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Camping, Money and Walking Intensity

Keegan

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept 2022
Bonjour! My friend and I are doing 9 days on the Chemine Le Puy, starting in Le Puy, and hopefully getting as far as Conques. I have read through many of these threads, and they are super helpful! I have a few questions for anyone who has done this route:

1) I am a little intimidated by the first leg, from Le Puy to Saint-Privat-d’Allier: 24km up and down steep hills. I'm wondering if it is as intense as I think it is :), if there are spots to camp along the way- say 1/2 way, and are there places to refill water bottles along the way?

2) Money. Are there banks to get cash along the route, or do you bring enough cash for the whole track (9 days for us)? I'm guessing most places only accept cash and not credit card- is that true?

3) How much water do you all carry? I have read that many carry only a liter, but does that mean there are places to refill often? Also, I've read that cemeteries you pass have water for people to fill for their flowers. Is that water drinkable? (A liter doesn't seem like much for a 20km walk :eek:)

Thank you for any and all advice!
 
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amandurr

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Hi Keegan,

I'm on the path right now - just made it to Estaing. :)

1- That is a pretty ambitious/long first day and there are a fair amount of ups and downs (according to the buen camino app, 449m of descent and 675m of gain). There are towns in between where you could potentially stay/call a taxi if you really needed. It really depends on your current level of fitness - I've met folks doing 30-40km a day!

2 - Are you using a guidebook? Miam Miam Dodo tells you which gîtes take credit cards and which only take cash. I would recommend bringing cash though. There are a fair amount of places with a bank machine but would probably be ideal to not rely on them too much.

3 - I've generally been carrying 2l and that has mostly been fine. The first few days there were a lot of places for water at public WCs and such (you will often see it marked 'eau potable'). There were a few days where that wasn't the case on the Aubrac Plateau area.

Bon chemin!
 

John Holland

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016
I have walked the Le-Puy to SJPP camino twice, including the first day to Saint-Privat-d'Allier on each occasion. The 24 km is not as hard as is generally believed. At an average speed of only 4 kph (and that is generally a bit slow for most people) it will take only 6 hours actual walking. The ups and downs are not intense. Getting out of Conques is much tougher. Assuming you have a reasonable level of fitness you should have no problem. I have no advice on banks as I have not needed to use them. 2L of water should be enough for one day. I have always carried 2L.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
At an average speed of only 4 kph (and that is generally a bit slow for most people) it will take only 6 hours actual walking. The ups and downs are not intense.
Speak for yourself, John. I could barely manage 3 kph, and found I was absolutely knackered at 15-18 km/day. It all depends on individual strength, fitness, and pack weight.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
Bonjour! My friend and I are doing 9 days on the Chemine Le Puy, starting in Le Puy, and hopefully getting as far as Conques. I have read through many of these threads, and they are super helpful! I have a few questions for anyone who has done this route:

1) I am a little intimidated by the first leg, from Le Puy to Saint-Privat-d’Allier: 24km up and down steep hills. I'm wondering if it is as intense as I think it is :), if there are spots to camp along the way- say 1/2 way, and are there places to refill water bottles along the way?

2) Money. Are there banks to get cash along the route, or do you bring enough cash for the whole track (9 days for us)? I'm guessing most places only accept cash and not credit card- is that true?

3) How much water do you all carry? I have read that many carry only a liter, but does that mean there are places to refill often? Also, I've read that cemeteries you pass have water for people to fill for their flowers. Is that water drinkable? (A liter doesn't seem like much for a 20km walk :eek:)

Thank you for any and all advice!
Bonjour Keegan 👋👋👋
You could choose to stay at Montbonnet [18.0km] and then Monistrol d’Allier [+15.0] OR Roziers OR Rognac ... and so not push yourself too hard at the start ... personally, I have found Saint-Privat a tough ask on the first day ... BUT Montbonnet works well and now four excellent accommodations there. Everyone is different though and what might be a tough 18km for some is an easy 24km for others.

On banks ... there are ATMs along the way at Saugues, Aumont-Aubrac, Nasbinals and other places ... but for nine or ten days of walking you might find it easier to carry cash 💶💶💶 and, yes, cash is 👑 on the Le Puy route ...

Plenty of opportunities to refill, esp. at cemetries, but they are not always obvious. You can also ask to have your bidon [re]filled at buvettes or cafés along the way. Tap water at cemetries is generally potable. Non-potable water is labelled as such.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Speak for yourself, John. I could barely manage 3 kph, and found I was absolutely knackered at 15-18 km/day. It all depends on individual strength, fitness, and pack weight.
I have walked the Le-Puy to SJPP camino twice, including the first day to Saint-Privat-d'Allier on each occasion. The 24 km is not as hard as is generally believed. At an average speed of only 4 kph (and that is generally a bit slow for most people) it will take only 6 hours actual walking.
Here is a perfect example of why trying to get a correct answer on the difficulty of a section or even a full camino is next to impossible to answer accurately. I found the first part of the Le Puy Camino really hard. I met others who said that is wasn't as hard as people make it out to be. I walked the Norte and found the first half really hard and friends who switched over to the Primitivo said it was way harder and the Norte was not bad at all. Both are fantastic. But when it comes to difficulty you really don't know until you go. I would say that you should err on the side of caution. Going shorter distances early for someone who is not sure is a much better way to insure your physical health and spiritual enjoyment. Less is certainly more until you are sure.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
Here is a perfect example of why trying to get a correct answer on the difficulty of a section or even a full camino is next to impossible to answer accurately. I found the first part of the Le Puy Camino really hard. I met others who said that is wasn't as hard as people make it out to be. I walked the Norte and found the first half really hard and friends who switched over to the Primitivo said it was way harder and the Norte was not bad at all. Both are fantastic. But when it comes to difficulty you really don't know until you go. I would say that you should err on the side of caution. Going shorter distances early for someone who is not sure is a much better way to insure your physical health and spiritual enjoyment. Less is certainly more until you are sure.
absolutely agree with every word It56ny👌
 

mark connolly

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
sept 2016 CF
sept 2017 Lourdes to SJPDP via Piemonte
SJPDP to SDC via CF
2019 CF (God willing)
Couple of things to keep in mind:

Bring a phone that way you may be able to contact gites, campgrounds, etc.

Bring the Miam Dodo guide or any guide because you may either chose to stay at gite or be forced to.

Some campgrounds are listed in the Miam guide but not many

I am under the impression that the gites and campgrounds listed in Miam Dodo are advertised, meaning

that they have to pay and not all campgrounds/gites are listed.

The Maim guide also lists the tourist office in them, which maybe you best info on where stay, camp and

eat, etc. They can call for you to make reservations.

As far as the first leg, It was a bit hard, but not too bad.

Its the third leg that I would be concerned about. Leaving Sauges, it is 20 miles to the next stage.

This is assuming that you are following the Miam guide, which obviously you are not, but the point is you
are going to have to camp along the way, if you do not want to go the full 20 miles.

A good blog to read is Davey Boyd's he free/wild camped mostly along the way:


FYI, I never camped, etc. But if you meet people along the way who are camping, obviously you can ask

them for advice.

Bottom line: get the guidebook, bring a phone, ask for assistance at the tourist offices and other

pilgrims/campers, etc., and you will be fine.

Good luck and Bon Chemin.

Mark
 

John Holland

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016
It59ny is absolutely correct. All views given here are personal, including mine. I can only speak for myself. All comments should be taken only as a guide. Nothing more.
 

Pafayac

On the way...
Time of past OR future Camino
2021: Le Puy-Cahors. 2022: Cahors-Puente La Reina.
3) How much water do you all carry? I have read that many carry only a liter, but does that mean there are places to refill often?
Yes there are many places to refill.
In France, in every graveyard, you can find potable water. 1 liter is sufficient to walk from Le Puy to Roncevalles (I did it with a 1 liter water bag).
 
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