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Our Plan

Discussion in 'Cycling the Camino de Santiago' started by cruiser9608, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. cruiser9608

    cruiser9608 New Member

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    We are flying into Paris on the 24th of April. Our plan is to take the train to Bayonne from there and stay a couple of nights there in Bayonne. While there we plan on purchasing a couple of mountain bikes from go sport there in Bayonne. Then we will take the train to Saint jean and start the adventure of a lifetime. We are hoping to sleep in tents wherever we can find a place to put them up. We have been spending a lot of weekends riding our bikes here in Fort Worth Texas in preparation for our journey.
     
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  2. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Cruiser - Sounds like a great plan with your son. I, too, flew into Paris and took the train down to Bayonne. I know you already have your tickets, but what time of day do you arrive in Paris? As you probably already know, trains south depart from both CDG and the Montparnasse station throughout the day. I found it very easy to jump Le Bus Direct (leaves every 30 minutes) into the city, walk around for a couple of hours, and then catch the train to Bayonne. That, however, depends on how much time you have between connections. My one suggestion to you is that if you’re leaving Paris on the same day you arrive there, do NOT check your backpacks. I travel everywhere with my 36L pack and I’ve never been refused entry into the cabin with it on international flights. If you are planning on leaving the day you arrive and your gear is delayed, that will throw a real monkey wrench into your plans. The mountain biking around Bayonne sounds great! Buen Camino!
     
  3. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Yes – This sounds like a decent plan :)

    I wonder if you have considered which guidebooks to use ?? , I have always used the little guides published by The Confraternity of Saint James and have found these incredibly good and they have included different routes for cyclists where the walking paths aren’t suitable – Some are now available as downloads and the rest are available by post from https://www.csj.org.uk/planning-your-pilgrimage/csj-guides-and-updates/

    Another fantastic online resource is Mundicamino http://www.mundicamino.com/ where there is a wealth of information available including some good strip maps which I have printed off many times.

    With checking in your baggage - There have been quite a lot of discussions on this on here as IF this were to happen it would cause massive problems – I checked out the statistics and, unfortunately it looks as though “In the United States, an average of 1 in 150 people have their checked baggage misdirected or left behind each year” according to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_luggage

    But thankfully this appears to be an improving situation :) https://apex.aero/2017/05/04/sita-baggage-report-2017-lost-luggage-technology

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  4. cruiser9608

    cruiser9608 New Member

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    We will be landing at CDG at 11:30 am.
    We both will be carrying small backpacks.
     
  5. cruiser9608

    cruiser9608 New Member

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    I do have John Brierley A pilgrims guide. And I have spent a lot of time on this forum looking for answers to questions I didn’t know I would be asking. Will look into the websites you mentioned. Thanks

    Which brings up Thanks to everyone on this forum.
     
  6. Canadian Wander

    Canadian Wander When in doubt, rack out...

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    Enjoy your Camino, hope you share your thoughts and stories while there!
     
  7. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    On the "Camino del Norte" section there is a post about having problems in camping on that section of the Camino. The problems that they had might apply to you. Also there are some on going problems in France with demonstrations that might effect travel for you.
     
  8. Claire

    Claire New Member

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    I have begun my Camino from Paris CDG 3 times. My experience is that flights to Biarritz can be less expensive that the train and I have used this option twice. Last summer, the flights did not fit our schedule so my husband and I took the train from Paris Monparnasse. When booking your train tickets, it is best to take the direct train. We had very tight connections so we had to take a taxi from CDG to the train station. Please be careful at CDG...there were some unauthorized taxis charging outrageous prices to get into the city and these drivers have a person inside the terminal steering unsuspecting tourists to these bogus taxis. Fortunately we did not have enough money, so we were not ripped off and we found our way back to the legitimate taxi stand....and we made our train. The next day, the train system in France went on strike.
     
  9. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Claire- Excellent advice and similar to my experience. Although I’m not sure where the taxi stand is at CDG, Le Bus Direct is immediately outside of baggage pickup. Makes catching a bus very easy. However, the rates have significantly gone up since I took the bus to Gare Montparnasse. They’re now charging about €30. Two or more people might find a taxi the cheaper way into the city. Taking the direct train is also excellent advice. Direct from Paris to Bayonne is a very easy trip on the high speed TGV. The other benefit of train travel is that you get to see the beautiful French countryside. Arriving very early in the morning allowed me alot of time between my connection so I was able to stroll around the Luxembourg Gardens and enjoy breakfast at a sidewalk cafe before traveling again. Buen Camino!
     
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  10. cruiser9608

    cruiser9608 New Member

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    Well plans have been changed. Our flight was canceled today. Now we are leaving on the 23rd. of April. That just tears me apart. Now we will have to leave a day earlier. Hope this is the last time it is canceled. LOL
     
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  11. keithlundy1

    keithlundy1 Active Member

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    Hi Cruisers
    Good to hear more of our cousins across the Atlantic are joining the Camino Fraternity.
    I thought I'd give you some feedback from my last 2 Caminos especially my last one in 2017.
    With regard to cycling the route, if you intend following the walking trail you will find some sections totally unsuitable for bikes and the guys I passed had been short sighted thinking they could just follow the Frances Trail. As you are cycling the whole Camino you will need to review the elevation and terrain on the routes you plan to take, after all there's nothing worse than having to push a bike rather than cycling.
    My next point which is equally important as I had the same thoughts on my last Camino. I wanted to camp out and sleep in a tent as much as I could along the Camino and that creates a problem immediately when you start. I did my first night under the stars just past Logrono and it was a beautiful warm clear night, I had bought some snacks and juice for the evening and was well into a good night's sleep until the early hours of the morning when I was awakened by 2 policemen who spoke very little English if none at all. I got the jist that they weren't happy with me camping but couldn't explain to me why, so they got one of their officers on the radio to explain that it was too dangerous and not permitted until you have passed the Basque Region, not that they would harm you but they would retain you to make a political statement which could amount to weeks even months to sort out, so you can see why they wont let you camp out. The officers were really good as it was early hours of the morning all the Albergues were closed so I slept at the station.
    The next problem with wanting to camp in tents is the availability of places to stay. The farmers you will see put signs up all along their boundary lines "tierra privada" (private land) and some got very titchy at me when I asked to camp, rather than a simple no, they got quite loud. All in all of the 32 days I walked the Camino I managed only 11 days sleeping in my tent and I ask myself was it worth it to carry all that extra weight for that, definitely not, but at the end of the day guys it's your choice and your journey and I can only wish you both well and a safe journey. I'm walking it again starting 30th June, flying into Biarritz on the 29th June and getting the shuttle service Beurricott can't remember the spelling of it to SJPP it's worth the 90Euros rather than faffing about with busses trains and taxis, they pick you up right outside the airport and drop you at the front of your Albergue in SJPP.
    Anyway guys, keep training, stay fit and as they say you can never plan too much, but most of all, enjoy it.
    If there is anything you want to ask feel free, I'll do what I can.
    Buen Camino, Keith (Norfolk, England)
     
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  12. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    @keithlundy1 WOW that was not what I thought might happen. I guess that there is more political unrest going on than I expected.

    I lost the checked package holding my hiking poles between San Francisco and Biarritz, while filling out a claim form the shuttle bus from Saint Jean came and left. So I unexpectedly got to figure out the train connection to Saint Jean. (It was not too difficult,)
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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