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Blog with Photos

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#1
I have just finished doing a blog with photos from my walk from Le Puy en Velay to Santiago. I started mid-April and finished in Santiago in July. Eventually I will put some more photos online, but this is it for now. The writing got a lot briefer at the end.... this blog took a lot longer to produce than I imagined and I have to go back to work soon ;-)
Anyhow, for those interested, the blog is called "Il faut aller doucement" and it is at: http://chemincamino08.blogspot.com/

The blog title comes from a phrase that a lot of French people said to me near the beginning. Anyone who starts way back in Le Puy knows it is a long way to Santiago, and people tend to be very humble about their chances of making it all the way. "Il faut aller doucement" means 'you need to go gently'.... as a common French phrase I heard was that you needed to go gently, gently to get to St Jacques (James).

Margaret

I will just add here that I also have a slide show on YouTube of this route:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wly8NCpU52c
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#2
A very impressive blog! It brought back my memories of this route last year-I left in late june but got similar cole spells. At least being from Australia's eastern state you would have found the weather just like a Kiwi summer!
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#3
Cheeky blighter omar... I might have expected such comments from someone on the little island to our west!!! One thing is for sure... I won't post home my warm jacket next time!!!!
Actually, the winter in NZ at present is fairly dire.... there are avalanche warnings even in the ranges near me- have never heard of that before. There is a group of 6 Aussie climbers caught out near Mt Cook that they have serious concerns for, but the weather is too bad to reach them at present.
Margaret
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#5
I loved the Le Puy route Lilli. It was especially beautiful between Le Puy and Conques.
Margaret
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#6
I thought I would share 2 of my photos by way of promoting this route. The Sunflowers were quite characteristic of this area of France and the other is of Conques-one of the 'notable towns' of France.
 

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KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#7
omar504 said:
I thought I would share 2 of my photos by way of promoting this route. The Sunflowers were quite characteristic of this area of France and the other is of Conques-one of the 'notable towns' of France.
I always find it fascinating how different people have such different experiences of the same route depending on the weather or the seasons. When I walked there was snow but no sunflowers ;-) Conques was also one of my most favourite places on the route.
Margaret
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#8
Excellent blog Margaret! A nice mix of photos and stories.. very helpful for new pilgrims wondering if "this is the route for them".

I have set it up so that a link to it will appear in all forum posts in the "Le Puy Route" section of the forum.

Saludos,
Ivar
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#9
Wow ivar...that is an honour! Thank you!

By the way... I hope you are having a nice summer over there... I only experienced one day with the famous Galician rain when I was there;-)
Margaret
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#10
Hello Margaret, I too have been enjoying your blog as you have been assembling it. Congratualtions. As you know, my experiences were very different to yours, as I was there in the summer. The thing that fascinates me is that many of my photos were taken in similiar places - mine whoing things like leaves on the trees, yours showing snow and leafless trees. The sunflowers were often past their best, but I loved coming around a corner and seeing a sunflower "face" looking at me. Again congratulations on lovely photos and an interesting blog. Janet
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#11
Janet... you were one of my inspirations as I walked. There were days when I found it harder, and when it felt like I had bitten off more distance than I could chew! Then I would remember the phone call I had with you, and I would think..... no.... this is possible..... Janet walked all this way..... it is possible........ And I would walk on to complete another day!
Margaret
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#12
Seeing as It´s All About ME...
I really loved the whole feel of this blog, and I´ve been referring people to it much as I can. One other extraordinary fact: The Kiwi Nomad blog also contains one of the only photos ever taken on this planet that makes me look good. My hat is off to Margaret´s magical ability with a camera, and her light, matter-of-fact, easy-to-read style. (she´s also a very good, low-maintenance pilgrim guest!)

Rebekah de Moratinos
 

Paulus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (May 2005), Norte (May 2006), Vezelay (2007).
#13
Margaret,

GREAT blog with nice pictures and...nice stories!
I enjoyed it!

Paul
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#14
Rebekah Scott said:
Seeing as It´s All About ME...
The Kiwi Nomad blog also contains one of the only photos ever taken on this planet that makes me look good. Rebekah de Moratinos
Rebekah..... I actually have a photo of each of your dogs having a siesta. I will get round to e-mailing you all the photos soon. And I will get you a 'real' print of the photo of you and post it to "Rebekah Scott, Moratinos" and that might almost be enough address! But I was rushing the blog to finish it before I head back to work... and now I just want a rest from the blog!!!!
Margaret
 
#15
Margaret, thanks so much for your blog!
I know it took considerable effort, and it is a great record of your Camino, a fascinating account of the human condition, and a wonderful resource for others.
A friend is leaving Friday, returning to the Camino to walk from Le Puy to St. Jean Pied de Port, and we are sharing the vicarious excitement of her preparation.

Reports like yours make us relish the dream of heading back to Spain to repeat the experience!

Thanks again, peregrina.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#16
Thanks Paul and Kevin for your kind words.
I especially wanted to put something online about the Le Puy-SJPP part of the route, as I know when I was thinking of going, it was quite hard to find much English info.

Kevin, it is funny, but when I finished in Santiago, I felt like I had 'finished' the Camino. I am already learning that walking so far in the outdoors has probably changed my life for good.
And I know that I 'rushed' the Spanish Camino so as to beat the heat.... and I am already thinking that maybe in a few years time I will go back and make sure I explore more along the way, as I did in France where I had a more leisurely pace...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
#17
KiwiNomad06 said:
I am already learning that walking so far in the outdoors has probably changed my life for good.
Margaret

Are you able to say anything more about that? My husband and I feel something similar since we have discovered how much more 'whole' we feel when we are out on the road on our bicycles.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#18
Bridget,
I am still thinking about it! While I walked, I know that I was 'happy'. Even if it was a hard day, and I was tired.... I was still so glad to be in the outdoors. I feel so incredibly privileged and fortunate to have walked in so many different landscapes, through two-three seasons, over such an extended period. Some of the mornings when I was out walking early, as dawn was happening, I felt such incredible peace as I noticed the 'little' things that I passed by, like the spider webs with dew on them.

I guess because on the Chemin/Camino you walk for such an extended period, that somehow something sinks deep inside. I know that being active outside is something really important for me, and that it is something that I intend to make much more room for in my life.
Margaret
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#19
Bridget, As someone who has done the same journey as Margaret, I will add a thought from my own experience.

I love the way that when you are on the road for a long time ( I was one the road for nearly 2 and half months - on the same path as Margaret). I found that life got boiled down to the simplest things. It was a case of rising (usually early - to beat the heat) getting to where I was going and finding somewhere to stay, washing myself and my clothes finding somewhere to eat and then sleeping. The next day it started all over again! In amongst that, having the time to sit and watch the sunrise, watch the mist rising in the valleys, look at the animals (deer, rabbits etc + spider webs in the dew), look at the wind moving the crops, seeing the vultures in flight and so on, is something very precious that we don't normally take the time to do.

The other thing that I especially enjoyed, after I had been walking for a couple of weeks, was the fact that almost all the churches in France were open and so I began to sing in them. This was a wonderful experience, and I had a number of pilgrims join me. I "sang" my way across the rest of France and even in the few churches open in Spain - including after Mass at Los Arcos.

Have a wonderful journey, Buen Camino Janet
 

Artemis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2006, Camino Portuguese 2009
#20
I realy loved your blog and all the wonderful pictures. I read the whole thing last night and sent the link to my sister who walked Camino Frances with me in 2006. Makes me want to hop on the next plane and start walking again.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#21
jl said:
I found that life got boiled down to the simplest things. It was a case of rising (usually early - to beat the heat) getting to where I was going and finding somewhere to stay, washing myself and my clothes finding somewhere to eat and then sleeping. The next day it started all over again! In amongst that, having the time to sit and watch the sunrise, watch the mist rising in the valleys, look at the animals (deer, rabbits etc + spider webs in the dew), look at the wind moving the crops, seeing the vultures in flight and so on, is something very precious that we don't normally take the time to do.
Janet
Janet...you say it so well!!! Yes, all these things. I marvelled at the sunrise, at the mist rising in the valleys, the wind moving the crops......
As for the singing, maybe next time I will be braver! I often walked with someone after Cahors who loved to sing in churches. I was 'shy' though, and usually only joined her if nobody else was around! There were 'transitions' to make in Spain, and one of the ones my new friend (from Quebec) found hardest was that so few churches were open for her to sing in. I sometimes sang in the landscape itself, (when I could see nobody else was around!). Sometimes it seemed like the whole world was so beautiful and I just wanted to sing, especially in the peace of early mornings, when the sun was just rising.
Before I left home, I made a little collection of songs/poems etc that I thought might inspire me along the way. I used to carry a few in my pocket each day. And if I felt like singing I could bring a song out. I was able to teach my friend from Quebec a couple of new songs in English, from the words that I carried.
And having written all this.... we finally have a sunny morning here, after some really harsh winter weather. So I think the time has come for me to stretch my legs in the outdoors again!
Margaret
 
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
#22
jl said:
The other thing that I especially enjoyed, after I had been walking for a couple of weeks, was the fact that almost all the churches in France were open and so I began to sing in them. This was a wonderful experience, and I had a number of pilgrims join me. I "sang" my way across the rest of France and even in the few churches open in Spain - including after Mass at Los Arcos.

Have a wonderful journey, Buen Camino Janet

KiwiNomad06 said:
As for the singing, maybe next time I will be braver! I often walked with someone after Cahors who loved to sing in churches. I was 'shy' though, and usually only joined her if nobody else was around! There were 'transitions' to make in Spain, and one of the ones my new friend (from Quebec) found hardest was that so few churches were open for her to sing in. I sometimes sang in the landscape itself, (when I could see nobody else was around!). Sometimes it seemed like the whole world was so beautiful and I just wanted to sing, especially in the peace of early mornings, when the sun was just rising.
Before I left home, I made a little collection of songs/poems etc that I thought might inspire me along the way. I used to carry a few in my pocket each day. And if I felt like singing I could bring a song out. I was able to teach my friend from Quebec a couple of new songs in English, from the words that I carried.
It sounds a lovely thing to do, and knowing that someone else has done it will make me braver to try it (in empty churches, anyway).

So what songs would you recommend? ...

See below for a clue to one that I would include!
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#23
Hello Bridget (and Margaret),

It was by accident that I began singing in the Churches on my last Camino. The first occasion was in a little Chappelle on top of a hill just past Noahilliac (not sure of the spelling - and someone has borrowed my guide book to check it - Chappelle St Roche I think) I humbed a few bars of Amazing Grace and it fair boomed around this little chapel! I then decided to actually sing it, and then progressed to Donna Nobis Pacem. From there I sang in most of the churches I came across, with a whole lot of different reactions and experiences.

At one little church I actually wrote a note in the book and the next pilgrim (Claire - from Ireland) who came by said that she wished she was brave enough to do so - I encouraged her to do so and sang with her for confidence. Jerome, who had been sitting outside, then said he wanted to learn Amazing Grace in English so it then became my task to teach it to him - we sang it together, not only in the churches but outside of cafes and bars where we happened to meet, and as he became more confident he started harmonising too. It was wonderful singing with him in the Abbeye Church at Sauvelade - and even in the church at Roncevalles. We couldn't sing at St Jean as they had piped music playing!

At another church I waited patiently for 2 chatting women to leave. After about 10 minutes of them discussing things that were written in a disply book, and, showing no signs of departing I decided to risk it and sing anyway - My Lord What a Morning, a Negro Spiritual . They stopped their discussion and came and listened. Then one of them sang for me - and I think it was something that her mother used to sing (I don't speak French - and she didn't speak English). After that she invited me to sing again and I reverted to singing Amazing Grace, inviting her to sing too. Half way through though, I realised that I had muddled the verses, but decided that as I had no idea what she was singing, and she obviously had no idea what I was it didn't really matter!

I arrived in Viana at Fiesta time and managed to get a gym mat on the floor of the wonderful parochial albergue next to the church. I was also lucky enough to see and hear some wonderful music while I was there - including three fine musicians playing the Basque Gaita (as opposed to the Glaican gaita) which is perhaps similiar to the medieval Shawm. The hopitalero knew of my interest in music and wanted me to sing, but with a very loud band playing outside the window I was unable to do so. However later that night, (while many of us were queing to use the very small bathroom) somehow I managed to lead the singing of the group of pilgrims staying there. Again a wonderful experience with the melodies resonating down the passage, as we all sang and harmonised together. The hospitalero thanked me with "shiny eyes" - it was a moving experience.

At Rabanal I sang for a couple of friends in the church there, before they moved on. That too was a moving experience, in that ancient church, with a mixture of modern cyclone netting fencing off great hole in the ground from which bones protruded. It was there that I sang that wonderful Spiritual "Standin' in the Need of Prayer"

At Vilar de Donas I arrived just after the custodian had closed the Church of El Salvador - an ancient, beautiful but decaying church which was once the seat of the Knights of Santiago. This man kindly re-opened the church for me to see it (I had made a very fast detour to get there, just not quite early enough). I had no language skills to tell him how appreciative I was, and so I used the most universal language of all - I a sang a number of songs / hyms for him. He seemed happy and I certainly was.

Music is truly a universal language. Not only did it help me march up the mountains and across the plains as I sang in my head (or aloud), but it opened up friendships where previously we hadn't communicated, because of language barriers. Another thing that I noticed time and again was that no matter how bad I felt (and sometimes after a particularly long day, I was feeling quite "off") a 10 minute sing was worth at least an hour of rest. For me it was a real energiser.

Those who know me know that I talk too much, but hope there are some out there who might reflect on my experience and try something similiar themselves. Sorry about the length of this post - but once started, I couldn't stop!.

Buen Camino all, Janet
 
#24
I remember fondly singers on the Via de la Plata. One was Arturo, in his sixties, who sang all, ALL the time. He walked slower than me, so I would go ahead then rest when I could find a tree. Then I could hear him arriving by his songs. He sang songs I hear on my mom's record player in the 50s, he sang show tunes, Hello Dolly, Jack the Knife, but in Spanish.... religious hymns, etc. It pleased me soooo much as I heard him. We would then sit for a while until the next rest area. As we would walk away from each other, I would sing as well, and sometimes even "march" to his tunes. It was fun.

Then the other time, was 2 Spanish brothers cycling together. They sang in the albergue in Bejar and the next day I heard them approaching through their singing. We chatted a while and then they left while singing "America"... I could hear them for quite a while and as they faded away, I realized I had a smile the whole time. Very sweet!
mmmmm, smiling
Lillian
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#25
Wow, Janet, you have given me a whole lot of fresh ideas! Next time (??!!) I will try and be less shy!!

For a not-very-often-churchgoer like myself, I chose a surprising number of 'religious' songs to carry with me, typed up on little slips of paper. There is a priest who is a singer here in New Zealand who has quite a lot of songs with an environmental theme in his repertoire, and I liked to sing quite a few of those.
I liked Janet's description of how music helped her to "march up the mountains and across the plains". I had a few songs for the mountains. One was "Sing to the Mountains", a St Louis Jesuit song, and another one was "Climb every mountain" from the Sound of Music. It was amazing how these songs helped the stints uphill seem shorter and easier. And they were great for celebration when you stood on high as well. Other songs like "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" seemed to come to my lips at those climbing times too, and the rhythm seemed to help my feet move right along there!
One song I heard a few months before I left was "Be still for the presence of the Lord." (I think this is quite well known, but I hadn't heard it before.) Sometimes I sang this on quiet mornings, and it really seemed to reflect the peaceful joy I knew at those times.

I had copied the words to "Ultreia" before I left, but never knew the tune. It was sung in a few French churches along the way, including Conques. Then my Quebec friend, Lyne, began to sing it quite a bit. At Carrion de los Condes we stayed in an albergue run by some Augustinian nuns. They had a 'singing' session in the evening in the foyer, and Lyne taught it to the pilgrims there, a very special moment.
Margaret
 
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
#26
I had copied the words to "Ultreia" before I left, but never knew the tune
I was in the same position but Sil directed me to this recording of it.

http://ama-walker-walker.theboys.co.za/ ... erlied.WAV

Inspired by the previous posts to make my collection of songs to embarrass my husband with - I mean - sing in French churches, I took my lap top to the piano last night, scrabbled around for a scrap of manuscript paper and managed to get the notes down. So now I feel ready to sing it, although my french pronunciation may be a bit suspect. Is there an english version of the words?

There are several songs in Joyce Rupp's book - does anyone know the tunes to them?
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#27
I am not sure.... I never ever heard an English version.... it was a song that you tended to hear French-speaking pilgrims sing.
One evening in a gite in Condom, in France, there was a computer with internet in the lounge and only three of us home. We used the internet to find lyrics for several songs we thought of singing. Then a bunch more came home and we used the internet to find all the words to Ultreia and sang that together! The only words we found were French ones.
Margaret
 

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:
#28

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#29
Hello all Ultreia enthusiasts. When I attended Mass at Conques, they handed out word sheets with a melody line, and subsequently collected them after Mass. There were not a lot of them, but I spoke to someone after and was given a copy of that sheet (I had missed out when they were handed out). Keep your eyes open you might find it along the way. I was also given a beautiful little card with all the words on one side too at one of the masses I attended.

One particularly bad day I found Tallis Canon got me to the top of the hill (the one leading into Leon). For some reason it was just right to march up the hill to, the only problem was that I was so tired I couldn't think of another one to "change the record" quickly and I didn't dare stop - it was the beat of this old Canon that was getting me there, and so I just had to let the song go round and round until I got to the top and had no further need of it for the moment!.

Ultreia, Janet
 

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:
#30
If anyone would like a short WAV recording of the Ultreia song, you can either download it from my blog or email me and I'll send it to you.
 

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:
#32
All the verses.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
#33
Oh well, it was worth refreshing my rusty music transcribing skills! Your version, falcon, is not only more readable, it's also a fifth higher than the ladies on Sil's WAV recording! (approximately!!) And it has harmony! Lets hope I find someone to sing it with me on the Vezelay route.
 
#34
About the music in the camino and about Margaret´s blog!

Thank you so very much for your lovely, amazing, interesting and so beautiful blog of your camino from Le Pyu, Margaret! I just found it two days ago, and last night I had a horrible stomache and I read your blog all the night... it helped me to survive alive, so thank you:)!! I´d love to walk that route but I guess I should study a little bit of french before that. I would hate to understand nothing and not to be understood. Or are they wrong who say that you don´t get along with english or spanish (or finnish:)) there?

A memory from my first camino frances: As I had a tendinit and tried to walk on for several days, I was lucky to stay in the albergue of Tosantos, where we had that prayer in the evening (which I remember you didn´t join, Margaret:)) and I learned the Taize-song Magnificat there. The joyful hymn followed me whole the camino, it helped me to bear the pain, it helped me to stop for five days as I thought: although my body suffers, my soul can still be thankful (magnificat anima mea..). I was lucky to be able to continue walking, and the last two weeks I walked with Gabriele, a young italian man, and I teached the song to him and so we sang it every day in canon as we walked...

AND what happened when we reached the Cathedral of Santiago: we were wet and exhausted, went straight to the mass and during the communion all the people sang (with the nun and her marvellous voice) the same song, of all the songs in the world... I sang and cried, I had to stop to get air, I leaned to the pilars of the church as we were standing... Magnificat anima mea...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#35
Again, I loved this blog and I'm so conflicted about which Route to take this year.... ::crying::
I want to do this one from Le Puy to SJPP. I also want to do the VDLP. I also love the Aragon. I wonder how long I can legally stay in Europe walking?
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#36
Hi Heloise,
I am glad you found my blog useful, and I hope your stomach is feeling a lot better today! I know the Taize song you speak about and love it as well: what a truly amazing experience to sing it along the way then hear it sung in the Cathedral like that!!!

I don't think you have to know French before you walk this route, though it would possibly be a little less lonely at times if you did. jl(Janet) from Australia might chime in here if she happens to see this: she walked the Le Puy route and doesn't speak French. She found the local tourist offices very helpful for making onward reservations for the gites for her.

This route is not walked by quite such an "international" crowd as the Camino Frances: - French walkers predominated when I was there, and next most numerous were the Germans. English speakers were quite rare.

But I met a few people along the way who didn't speak French and they were enjoying their walk very much, and had found various ways to cope with the language issue. I met a South African woman in Moissac who was walking with a mobile phone and the Miam Miam Dodo guide. She could work out enough from the guide to identify where she might want to stay, and then would easily find a French speaker amongst fellow walkers who would ring up and book for her. There was also a young Korean walker who was 'adopted' by a group of French walkers who were making sure she was able to find accommodation etc. One of the strangest things that happened to me was that I ended up being a 'translator' at times. eg a German woman spoke to me in English, and I then translated what she wanted into French for her. I never quite for over the fact that my French had improved enough for some to think I could fill this role!!

All the best with your planning Heloise!
And Annie...... happy decision making!!!!
Margaret
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#37
Hi Heloise, Yes Margaret is right - I don't speak French, but managed with the help of the tourist offices along the way to book the next day's accomodation. They were always very helpful and in a number of cases I had selected the places I wanted to stay because of what I had heard about them.

I also found that music is a universal language, and on a number of occasions when I sang (in the churches, at the gites etc) people became even more friendly. What I found very interesting was that when I sang, people who prior to that didn't even have a greeting in English (I would always greet people in French and tell them I couldn't speak it - in French - that was my limit!) would suddenly be able to speak a few words to me in English - it really broke down barriers. I have always found the people very friendly, warm and helpful. I have made up for the fact that I don't speak French by doing a lot of research before I go so that I know what to look for etc.

Like you, I often sang the Taize Magnificat, and also like you that was the song that was sung at the cathedral after my first Camino. I asked the priest if I could sing after the Pilgrim Mass in Los Arcos, and with his agreement I sang Amazing Grace. It was a wonderful experience as all the French Pilgrims present all joined in with me.

I always walk long Caminos because I am quite unable to decide whether to walk in France or Spain and so I walk both! (I also have the added incentive that it is better to go for the maximum time allowed as it is so expensive to travel from Australia). France is green, lush, vibrant, cultured and quiet but when I cross the border (especially the Aragon) it becomes dry, austere, harsh but with a vibrancy and energy about it

Annie - for what it is worth, we Australians are only allowed to spend 90 days in the Schengen States (unless we have receipts for every nights accomodation prior to arriving!). I suspect that US residents might be the same. I have been cautioned about overstaying, as that could result in a flag being attached to my name and make it difficult to go to other countries.

Happy planning, Janet
 
#38
Margaret and Janet, thank you for your friendly answers and your stories about singing and talking! And yes, my stomach is well again:). At the moment I´m not planning a new camino so intensively... of course, it is all the time somewhere in my mind, but I also have other plans for the next years, to visit my husband´s sister who lives in Malawi, and it will take both time and money if it becomes reality. After walking Frances and Aragon and Primitivo I have been reading books and guides about Via de la Plata, but in fact the sceneries of France seem to call my soul... Janet, you said you walk both in France and Spain when you are not able to decide - I liked that!

Last days I´ve been thinking how lucky I am (and most of us who hang around here in this forum) to be able to travel to another country, take time to walk, take time to myself and self-reflection (and have problems like what route to take:))... while most of people in the world can´t even dream about things like that. I don´t think I should be ashamed, but I really could be even more thankful and happy!

Happy about having done pilgrimigies and happy about peregrinos y peregrinas en el mundo entero,

Heloise
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#40
I don't want to get into too much self-promotion here :shock: but I have just re-done my Le Puy blog a little. I uploaded photos with slightly better resolution- though still medium size- we have very slow upload speed here. I also 'rewrote' parts of it, as originally it was in a semi-poem-prose-style that didn't necessarily make for easy reading. (I was so used to speaking in some variety of pidgin-French-English when I arrived home and began the blog, that ordinary prose had escaped my brain I think!)

Anyhow, I hope the Le Puy-SJPP part of the blog proves useful to anyone thinking of doing the route: there still seems to be a shortage of accounts in English of this section of the Chemin. But, when you walk it, there are not too many other English speakers around, so I guess that isn't so surprising really...
Bon courage! Bonne route! Bon chemin!
Margaret
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
#41
Hi Margaret,
The photographs were good to start with but they certainly are much sharper now and have far greater detail and texture. I find it really useful 'seeing' some of the places I'll be traveling through as I remember 'visual' information far better than written data. By looking at the photographs on your blog I'm think I'm beginning to 'hardwire' a sort of outline visual map of the route which is really helpful thank you.
Looking forward to re reading the revised text, though I must say I found your initial 'prosem' (prose/poem hybrid!) accounts had an immediacy that conveyed the essence of your journey very well.
Nell
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#42
My name is Margaret and I am a blog-o-holic. I have another blog :shock: that is 'indirectly' about the Le Puy route, and my journey on it to Santiago..... This blog I call 'Camino-spirations'. http://kiwinomadsphotos.blogspot.com/

In it I have used photos along with quotes of various texts (songs, poems etc). Many but not all of the photos were taken on the Camino. And some of the quoted texts were amongst the 'bits of paper' I carried in a plastic bag to inspire myself along the way as I walked the Camino. But others result from thoughts I have had since returning home, that I think were inspired or reinforced by my Camino experience. Among them are thoughts about simplicity, noticing the little things, thankfulness- all things that for me were an important part of the Camino experience or its 'aftermath'.

This blog is an 'ongoing' thing and I will post to it when I am inspired some more!
Margaret

By the way, jl from this forum can take some of the blame for the evolution of this blog...after she posted some lovely cards with photos and quotes on them.....
 

sharon w

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007
Camino Portugues 2009
Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre 2012
Cammino di Assisi 2014
Via Podiensis, Camino del Norte, Camino Frances(Astorga to Santiago) 2015
Aussie Camino 2016
#43
Margaret,
Your blog is inspirational. I am hoping to walk from Le Puy to Santiago with my husband and some other Camino buddies in 2012.
Do you know which months would be the best time to start in Le Puy? The other two Caminos we have done we have started in September.
Once again, thanks for such a comprehensive blog.
Sharon
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#44
Hi Sharon,
I think that many gites are open from early April until about the beginning of November, though some take reservations or are open outside the main season. The Miam Miam Dodo guide gives some quite reliable opening dates with its listings.

I started walking mid-April and still struck some snow in the region up until I had descended from Aubrac, and I know from people's blogs that this year there was a lot of snow early April, making the beginning of the route basically impassable earlier than that. (Ian- Sagalouts- has some photos of all the snow on Aubrac early this past April: http://sagalouts-theroadtonowhere.blogspot.com/2010/04/let-pictures-teel-story.html

May is quite a busy walking month on this route, but I quite liked it then, though you did need to think about reserving a few days ahead at some times as there were heaps of long weekends. The weather in May was quite variable- some days very hot and then quite cool again. I gather from my friends at Ultreia gite in Moissac, that numbers walking drop off in midsummer in the heat- possibly the French all head to the beaches then! Then there are more walking again in September. I imagine September would be quite pleasant walking- though I saw spring growth and can't quite imagine the autumn browns!
Margaret
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
#45
Hi Sharon, I walked the Le Puy route starting around the 20th of August and finishing at the end of September. The weather could not have been more perfect. I had 2 days of heavy rain, the rest of the time lovely sunny weather. Feel free to check out my blog, Gitti
 

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jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#46
Hi Sharon, I began walking from Le Puy in early August (about August 6th from memory) and had no problems with accomodation. This year is not only a busy time though for pilgrims, but August is also a busy time on the path for walkers. There are many on this way who are walkers who have just joined all or part of this path for their annual holiday. They too use the gites, and so there are 2 types of people sharing accomodation - the pilgrims, and the long distance (or not so long, as the case may be) walkers. This path is not only the pilgrimage way, but a GR path too - hence the large numbers onit. That said, there are still a lot less than on the Camino Frances!

By the way I PM'd you some time ago Sharon with my email address if you want to make contact - but you haven't collected it yet. Feel free to contact me should you want a chat about the path.

Cheers, Janet
 

sharon w

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007
Camino Portugues 2009
Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre 2012
Cammino di Assisi 2014
Via Podiensis, Camino del Norte, Camino Frances(Astorga to Santiago) 2015
Aussie Camino 2016
#47
Hi Janet,
I'm sorry that I did not reply to your PM. I can't find which post it was so am wondering if you could PM me again.
Thanks
Sharon
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#48
Hi Sharon, PM sent, cheers, Janet
 

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