Day 1 of my Camino St Jean to Orisson

The day started in Bayonne and I walked to the station at about 7 am. The train to St Jean Pied de Port left on time at 7:40 and arrived in one hour. I had a pleasant chat with Bob, an English man who was also heading for the Camino.

The train that runs between Bayonne and St Jean Pied de Port.

I found Rue de la Citadel as advised on the forum, to register and get my first stamp for my pilgrim’s passport or credentiale. They also held my pack for me while I took my excess luggage to the post office. I heard the sound of a coffee being made as I walked past a patisserie so took the hint and stopped for a coffee and a freshly baked pain au raisin or escargot.

My small bag weighed about 9kg including the cardboard box it was sealed into. It cost about €38 to post to Santiago. I am using the baggage holding service provided by Ivar see details here.

Then I walked back to the pilgrims office in Rue de la Citadel, collected my back pack, made a donation and set off for Orisson.

A short distance out of St Jean Pied de Port

The route to Orisson starts out as a pleasant walk in lovely countryside but changes suddenly when you reach the shortcut up to the Orisson road. It’s quite a steep climb up a rocky path and I dare say it would be quite tricky to climb when recent snow has made conditions wet or muddy.

But there was no such problem today. A few parts where the mud left over from recent rain was seen, but easily avoided. The main thing was the slope of the climb and I stopped several times to cool down and let the pulse return to normal.

At Honto there was a welcome stop with a vending machine offering drinks and chocolate snacks. I stopped there and chatted with a fellow walker from Korea. There is also an albergue at Honto.

Between St Jean and Honto

The path to Orisson became a steep climb up a rocky path, but eventually rejoined the road. When Refuge Orisson came into view it was a welcome sight. I checked in, having booked online two months earlier. After a shower and a change of clothes I was ready to enjoy a cold drink on the balcony overlooking the valley.

View from balcony at Orisson

A communal dinner was held that night. All walkers were invited to introduce themselves and say what their reasons were for walking the Camino.

Lights out at 10pm and I hoped to sleep long and well.

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