the 30th but I'm trying to make a smarter decision by forcing myself time to get adjusted.
Considering all of this, I plan on walking from SJPDP to Roncesvalles. If I was not taking a day to get adjusted I would consider stopping in Orisson but on the surface, 5 miles the first day doesn't seem far enough to stop.

Thoughts?
Think of it as climbing a flight of stairs for five miles. I took one night in Paris, one night in St zjean and one night in Orisson to help with jet lag and to enjoy my experience. I was 73 and made it all the way with no blisters or mishaps. I have an artificial hip which meant I had to transport my pack but…., still give myself a 4 out of 5. Don’t rush .. savour it.
 
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Instead of starting another thread I have an additional question. Well I chose to fly into Paris because well.. I wanted to haha. But I'm open to different cities to fly back to Atlanta. After arriving in Santiago I do plan on going to Muxia and Fisterra but after that, what is your suggestion on getting to a major city to fly back to the U.S. I had thought I'd go back to Paris but I'm open to suggestions!
 
Instead of starting another thread I have an additional question. Well I chose to fly into Paris because well.. I wanted to haha. But I'm open to different cities to fly back to Atlanta. After arriving in Santiago I do plan on going to Muxia and Fisterra but after that, what is your suggestion on getting to a major city to fly back to the U.S. I had thought I'd go back to Paris but I'm open to suggestions!
So it sounds like you have bought a one way ticket, is that right? I’m not trying to wade into the divisive waters that topic produced recently, but just want to know what you are looking for. (If you have bought a one-way ticket, do you mind telling us what it cost?)

If you haven’t bought a ticket, I would look for what they call an “open jaw” or “multi-city” ticket. Atlanta - Paris on the outbound and Santiago-Madrid-Atlanta going home. This is frequently not much more expensive than other options and would be the most convenient.

If you have bought a ticket, I would just search for one way Santiago-Madrid-Atlanta. Cheapest way to do that will be on Iberia/American, since Iberia is partners with American and they code share. The problem with that may be that some have reported that the 6 am flight from Santiago to Madrid has either been greatly reduced or eliminated. If that’s the case you won’t be able to fly from Santiago on the day of your Atlanta flight, whether you have an open jaw or a one way ticket.

Since the only way to leave Santiago on the same day you fly home may no longer be an option, you will have to leave the day before your flight home. Train, bus, and airplane are all options, but I think Madrid is likely to be the best departure city. Some have gotten great prices in and out of Porto and that would be another option to check.

Buen camino, Laurie
 
Instead of starting another thread I have an additional question. Well I chose to fly into Paris because well.. I wanted to haha. But I'm open to different cities to fly back to Atlanta. After arriving in Santiago I do plan on going to Muxia and Fisterra but after that, what is your suggestion on getting to a major city to fly back to the U.S. I had thought I'd go back to Paris but I'm open to suggestions!
Porto or Madrid, with Porto being my first choice.
It's an easy ~4 hour bus ride to Porto, which is a fun city and esy to get around.
 
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.
So it sounds like you have bought a one way ticket, is that right? I’m not trying to wade into the divisive waters that topic produced recently, but just want to know what you are looking for. (If you have bought a one-way ticket, do you mind telling us what it cost?)

If you haven’t bought a ticket, I would look for what they call an “open jaw” or “multi-city” ticket. Atlanta - Paris on the outbound and Santiago-Madrid-Atlanta going home. This is frequently not much more expensive than other options and would be the most convenient.

If you have bought a ticket, I would just search for one way Santiago-Madrid-Atlanta. Cheapest way to do that will be on Iberia/American, since Iberia is partners with American and they code share. The problem with that may be that some have reported that the 6 am flight from Santiago to Madrid has either been greatly reduced or eliminated. If that’s the case you won’t be able to fly from Santiago on the day of your Atlanta flight, whether you have an open jaw or a one way ticket.

Since the only way to leave Santiago on the same day you fly home may no longer be an option, you will have to leave the day before your flight home. Train, bus, and airplane are all options, but I think Madrid is likely to be the best departure city. Some have gotten great prices in and out of Porto and that would be another option to check.

Buen camino, Laurie
I haven't bought flights yet. Just thinking out loud :)
 

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