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Saint Jean To Roncesvalles

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Keith Bold, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. Keith Bold

    Keith Bold Member

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    Hi all
    Sorry for asking too many questions! Anyone walked from Saint Jean to Roncesvalles as the first stage through the Pyrenees? The company I used to book our accommodation have made that the first stage but as I plan and book the other elements I'm realising that's a long first day, my son of 11 will be along also. I believe Orisson is a good stopping point.
    Advice would be welcome.

    Keith
     
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  2. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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  3. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Keith - I regularly travel internationally with my 12 year old grandson. We leave in a few weeks for hiking in Guatemala. As he is only 12, I've been very careful as to how much I plan daily based on what I know his capabilities (physical and psychological) to be. Although our hiking plans may seem only moderate to some, I keep in mind that he's a child and that I want him to enjoy himself every step of the way. With that said, I would NOT walk SJPP to Roncesvalles with him in one day. Unless your travel company has experience with planning a Camino with children, they may have over-reached in what they believe you can do in a day.

    The trek from SJPP to a Roncesvalles is a demanding day for adults. As Orisson only has 28 beds, clearly most people make the crossing as a single stage. However, whether its easy or difficult depends more on one's physical conditioning than anything else. But, that applies to adults, not children. Personally, I would NEVER attempt that full stage with an 11 year old. Even breaking it in two will still be a good challenge for your son. I would also not let him carry his full pack on that mountain stage. Use Jacotrans to transport his pack from one albergue to another. You want your young son to enjoy his Camino! Don't make the first stretch so impossible that he wants to stop and go home. Although I'm a big fan of having reservations, I also know my abilities and how far I can walk in a day. You may find that walking day after day after day with a child modifies the pace you can travel at. I'd definitely suggest that your first rest day be Pamplona. You two will get into a rhythm, but you'll have to learn as you go what that will be. Buen Camino!
     
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  4. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Keith

    I would totally agree with Rob and Wily. The first day over the Col de Lepoeder is very very tough. Definitely reserve Orisson and definitely send your sons bag ahead with Jacotrans.

    I would also advise you not to underestimate the impact of the first three days walk to Pamplona. That first day involves the considerable climb (up to 1450 metres) over the Pyrenees and then two days of constant walking to Pamplona. Unless you have done a lot of walking set over consecutive days the constant walking each day can take quite a toll so by the time you reach Pamplona both of you may be pretty exhausted. So as Wily says plan for a decent break in Pamplona, at least a day. Then once past Pamplona you have a couple of more days of climbs up and down. Not as bad as that first day but still challenging (the descent from the Alto de Perdon is pretty tough with lots of loose stones).

    I would also suggest that for the first part you might want to consider shortening your walking distances so it's not so hard on your son. You do want to enjoy this experience together and remember the Camino isn't going anywhere. It will still be there to return to at any time.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  5. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    hi Keith, I walked Camino Frances with my 13y old son. First day from SJPP to Roncesvalles. He plays football several years, so he was well trained (much better than me) So my recommendations-if he is trained by some sport, he can do it, probably better than you :) .Otherwise check beds in Orrison.
     
  6. Keith Bold

    Keith Bold Member

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    Hi all
    Great replies, thanks. Danve, my son studies martial arts 4 times a week and we go hill walking most weekends. He leaves me behind. But the others give me food for thought. Apparently there is a shuttle bus (?) to Orisson meaning we can do it in one day by bussing the first part. The already paid for accomdation is making it difficult to change now. But I'm going to have a look at options.
     
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  7. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Keith - Express Bourricot offers "The Mountain Shuttle" that you can catch at the Pilgrim's Office in SJPP. They leave daily at 08:30 with several dropping off points up the mountain.

    http://www.expressbourricot.com/persons-transport/

    Even if you take the shuttle as far as Orisson, you and your son still have a full 12 kilometers to the top of the Col de Lepoeder with another 5 down to Roncesvalles.
    It's still definitely a full day and possibly a good option for you so as to stay on schedule. Buen Camino!
     
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  8. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Keith, i think he is very well trained. Of course, you are parent, you must decide. But my last thought: Pyrenees are nothing steep, it is only very long upwalk. So if he did any long trip, it will be ok. Ask him. If he tell you, that he want to walk full trip, and he will do it, he will be proud of himself. If
    then I'm sure he can do it.
     
  9. Keith Bold

    Keith Bold Member

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    Thanks Wily. I'm quite torn now. There are quite conflicting views. But the shuttle seems like a good option.
     
  10. Keith Bold

    Keith Bold Member

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    Hi Danve, so it's not especially steep? That's intersteing. The impre
    Hi Danve, I'm glad you told me its not too steep. I got the impression it was steep, long and hard. We do these kid of walks

    upload_2017-6-27_8-22-18.png

    Obviously this is not as far. I am also going to email the orison hostal today If they have space we can change our travel plans and start a day earlier. We have a family thing but I can solve that.

    Regards

    Keith
     
  11. Keith Bold

    Keith Bold Member

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    I have emailed the orrisson hostal. If i'm lucky they'll have accommodation on the sunday night and we can start a day early.
     
  12. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Keith - By hiking standards, it is not a hard, steep trek from Orisson to the top of the Col de Lepoeder. As I remember, you will be on a paved surface most of the way up. But, from Orisson, it's still 12 km uphill which, as Danvo indicated, is a long distance. In fact, the stretch from SJPP to Roncesvalles is steeper than the part after Orisson. To give you some perspective, I walked the Orisson to Roncesvalles section in 4 1/2 hours. As I was one of the first to arrive that afternoon, I'm guessing that my hiking pace is quicker than most. In any case, it's a long, uphill hike, but on a good surface (no goat trails). As you already have a reservation in Roncesvalles, there will be no need for you to hurry. I will suggest that after reaching the top
    that you take the road down (5 km) and not the path through the woods.

    I think that both you and your son will enjoy SJPP. As there is plenty to see and explore there, I'd suggest that you keep your reservation there and take the shuttle up to Orisson in the morning. Believe me, even starting in Orisson, you'll have a full day of hiking and be most satisfied by the time you reach Roncesvalles. Buen Camino!
     
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  13. Keith Bold

    Keith Bold Member

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    Thanks wily, we are definitely going to explore Saint Jean. We will have sunday there, we will expect to arrive mid morning.
     
  14. Ann Bauer

    Ann Bauer New Member

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    Hi I stayed in Orisson on Thursday night. Well worth the stop and you will have time to bond with fellow pilgrims. The food for the evening meal was plentiful! Two days of pouring rain haven't dampened my spirits or enjoyment! The walk to Roncesvalles is much easier split into two sections.
     
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  15. keithlundy1

    keithlundy1 Active Member

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    Hi Keith, You and your son sound like a fit pair. You'll kick yourself not walking the whole of stage one, whether you stop at Orisson or not you wont want to miss the scenic views as you get higher and higher. If you never plan to walk it again walk it this time. I walked it 2yrs ago and the first 8kms to Orisson was pretty hard for the first day but I'm glad I walked it and I stopped at Orisson. I'm walking it again starting July 24th and this time I'm camping out each night and walking the whole of the first stage because I know I can. Buen Camino Keith, Norfolk
     
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  16. Keith Bold

    Keith Bold Member

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    Thanks keith, sorry for the late reply, did you overnight at Orrisson 2 yrs ago but realised you could have walked it? We did 16miles on Saturday which included about 1000m of steep climbing. Then on Sunday we did another 9 using the same hill but a different path. I certainly felt it and my knees were killing me! I'm having cortisone injections in them both next week in preparation. Arthritis came along early. I think we can manage it .I have paid a deposit at orrisson but am struggling changing some travel plans so we may just have to do the whole stage My son is not impressed with the bus idea! But then his cartilage is all new.

    Keith
     
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  17. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Keith - Early on in Spain, stop into a pharmacy and pick up a tube of Ibufén. My wife had problems with her knees in Portugal due to the cobblestones. She applied this cream several times a day and it worked well giving her relief from sore knees. It's not very expensive and worth have in your kit. Hopefully, too, the cortison shots will work as well for you as they did for me. Buen Camino!
     
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  18. Keith Bold

    Keith Bold Member

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    Thanks Wily, I'm hoping the injections help. I'll try the gel also but I have to be careful using iboprofen. It gave me quite nasty stomach ulcers last year. In fact I've got a gastroscopy tomorrow to reviewthem. Apparently even the gel can become systemic enough to cause problems in those susceptible. Then the codeine upsets my crohns! I'm thinking a draught of Rioja in the evening may be the best medicine. We're going for the full stage though. This whole trip is going to be such a,....., I realised I don't know quite how to finish that sentence.
     
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  19. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Keith - The Rioja may be just what the doctor ordered. Plus, you need something to wash down the tapas! I know that you and your son will have an experience of a lifetime and many memories to share for a long time to come. I travel to Central America with my 11 year old grand son in a few weeks. We're both very excited about the adventure that includes hiking volcanos, taking Mayan cooking lessons, and visiting shamans. So, enjoy your Camino and the many experiences and surprises it brings to the both of you. Buen Camino!
     
  20. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    [QUOTE="Keith Bold, This whole trip is going to be such a,....., I realised I don't know quite how to finish that sentence.[/QUOTE]

    challenging, wonderful, life-altering, brave, daring, venturesome, courageous, memory-packed Camino! There......finished, no....and then some! :D Buen Camino Keith!!
     
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  21. Keith Bold

    Keith Bold Member

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    Hey Wily, what a fantastic trip for you. Have a wonderful time and thanks for tour tips.
     
  22. keithlundy1

    keithlundy1 Active Member

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    Hi Keith, Apologies for not getting back sooner but I've been doing some pretty late shifts at work.
    My original plan was to walk the whole of the stage to Roncesvalles but after about an hour I came across a lady that was really struggling and I really did fear for her safety, she was carrying far too much and was quite a bit overweight, so I decided to stop with her and walk her to Orisson and it took us 8hrs so there wasn't an awful lot of time to continue the rest of the way but I'm glad I stopped at Orisson, it was a pleasant evening and the rest of the Pilgrims were friendly and we shared stories. It's not a bad idea to stop there if for nothing else just to set yourself right for the next 30+ days walking. Whatever you decide, decide what's best for you and manageable, it's not worth wrecking your knees on the first day over doing things, it's about enjoying the whole journey both spiritually and physically and sharing the moment with your son. Buen Camino. Keith, Norfolk
     
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