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  1. MichaelC

    COVID COVID-19: Corona virus discussion (ROUND 7)

    Right, I thought ... I doubt I know this David guy ... but I'll just look at his page and OH HIM! Yeah, I remember having a really nice talk with him one afternoon. I've been following a handful of FB groups for the Via Francigena and the Cammino di San Francesco. There seem to be a number of...
  2. MichaelC

    COVID COVID-19: Corona virus discussion (ROUND 7)

    Any word on how this guy has been faring? I actually met him in Moissac; I had no idea he was so well known.
  3. MichaelC

    Col du Grand Saint-Bernard details

    Thanks. All this is super useful. The Pass sounds insanely cool, but I doubt it will be open when I'm looking at starting - sometime in May. My current plan is to start in Aosta and walk to Rome ... but I would love to start in Lausanne if I can find the time. It sounds like walking as far as...
  4. MichaelC

    Col du Grand Saint-Bernard details

    I know the Col du Grand Saint-Bernard isn't passable until early to mid June. What I don't know, though, is what exactly this means in practical terms. If the pass is closed, what is the last stop in Switzerland for walkers, and where in Italy do you start again? Or do you bus to St. Bernard...
  5. MichaelC

    Non Fiction Camino appearance in Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Land

    I always enjoy when Compostela makes an appearance in a non-Camino related book. This time it was in Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Land by Dan Jones (2019). The chapter in question was following the life and journeys of Ibn Hamdis, a poet from Sicily who fled the island...
  6. MichaelC

    Sarria alternative: Start in Samos

    And now I can't find it either, just a quote for a $20 taxi ride. Is it seasonal? I'm sure I checked before I posted this!
  7. MichaelC

    Transport options, Lyon to Le Puy?

    I guess it would depend on how long your flight to Paris is! I thought a half-day was enough for Le Puy; once I was there I was ready to walk. I think Lyon works better for a full day. But also: it's easier to put all your hard travel (planes, buses, trains) up front and get it over with...
  8. MichaelC

    How would you rank the Caminos by difficulty?

    It was a touch more barren in October
  9. MichaelC

    How would you rank the Caminos by difficulty?

    I liked the meseta, but I think I liked it as part of a larger whole that included the Pyrenees and Galicia. I’ve been following friends on social media who are walking the VDLP this fall. It looks soooo flat. As much as I liked the meseta, I’m not sure I’d like it for weeks-on-end.
  10. MichaelC

    Walking "feels like" factor?

    I'd love to see this type of comparison for other caminos too! I don't know the Primitivo, but for Le Puy route and the Frances there was about a 5km / day difference for me. Very roughly: A super easy day: 15 km on the Le Puy route, 20 km on the Frances. A regular day: 20-25 km on Le Puy...
  11. MichaelC

    How were "official" Camino routes chosen?

    Back to the original question then! According to UNESCO: the Autonomous Communities through which the routes pass have each defined the protection of this serial property in their respective territories. The routes are Crown property, and the built components are under a mixture of private...
  12. MichaelC

    How were "official" Camino routes chosen?

    The absolute best academic research I've seen on this is in French, but google translate does a passable job of translating the pages into English: Le triomphe de Compostelle. One caveat before you dive in: the site's authors are absolutely supportive of modern pilgrimage routes, but they are...
  13. MichaelC

    Sarria alternative: Start in Samos

    Sometimes I feel like I walked a different camino when I read all the posts about the crowds after Sarria on the Camino Francés. I walked that route two years ago, and saw more cows than people until the last day. But I was also off-stage from the books. I know that there were many hundreds of...
  14. MichaelC

    Sarria pilgrims

    I never heard talk like that on the Camino. People were supportive across the board, regardless of where a pilgrim started. The only times I've come across it is on Facebook and Reddit forums.
  15. MichaelC

    I should hike the Piemont Route. Change my mind!

    I've been searching for the same information. Most sites seem to focus on hiking in the high mountains, or on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees. The best I've found so far is that May-September are the best, and June-August would have the least rainfall.
  16. MichaelC

    The Camino does NOT start in StJpdP - discuss

    I think this is key. While I personally recommend to friends that they should start a few days back so that they are warmed up before crossing the Pyrenees, Saint Jean is a de facto starting point that isn't really equaled by any other place.
  17. MichaelC

    Struggling on the Le Puy

    I think this would be a very challenging route for folks who don't speak much French. I know that I would have felt intense loneliness. Congratulations on continuing on. But ... I do speak French, and have to deeply disagree with folks who are suggesting that people on the Via Podiensis are...
  18. MichaelC

    Via Francigena Insights

    I've been following people on the various Facebook groups.
  19. MichaelC

    How/why is VdlP difficult?

    Folks mention that there are long stretches without cafes or shops, and that the VDLP requires more planning than the Camino Frances. So far this sounds like the Le Puy route, though obviously with a different landscape. Has anyone done both that can compare them? (I've narrowed my next...
  20. MichaelC

    Some folks just really don't get it ....

    I think it's more that the ambiguity of the caminos is really foreign to most of us in America. We get hikes like the Tour du Mont Blanc. There's a set hiking trail. You meet other hikers on the trail. You hike to set stops. There are refugios geared towards hikers. These things are easy for...

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