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 https://caminodesantiago.me, 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. http://www.casaivar.com/luggage-storage-in-santiago-de-compostela/sending-instructions.html

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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