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Compare the Camino from Le Puy against the Camino Frances


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I am from Ontario, Canada and am walking the Camino from Le Puy to Pamplona starting July 16th. I walked the Camino France last October from Pamplona to Santiago and was soooooo enamoured with it I had to start planning immediately for another trip. I would love to have someone compare the Camino from Le Puy against the Camino France so that I may better understand what I am up against as far as trails, food, lodging, banking, etc.

I have read the miam-miam-dodo guide and compared it to the CSJ Camino France guide and it seems that a pilgrim will be more isolated and alone on the GR65. On the Camino France there was a town every 6-8 Km where you could stop for a cafe con Leche or lunch, and shop for supplies. Is this the same in France?

Any info would be greatly appreciated
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Welcome to this forum Amber!

Regarding your questions, I hope some of our veteran pilgrims can help you out with those.

Greetings from Santiago,
apart from the obvious - different landscapes, climate, history, culture, language (there is no 'camino' in France, the word is 'chemin'; if you ask for a 'cafe con leche' you might get a 'huh?' :) ) etc etc - the GR65 is a rather different beast from the Camino Francés. The further you get from Santiago, the weaker the links with the pilgrimage. Although the GR65 is by far the most-used route in France in the modern revival of the pilgrimage, as I wrote in another post, it is not really a pilgrimage route. So there isn't the pilgrim infrastructure there is in Spain. There is however a good walkers infrastructure, so waymarking, food, lodging etc is of a similar standard/frequency to that on the CF.

The further you get from Santiago, too, the fewer the number of pilgrims. However, it's unlikely that you will be 'isolated and alone' on the GR65 unless you are walking in midwinter or something. Far more people walk the eastern part of the GR65 than the western.

Also, from the pilgrimage point of view, if you are aiming for Pamplona not Santiago, you are no longer on pilgrimage but just going for a walk. As I put it when doing something similar, you are 'sur la route de St Jacques' but not 'en route pour St Jacques'.

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