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Chemin de Compostelle Voie Catalane

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
The morning dawns. I'm sat drinking coffee looking out eastward from my eleventh floor window towards Wetherby, where I've been ensconced since June "dog sitting" for friends/acquaintances who have gone on "holiday". Inside, during that time, pressure was building which, without a Camino to look forward to, I wouldn't know how to control. For all I love dogs, and I really do, spending 3 solid months doing nothing else felt like being in a large open air prison: Wetherby, my home town, is insular and has always made me feel like an outsider who tries and tries to find a way to be accepted there. But it's just not that sort of place, well not for me anyhow.

Knowing that this afternoon I head back towards Narbonne to pick up a route back on The Way - Voie Catalane - after one day (Tuesday) at Narbonne Plage - is all I will need to put my head back in the mentally healthy place I prefer it...

This lockdown in the UK, since December last, has been so so difficult. I guess for everybody who needs to be on the road, path, track, trail or voie and the freedom it gives?

My only current dilemma is do I pack a tent I may never use, except for a couple of occasions?
 
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lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Bon chemin @futurefjp
I have just returned from following the GR 36 and one of the Catalan chemins de compostelle from Le Sidobre near Castres up to Bourg-Madame at the French-Spanish border . I didn't carry a tent, just a sleeping sheet. Most gîte d'étape were closed or booked out. I walked without mobile phone or internet connection making enquiries from day to day, face to face. People welcomed me into their homes whilst others provided a floor here and there. It was an awesome experience but physically challenging, more than a strenuous walk...

Which route from Perpignon will you be attempting?

Cheers
Lovingkindness

Trails walked (Aug 2021):
GR 36 from Pont de Bézergues to Eus:
Pont de Bézergues to Cambounès
Cambounès to Ribaute
Ribaute to Sournia then down to Arboussouls

Tour du Canigou
Arboussouls to Eus
Vernet-les-Bains to Estoher to Vinça

Prades to Bourg-Madame: I improvised with the trail, sometimes following le chemin de St Jacques other times following sections of the Tour du Canigou.

[From Thues-entre-Valles to Mont Louis I took the bus. I spoke with several folk who had just completed the section to Fontpedrouse and was told the trail is vertigionous involving narrow paths beside vertical drops, terrain which in the past has caused my body to freeze and eyes to lose focus. The road from Thues-entre-Valles is too dangerous to walk and there isn't a low-level rambling trail as alternative.

Here's a video of part of the missed section. 'Les Gorges de la Caranca' . Hats off to you if you walk this!]
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Bon chemin @futurefjp
I have just returned from following the GR 36 and one of the Catalan chemins de compostelle from Le Sidobre near Castres up to Bourg-Madame at the French-Spanish border . I didn't carry a tent, just a sleeping sheet. Most gîte d'étape were closed or booked out. I walked disconnected making enquiries from day to day, face to face. People welcomed me into their homes whilst others provided a floor here and there. It was an awesome experience but physically challenging, more than a strenuous walk...

Which route from Perpignon will you be attempting?

Cheers
Lovingkindness

Trails walked (Aug 2021):
GR 36 from Pont de Bézergues to Eus:
Pont de Bézergues to Cambounès
Cambounès to Ribaute
Ribaute to Sournia

Tour du Canigou
Arboussouls to Eus
Vernet-les-Bains to Estoher

Prades to Bourg-Madame: I improvised with the trail, sometimes following le chemin de St Jacques other times following sections of the Tour du Canigou.

[From Thues-entre-Valles to Mont Louis I took the bus. I spoke with several folk who had just completed the section to Fontpedrouse and was told the trail is vertigionous involving narrow paths beside vertical drops, terrain which in the past has caused my body to freeze and eyes to unfocus. The road from Thues-entre-Valles is too dangerous to walk and there isn't a low-level rambling trail as alternative.

Here's a video of part of the missed section. 'Les Gorges de la Caranca' . Hats off to you if you walk this!]
loving kindness,
Wow! That is quite a journey that you did; glad that you improvised where needed. Are you still in Bourg-Madame ?
Wherever you may be stay safe and Carpe diem.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
loving kindness,
Wow! That is quite a journey that you did; glad that you improvised where needed. Are you still in Bourg-Madame ?
Wherever you may be stay safe and Carpe diem.
Hi @mspath. No, I am not in Bourg-Madame any more. Such a pity. I do hope to return some day and continue on via Puigcerda to Lleida....

To celebrate my arrival at the French-Spanish border I took tea at an elegant salon de thé by the bridge in Bourg-Madame. The next day I took the bus to Porté-Puymorens then hitch-hiked via Foix to Toulouse. With personal affaires to organise, I decided to return by foot to where I am staying in Le Lot et Garonne: I followed le Voie d'Arle from Toulouse to Auch then the Tour au Coeur du Gascogne to Condom after which I hitch-hiked to Agen station etc etc...

Salon de Thé Bourg Madame2.jpg
Bourg-Madame: salon de thé
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Hi @mspath. No, I am not in Bourg-Madame any more. Such a pity. I do hope to return some day and continue on via Puigcerda to Lleida....

To celebrate my arrival at the French-Spanish border I took tea at an elegant salon de thé by the bridge in Bourg-Madame. The next day I took the bus to Porté-Puymorens then hitch-hiked via Foix to Toulouse. With personal affaires to organise, I decided to return by foot to where I am staying in Le Lot et Garonne: I followed le Voie d'Arle from Toulouse to Auch then the Tour au Coeur du Gascogne to Condom after which I hitch-hiked to Agen station etc etc...

View attachment 108605
Bourg-Madame: salon de thé
Hello again,
Your picture of tea time in Bourg-Madame looks delicious. Since it is truly tea time now at 16:30 I'll take an afternoon walk to our favorite patisserie for some tartlettes.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
It's a complicated route, though the variant up through Bourg-Madame & Puigçerdà is probably the better one for the "hikier" pilgrims.

But the easiest and simplest from Perpignan is to head up to the Perthus pass over the Pyrenees.

The route up to Bourg-Madame & Puigçerdà is very beautiful, though I haven't walked it (just hitch-hiked back down it on my way back from stage 2 of this current Camino two years ago), but then so is the Camino from the Perthus to Girona & Manresa & onwards.

The complicated part of all these routes is that really, they're all directed towards Rome, not Santiago (the local name for the route between Montpellier and Perpignan is the Via Romieu) ; and also that very few people walk them on pilgrimage (there are a few hikers), so that there is very, very little Camino infrastructure. Well, the waymarks at least do exist.

In a normal year, only about a dozen peregrinos head out via Perpignan towards Compostela ...
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
Bon chemin @futurefjp
I have just returned from following the GR 36 and one of the Catalan chemins de compostelle from Le Sidobre near Castres up to Bourg-Madame at the French-Spanish border . I didn't carry a tent, just a sleeping sheet. Most gîte d'étape were closed or booked out. I walked without mobile phone or internet connection making enquiries from day to day, face to face. People welcomed me into their homes whilst others provided a floor here and there. It was an awesome experience but physically challenging, more than a strenuous walk...

Which route from Perpignon will you be attempting?

Cheers
Lovingkindness

Trails walked (Aug 2021):
GR 36 from Pont de Bézergues to Eus:
Pont de Bézergues to Cambounès
Cambounès to Ribaute
Ribaute to Sournia then down to Arboussouls

Tour du Canigou
Arboussouls to Eus
Vernet-les-Bains to Estoher to Vinça

Prades to Bourg-Madame: I improvised with the trail, sometimes following le chemin de St Jacques other times following sections of the Tour du Canigou.

[From Thues-entre-Valles to Mont Louis I took the bus. I spoke with several folk who had just completed the section to Fontpedrouse and was told the trail is vertigionous involving narrow paths beside vertical drops, terrain which in the past has caused my body to freeze and eyes to lose focus. The road from Thues-entre-Valles is too dangerous to walk and there isn't a low-level rambling trail as alternative.

Here's a video of part of the missed section. 'Les Gorges de la Caranca' . Hats off to you if you walk this!]
I think up the Tet?
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
Bon chemin @futurefjp
I have just returned from following the GR 36 and one of the Catalan chemins de compostelle from Le Sidobre near Castres up to Bourg-Madame at the French-Spanish border . I didn't carry a tent, just a sleeping sheet. Most gîte d'étape were closed or booked out. I walked without mobile phone or internet connection making enquiries from day to day, face to face. People welcomed me into their homes whilst others provided a floor here and there. It was an awesome experience but physically challenging, more than a strenuous walk...

Which route from Perpignon will you be attempting?

Cheers
Lovingkindness

Trails walked (Aug 2021):
GR 36 from Pont de Bézergues to Eus:
Pont de Bézergues to Cambounès
Cambounès to Ribaute
Ribaute to Sournia then down to Arboussouls

Tour du Canigou
Arboussouls to Eus
Vernet-les-Bains to Estoher to Vinça

Prades to Bourg-Madame: I improvised with the trail, sometimes following le chemin de St Jacques other times following sections of the Tour du Canigou.

[From Thues-entre-Valles to Mont Louis I took the bus. I spoke with several folk who had just completed the section to Fontpedrouse and was told the trail is vertigionous involving narrow paths beside vertical drops, terrain which in the past has caused my body to freeze and eyes to lose focus. The road from Thues-entre-Valles is too dangerous to walk and there isn't a low-level rambling trail as alternative.

Here's a video of part of the missed section. 'Les Gorges de la Caranca' . Hats off to you if you walk this!]
I saw that there are two options from Perpignan, or three if I went down the coastal route (but I came up that way last year). I seriously want to head in the general direction of Santiago as it's been a while since I was in Navarra, etc, and I think I'd like to go over the Pyrenees which I haven't done really since walking from Pamplona to SJPdP years ago.

First thing though! Tomorrow the Mediterranean.
 
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2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
The road from Thues-entre-Valles is too dangerous to walk and there isn't a low-level rambling trail as alternative.
Exit, pursued by a bear.
😱😱😱
As if the heights weren't enough.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Why is the road too difficult and which way did you go?
The N116 from Thuès-entre-Valls to Fontpedrouse is a national highway with many curves and lots of holiday traffic. There isn't a verge on either side of the road. Someone at la mairie said it wasn't possible to walk along the road to Fontpedrouse, that I should take the bus.

Which way did I go? If you wait a day or two I will give you the detailed version. The quick answer is, from Prades to Bourg-Madame I attempted to follow le Chemin de Saint Jacques using information published by Association Roussillonnaise Les Amis du Chemin de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle:

Pdf guide part 1 PERPIGNAN%20-%20ESCARO.pdf (website-editor.net)
Pdf guide part 2 Escaro-bourg%20madame.pdf (website-editor.net)

I didn't carry a gps. I used freebie local tourist maps which lacked detail, not something I would recommend others do. There are excellent IGN maps of the region, at a price.

The pilgrim trail itself was not often signed. It switched between local trails with only an occassional camino sign. I needed the pdf commentary to understand exactly where to walk. Throughout the day I chatted with local folk and others on the trail asking advice on what lay up ahead. Alternative trails were sometimes suggested.

*Prades via Saint-Michel de Cuxa to Villefranche de Conflent : nothing difficult

*Villefranche de Conflent : No accommodation available within my means so, I hitch-hiked up to Vernet-les-Bains.

*Vernet-les-Bains to Saint-Martin de Canigou : From Casteil there are two ways up to the Abbey -a concrete road or a steep nature trail by the river.

*Vernet-les Bains via Estoher to Vinça : Following the Tour du Canigou -steep in parts, nose almost to the ground; eroded in places, slithering + toboganning down trails. Exhilarating.

*train from Vinça to Villefranche de Conflent (€1)

*Villefranche de Conflent to Fuilla : Steep zigzag on a stone path up a mountain. Fallen trees obstructing the trail. A splendid view to the Vauban fortress, Libéria. Down the other side on a piste. The pdf notes were not exact enough at this point. Fortunately I met a holidaying couple who were familiar with the trail.

*Fuilla to Nyer : Local folk showed me two alternatives to Le chemin de St Jacques, both easy to moderate walking.

Trail 1
There is a splendid, shady PR route to Col de Fins (before Escaro) which passes through forests on the other side of the piste above Fuilla (yellow + white signs, Aytua 5 kms).

Start: A few minutes after arriving on the piste above Fuilla there is a dirt lane turning right. It is directly opposite a very large flattish rock (stone piles on top). The lane leads to a ruined building and continues past. The trail signs are after the building.
Note: le chemin de Saint Jacques follows the piste above Fuilla all the way to Col de Fins. It is in the blistering sunshine.

Trail 2
From Escaro to Nyer I followed the GRP Tour des Reserves Naturelles (yellow + red signed trail) up to a mountain prairie with outstanding views. A little later one discovers a strategically placed bath tub filled with ice cold mountain water. Yipee!
Note: le Chemin de Saint Jacque departs Escaro at the entrance of the camping ground. It joins the GRP later. One misses the splendid panorama, the mountain prairie and a chance to skinny dip in a mountain bath tub.

Map 1: Fuilla to Col de Fins (PR trail, yellow + white signs)
InkedCapture web_7-9-2021_83549_www.geoportail.gouv.fr_LI.jpg


Map 2: Escaro GRP trail, Tour des Reserves Naturelles (yellow and red signs)
Capture web_7-9-2021_84829_www.geoportail.gouv.fr.jpeg
*Nyer via En to Thues-Entre-Valles : trail eroded in places, in need of maintenance, time spent hanging onto tree trunks and bushes; steep descending zigzag to Thues-les-Bains; after Thues-les-Bains there are 4 small avalanches to scramble.

*Thues-Entre-Valles [bus to Mont Louis €1]

*Mont-Louis to Bourg-Madame : There are two ways to Bourg-Madame from Mont-Louis.

Trail 1: 8 hours. An easy, pleasant walk
From La Cabanasse one follows the GR 10 to where it meets the D 33, a kilometer or 2 after the village. Crossing the road, one finds the first camino signs and an information board with historical notes on le Chemin de Saint Jacques. Here the pilgrim trail coincides with the GRP Tour de Cerdagne (yellow + red signs) all the way to Eyne. From Eyne one follows the GR 36 via Llo (Romanesque church) and Err on to Bourg-Madame.

Map: IGN 2250 ET Bourg-Madame, Mont-Louis
Trails: GR10, GRP Tour de Cerdagne, GR 36

Map Trail 1: La Cabanasse via Eyne, Llo and Err to Bourg-Madame (8 hours, easy)
InkedCapture web_12-9-2021_94747_www.geoportail.gouv.fr_LI.jpg

Trail 2:
From Mont-Louis one follows a trail to Bolquère then a series of trails via Llivia to Bourg-Madame. Maps and a booklet are availble at the tourist office in Mont-Louis (5 euros).

Map Trail 2: Mont-Louis via Bolquère and Llivia to Bourg-Madame
InkedCapture web_12-9-2021_10164_www.geoportail.gouv.fr_LI2.jpg

I'll write more about this another day :)

PS i would not attempt any of this with a heavy pack. I had less than 6 kilos most of the time and that was onerous and worrisome enough.
 
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futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
It's morning in Narbonne. I think it rained during the night, but nothing monstrous. I'm sat in Maison Maury having a cup of Joe.

@lovingkindness your words are encouraging ... but also slightly negative. I've never worried about climbs and trepidation previously but I am carrying around 11.5kg because I packed my camping gear. Really I probably shouldn't have brought it? But during Covid nothing is certain.

These times are difficult.

One of my first questions will be answered today: is the lady at Fitou accepting pilgrims. If she is I am setting off from Narbonne. If it's not possible I may catch the Train to Perpignan and set off from there and take my chances.

It's been so long since I was in France my comprehension is Merde!
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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...@lovingkindness your words are encouraging ... but also slightly negative. I've never worried about climbs and trepidation previously but I am carrying around 11.5kg because I packed my camping gear. Really I probably shouldn't have brought it? But during Covid nothing is certain...
@futurefjp, by the look of your photo, you are a strong, strapping lad able to carry 11.5 kg. I am none of these :).

re being slightly negative. No, not at all. I have presented to you the reality of my lived experience. Unlike many, I am not a skier. I loathe the sensation of sliding. I am not able to bounce up and down stony paths as I have seen trail runners do in the hills and mountains. I am too stiff and my sense of balance is less than excellent; I have an aversion to climbing walls and narrow ledges. I freeze and my head goes blank; I am cautious where many others need not be. I see them walking easily down steep slipery trails which I tobogan down on the seat of my pants....

re the tent. We each have our own paths to follow in life and also on the camino. As you have a tent, enjoy the pleasures of it!

Ultreia!
LK
 
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lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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It's been so long since I was in France my comprehension is Merde!
PS Here is the French word of the day: Mince!

"Mince means slim, slender or thin in the physical sense (for people and objects) but it also has an alternative euphemistic usage.

Mince! is shouted out by French speakers who want to stop themselves from using the gros mot (swear word) merde. In the same way as English speakers bite their lip and say “ssssugar!” or “ssshoot!” rather than yelling “shit!”, or Germans say the just as harsh-sounding “Scheibenkleister” rather than screaming “Scheisse!”.

Bon courage!
 
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futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
PS Here is the French word of the day: Mince!

"Mince means slim, slender or thin in the physical sense (for people and objects) but it also has an alternative euphemistic usage.

Mince! is shouted out by French speakers who want to stop themselves from using the gros mot (swear word) merde. In the same way as English speakers bite their lip and say “ssssugar!” or “ssshoot!” rather than yelling “shit!”, or Germans say the just as harsh-sounding “Scheibenkleister” rather than screaming “Scheisse!”.

Bon courage!
Oh crap!
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Past OR future Camino
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PS Here is the French word of the day: Mince!

"Mince means slim, slender or thin in the physical sense (for people and objects) but it also has an alternative euphemistic usage.
I lived in Glasgow years ago, where the word 'mince' had an altogether different meaning. It was applied (typically shouted) to professional footballers who were performing somewhat below the expected standard.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
So it's no go in Port la Nouvelle. The Hotel is full - a shrimp fisherman convention I suppose. It's time to catch the train forward to Perpignan to the stay at the Gite Jacquaire on Rue Maréchal Foch.

Last October I walked from Perpignan to Port la Nouvelle in one day, I clocked it at 54kms, because the place to stay in Fitou was no go. The same is true today and the hotel on the Herbergement list is full (it's a Tuesday!)

Beggars can't be choosers so I know what I am getting in Perpignan and perhaps a little advice about Wednesday? Whether I go to Spain via Le Perthus or up the Tet?

The last 4 kilometres into Port la Nouvelle were monotonous indeed. Dead straight into an industrial zone.

23 kilometres today. A good start?
 
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futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
Got the next two nights accommodation sorted and it takes 5 days to reach the Spanish border. I wanted to be in Spain by Sunday so I'm on The Way again. Properly from tomorrow morning!!! Phew. I hate not knowing if I'm sleeping in a bed.

To have a whole week in Spain after that might get me near to Pamplona?

Time for a beer. Place Leon Gambetta
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
So it's no go in Port la Nouvelle. The Hotel is full - a shrimp fisherman convention I suppose. It's time to catch the train forward to Perpignan to the stay at the Gite Jacquaire on Rue Maréchal Foch.

A wonderful Albergue, and the Way between Narbonne and Perpignan is long and lonely, but it's also a perfect illustration of why we need our sleeping bags.

You have not chosen the best pathway if your expectation is for comfort along the road.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
a little advice about Wednesday? Whether I go to Spain via Le Perthus or up the Tet?
The advice I'd give would be about a lot further along.

From Fraga, head South -- to Mequinensa on the Ebro Way.

I didn't do that, and it was a huge mistake, so that I ended up bussing not hiking.

The Bourg-Madame/Puigçerdà route is cool on the French side, but mountainous for many days on the other. Fine if that's your cup of tea, and the Perthus option isn't exactly flat either, so this is an important crossroads.

But well, if Pamplona is your goal, then maybe Bourg-Madame/Puigçerdà makes more sense ?

Lonelier though ; you can start meeting other pilgrims on the other route from Manresa onwards, either Santiago or Ignaciano ones.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
First things first. After yesterday's start/stop I feel enthusiastic for the foreseeable future - today and tomorrow at least. On the Way I really like to be present to what is in the 'air' around me, but there are so many distractions when the one fear of finding a place to rest, safe and secure, on the other side of the Etape.

And I am learning slowly it doesn't work walking lesser routes if language skills is a difficulty. Yesterday though it took me to the La Mairie in Port-la-Nouvelle to get night here in the Gite Jacquaire.

Last night I found a fantastic Mexican 'authentic' Cantina serving actual soft tacos in legit corn tortillas - the hostess was from near to Mexico City. I realise my Spanish is getting better than my French, I feel, ever will. I wish I made a note of the name of the establishment, but I was too busy chatting to the Amiga and eating Taco! IMG_20210907_192353.jpg
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
First day done.
IMG_20210908_130035.jpg

And I think I might've overdone it... Fatigue

But there was zero place to eat until Millas.

I'm in la sicilienne hoping to eat a pizza which isn't surrounded by locals who are on the wrong side of Pastis/Ricard.

Ordered a Pizza Catalane and it won't touch the sides.

Mostly followed the Canal de Perpignan this day, which was interesting. I met many four legged friends to spread the joy.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
IMG_20210908_174722.jpg

Not sexy, but the Mosquitoes have found English blood! Oh and they itch like hell...

The things I forgot on The Way!

Citronella at the ready for a potentially broken night with that Mozzy buzz around my ears.

...

There isn't anything to report about Millas except the excellent well - Fontaine du Roi - it's strictly a crossroads town with lots of heavy traffic heading west to Ille-sur-Têt or east back to Perpignan.

The café opens at 7 in the morning so I will put in an appearance and fill my flask from said Well.
IMG_20210908_144223.jpg
 
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futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
2nd day morning. I overslept, but there was a thunderstorm all through the night... Thankfully no mosquitoes!
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
IMG_20210909_084918_776.jpg

Day Three.

Heavy thunderstorm last night so I'm quite late setting off today. I almost left without paying too. But I misunderstood the lady - I thought she said gratis. My comprehension of French is a bit rough.

A flask filled from Fontaine du Roi, two long coffees, a handful of fresh figs and one divine croissant and now I head for the Pyrenees!

I recommend La Paste Millas as a place to parley a while as the gentleman is of Tarragonese extraction! His daughter makes the fine patisserie.
PS - puddles!
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
The end of a tough day. I didn't expect the steep ascent just yet. But I am heading up to a level of 1200 metres.

Tomorrow I must start on a fairly full stomach. A single croissant doesn't really stretch until 1pm!

In Ille-sur-Têt I paused momentarily and asked a lady if she knew where I might get a dejourner. But all I saw were cafés. It looked like a fair town but I drove on.

Filling my flask at the Font de la Vila I hesitated then followed the badly signposted route to a roundabout. I got a bit confused by yellow crosses and yellow lines, as is common in France with it's thousands of routes.

Until I hit a Puig Pedros sign then I knew I was reading the French instructions provided by the Amis Association in the Gite Jacquaire back at Perpignan.

The climb was very worthwhile and descending into Rodes equally rewarding with gorgeous view up and down the La Gorges de la Guillera alongside Le Têt.

I reached the Carmelite Monastery around 2:30, had a refreshing shower and reposé and sought liquid refreshment as the clouds opened (I left my boots to get soaked on the windowsill - oh dear)!

Jean-Paul Belmondo is being celebrated on the telly in the bar L'Apérothérapie as I refresh with biere blanche avec citron IMG_20210909_124304.jpg
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
So you made it to Vinça! The Carmelite Sisters are so cheerful, some of the happiest I've met. Enjoy the luxury. :)
Absolutely true about 'luxury'! I forgot how they feed you... So full I could squeak! I really couldn't manage another thing - a bowl of fruit went begging.

Tomorrow I'm going to Saint Michel de Cuxa then I've a big decision to make: do I carry on on the Voie Catalane or do I hop on the GR83 and head up to the top and over to Olot.

How do refuges in the Pyrenees square with being a pilgrim? Are they happy to accept? And do I have to carry my own food?

On Saturday this might be my venture?
 
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lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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...How do refuges in the Pyrenees square with being a pilgrim? Are they happy to accept? And do I have to carry my own food?...
I do not know the GR 83. Is this the route which @alansykes attempted last October? He hiked up to the Refuge des Cortalets , but it snowed heavily and he had to turn back. He wrote about it here.

My original intention had been to follow the GR 36 up to Baillestavy then on to Refuge des Cortalets. From there I was going to follow the GR 10, (direction right) and walk to the sea ie Banyuls. BUT... the tourist officer in Vinça said that many of the mountain refuges were closed this year. As I wasn't carrying a tent and could only carry a limited amount of food, I changed direction. I took the train (1 euro) back to Villefranche and attempted to follow le Chemin de Saint Jacques up to Bourg Madame.

My advice is, find out which mountain refuges are open before you set off. The Tourist office in Vinça will have the details. Study the trails before you set off. You will need detailed maps. Study the weather, too. Ask about food supplies. Everyone I've talked to who has hiked the GR 10 carried a tent and food supplies. Perhaps one needs these on the GR 83 also. I don't know.

Cheers
LK
 
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lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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Where I stayed...(Prades to Bourg-Madame)

Prades: camping ground
Vernet-les-Bains : The person I hitched a ride with (from Villefranche) invited me home for two nights.
Vinça: Carmelite convent
Fuilla : camping ground
Nyer: the gîte d'étape can only be booked for a week. I stayed with a local family.
Mont Louis: the presbytère. The tourist officer made enquiries for me.
Bourg Madame : after arriving in Bourg-Madame, I hitched a ride back to Saillagouse and found a room there.
 
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futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
I do not know the GR 83. Is this the route which @alansykes attempted last October? He hiked up to the Refuge des Cortalets , but it snowed heavily and he had to turn back. He wrote about it here.

My original intention had been to follow the GR 36 up to Baillestavy then on to Refuge des Cortalets. From there I was going to follow the GR 10, (direction right) and walk to the sea ie Banyuls. BUT... the tourist officer in Vinça said that many of the mountain refuges were closed this year. As I wasn't carrying a tent and could only carry a limited amount of food, I changed direction. I took the train (1 euro) back to Villefranche and attempted to follow le Chemin de Saint Jacques up to Bourg Madame.

My advice is, find out which mountain refuges are open before you set off. The Tourist office in Vinça will have the details. Study the trails before you set off. You will need detailed maps. Study the weather, too. Ask about food supplies. Everyone I've talked to who has hiked the GR 10 carried a tent and food supplies. Perhaps one needs these on the GR 83 also. I don't know.

Cheers
LK
The GR83 goes from Prades to Mataro on the Coast in Catalunya. It's a Spanish/Catalan route GR. The only thing which makes me continue as normal is whether my boots are adequate for going over the top of a peak? I've not got crampons!
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
Staying with Carmelites has always been a great experience. And this occasion is no different The one minor flaw is that the Abbeye de at Michel de Cuxa isn't currently accepting pilgrims.

Really I am glad I didn't know this information until now as all the time I was walking, from Perpignan, the doubts would've been crawling in. The house sister suggests I as for assistance at La Mairie in Prades - which I will do. Since Covid, and the couple of times I've walked along the Camino in France, the doubts have settled heavily on my mind like a couple of vultures...

Does it mean I don't go that way - passed the Abbey - at all but go direct to Villefranche de Conflent...

... First petit dejourner: coffee in a bowl! Oh how French!
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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Staying with Carmelites has always been a great experience. And this occasion is no different The one minor flaw is that the Abbeye de at Michel de Cuxa isn't currently accepting pilgrims.

Really I am glad I didn't know this information until now as all the time I was walking, from Perpignan, the doubts would've been crawling in. The house sister suggests I as for assistance at La Mairie in Prades - which I will do. Since Covid, and the couple of times I've walked along the Camino in France, the doubts have settled heavily on my mind like a couple of vultures...

Does it mean I don't go that way - passed the Abbey - at all but go direct to Villefranche de Conflent...

... First petit dejourner: coffee in a bowl! Oh how French!
...In Prades I exhausted myself searching for a bed. It was a terribly hot day. After enquring at the Tourist Office, the museum reception at the church, the gendarmerie and also at the fire station, I took myself off to the local camping site. What a friendly welcome! My nightly budget was 20 euros, enough for a dormitory bed in a municipal gîte d'étape. I was offered a large tent with wooden floor + kitchen. (It was a Saturday afternoon and la mairie was closed. I don't think there was a gîte d'étape).

The walk up and over to St Michel de Cuxa is pleasant, passing along Canals in the shade of trees. The first glimpses are breath taking, not to be missed. The day I saw it storks were perched like sentinels arround the top of the tower and great fat birds sat like christmas decorations in the ancient pine to the right. The mountain prairie was full of wild flowers and dried grasses, the view to Mount Canigou glorious.

Before descending through the forrest to Villefranche one arrives at a crossing of paths , each sign posted. On reflection, it would be better to continue on from here to Fillols (5kms) and then up to St Martin du Canigou before descending to Villefranche de Canigou. Instead, I descended and passed a few hours in touristville sweltering, getting nowhere. There is pilgrim accommodation in Villefranche but one needs to reserve three day in advance (see Pdf, Chemin de Saint Jacques). Late afternoon I hitched a ride to Vernet-Les-Bains. The driver had a spare bedroom with balcony looking over to Mount Canigou. The driver welcomed me like an old family friend. I stayed a couple of nights, making a day trip from there up to Abbaye St Martin du Canigou...

[Edit: As I hadn't resigned myself to quitting the GR 36 and swimming in the sea at Banyuls, the next day I followed the Tour du Canigou from Vernet-les-Bains via Fillols,T aurinya and Clara to Estoher then dropped down to Vinça to visit the tourist office etc etc]
 
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peregrino_tom

Member
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How do refuges in the Pyrenees square with being a pilgrim? Are they happy to accept? And do I have to carry my own food?
If it's not too late, generic info FWIW. The FFCAM-run refuges are great places. I only know the ones on the west/central Pyrenees side, but they are universally fab. In August you'd need to book a bed in advance, but the start of September is usually quiet as they start to shut up shop and close, usually end of second week of September. All of the ones I know allow you to just turn up, put up a tent nearby in the evening, but still access the facilities and buy meals (and buy a packed lunch for the next day). All the ones I know don't have proper showers and most folk dip in the mountain lakes to clean off. But I see that Cortalets one mentioned by LK says it has showers. Generally you are asked to take all your rubbish with you - and possibly some of the Refuge's too, if you are heading 'down' towards civilisation..
You won't need crampons at this time of year, unless you are planning to traverse one of the few glaciers that are left!
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
All it did was rain on me. Then I had a moment when it stopped. Then I took a tumble on some boulders on a dry steam bed. Then I crawled onwards. Hesitated in Eus and left as the heavens truly opened once more. I laughed the laughter of the insane. Those who walk without really knowing what, where or why.

It was a proper fall. I suppose I might've broken a bone or too. As I lay there I laughed, caught my breath and carried on. I was like a beetle fallen on my back.

I walked to Prades along the main D road as it rained, again, torrentially!
 
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futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
So I've had repas in Prades. Found a Gite D'Etape but it's a bus journey away. I almost jumped at the chance of a hotel until €10 was the prix mentioned.

Wet as I am a Gite D'Etape Communal takes me back to Saugues and my first night (or perhaps second) of Chemin/Camino bliss surrounded by the snores of two other French folk - I had no idea where to go to find a place to sleep, but a Maison de Retrait sounded so appealing! 😂😂😂

The lady at the Office de Tourisme assured me it is open. I've a map of the where I'm being guided to this evening and the bus 521 towards Vernet-les-Bains @ 4pm.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
It might be just me and something to do with being tired and wet, but I've had no joy passing through Millas, Vinça or Prades, but what exactly am I searching for in these forgotten places? This is always something I fight with on le chemin.

Really everywhere is the same. Paradise is literally inside me and not along these ways. Yet I see such joy from others on the Way. Perhaps I've fallen so far off the path nothing can re-light my candle.

It was flicking out long since and now it stays firmly darkened. Three pigeons fight over crumbs outside the Gare while three humans fade in and out of existence drinking 1806 strong lager.
 
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Really everywhere is the same. Paradise is literally inside me and not along these ways.
You're completely right.
Sense pleasure and durable joy are very different things. And the latter has nothing to do with what's happening outside. If you mistake other people's addiction to camino pleasure for durable joy, and then think you're missing something...please consider questioning that doubt.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
You're completely right.
Sense pleasure and durable joy are very different things. And the latter has nothing to do with what's happening outside. If you mistake other people's addiction to camino pleasure for durable joy, and then think you're missing something...please consider questioning that doubt.
I do get sense pleasure when I see a view that takes my breath away and when I'm in the full flow of the walking experience, but I get absolutely zero from the cities, towns and villages I pass through as they're all identical.

Perhaps I am missing the person to person experience on the Camino more than I care to admit. I asked on the Gite Jacquaire on Wednesday if there was anyone on the Way ahead of me I might catch up to, that kind of thing, and he said someone had left on Sunday, so there was literally zero chance of me seeing that individual.

Accidents do take their toll too. I've not fallen at all on the Camino. On the first Chemin I met a guy from Halle who had walked all the way to Monstral de Alier and he had just ripped a tendon in his knee: Christien 2013 May. He had to be flown back by helicopter, so I'm fortunate a few bruised ribs. But it certainly upsets me nevertheless that I now have a bad bruise to contend with during tonight.

At least I'm in the warm Gite d'Etape and out of this persistent rain: it's so like Cumbria in the Summer!
 
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NorthernLight

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Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
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Accidents do take their toll too. I've not fallen at all on the Camino.

I think I have fallen on every camino - sometimes more than once - and usually it happens on a straight stretch, sometimes after finishing a rough patch (so perhaps body fatigue). Fingers crossed you stay strong and healthy.

Perhaps you just need to commune with nature this time out?
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
I think I have fallen on every camino - sometimes more than once - and usually it happens on a straight stretch, sometimes after finishing a rough patch (so perhaps body fatigue). Fingers crossed you stay strong and healthy.

Perhaps you just need to commune with nature this time out?
Perhaps true. Nature is a better Way
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
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... but I've had no joy passing through Millas, Vinça or Prades, but what exactly am I searching for in these forgotten places?
These sorts of thoughts are endemic to and from the Caminos less travelled and lonelier.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
With a poor night's sleep on a bruised ribcage and now a left knee like a balloon I feel I'll equipped for much walking this morning... I am going to hitch to Villefranche de Conflent, have petit dejourner and see how I feel then. It's 7:45... I overslept too, eventually!

... Looks like ...

Picked up by a Dutch female person from Amsterdam. Then asked for directions by a Dutch male person. Us northern Europeans are like flies in Villefranche-de-Conflent... IMG_20210911_081533.jpg
 
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futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
To hitch or not to hitch that is my question...

It's an inner battle... Feelings of guilt and disappointment if for one day I use another way along The Way! It's always the same.

It's inevitable with my condition today that I shouldn't walk up any ravine/gorge...

But my guilt is still there - I'm not worthy!
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
I hitched. The first guy I stuck my thumb out to. Now I am in Mont Louis
The N116 from Thuès-entre-Valls to Fontpedrouse is a national highway with many curves and lots of holiday traffic. There isn't a verge on either side of the road. Someone at la mairie said it wasn't possible to walk along the road to Fontpedrouse, that I should take the bus.

Which way did I go? If you wait a day or two I will give you the detailed version. The quick answer is, from Prades to Bourg-Madame I attempted to follow le Chemin de Saint Jacques using information published by Association Roussillonnaise Les Amis du Chemin de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle:

Pdf guide part 1 PERPIGNAN%20-%20ESCARO.pdf (website-editor.net)
Pdf guide part 2 Escaro-bourg%20madame.pdf (website-editor.net)

I didn't carry a gps. I used freebie local tourist maps which lacked detail, not something I would recommend others do. There are excellent IGN maps of the region, at a price.

The pilgrim trail itself was not often signed. It switched between local trails with only an occassional camino sign. I needed the pdf commentary to understand exactly where to walk. Throughout the day I chatted with local folk and others on the trail asking advice on what lay up ahead. Alternative trails were sometimes suggested.

*Prades via Saint-Michel de Cuxa to Villefranche de Conflent : nothing difficult

*Villefranche de Conflent : No accommodation available within my means so, I hitch-hiked up to Vernet-les-Bains.

*Vernet-les-Bains to Saint-Martin de Canigou : From Casteil there are two ways up to the Abbey -a concrete road or a steep nature trail by the river.

*Vernet-les Bains via Estoher to Vinça : Following the Tour du Canigou -steep in parts, nose almost to the ground; eroded in places, slithering + toboganning down trails. Exhilarating.

*train from Vinça to Villefranche de Conflent (€1)

*Villefranche de Conflent to Fuilla : Steep zigzag on a stone path up a mountain. Fallen trees obstructing the trail. A splendid view to the Vauban fortress, Libéria. Down the other side on a piste. The pdf notes were not exact enough at this point. Fortunately I met a holidaying couple who were familiar with the trail.

*Fuilla to Nyer : Local folk showed me two alternatives to Le chemin de St Jacques, both easy to moderate walking.

Trail 1
There is a splendid, shady PR route to Col de Fins (before Escaro) which passes through forests on the other side of the piste above Fuilla (yellow + white signs, Aytua 5 kms).

Start: A few minutes after arriving on the piste above Fuilla there is a dirt lane turning right. It is directly opposite a very large flattish rock (stone piles on top). The lane leads to a ruined building and continues past. The trail signs are after the building.
Note: le chemin de Saint Jacques follows the piste above Fuilla all the way to Col de Fins. It is in the blistering sunshine.

Trail 2
From Escaro to Nyer I followed the GRP Tour des Reserves Naturelles (yellow + red signed trail) up to a mountain prairie with outstanding views. A little later one discovers a strategically placed bath tub filled with ice cold mountain water. Yipee!
Note: le Chemin de Saint Jacque departs Escaro at the entrance of the camping ground. It joins the GRP later. One misses the splendid panorama, the mountain prairie and a chance to skinny dip in a mountain bath tub.

Map 1: Fuilla to Col de Fins (PR trail, yellow + white signs)
View attachment 108636


Map 2: Escaro GRP trail, Tour des Reserves Naturelles (yellow and red signs)
View attachment 108635
*Nyer via En to Thues-Entre-Valles : trail eroded in places, in need of maintenance, time spent hanging onto tree trunks and bushes; steep descending zigzag to Thues-les-Bains; after Thues-les-Bains there are 4 small avalanches to scramble.

*Thues-Entre-Valles [bus to Mont Louis €1]

*Mont Louis to Bourg-Madame : 8 hours. An easy, pleasant walk.

I'll write more about this another day :)

PS i would not attempt any of this with a heavy pack. I had less than 6 kilos most of the time and that was onerous and worrisome enough.
Where did you stay in Mont Louis, if you did?
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I like it up here. It's much like being in England - The Dales.
Glad that you are able to move about but please take of your sore spots. Since you have left Mont Louis where are you heading next?
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
Glad that you are able to move about but please take of your sore spots. Since you have left Mont Louis where are you heading next?
I guess Llivia? Is there a Youth Hostel there? I need to wash some clothes...
 
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futurefjp

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Past OR future Camino
2013
And now I have departed France. The lift I was given by Pitti hurried me to Spain, strangely enough I was relieved not to have to walk into Spain via Bourg-Madame - France was closing in on me especially those huge Gorges!

El Segre joins the Ebro somewhere down the way from here.

...

As I lay in pain, and unable to sleep, in the Gite d'Etape I seriously considered heading off to the sea at Banyuls-sur-Mer. I didn't sleep very well with all the indecisive thoughts bringing fear into the equation.

Now I drink a Moritz beer and consider a late siesta prior to Repas at 8:30.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
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Buenas noches peregrino! As you are now in Spain you're probably not interested in my reply to your question... here it is, anyway: In Mont Louis I stayed at the presbytère. You missed out on a long hot soak in a big white bath tub, a comfortable bed with duvet and crisp linen, and lots of good food left over from a previous guest. To say nothing of the improving literature.

After all the heavy rain we've been having, it's no wonder you hitched a ride passed the tricky places. In my estimation the sharp ascents and descents on stony trails would be hazardous in wet weather -I'm thinking of the zigzag after Villefranche de Conflent; and the descent into Thues-les-Bains; and the small avalanches on the way to Thues-entre-Valls.

Enjoy whatever comes next!

-Lovingkindness
 
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futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
Buenas noches peregrino! As you are now in Spain you're probably not interested in my reply to your question... here it is, anyway: In Mont Louis I stayed at the presbytère. You missed out on a long hot soak in a big white bath tub, a comfortable bed with duvet and crisp linen, and lots of good food left over from a previous guest. To say nothing of the improving literature.

After all the heavy rain we've been having, it's no wonder you hitched a ride passed the tricky places. In my estimation the sharp ascents and descents on stony trails would be hazardous in wet weather -I'm thinking of the zigzag after Villefranche de Conflent; and the descent into Thues-les-Bains; and the small avalanches on the way to Thues-entre-Valls.

Enjoy whatever comes next!

-Lovingkindness
I saw the presbytére too! Opposite the eglise ... Oh well I walked to Llivia instead of not walking!

Try not rubbing salt into my sore shoulder 😂😂😂
 
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futurefjp

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Past OR future Camino
2013
Day Six. Domingo. Definitely a good night's sleep - once the youths in the Alberg la Bruna had ceased knocking on the doors along my corridor - just like back when I worked at YHA Thameside, London, playful tykes!

I'm slightly before the stage suggestion between Martinet and Seu d'Urgell, but I feel I have most of my strength back.

Oh the joy of having two doggies for breakfast is always a good sign. They go down so easily with a little zucker! IMG_20210912_072518.jpg
 

lovingkindness

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...as you are now walking the Llivia route, I'm guessing that your conversation at the tourist office in Mont-Louis was with Madame, who is passionate about Llivia and the trails which pass closer to the dry mountain range bordering the right side of the plateau. I purchased a map and booklet of for 5 euros but just as I was leaving, her male colleague returned and insisted I follow an alternative from La Cabanasse: the GR10 to the D33; the GRP Tour de Cerdagne/Camino signs to Eyne; then GR 36 from Eyne to Bourg-Madame. I'll add the details to the notes above #15

*IGN map 2250ET: Bourg-Madame, Mont-Louis

Looking forward to your next posts!
-Lovingkindness
 
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futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
...as you are now walking the Llivia route, I'm guessing that your conversation at the tourist office in Mont-Louis was with Madame, who is passionate about Llivia and the trails which pass closer to the dry mountain range bordering the right side of the plateau. I purchased a map and booklet of for 5 euros but just as I was leaving, her male colleague returned and insisted I follow an alternative - from La Cabanasse one follows the GR 10 all the way to Eyne, then the GR 36 (GRP Tour de Cerdagne) from Eyne via Llo (Romanesque church) and Err on to Bourg-Madame. It is an easy walk (8 hours). One has splendid views to the dry mountain range behind Llivia. Camino signs begin a kilometer or two after La Cabanasse, where the GR 10 crosses the D 33, (IGN map 2250ET: Bourg-Madame, Mont-Louis)

Looking forward to your next posts!
Cheers.

ps I'll add the details to the notes above #15

LK the TO was closed in Mont Louis. So I didn't get anyone's conflicting interests.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
Ok... oh dear, I've done it again....too much information. How are you route-finding? Do you have a map?
Today I followed the Camí Cerdanya until Arséguel - around 25kms of relentless ups and downs - just to find it's a continuation of yesterday's Catalan independence day and both hotel and restaurant are closed.

Again I'm am carried forward direct to La Seu d'Urgell by Christian - who helped to build motorways in Portugal.

Now I have a plate of Padrón Pimento and a Volt-Damm. IMG_20210912_144257.jpg
 
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futurefjp

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2013
This is the third time I've slept in a Seminary School. First was in Mechelen, second Reims and now here, overlooking the spacious central court, in La Sau d'Urgell(which I always want to say as Urquell...) @ la Esola de Salle.

Just as Elvis said: 'Any place is paradise'.
IMG_20210912_164526.jpg
 

JabbaPapa

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Today I followed the Camí Cerdanya until Arséguel - around 25kms of relentless ups and downs - just to find it's a continuation of yesterday's Catalan independence day and both hotel and restaurant are closed.

Again I'm am carried forward direct to La Seu d'Urgell by Christian - who helped to build motorways in Portugal.

Now I have a plate of Padrón Pimento and a Volt-Damm.
I slept outdoors frequently between Béziers and Igualada (and not infrequently afterwards) -- but given your tumble and hurt, plus apparently a good degree of rain, and the difficulty of the terrain up there, so that your reluctance to do the same is likely a good idea.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
I slept outdoors frequently between Béziers and Igualada (and not infrequently afterwards) -- but given your tumble and hurt, plus apparently a good degree of rain, and the difficulty of the terrain up there, so that your reluctance to do the same is likely a good idea.
I believe enjoying sleeping outside might be cultural or an inherited trait. As I was never in the Scouts, Army or did the DoE I'm not a fan of being in a tent. I've literally zero skills with fire building and I don't wish to set fire to the entire world outside my tent. I've no fear of wildlife.

I've got a tent for emergencies only - yesterday was almost one of those, but with these bruises I'm happier that Pitti found me a bed in the Alberg...

... We each have our own Way on the Camino.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
When will I ever learn? One or two beers fine, but three, four or five a dreadful concept. Fair enough, I had two large raciones of Padron Pimento and the beer was spread out while I read the last few sections of Journey to the End of the Night (which I've left in the Seminary School) and I wasn't late to bed, but the combinations of an intense etapa, exhaustion and beer gave me one flaming headache. Then later on in the night some mechanical noise outside meant I had to close the window and then the room was humid. But here I am pondering it all and drinking coffee in Cigne & Delicious.

How many days between here and Lleida? I've decided that I need to catch a flight back around Sunday, probably from Girona, and I've got to do a PCR test 72 hours before returning to the UK.

Today is Monday, it's already hard to keep track of what day it is! So I guess I can say Stop on Friday or when I reach Lleida, which ever comes first?
 
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mspath

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Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
When will I ever learn? One or two beers fine, but three, four or five a dreadful concept. Fair enough, I had two large raciones of Padron Pimento and the beer was spread out while I read the last few sections of Journey to the End of the Night (which I've left in the Seminary School) and I wasn't late to bed, but the combinations of an intense etapa, exhaustion and beer gave me one flaming headache. Then later on in the night some mechanical noise outside meant I had to close the window and then the room was humid. But here I am pondering it all and drinking coffee in Cigne & Delicious.

How many days between here and Lleida? I've decided that I need to catch a flight back around Sunday, probably from Girona, and I've got to do a PCR test 72 hours before returning to the UK.

Today is Monday, it's already hard to keep track of what day it is! So I guess I can say Stop on Friday or when I reach Lleida, which ever comes first?
futurefjp,
Céline's, Voyage au bout de la nuit, on top of your evening meal would indeed be heavy going.
Glad that you made it through the night and have planned your next week.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
futurefjp,
Céline's, Voyage au bout de la nuit, on top of your evening meal would indeed be heavy going.
Glad that you made it through the night and have planned your next week.
Where do I go for a PCR test in Spain?
 
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futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
Well that was a bit of an anticlimax. The Alberg in Organya was firmly closed and then I hitched to Oliana to find the Oficina de Turisme and Ayuntamiento closed. The Hostal is being renovated as well. I'm now stood at a bus stop waiting for a bus which is heading to Lleida. I didn't need to be there today!

An interesting, but fairly endurance sapping 25kms. And I'm about to be rained on as a column of dark clouds drift in...

I'm guessing that I should find a place to stay in Lleida? Is there a Alberg?
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
No wonder I was flagging after I'd walked through the Canyon, and along the main C+14 road (hugging the side barriers every time an articulated lorry flashed by) for five plus kilometres, as it's 30°C according to the display on board the ALSA bus.

It was so lovely and chilly this morning as I meandered with Le Segre! IMG_20210913_121748.jpg
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
... and I think 'That's all Folks'?

I'm going to see a bit of Catalonia like a 'bleeding' tourist.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
If you're vaccinated, a lateral flow test may suffice.

The PM is announcing some changes tomorrow, and the lifting of several covid restrictions.
I'll be back. But I've got to return to Figueira da Foz or Metz to continue from there...
 
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futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
...until the next time :)...
Absolutely!

I feel that until Covid disappears into History times are difficult for doing what I love. Making a French person understand me in appallingly badly pronounced French is/was ten times harder to convey my meaning - wearing a mask. And I'm sure that the atmosphere of fear engendered by the epidemic doesn't help.

Yesterday I was so tired as a result of the final hour walking along that main highway that, when I sat down to eat, I didn't have the energy, as I had previously at Llívia, to find a place to stay in Organyá - by conversing in Catalan (a laughable concept as I know literally three or four words!).

In all my time in France I didn't once knock on the door of the presbytére. Also the fall on the Friday has effected my confidence whenever I'm sent, by the route, up a ravine/gorge/steep section.

A week of solid walking was very important as it's the first away since December when walking from Lisbon, not including the week I had walking from Bristol to Exmoor in June.
 

futurefjp

Camino enthusiast.
Past OR future Camino
2013
Risible, but I've prepared my bag for two days on the Camino to Tarragona from Montblanc... I am bored of tourism so perhaps I am better hastening towards the rising sun? Santrs Creus is the Etapa Una from Tarragona so why not. I don't need to be in Tarragona until Thursday to get my Covid test anyway.

One day off and I am already pinning for el Camino... Mad! Clearly. It's 31.5°C here today!
 
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