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Only Have 11 Or 12 Days To Walk..

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Carole Turner, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. Carole Turner

    Carole Turner New Member

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    My sister and I are flying into Madrid on July 24th, we only have 11 or 12 walking days, what starting point would you recommend?

    We were thinking Leon but is that too far to walk each day?

    If we start in France, (knowing we wouldn't complete the walk) is there a train that will take you there from Madrid?

    Is it better to start in France and just walk as far as we can or is it better to start half way and finish.

    Thanks for your help.
     
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  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Carole - Welcome to the Forum. I think you have two good options already figured out! If you want to start at the beginning of the Camino Francés, SJPP would be the place to start. One benefit of starting here is your first day out crossing the Pyrenees. It's a glorious hike into Spain. In 12 days, you can reach Burgos. The walk across the province of Navarra is wonderful including a night in Pamplona. From Madrid, take the train to Pamplona and then the bus on to SJPP. You could also fly from Madrid to Biarritz and then do a bus/train combo to Saint Jean.

    The other option you mentioned, Leon to Santiago, is also very viable. It, too, can be walked in 12 days. There really isn't any bad part of the Camino Francés. Both of these sections offer tremendous variety. If you do begin in Leon and walk to Santiago, you would qualify for your Compostela if that is important to you. However, if you think you might return to walk more, starting in SJPP makes a lot of sense. Honestly, you can't go wrong with either choice. Buen Camino!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
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  3. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi Carole and welcome to the forum :)

    IF it were me then I would opt for Wily’s first suggestion, start off in Saint Jean Pied de Port and walk as far as your timeframe permits – Spain has an Excellent public transport infrastructure and you can get from almost anywhere to Madrid with very little effort. By starting in Saint Jean Pied de Port you won’t have any regrets about missing what is probably the most rewarding section between there and Roncesvalles

    Book your first night’s accommodation in Saint Jean Pied de Port and, unless you are an experienced walker, book a bed at Orisson too (http://www.refuge-orisson.com/en/ ), by then you will have a good idea of how many pilgrims are on “The Way” and therefore if it is necessary to book further accommodation in advance

    I am sure that you will have a wonderful time

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
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  4. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Carole

    Great advice from Wily and Rob already. That first day over the Pyrenees is not to be missed. It's challenging but definitely doable but do use the time you have to get plenty of practice in. The best advice I got was to climb the 10 floors in my office building as much as possible.

    If you do decide on starting in St Jean and are flying to Biarritz Express Bourricot provide transport directly to St Jean for as little as €18 per person depending on the number of people travelling. They try to fill their minibus as much as possible to keep costs down. A great adventure awaits.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  5. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Carole, this is another YES for start form SJPP: In Saint-Jean you can meet with many pilgrims and be a part of Camino family, which is great experience. Starting close to Santiago is about miss this experience, because these parts are liked by big groups of (mainly spanish) pilgrims, these groups are often noisy, and of course closed and pilgrims who walked from Saint-Jean are after 2 weeks changed by camino...(so little-bit closed too)
    Another good idea is walking Camino del Norte. Buen Camino!!
     
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  6. Donna

    Donna Member

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    August 24th sissy
     
  7. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    I made a dupicate post in eror :-(
     
  8. Andrej T.

    Andrej T. New Member

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    Hello,

    other option is also Camino Portugal. From Porto to Santiago 10-12 days.
     
  9. Donna

    Donna Member

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    We arrive in Madrid 7:50am and I tried to determine our travel time from airport to SJPp and it seemed like 3 hrs train and 2 hrs bus. Does that seem correct?
     
  10. Carole Turner

    Carole Turner New Member

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    Thank you all for your input. We are flying into Madrid, do you have a link to the train that goes from there to SJPP?
     
  11. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Donna - Your times are really close. What I'm not sure about is whether or not you can catch the train you want from Bajaras. I've checked the RENFE schedule, but have not been able to find a train directly from the airport. I've always traveled in and out of Atocha. As you arrive at 7:50 am, there is an 11:35 train from downtown that puts you into Pamplona at 14:40. Unfortunately, you will miss the 14:30 bus to SJPP, but there is a later one at 17:30 putting you into SJPP at 19:15. Arriving that late, be sure to have reserved a bed for the night.

    Although you should have plenty of time to get from the airport to downtown, let me recommend that you do NOT check your backpack. Tske it into the cabin as carry-on. The last thing you want to do is wait for a bag just in case your flight is late or immigration is busy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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  12. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Carole - Check out the post I just put up in response to Donna's question. The link you need for the train, Madrid-Pamplona, is the RENFE website. For the bus from Pamplona to SJPP, visit the ALSA website for times.
     
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  13. toadoftoadhall

    toadoftoadhall Member

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    catch a train to Leon, and walk to santiago. Some decent walking, mountains, forests, and get your compostella .
    You may get to spend an extra day in Santiago too, good night life.
     
  14. Donna

    Donna Member

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    Thanks! My sister and I are torn between that plan and the other suggestions of starting at the SJPP.
     
  15. toadoftoadhall

    toadoftoadhall Member

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    I got a taxi at one place because it was just pouring with rain all day. I went for enjoyment not just to endure the walk.
    Also it gave an extra day in santiago.
     
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  16. Carole Turner

    Carole Turner New Member

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    Hello, thank you so much for all your help. I have a question about where to stay in SJDPP that first night, is there a place or places you can recommend? How far is Orisson from SJDPP? How long does it usually take to walk to there? Thank you so much!
     
  17. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Carole - Let me start by giving you the like to where I stayed in SJPP.

    https://www.ultreia64.fr/en/the-hostel-2/the-hostel/

    The Gite Ultreia is just down the street from the Pilgrim's Office. It's clean, modern, and has a most friendly staff. I'll stay there again the next time I'm in SJPP.

    Orisson is only 8 km from SJPP. However, it's the steepest part of the route over the Pyrenees. After Orisson, you have another 12 km to the top. If you are planning to break up the mountain trek and overnight in Orisson, definitely make a reservation there well in advance as they only have 28 beds. Email them from their webite:

    http://www.refuge-orisson.com/en/

    Most hikers take between 2-3 hours for the SJPP - Orisson section of this stage. If you are going all the way the first day, which most pilgrims do, Orisson is a great place for a break and to get something to eat and drink before heading on.

    Finally, since fewer beds are now available in Roncesvalles, you'd be wise to reserve a bed there as well.

    http://www.alberguederoncesvalles.com/

    During the busy months, there might be as many as 300 pilgrims a day leaving SJPP. If you were to arrive late there, a reservation would guarantee you a bed.

    Buen Camino!
     
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  18. Carole Turner

    Carole Turner New Member

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    Thank you! I looked into the Gite Ultreia but they are booked up on the day we would need to stay in SJPP. Any other place you recommend?

    Stopping in Orisson for food in drink sounds like what we will do.

    I reserved beds already at Roncesvalles.

    It looks like we will only have 11 days and that puts us ending in Belorodo, can you recommend a place to stay there and in madrid?

    Thanks again.
     
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  19. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Carole - In Belorado, I can highly recommend the Albergue Cuatro Cantones.

    https://www.cuatrocantones.com/en/

    It's really quite nice and they serve an excellent Pilgrim's Dinner that you don't want to miss. Be sure to sign up for dinner when you arrive since it will fill up.

    Here's a pretty good list of albergues along with websites and email addresses for the CF that you might find helpful.

    http://caminoteca.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/List-of-Albergues-2016.pdf

    Buen Camino!
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
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  20. keithlundy1

    keithlundy1 Member

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    Hello Carol,
    I too arrive in SJPP on the 245th July
    For accommodation just go online and type in Albergue in SJPP and it will come up with a list of hostels, hotels and where they are in the town and what vacancies they have and how much it costs per night.
    Orisson is 8km from SJPP but don't be fooled by the short distance, it is the first day of your walk and your legs are not conditioned yet so it will take you longer than expected but allowing 4-5hrs would be perfectly normal, at least that way you'll still enjoy all the beautiful scenery you'll experience, it's awesome. Buen Camino. Keith, Norfolk England
     
  21. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Carole

    I stayed at the Hotel des Remparts in St Jean. It's a small three star hotel but it's clean and convenient for the Camino.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  22. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi Carole

    Many pilgrims walk from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles in a single day (I did so myself, but at that time there wasn’t the option of staying at Orisson) – However, I also now recommend that unless you are a hardened experienced trekker then staying at Orisson is a good idea and has the advantage that this allows you to do some sightseeing in Saint Jean Pied de Port before you start your walk (Many Pilgrims miss doing this and Saint Jean Pied de Port is a really beautiful; place and far too nice to miss) – So, apart from the obvious of it easing you into your walk by splitting the first and usually considered as the hardest day of the walk into two. You needn’t set off until you have taken an early lunch and can then walk the 8k uphill to Orisson and have a leisurely start to your pilgrimage.

    If you are considering staying at Orisson then it’s essential to book your bed there http://www.refuge-orisson.com/en/

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob

    PS – I have no recommendations for accommodation at Saint Jean Pied de Port but recommend that you book something as soon as you can as the less expensive places and highly recommended places always get book up quickly
     
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