I am planning to walk from Pau and am hoping someone can tell me where I can pick up a credencial. My apologies if this has already been posted, my French is seriously lacking! Which leads to my second question. My espanol is only marginally better but I have never had any problems with this walking in Spain. with my trusting French dictionary and good intentions will this too not be a problem in France? Thank ou for your help!
Apparently, you're from UK (good guess?). For you, the easiest way to get a credencial before setting out would be to get in touch with a local parish or with the Confederacy of St Jamesprovided that you are (or become) a member of the Confederacy.
If you prefer to get your credencial at your starting point, you will not be able to get one in Pau, just because Pau is not on the Arles route! But, you may get one at the tourist offices at Lescar (7km after Pau) or at Oloron-Sainte-Marie. Tourist offices are normally opened from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 12am and 2pm to 6pm.
With good intentions and a dictionary, you should manage. And you will soon meet pilgrims who will help you dealing with more difficult issues (such as making a reservation in a gite). In tourist offices english speaking employees will also provide you with useful information, for instance concerning the crossing of the Somport pass (weather, routes, buses...). And from Pau onwards, you will be so close to the border that you 'll find many people who speak Spanish.
Thank you for all that, that's great. And yes, I'm based in the UK but I'm a pacific girl from New Zealand (important distinction!!). Am waiting on tcredencials from CJS now, so if they don't turn up your info will be invaluble. Thanks so much!