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A dilemma

Walton

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Hello dear forum members

We have a problem and are looking for advice.

We want to walk the via Francigena but cannot begin until about 12 September.

We have about 60 - 70 days which is fine because we were planning to walk the entire VF in two stages.

Our question is given the late beginning, would it be easier to begin from Lausanne and cross the St. Bernard pass and walk to Rome first followed by Canterbury to Lausanne in May next year to complete the entire walk.

or

should we begin from Canterbury in mid September and finish in Lausanne mid-November. St Bernards pass would likely be closed to walkers then. We do want to walk over the pass so we can vainly feel smug in our old age recanting past achievements to nursing home staff and patients! :)

I'm thinking it might be difficult finding accomodation in Northern France from Mid-October onwards due to winter closures.

It's like flipping a coin as to which option but those who have walked the VF might be able to comment on some things we haven't thought about or have no knowledge of.

Thanking you

Graham
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
What a splendid new journey you are planning!

Whatever you do decide once you are in France for pilgrim accommodation in private homes ask in the local tourist offices about the donativo Chaine d'Hospitalité Locale.Those who offer pilgrims such hospitality do so for the pleasure meeting/greeting pilgrims as well as helping them.

During past years my husband and I ran a b&b/pilgrim house in our farmhouse facing the Marne river as part of the local Chaine. My first pilgrim shell from 2004 hung at the door marking it as a pilgrim place.

Happy planning and whenever/wherever you do go Carpe diem.
 
I did walk 44 days from Canterbury to St. Maurice this spring (cold and partly wet). Started March 21st and ended May 4th. The part from Besançon to Lausanne is in the mountains and depending on the weather it can have snow at Les Fourgs. You find my routing planning on my homepage
The Booklet of Accommodation and Services – Canterbury to Rome was very useful for me. As there are not to many accommodations on the way. There are long stretches of walking without shops, restaurants and water.
I will restart at July 8th and do the Part from St. Maurice over the Gd.St.Bernard to Vercelli.
My planning for the next spring is to continue from Vercelli to Rome.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
I did walk 44 days from Canterbury to St. Maurice this spring (cold and partly wet). Started March 21st and ended May 4th. The part from Besançon to Lausanne is in the mountains and depending on the weather it can have snow at Les Fourgs. You find my routing planning on my homepage
The Booklet of Accommodation and Services – Canterbury to Rome was very useful for me. As there are not to many accommodations on the way. There are long stretches of walking without shops, restaurants and water.
I will restart at July 8th and do the Part from St. Maurice over the Gd.St.Bernard to Vercelli.
My planning for the next spring is to continue from Vercelli to Rome.
Fantastische Reportage, 44 Tage auf die Via Francigena. Himmlische Landschaftsbilder mit herzliche Bieren und Speizen, die Belohnung für ein mutige Wanderer.
A wonderful story, 44 days on the Via Francigena. Paradisiacal images with exquisite beers and meals, a well deserved recompense for the courageous walker.
 
Suggest you start in Lausanne.

By starting on the southern section later in the year, you ought to get better weather especially through the Po valley where the mosquitos should have died down by then. Tuscany it Autumn should be particularly pleasant.

Will be over the pass in a week or so, a few days ahead of @Paul-CH completing a section I missed.
 
I would strongly come down on Corned Beef's side. A mid-September start in Lausanne should get you over the pass before the snows come, and by the time you hit the Po Valley, and later, Tuscany, it will have cooled down some (though it shouldn't yet be too cold for the crossing of the Apennines). Also, as Corned Beef notes, the mosquitos will be gone. And on the far end, Tuscany and Lazio (Rome's region) will still be plenty warm even if you're walking into late November. (We walked the very last section one year in December, and it was fine). Plus, there's no shortage of accommodations in Tuscany and Lazio, even in late fall.

Conversely, if you were to try to start on the Italian side in May, it's likely to be blisteringly hot by the time you reach the Po Valley, and even worse later on in Tuscany and further south. An earlier start on the Italian side -- March, even -- might be preferable.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Thank you everyone.

I think the consensus is begin from Lausanne for good reasons.

Appreciate your input and advice!

Graham
 
I also planned to start from Lausanne and get over the pass before the snows came. I figured it best to be over the top by late September.
Then I had a good idea. I rang the Hospice and asked the answering priest for his advice.
He suggested to guarantee a successful journey that I plan to be over the top by he first week in September.
I took his advice and had a wonderful crossing, staying at the hospice for 2 nights.
Regards
Gerard
 
I second the suggestions that you start in Lausanne and aim to cross the Alps as early as possible. Regardless of the weather, call the hospice in advance to get the up to date of the conditions for crossing.

I started my VF in 2019 on June 15th and crossed the pass the next day. It has been opened on the day I crossed. On the final climb, about 2 kms, the path was still snowed over and I followed the plowed road with 3m high snow walls (and lots of traffic because it was sunday and apparently everyone was eagerly waiting for the pass to be opened).

Also, Rome in August was extremely hot. (As was Lazio.) I remember rivulets of sweat running down my back when I waited for my train at something before ten in the evening!
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
@Corned Beef How many days you are planning to get to Aosta from Martigny?
Corned Beef's plan is what I did. 5 days: Martigny - Orsieres - Bourg St. Pierre - Grand St. Bernard pass - Etroubles - Aosta. The stages to the pass are not long, but all involve close to 900 meters or more of climbing, so you probably don't want to do two in one day. You could go from the pass to Aosta in one day (it's about 29 k), but that would be one kick-ass, knee-busting descent.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Five days from St. Maurice. Depending on the weather that’s my plan 😎
Since St. Maurice is a day back from Martigny, I'm assuming you're planning 4 days to the pass and then 1 day down to Aosta. But you look to be a young puppy, with young man's knees, so that should be doable. Plus you're from Switzerland, so you're undoubtedly descended from mountain goats.
 

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