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13 night Ramblers hike from Le Puy

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#1
Follow in the footsteps of the medieval pilgrims
Walking specialist operator, Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, is offering a glorious walk from Le Puy to Conques in France – following in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims. This was one of the ancient paths they walked in their thousands (and in some discomfort!) to their ultimate destination, Santiago de Compostela, in Northern Spain.
This 13-night tour embraces a beautiful rural landscape staying in small, family run hotels, getting picnics from local supermarkets. Each day one walks to a new hotel (baggage transferred en route) taking in the spectacular country views and ancient historic monuments.
The walk begins in the old town of Le Puy – in the heart of an extinct volcano. Then, on to Conques following the long distance footpath ‘Sentier de St Jacques’ through the dramatic gorges of the Allier River in Haute – Loire and the region of Lozère – a large plateau dotted with picturesque villages, churches and monuments.
In the Aubrac region near Nasbinals one walks through pastures knee high with Spring flowers and then onto Vallée du Lot to reach the famous pilgrim town of Conques with its enchanting narrow streets and Romanesque Church.
Price from £844 per person for 14 days departing 11 September 2008, includes return flights (Heathrow-Lyon returning Toulouse-Gatwick), half board accommodation and the services of a tour leader.

For more information, log on to RamblersWorldwideHolidays.co.uk.
 

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KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#3
Le Puy to Conques is very beautiful, and remains the favourite section of my whole walk. But I am intrigued that you get to see 'spring flowers' on Aubrac during a walk they advertise for September!!!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#4
In 2001 I walked the Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk across England. It was wonderful - trekking through 3 National Parks (Lake District, Yorkshire Dales & North York Moors) - and we had our bags carried from village to village. Admittedly its not a pilgrimage, but it was a great way to do the walk. Every day you put on your day pack and set off knowing that your luggage will be at your B&B at days end. I don't think I could do a camino like that, but carrying heavy backpacks, not knowing where you will sleep at night, is not for everyone.
 

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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#6
I guess having my reservation dishonored by the gite owner in Lectoure who wanted an instantly full gite for a large group not carrying packs, and actually being run off the road into the culvert by the Transbaggage van on the entrance to the convent in Moissac, soured me a bit on the pack-less pilgrims! Still, I was mildly sympathetic to the concept when walking for a few days in parallel to a French couple in their eighties, who kept passing me, the wife with a fairly substantial daypack! Then Transbaggage lost their packs leaving Arzacq-Arraziguet, and did not relocate them for two days. Without a baggage service, the husband with his very apparent lung condition would not have been able to make the pilgrimage, so there is an obvious role for the transport. Perhaps the package tour is staying in hotels/hostals, so will not take beds from pilgrims with packs. If an hospitalero/a at a municipal albergue in Spain is informed that a pilgrim has used a baggage service, that pilgrim will be evicted from the refuge! I have personally seen a group of pilgrims who picked up their bags at the edge of town refused entrance to an albergue when the pilgrims ahead of them "ratted them out" to the hospitalera. They found lodging at a nearby hostal, the appropriate destination under the rules of the Camino.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#7
WolverineDG said:
I might do something like that once I finally get to Santiago. My French is horrific & I would do horribly on my own. Kelly
Actually Kelly, I don't think that a lack of French needs to stop you on this route. There are smaller numbers walking than in Spain, and walkers do tend to look out for each other a lot. I met a woman from South Africa who didn't speak French but who had brought along a mobile phone. She was always able to find a French speaker who would ring up and reserve gites for her.
Margaret
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#8
falcon269 said:
I guess having my reservation dishonored by the gite owner in Lectoure who wanted an instantly full gite for a large group not carrying packs, and actually being run off the road into the culvert by the Transbaggage van on the entrance to the convent in Moissac, soured me a bit on the pack-less pilgrims!
It is simply a reality of life on the walking routes in France that they don't run by Spanish Camino "rules". The gites are there for all walkers, and not all walkers are embarked on a pilgrimage. Many people are walking for one or two weeks on their vacations, so they can better afford baggage transport services if they choose, or else they often have someone in their group who drives and provides car support with baggage and lunches.

Reservations are allowed, and almost essential in France. Many people who are walking in groups in France have often reserved their accommodation months ahead of their trip, and hence there is more need to try and ring a day or two ahead to make a gite reservation.

May is a busy month for walkers in France, and when I was in the south of France, unfortunately I ended up coinciding for the last two weeks with a large group from Dijon (of 17 walkers) who had two vans in support. It made getting accommodation for the last two weeks in France much more difficult, and occasionally I needed to stay in more expensive chambre d'hotes. (The main driver for these walkers even took my photo one day, as it seemed he felt I was some sort of oddity carrying my pack every day!) However, it all worked out well in the end, even if there were some anxious moments about 'where would I sleep' along the way.
 
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