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Sjpp To Roncevalles - September 2017

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Galloglaigh, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Member

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    As many people are unsure of the Saint Jean to Roncevalles section, I thought I'd put an updated guide for what is Day 1 for most people. Information is relevant to September 2017.

    Firstly there are a lot of options. For example Express Bourricot who do the bags transfer over to Roncevalles offer a minibus service all the way to Roncevalles - and the steps in between. This is their tariff.

    Bourricot.jpg
     
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  2. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Member

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    The route has also changed as you go past Huntto. Instead of staying on the road up to Orisson, they've added in an off-road section (GR65) which snakes up the hill. Time saving in the dry but pretty nasty on the wet (10th September)

    At the top, you come back onto the Orisson road (D428) just short of the Refuge there. Didn't see much by way of food/drink at Huntto though there were vending machines and a few tables. Most stop at Orisson.
    GR_65.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
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  3. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Member

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    This is looking back to the off road section. You can still use the road which is preferable if the off road bit is wet Top of GR65 changes.jpg
     
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  4. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Member

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    As you come off the hill above Roncevalles there is a small stall selling food and drink (beside a cattle grid). Beyond is the route down to Roncevalles either by the path which is steep and rocky or you can take the road (NA-2033) down to join the N-135 above the village. The road is longer but much better if you are not confident on a downward slope.
     
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  5. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Member

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    Lastly when you go through Burguete, just before the Santander Bank turn onto the Camino there is a restaurant in the square on the left. See if you can spot the husky dog sitting on the window sill. He's a big old male that loves a rub if he allows you. Listen for the low growl when he doesn't want to be disturbed. Husky.jpg
     
  6. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Very Useful and I am sure that those following in your footsteps will appreciate the time and effort that you went to to post this up to date information :)

    Thanks

    Rob
     
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  7. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Galloglaigh - Love the photo of the Siberian! We, too, met some memorable (and adorable) Camino friends along the CP. These two guys were around to make sure we were going the right way on the far side of Barcelos.

    IMG_0278.JPG
     
  8. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Galloglaigh - I'm not sure it's the road less traveled, but taking the road down from the top of the Col de Leopoeder would be my recommendation for the best route to Roncesvalles after having just ascended for 20 km. Tired legs and the path through the woods might not be one's best bet. Going by road only adds another 1.5 km to the hike, but it is far easier! At the bottom near the highway, turn left and follow the path into the backside of the Colegiata. After an inspiring day crossing the Pyrenees enjoy a cold beverage and some excellent company and celebration with your fellow pilgrims at the Casa Sabina. Buen Camino.
     
  9. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    20170511_234904.jpg 20170511_234852.jpg Pilgrim office in Saint Jean.
     
  10. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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  11. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    20170513_065414.jpg Elevator at Rochavells
     
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  12. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey UnkleHammy - Nice pics! From your Samsung? I had forgotten just how modern the facilities were at the Colegiata in Roncesvalles. Ah, such fond memories! Thanks for sharing. Buen Camino!
     
  13. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    20160504_161459.jpg Map from Saint Jean to Rochavells from the Pilgrem office
     
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  14. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    20160505_155509.jpg One of the sleeping areas at Orisson
     
  15. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    20160506_135604.jpg Note inside the emergency shelter on the way to Roncahveles
     

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  16. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    20160506_145939.jpg From this WiFi spot it is all downhill into Rochavells
     
  17. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    20160509_095618.jpg Camino de Santiago just outside Rochavells
     
  18. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Yes all of my pictures were taken with my Samsung. Some with my S6 and most with my S7. (It depends on the year.) And here is Wily's favorate place to kick back and relax at. 20170513_230359.jpg
     
  19. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Member

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    Excellent pics. The shelter at Izandorre is a welcome stop when it has been raining all day as it did on my first day.
     
  20. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey UnkleHammy - Thanks for posting the pic of Casa Sabina! Yes, very fond memories of sitting here the afternoon after crossing the Pyrenees with new friends from all over the world. It was one of my favorite places to kick back and relax and enjoy a couple well-deserved cold beers. And, like many other places along The Way, you can't beat the camraderie offered by the people you meet walking. Buen Camino!
     
  21. Paul McGranaghan

    Paul McGranaghan Member

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    Love these photos :) Almost a year to the day since I took to the Camino. These photos brought back such good memories. Many thanks and Buen Camino :)
     
  22. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    20160404_095318.jpg Saint Jean to Roncahveles from Michelien map 160. Note the double arrow heads on both sides of Hunto. Double arrow heads indicate a slope of greater than 12%
     
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  23. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    I remember this spot well. We had really ambled (or climbed very slowly) that first day up the mountain, taking in all the sights etc and had probably underestimated the distance (we didn't leave St Jean until after 9am) so it was just 6pm when we got to the Col. We had brought a small bottle of wine and a couple of plastic glasses from the plane so the three of us sat down and had a celebratory drink. It was a fantastic feeling but we still had the forest challenge ahead!

    It took close on two hours to walk down through the forest and by the time we reached Roncesvalles it was almost 8pm and getting dark. Luckily we had booked our room in advance. I will never forget that day. One of the most physically challenging but I loved it.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  24. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Member

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  25. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    My wife, brother and his wife began our camino from St Jean on Sept 8. It is now day 15 of our camino and we are presently in Castrojerez. A complete shcok to us is the huge number of pilgrims walking in Sept. Roncesvalles was completo and many pilgrims were turned away. All albergues in Zubiri were completo. The municipal.was completo in Pamoplona. We are hearing many stories from fellow pilgrims - one said he walked from Roncesvalles to Zubiri and when he learned that Zubiri was completo, he kept walking all the way to Pamplona. We left Ages at 6:30 am to get to the Burgos municipal before their doors opened at noon and there were at least 50 backpacks in queue waiting to check in. Yesterday we walked to hornillos and by early afternoon the entire town was completo. Someone aranged for a van to take a group of pilgrims to find a bed in Hontanas. Fortunately we made advance reservations in all but a few towns. Not sure what the reason is for the deluge of pilgrims. For those not yet started you might consider making advance reservations for days ahead until the pilgrim traffic settles down. Bob
     
  26. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Bob - It sounds amazingly crowded on the CF! Argh! I know there are different opinions on making reservations, but I side with you on having them when there are so many pilgrims on the same route. Although there is a sense of freedom and choice by not reserving ahead, I'd argue just the opposite. As you generally know where you're heading each day, a bed already reserved gives you an even greater flexibility to enjoy every step of the Camino without rushing to get in line at a municipal or fretting over whether a town will be completo! When I walked a year ago May, also during a busy time, my reserved beds increased my ability to enjoy the Camino without some of the worries others had.

    With these types of crowds, I'd suggest a few things for folks yet to walk. One, don't pick the typical stopping points from the Brierley book. That's what everyone else is doing as well. Stop a little before or a bit after his recommendations. Two, end your hiking day early in the afternoon. I typically walked from 06:30 to about 13:00. A pilgrim stopping that early can usually find a bed at least in the private albergues. And three, think about walking other Caminos. Walking the Portugués this past spring was no less a Camino experience than I had on the Francés. It was different, but mostly because it wasn't my first one. Due to the popularity of the CF, I'll be walking the Inglés next followed most likely by the Aragones. Biking the Via de la Plata will also be done before returning to the Francés. I completely enjoyed the CF, but there were times when it seemed as though I was on a pilgrim freeway - LA during rush hour with everyone heading for the same towns and the same albergues. From a crowd perspective, the Portugués was much more enjoyable. Buen Camino!
     
  27. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    Greetings. Just crossed into Roncevalles on September 17. Despite all heroic advice to contrary, I would seriously recommend stopping in Orisson. Believe me the climb was very much for the first day. I ready for a stop and plenty tired. Besides that the supper was great, the company fantastic and real wonderful atmosphere developed. I took the road up because I missed the turn off. If it has been raining my advice indeed would be stick to the road. I think I was only one who did. The next day is actually fairly monstrous. So glad I split it. Still the final climb was mighty. Rain, cold wind and, well, cold. Was so glad to see the two trailers selling food and great coffee. And the first guy was selling his own aged sheep´s cheese a hunk of which I bought and used it for two days worth of delicious hunky bites. Roncevalles is tremendous. So well done. So clean and organized and dinner at Sabrina´s was super. Then Zubiri, then San Esteban which was unforgettable. Passing through Pamplona which I loved. The exhibition on archeology in the cathedral is mind-boggling. Spent the night at Albergue Maria Roncal and then over the Alto de Perdón onto Orbanos with the detour to San Eunate. Couldn´t miss that. Found a CasaRural for 27 Euros in Obanos and spent my first night alone...well, a whole floor of a new, spotless house for that price. Great bar for dinner in Obanos and today on to Casa Magica in Villatuerta. Which is wonderful and have just had one of the best massages of my life. All this, guys, without reservations after Roncevalles. It's what I want to do. I am such a planner and controller and I just want to feel where I want to be and want to stop. Am trying (obviously) to stay off the Brierly stops imagining that the crowds are bigger there. Have had many hours of solitude on the paths. I love it. With my 74 years am doing fine. I know my backpack is still too heavy and am working on that saying if you haven´t used it by now get rid of it. My amazing Hoka shoes are, well, amazing. No blisters. I did take care of a hot spot with k-tape and that was the thing to do. Disaster avoided. Tomorrow will aim for Los Arcos and see if there is room for me at Casa de la Abuela. If not I will find something else. Now I am smelling a fantastic vegetarian (!) paella cooking in the kitchen. Dinner and great wine at 7:30. Also, I am refusing to leave in the dark. I am here to experience and SEE the camino. So my earliest leaving time has been 7 Am which gives me about half an hour or so in pre dawn light and then I get to see the dawn this morning lighting up the towers of Puente de la Reina. Signage is good, but you have to be careful in towns and cities since it doesn´t always feel logical as it does out in the country. Just have to pay attention. This is the anniversary of my departure from Saint Jean Pied de Port which I loved. Wanted to live there. Attended the Sunday early mass all in Basque before setting out. Quite an experience. I needed two espressos to get my head around setting out. But I did. Weather is wonderful. Two days of rain. Otherwise a little overcast with hours of sun. Very cold in the mornings which now after coming over the Alto de Perdón afternoons where it gets very warm between like 1 and 4:30. Then delicious. The night I stayed in the CasaRural...will give you the name if you want it. Cas Raichu. Was a little lonely which surprised me. I missed my fellow pilgrims. Buen Camino
     
  28. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    So glad we booked ahead. Hope to see you on the road. We fly out to Madrid tomorrow morning at 6am.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  29. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Member

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    Great report Jose.

    Obanos and Muruzabal just before it, look better, quieter options to Puente la Reina. And agree about not leaving too early. Dawn on the Camino with all your fellow peregrinos emerging from all sides is a wonderful sight.

    Enjoy the rest of your journey.
     
  30. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hey Jose

    Sounds like you are having a lovely time. And I'm glad Zabaldika was memorable.

    We just arrived in Fromista tonight. Seems like a lot of people here too

    Heading for Carrion de los Condes tomorrow.

    Buen Camino

    Greg

    Ps we are staying in the Hotel Dona Mayor as a treat. Highly recommend. V clean and lovely rooms.
     
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