The walk up from St Jean Pied de Port is steep, but magical and one almost expects the fairy tale to continue, but alas it turns into a nightmare when realizing what is actually in store. We booked and paid for our accommodation at the adjoining little overflow refuge Kayola, 3 months in advance, due to this establishment being the only accommodation available before a hefty climb into the Pyrenees and down into the next town. The owner seems to have capitalized on his 'good fortune' as the only place to stay in this isolated part of the Camino walk.
We arrived in very hot weather in much need of a good shower. A few disgruntled pilgrims including myself had to do with ice cold showers, the owner later coming to our rescue in a filthy mood and spending 3 hours knocking , banging and clanging to make the plumbing work so it could emit warm water, by which time it was too late as we had already retired for the evening. Myself and my husband were then literally accosted to show our proof of booked and paid for accommodation, which was not accepted due to a sudden lack of communication. Strict instructions were laid down to not enter the rooms with shoes, however, the owner stomped up all the way into our room complete with muddy shoes from fixing the plumbing, to give his regalia in French in front of everyone, that we did not have a booking. All pilgrims unanimously agreed that our printed version with our accepted payment on our iPad was indeed sufficient proof, however, Monsieur Arrogance snorted and stomped off to save face, pretending not to speak English even though his communication to us previously was in acceptable English per email.
The following morning, we were denied breakfast of bread, jam and coffee (that was all) by him telling us "to depart" from his establishment. In all our years of travel across the globe; we have never encountered such inhospitable and rude behaviour. This was nothing short of disgusting and in future, we will rather camp on the slopes of the Pyrenees than stay at this Auberge called Orisson or the overflow Kayola.
In fact, after about 4 km of walking, we came across a very nice local guy who sold beautiful fresh fruit, muesli bars, excellent coffee, boiled eggs and his own home made sheep cheese and gammon at half the price of the Auberges' dried up bread and coffee so called breakfast which was served up in extreme haste and even less taste. We don't recommend that anyone stay at this man's place who is treating pilgrims like numbers on a conveyor belt and expecting gratification for his lame efforts.
We are well into our pilgrimage and have enjoyed very good service, food and hospitality, all who have received the same booking and payments, 3 months in advance.