Ongi etorri, welcome in Argitxu’s country,
Hi, I’m Argitxu ! I have been working at the Ultreia gîte since 2014 to welcome you to this beautiful village, in Donibane Garazi (Saint Jean Pied de Port). I started in this beautiful house with the previous owners, Bernard and Fafa, great travellers and lovers of the Camino. Then, it is Nathalie, the new owner, who allowed me to evolve in this adventure by appointing me General Manager in 2018, and now supports me by entrusting me with the management of the gîte for 2021! As a lover of travelling (two months in Latin America after my studies in Spanish, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Central and Southern Europe…..), I am lucky enough to welcome pilgrims from all over the world to the Ultreia hostel in French, Spanish, Italian, English and Basque. Knowing well the surroundings and the organisation of the Way, I can help you prepare for the Roncesvalles stage. Like other inhabitants of St Jean Pied de Port and members of my family, the Camino for me is a vocation and an extraordinary opening to the world. In my free time, weather permitting, I hike in the nearby mountains and enjoy talking about these beautiful places with those who have set out to cross the Pyrenees on the GR10.
You may recognize me in the movie the Way, shot in 2011 in St Jean. Nathalie discovered it when she received an e-mail from a pilgrim indicating that he had recognized me after reviewing the film back home!
Coming in Ultreia, is also coming in Argitxu’s home.
You may also have met in Ultreïa other inhabitants of the Basque Country …. hereafter their news:
Indeed, during her 15 years in accounting, she participated in 2004 with her sister to the creation of Express Bourricot, the luggage transport company for pilgrims. In 2011, as a passionated sewing talent, she created her own company by opening an haberdashery and sewing workshop in the heart of Saint Jean Pied de Port.
Born in California, Laure is a Basque from St Jean and is also a traveler and hiker. In 2016, she accompanies to Nepal, with all the team of Gaurishankar, humanitarian association working in the valley of Rolwaling, her companion Xiril, professional of the mountain and president of the association for the assessment of the building reconstruction after the earthquake of 2015. Then, she follows her partner to Canada, putting her small sewing business dormant. Today back home, Laure creates with passion her Basque hats when she does not welcome pilgrims. Her creations are a great success in the Basque country. You can find them at Ultreïa because Laure has created a line for pilgrims!
During her leisure time, Laure practices the trail running and hiking. Her favorite viewpoint is in the Basque mountains, between St Jean Pied de Port and St Etienne de Baigorri, at the top of Munhoa!
Cindy also lives in St Jean. She helped us in September, 2017, just after being graduated in tourist accommodation and after working in Corsica. Originally from the Cevennes, which she loves as much, she also knows anothers ways like the Stevenson trail and an other hikers’ paradise around the Mont Aigoual. In 2018, Cindy leaves to Latin America for a big and beautiful trip. In 2019, she left to work in another beautiful French region, the Alps.
Loreila, the bayonnaise, helped us in Ultreïa in June 2016 while studying social and family economy before leaving to discover Canada. Basque, having followed all her schooling in Basque until the baccalaureate, she also realized the Basque translation of our websites. Loreila had also created our Facebook page. Thank you Loreila! Today, Loreila works as a solidarity housing advisor in Bayonne.