Camino de Santiago

Starting Point

The Camino Frances. Crossing the Pyrenees is a challenge as well as a wonderful experience. There are two routes out of St Jean Pied-De- Port (St Jean), the Route Napoleon which is up and over the Pyrenees through the Ibaneta Pass at 1,055m or the valley or Via Valcarlos route. The Route Napoleon is closed over much of winter for safety reasons even so people try and some die. Both routes arrive in Roncesvalles in Spain.

Depending on the weather the scenery can be simply breathtaking or obscured by cloud and mist.

Fog on the top track before reaching snow in late April
Fog obscured the turn off this day. Many walkers missed this and walked on. Easy to get lost

The Pilgrims Office, no. 39 Rue de la Citadelle provides Credentials (pilgrims passports), shells, weather information as well as information on all the places to stay.

If you start in St Jean and walk the Route Napoleon you will see ancient wayside markers. On my first crossing the mist was very thick however on my second crossing  two years later it was glorious sunshine

However if not properly prepared then the odds against even getting half way to Santiago are against you.

 

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