Why do so many start in Saint Jean Pied de Port?

Saint Jean Pied de Port

The question was:

Considering the complications to get to S.Jean Pied de Port, especially for anyone landing in Spain or coming from Spain/Portugal/Southern France, I always wonder why so many of these people want to start their Camino in SJPP!

I remember that when I was a hospitalera, I always gave a “congratulations” type comment when I saw SJPP as the starting point on their Credential. (There was also the occasional Pilgrim who started even further away).

However, although I have started my Camino 3 times in Roncesvalles, I have never even taken into consideration to get myself to SJPP!

My reasoning was simply, why make an uphill and downhill struggle, risking my feet, ankles, legs, etc. when I am just at the beginning of my Camino. Take it slowly for the first few days, is the eternal recommendation!

I also took my age into consideration, plus that fact that we arrive from Costa Rica, which means a 20 hours non-stop journey, before we get to our starting point.

During those first days, when one is getting your body used to this new “way of life”, I have seen many, many people nursing blisters, or worse, and all have blamed the walk over the Pyrenees as culprit.

So, Forum Guests, past and future Pilgrims, what is your comment?

Read this interesting conversation on why start your camino in Saint Jean Pied de Port.

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