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Stage 1: Saint Jean – Roncesvalles (26,3 km)
(1)Saint Jean Pied de Port-(2)Honto (0-5,2 km)
(2)Honto-(3)Albergue Orisson (5,2-8,0=2,8 km)
(3)Albergue Orisson-(4)Collado Lepoeder (8,0-21.3=13,3 km)
(4)Collador Lepoeder-(5)Roncesvalles (21,3-26,3=5,0 km)
This is the first and toughest stage of the camino. We will cross the Pyrenees climbing from 200 metres at Saint Jean de Pied de Port to a height of more than 1400 metres at Collado de Lepoeder: 21km in which it rises more than 1200 metres.
1.-Saint Jean Pied de Port-Honto:0-5.2 km
We begin on the Rue d'Espagne, the main street of Saint Jean Pied de Port, a street which has not been changed for hundreds of years, with an air of history where hundreds of tourists and dozens of pilgrims breath in the spirit of the camino. Just outside of the town we are confronted with a large hill, a preview of what’s in store for us along this journey. (photo 2, 1.6 km).
We follow the D-428 highway with houses scattered alongside until we get to Honto, a small village, where the first hostel of this step is located at 5.3km: The Albergue Ferme Ithurburia.
2.-Honto-Albergue Orisson: 5.2-8.0 (2.8 km)
We continue along the same small road until we arrive at 5.6km (photo 3) where we leave the road to take a little shortcut and arrive back to the road at 6.8km (photo 4). If cycling it is best to continue along the road. We follow the same small road and at 8.0km we arrive at the Albergue de Orisson, where you can spend the night if you are finding the stage too wearing.
3.-Albergue Orisson-Collado Lepoeder: 8.0-21.3( 13.3 km)
From the hostel we continue along the road (photos 5, 6 and 7) and at 15.5 km(photo 8) a detour takes us off the road onto a hill up the grassy mountainside ( photo 9. 15.7 km, and 10. 16.1 km).
Here the climb practically ends and we continue along the camino which brings us from France into Spain, along slight ascents and descents (photos 11, 12 and 13) until we get to the highest point of the stage at the peak of Lepoeder at 21.3 km(see photo 14).
4.-Collador Lepoeder-Roncesvalles: 21.3-26.3(5.0 km)
From Collado Lepoeder the view is breathtaking and the descent even more amazing, with a poster indicating slopes of up to 25 degrees. If biking you are recomended to take the small NA-2033 road which brings us to the Ibañeta peak, where we take the N-135 which takes us directly to Roncesvalles. If walking we continue straight down the big hill (photo 15 and 16) which brings us to a dense forest (Photo 17) where path is faded but you will find it well signposted, until we arrive at 25.2 km (photo 18) where there are some wooden posts pointing in various directions. We follow the one indicating Roncesvalles and take a left, which brings us to a slightly wider path that will take us directly to Roncesvalles (photo 19 km 25.6 km).