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  1. Tandem Graham

    Le Puy-en-Velay to St. Privat d’Allier in one day?

    The day out of Le Puy is mostly a long continuous climb, then a drop towards the Allier. It is never as steep as the section from SJPdP to Orison, and neither is the downhill as steep or as long as that to Roncesvalles. If you coped with SJPdP to Roncesvalles and are roughly as fit this time...
  2. Tandem Graham

    Long term visa for Europe?

    Brent, I admire your bravado, committing yourself to doing something which is to all intents and purposes illegal then asking this forum to find you a loophole! It may be worth you researching the possibility of a visa which permits you to stay beyond the 90-day Schengen allowance. But, others...
  3. Tandem Graham

    Pilgrim dinner time at Arthez de Bearn - Gite de la Boulangerie Brousse?

    When I stayed there in Spring 2018, the proprietor did indeed bring dinner, having checked how many pilgrims there were staying the night. We had become quite anxious because he was very late (about 8.30), but we needn't have worried. Dinner was superb and plentiful; breakfast in his actual high...
  4. Tandem Graham

    Pre-Camino Walk Options to SJPDP: GR 78 from Lourdes or GR 65 from Aire-sur-l'Adour?

    Dax to Sorde l'Abbaye. Sorde l'Abbaye to Saint Palais. Saint Palais via Oloron to SJPdP. It is more or less the final part of the Voie de Tours, one of the Camino tributaries which links with the Voie du Puy and the Voie de Vezelay at the Stelle Xibraltar just after Saint Palais. There is a...
  5. Tandem Graham

    Pre-Camino day in Bilbao

    I arrived at Logrono cathedral a few years ago with a very experienced and self confident Brazilian pilgrim who had walked from Rome. He ushered me with him to the Cathedral Dean or Cannon's office where a somewhat grumpy secretary reluctantly rummaged for a stamp in her desk, and imprinted both...
  6. Tandem Graham

    Rain galoshes or similar

    Pedantic, I know, but the long suppressed scientist in me wants to point out that sugar doesn't melt in water, even in hot water. It dissolves! But I concur, that your feet will not *dissolve* during rain either! Have a spare pair of socks ready to change into, once the rain abates. Or wear...
  7. Tandem Graham

    Some questions (paving, language, guides)

    3. Lightfoot Guides offer a Via Francigena Companion Guide (as well as, separately, more conventional route and accommodation guides). It covers cultural and historical insights covering the whole VF (England, France, Switzerland and Italy). That may be a good starting place; it includes a...
  8. Tandem Graham

    Transportation from St. Jean Pied de Port to Porto

    Have you tried inputting your travel challenge into the Rome2Rio website? It's free to use and gives you all the options for travelling between two points. I think you will end up with trains for most of the journey, but bus for the last segment, since there aren't many trains crossing the...
  9. Tandem Graham

    Have any Americans walked the whole Francigena?

    The Via Francigena is certainly doable by a reasonably fit walker in less than 90 days. I will walk starting in Canterbury in August this year with a rough plan of 75 days to Rome. I'm 60 and have completed long Caminos on bike and on foot, but this certainly will be the longest. I'm a Brit so...
  10. Tandem Graham

    EE to eliminate free roaming

    I have been on a UK monthly contract with EE (and their predecessor brand) for over 15 years - these days SIM only. When they informed me that they were going to charge for EU roaming I gave them notice to cancel. They called me and offered me a cheaper deal, to include EU roaming at no extra...
  11. Tandem Graham

    Sprained ankle before Camino Frances - also any cocktail recommendations?

    Walk first, then painkiller/anti-inflammatory only if you feel new pain. Go gently on the booze (might be best to stick to a refreshing beer) when you've taken a painkiller. Listen to your body and go as slowly as it wants you to. You've loads of time to take it gently! Have a great camino!
  12. Tandem Graham

    In search of a contributor for a Podiensis guide.

    I used your guidebook (rather than the app) on the Via de la Plata last year and found it excellent - both in route-finding and accommodation terms AND those titbits of history and insight, thank you! We plan a 2024 late summer/autumn Camino from Cluny via Le Puy to SdC, so if you were to...
  13. Tandem Graham

    Leaving early May for my first pilgrimage from UK

    That sounds like quite an adventure! I think you mean St James Way from Reading to Southampton, though you can divert at Winchester towards Portsmouth and the cross channel ferries. As for the route across France, I suggest you find yourself a copy of the 'Lightfoot Guide to the Plantagenets...
  14. Tandem Graham

    Duffel or backpack if transporting

    I would say backpack, and pack it relatively lightly, because you may have to carry it from your accommodation to a pick up point or vice versa. Or there is a small possibility that you can't secure luggage transport for one stage, and a duffel bag would hurt after a few miles! You can find...
  15. Tandem Graham

    I need to switch it up!

    Another vote for the Sanabres. Though I have not walked the Salvador, so I don't know how it compares.
  16. Tandem Graham

    Staying at Paradores?

    I prefer to stay in the albergues with my fellow pilgrims. However, I also like 'living it up' by visiting a parador lounge bar (in Leon, for example) for a glass of cava, after my shower. It feels like luxury, but for a glass of good fizz, some olives and nuts and a comfortable chair in a...
  17. Tandem Graham

    Challenge with accommodations

    To many pilgrim's ".... the full Camino experience ...." includes what you are describing, particularly on the Camino Frances. The vulnerability of not knowing where you will sleep, but trust that you will find somewhere, can be part of what makes this Camino different to a hiking holiday. I...
  18. Tandem Graham

    Parroquial in Viana closed

    I hope they don't lose too much of what made this place special. I had my worst Camino sleep there on my 2019 walk - an overcrowded floor, unyielding yoga mats, a cacophony of snoring and open windows due to heat allowing the hubub of Saturday night drinkers to add to the orchestra! Oh and a...
  19. Tandem Graham

    Bordeaux - Del Norte - Santiago

    We cycled the Voie Littorale in June 2017 and, in reverse, in June 2022. The paths can be very straight and often coincide with the fire breaks in the forest, so don't offer much in the way of shade. They aren't too bad for cycling, because there are few hills and we can generate our own breeze...
  20. Tandem Graham

    Cost of accommodation on the Ruta de la lana

    I'm a bit rusty now on the detail, and away from home where my maps and schedules are. But, from memory, the second walkers' stage, (assuming starting in Alicante) is on very broken single track paths and the section from Santo Domingo dos Silos to Covarrubia is on sketchy forest tracks. There...

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