Camino de Santiago

St. Jean Pied du Port to Pamplona

In October of 2004 I returned to Pamplona to walk the portion from St. Jean Pied du Port to Pamplona, the portion that I could not do in the spring due to the heavy snow fall that winter. After a night in Pamplona, I hired a taxi to take me to St. Jean where I would began my walk to Pamplona. Since I arrived mid afternoon, I had the choice to stay over night in St Jean and start the next morning or head off that afternoon. I chose to call ahead and make reservations at the Gite Ferme Ithurburia in Honto (Untto) and start off that afternoon. That gave me a 5.5 km head start on the 25 km walk to Roncesvalles. In this crossing to Roncesvalles one starts at 556 ft (170 m) elevation in St Jean then goes up to 4761 ft (1450 m) elevation at the highest point then goes down to Roncesvalles at 3084 ft (940 m) elevation. This route over the Pyrennes is referred to as the Napoleanic Route and was used by Napolean when he crossed into Spain. I was extremely fortunate to have been blessed with perfect weather for this crossing of the Pyrennes.

A view of the river passing through St. Jean Pied du Port.

Sign posts on the way out of town. Note the red and white striped bars on the electric pole. This is what is used in France to mark the camino instead of the yellow arrows that are used in Spain.

The camino on the way to Honto.

A view of the Gite Ferme Ithuburia.

Dinner at the Gite. The six gentlemen sitting at the near end of the table were from Germany. They started their walk in Le Puy and had a unique way of traveling. A different person was asigned each day to drive the van containing all their belongings to the next over night spot while the other five walked. The group at the far end of the table were from France.

A view of the camino and a pilgrim as I climbed in elevation on the following day.

A camino sign post in French and the Basque language. This border region in France and Spain is known as the Basque region where their native language is spoken.

There were flocks of sheep at various locations during the walk. The sheep in each flock bore a particular painted identification stripe on their side.

The camino continued to follow a narrow black top road.

More sheep off in the distance.

John at one of the many crosses found on the camino. Pilgrims often leave momentos at such locations but this one looks like they left a lot of litter.

A view back towards St. Jean Pied du Port.

The camino passes through a beautiful birch forest near the Spanish/French border.

Part of the cluster of buildings in Roncesvalles.

The Roncesvalles refugio.

Inside the Roncesvalles refugio.
There are 50 double decker beds in one large room with showers and toilets in the basement

Some of my French friends on our way to Pamplona. I met them at the Gite Ferme Ithuburia. They were more than happy to help me learn a bit more French

Justin and Marni from Great Britain.

Some of the country side between Roncesvalles and Pamplona.

Entering Pamplona via the medieval bridge.

Entering Pamplona city limits.

Pamplona City Hall.

This portion of the camino was 73 km (~46 miles) and was completed in 3 days of walking.

Burgos to O'Cebreiro

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