The Camino de Santiago by Bike – Stage 01
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The Camino de Santiago - First Stage
The Camino de Santiago by bike is the dream of many cyclists. In the imaginary of the cycling community, this itinerary has become one of the “must” to be explored once in a lifetime. From the official data of the Officina del Peregrino, it turns out that the percentage of pilgrims on bicycles or bicicgrini is decreasing but certainly not the passion for the paths starting from the French Santiago which is surely the benchmark of all the paths to finish the Italian roads like the Via Francigena Superiore passing through the southern Francigena and the Francigena roads of Sicily. The paths are so many and full of charm that it is impossible to resist the desire to challenge the credentials and start again.
The Camino de Santiago by bike or rather the Camino de Santiago by bike, starts from Saint Jean Pied de Port, a town of about 1800 inhabitants in Basque France on the border with Navarre. You withdraw the credential to the Officina del Peregrino and start with the more or less laden bikes. We came from a trip to 10 countries and we were quite busy as we had everything in our bags to travel in complete autonomy from Budapest to the cold beaches of Northern Europe to the warm desert of Morocco. The advice, if you can choose is a light but versatile bike as a gravel and an essential baggage.
The climb promises to be immediately very hard on a crazy hike but the view is breathtaking and we can not give up turning around to admire the spectacle of the Pyrenees. Meanwhile, a lamb vulture does not stop flying around. Perhaps he hopes that we can become his dinner.
The continuous ascent continues for 23 km and takes us from the 160 meters of Saint Jean to the start at 1450 meters of the Col de Lepoeder, the roof of the Spanish Pyrenees. From that point the view is unforgettable and you can sit a few minutes near the small meteorological station, the propeller of which makes us complain with its slight uninterrupted noise.
Finally start the descent that we can not fully enjoy because of the very uneven bottom. At this point the tummy grumbles because of the enormous amount of energy consumed. However we are so happy and with eyes full of beauty not to feel the pain in the knees. We plant the tent in front of Roncesvalles’ albergue and sink into restful sleep before the next day’s stage. Buen Camino!
The stage is very demanding but worth experiencing. We recommend the “downstream” variant for those who do not like the climbs but from the top of the Pyrenees, the view is something you will always remember!
This itinerary allows you to take advantage of all the essential services to make your cycling holiday in complete tranquility (bike rental, insurance, bike transport, bicycle rental, bicycle touring guides, bike assistance, telephone assistance for cyclists) like those offered by the website www.sicilycycling.com
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Max elevation: 1441 m
Min elevation: 160 m
Total climbing: 1828 m
Total descent: -1048 m