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Arles route October November zero French

Camino(s) past & future
Mozárabe 2009
Vía de la Plata 2009
Arles-Puente la Reina 2016
Via Campaniensis (Reims-Vézelay) 2018
#1
Hi all wondering if anyone has any advice for me on my planned journey. To begin with I will arrive in Paris on October 10 and fly out November 20 2016. A night in Paris should clear the jet lag then the next day I'll catch the train to Arles.
I don't speak a word of French although I don't speak any Spanish either and when I walked the Camino Mozarabe and Via de la Plata to Santiago it was one of the best experiences I've ever had.
I am looking forward to long days on the trail camping most nights and sampling the food and wine in the villages along the way.
I will not be bringing a phone or a gps.
I have ordered Pilgrim Guides to France and Spain part 1 & 2 from CSJ.
Best and thanks in advance.
Michael
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#2
So you have four months to learn some basic French. Duolingo on your iPhone and Michel Thomas' app are great places to start.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mozárabe 2009
Vía de la Plata 2009
Arles-Puente la Reina 2016
Via Campaniensis (Reims-Vézelay) 2018
#3
Thanks I'll work on it. Do you know the best way to get to Arles from Paris ?
 

filly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, via de la Plata, Sanabres, camino de Levante, Norte, Primitivo, Ingles, Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra, part chemin in France, der Oekumenische Pilgerweg/via Regia, via Tolosana, Aragones, 2017 April/May Lisbon to SdC
#5
Hi all wondering if anyone has any advice for me on my planned journey. To begin with I will arrive in Paris on October 10 and fly out November 20 2016. A night in Paris should clear the jet lag then the next day I'll catch the train to Arles.
I don't speak a word of French although I don't speak any Spanish either and when I walked the Camino Mozarabe and Via de la Plata to Santiago it was one of the best experiences I've ever had.
I am looking forward to long days on the trail camping most nights and sampling the food and wine in the villages along the way.
I will not be bringing a phone or a gps.
I have ordered Pilgrim Guides to France and Spain part 1 & 2 from CSJ.
Best and thanks in advance.
Michael
Hello Michael (or rather Michel!) I am starting off on 27 August alone. I am bilingual and am planning on 32 days to Puenta la Reina. You can contact me as I go along to get an update on accommodation, terrain and weather. I have had no luck in finding anyone else walking this route. I have an English guide and the indispensable French Miam Miam DoDo which lists ALL THE FACILITIES ON THE ROUTE (with no translation necessary). I too loved the via de la Plata/Sanabres and am just back from completing the Norte from Asturias airport to Santiago, then meeting a friend walking up from Seville at La Gudina and walking with her to Ourense before my flight back. You might be better getting a TGV high speed train to Avignon and getting to see that lovely place. This is what I am doing - a booked a shared space in a 4 bed room for 23 euros at Pop'Hostel right in the centre and will take the train the next morning (30 kms) to Arles and sightsee there before beginning, taking the canal alternative way.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
#6
I had zero French before walking the Arles route, apart from greetings, thank you and please. It has it moments, however the French are usually very welcoming and will go out of their way to help you, quite a few speak English . If you feel you need to book a place ahead someone was usually around who could do it for me.

If for some reason you don't want to spend a night in Paris, the train station at CDG airport has direct links to the south of France, I caught a train from Lille to Montpellier( 5hrs), it went through and stopped at CDG train terminal, around 4hrs from there.
 

marbuck

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Condom to Pamplona April 2016.
Le Puy to Condom France - April-May 2015.
Roncesvalles to Santiago April - May 2014
Finisterre to Muxia May 2014
#7
We walked the Le Puy with absolutely no French and managed to not only survive but loved the entire walk. Just go ahead and do your walk, it will all fall into place. Enjoy, France is wonderful.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#8
I don't think you will find many pilgrims to act as a translator at that time of year, so you will have to rely on hand gestures and a smile! The French are welcoming and helpful, but knowing zero French may be a bit off-putting even to the most accommodating. The balises on the route are not good, particularly leaving Toulouse, so be prepared with good maps and guides. You probably need to phone ahead for gites and chambres. Hosts don't wait around for the occasional fall pilgrim! Most of them have lives beyond the pilgrimage, so they may be out for hours, days, or weeks living life. You may find you need to leave a message and get a return call. It will be in French. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mozárabe 2009
Vía de la Plata 2009
Arles-Puente la Reina 2016
Via Campaniensis (Reims-Vézelay) 2018
#9
I don't think you will find many pilgrims to act as a translator at that time of year, so you will have to rely on hand gestures and a smile! The French are welcoming and helpful, but knowing zero French may be a bit off-putting even to the most accommodating. The balises on the route are not good, particularly leaving Toulouse, so be prepared with good maps and guides. You probably need to phone ahead for gites and chambres. Hosts don't wait around for the occasional fall pilgrim! Most of them have lives beyond the pilgrimage, so they may be out for hours, days, or weeks living life. You may find you need to leave a message and get a return call. It will be in French. :)
Thanks for the info falcon I must say I am very good with smiles and gestures it's a wonderful language that has helped me out in many remote corners of the world.
I do actually want to camp although I know there will be times when I'm cold and wet and want the comfort of a room but rather than take a phone I'd rather leave it up to the Gods.
I've got a warm dry tent with sleeping pad and bag it's not that hard.
Now if I can't get a hot meal I'll really have to dig deep !!!
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#10

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#14
Go to a skype based French tudor through a service like Mingyl. Tell the instructor your plans and get some French lessons which will be customized for what you need. There is plenty of time, it is fun and effective and you we make a French friend before going. One of my instructors convinced us to go off route and have dinner with his family.
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#15
Thanks for the info falcon I must say I am very good with smiles and gestures it's a wonderful language that has helped me out in many remote corners of the world.
I do actually want to camp although I know there will be times when I'm cold and wet and want the comfort of a room but rather than take a phone I'd rather leave it up to the Gods.
I've got a warm dry tent with sleeping pad and bag it's not that hard.
Now if I can't get a hot meal I'll really have to dig deep !!!
Unlike other routes, there is not a lot of infrastructure here, in terms of there being cafes etc every few km. While it was 10 years ago when I walked it with a unilingual Australian (my French was good, but I could not for the life of me follow the markings well, and relied greatly on her outback-honed tracking and blazing skills), we had to be careful about our stages. There would be stretches where wild camping is not that practical. However, you will find that the tourisme offices are very helpful and will often telephone around for a pilgrim. As well, mairies will often have English-speaking staff to cope with the numbers of UK residents in the area (although this may change in the next little while, depending on the results of this week's referendum!!!). Contrary to popular lore, I found that the French were very helpful to hikers and walking or cycling pilgrims, and would often go out of their way to be of assistance.

I see no reason why you cannot learn a bit of French-- there is plenty of online assistance and perfect grammar is not expected of a foreigner-- not only will it be of practical help, but it is a courtesy to the people through whose country we are travelling. The French, for historical reasons, love Australians--- Sydney has got an Alliance Française and I think that you will be pleasantly surprised at how much a little will open doors for you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mozárabe 2009
Vía de la Plata 2009
Arles-Puente la Reina 2016
Via Campaniensis (Reims-Vézelay) 2018
#16
Unlike other routes, there is not a lot of infrastructure here, in terms of there being cafes etc every few km. While it was 10 years ago when I walked it with a unilingual Australian (my French was good, but I could not for the life of me follow the markings well, and relied greatly on her outback-honed tracking and blazing skills), we had to be careful about our stages. There would be stretches where wild camping is not that practical. However, you will find that the tourisme offices are very helpful and will often telephone around for a pilgrim. As well, mairies will often have English-speaking staff to cope with the numbers of UK residents in the area (although this may change in the next little while, depending on the results of this week's referendum!!!). Contrary to popular lore, I found that the French were very helpful to hikers and walking or cycling pilgrims, and would often go out of their way to be of assistance.

I see no reason why you cannot learn a bit of French-- there is plenty of online assistance and perfect grammar is not expected of a foreigner-- not only will it be of practical help, but it is a courtesy to the people through whose country we are travelling. The French, for historical reasons, love Australians--- Sydney has got an Alliance Française and I think that you will be pleasantly surprised at how much a little will open doors for you.
I will be starting a course in basic french at the Alliance Française next week. The course runs for two hours twice a week for eight weeks.
Thanks for the suggestion.
 
Camino(s) past & future
chemin du puy, camino frances, camino muxia, vezelay
#17
wondering...
Can you walk from Avignon to Arles (no, not on the highway...but an off-road route?).
 
Camino(s) past & future
chemin du puy, camino frances, camino muxia, vezelay
#19
Merci
I had a look...55 kms! (instead of 30 km which is the train route).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mozárabe 2009
Vía de la Plata 2009
Arles-Puente la Reina 2016
Via Campaniensis (Reims-Vézelay) 2018
#20
Hello Michael (or rather Michel!) I am starting off on 27 August alone. I am bilingual and am planning on 32 days to Puenta la Reina. You can contact me as I go along to get an update on accommodation, terrain and weather. I have had no luck in finding anyone else walking this route. I have an English guide and the indispensable French Miam Miam DoDo which lists ALL THE FACILITIES ON THE ROUTE (with no translation necessary). I too loved the via de la Plata/Sanabres and am just back from completing the Norte from Asturias airport to Santiago, then meeting a friend walking up from Seville at La Gudina and walking with her to Ourense before my flight back. You might be better getting a TGV high speed train to Avignon and getting to see that lovely place. This is what I am doing - a booked a shared space in a 4 bed room for 23 euros at Pop'Hostel right in the centre and will take the train the next morning (30 kms) to Arles and sightsee there before beginning, taking the canal alternative way.
Hi Filly I'm thinking about walking the canal route to St Gilles too so I'd love to hear how you go. I looked on Google Earth and the only difficulties I could see were a motorway and a railway line to cross.
What's the best way to follow your journey ?
Thanks for the tip on Pop' Hostel, I've booked for October 10.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mozárabe 2009
Vía de la Plata 2009
Arles-Puente la Reina 2016
Via Campaniensis (Reims-Vézelay) 2018
#21
Does anyone have a place they can recommend to stay in Arles.
 

filly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, via de la Plata, Sanabres, camino de Levante, Norte, Primitivo, Ingles, Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra, part chemin in France, der Oekumenische Pilgerweg/via Regia, via Tolosana, Aragones, 2017 April/May Lisbon to SdC
#22
Does anyone have a place they can recommend to stay in Arles.
Yes I have booked directly at a private hostel for 20 euros including a basic breakfast, very close to the arena, called something Pelerin. Does mot require a deposit. Found it via Trioadvisor.
 

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