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Confused about accommodations on the Le Puy route.

s. brown

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2015
My research has revealed that I will have the following types of accommodations on the Le Puy route: municipal gites, private gites, chambre d'hotes, and hotels. I am confused about private gites and chambre d'hote. What are these? Are they private gites in someone's home or is it a free standing building? Are the rooms shared? Does the cost of demi pension include the room and the meals? Are they pentiful on this route? And I don't know what a chambre d'hote is? Thanks so much. I do not think I'll be able to sleep through snoring so I imagine the municipal gites won't work for me.
 
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Felipe

Veteran Member
There is a good discusion of different accommodations in France, here
http://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/accommodation-description.15599/
especially in Kitsambler post
Note that different categories may be a bit fuzzy, and the post rightly include many "generally" and "may".
Chambre d'hôtes are great, because they provide the opportunity to interact with owners (they attend personally the meals served) and other walkers, but they may be (another "may"!) quite expensive.
Bon chemin!
....
I edit about "demi pension": is generally (not true, just joking!) :) breakfast and another meal, for example dinner.
 
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newfydog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
If you can find them, the Chambre d'hotes (room in a private house) are wonderful, and frequently a far better value than a hotel, plus you meet some wonderful local people.

The best accommodation in all of LePuy is 59-89 Euros a night, with breakfast:

http://www.lesjardinsdechampfleury.fr/

Here we were a few weeks ago

lep 1.JPG lep2.JPG lep3.JPG lep4.JPG
 

s. brown

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2015
Newfydog, the photos are great! Thanks. And to Felipe, I appreciate your informative answer. Kitambler's description is quite perfect. Thanks.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Thank you for your kind words! The gites municipal tend to be larger (30-50?) than the private gites (6-24?). Municipal facilities are quite bare-bones with regard to decor and amenities. Private gites are a bit nicer. The municipal duty person is a part-time clerk; the private gite operator is the owner, and either lives on the premises or nearby. I only stayed in one municipal; it did not offer meals but did offer kitchen privileges. Both municipal and private gites will have sleeping dorms (bunkrooms), which are smaller (fewer beds) in the private facilities. There will be a common toilet/washroom, not necessarily adjacent. Both may also have private (sleeps two) rooms, with or without private toilet/washroom. Chambre d'hote are only private rooms (sleep 2-3), with or without private toilet/washroom attached. I found that chambre d'hote hosts generally assumed you would eat at a local restaurant (if in town), so they do not offer the evening meal. [I will add this paragraph to my earlier post on the referenced thread.]

A note for North Americans: the sleeping dorms in Europe are co-ed. My experience was that the hosts would tend to put the French-speakers together in one room, and the English-speakers (ie, Americans, Canadians, Germans and Dutch, among others) in another.
 
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s. brown

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2015
Thank you Kitsambler. Today I read all of your Le Puy blog and enjoyed it very much. I did take note that after your experience with the snorers you obviously didn't return to the municipal gites. I have a strong suspicion this will be my experience. I dread the thought of being unable to sleep and what sleeplessness does to me. I would just have to get a hotel room in the morning after leaving the gite! I enjoyed your commentary of your journey and the recommendations, but I really loved that you included your meals! That is one of the best parts. I have two questions. Staying in private gites or Chambre d'hote what might I expect to spend? And what turned out to be the problem with your left foot? Thanks. Actually, there is a third question -- do you have a blog of your Cahors trip?
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I second the recommendation of chambre d'hotes over hotels. We find them usually more luxurious and much better value - some astonishingly so! Private gites are also often very comfortable. We were always able to get demi-pension in the small villages and rural areas where there were no alternative restaurants, but it is necessary to specify demi-pension when you book. Caterers need to know so they can do their shopping for the meal. Miam Miam Dodo is a reliable source of information.
 

paulstmalo

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy - Espalion (2013)
Aire sur l'Adour - St Jean-Pied-de-Port (2014)
I agree with Kanga the Miam-Miam Dodo is a great resource giving all the details necessary. A word on the municipal gite in Saugues. Has double rooms as well as a dorm although no food is available. But it was one of the cleanest places we slept in. Don't turn your nose up either at the various convents or religious establishments on the way. We stayed at the St Francois on top of the hill next to the cathedral in Le Puy and also the Convent du Malet in St Come d'Olt and they were both demi-pension with double rooms and both very good.

Happy planning.
 
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billmclaughlin

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
Just to clarify this line above: "it is necessary to specify demi-pension when you book". In my experience, when you book you will always be asked if you want demi-pension. You'll never have to remember to say you want it. Just be ready to say yes.

So yes you'll have to specify it, but you won't ever have to initiate the request.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
In my experience, when you book you will always be asked if you want demi-pension. You'll never have to remember to say you want it. Just be ready to say yes.
I can stumble along in face to face French, but the telephone is an obstacle to me. When the other party gets eloquent, I may not be able to ferret out the demi-pension question. Asking if you want dinner can come in a lot of different sentences. On the phone I go for single words back and forth, so I would state my request up front with the expectation that I could ignore any response. I know it is pathetic, but for the language challenged, it works.

Demain.
Un lit.
Demipension, s'il vous plait.
Complet? Oui ou non?

Course if you can conduct an actual conversation, do so. It is so much more polite.;)
 
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newfydog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
We find them usually more luxurious and much better value - some astonishingly so! .

That's why I wrote up the Jardins de Champfleury----The place is "astonishingly luxurious". The couple that runs it built a custom home with a view of the cathedral, and they enjoy sharing their home and meeting travelers. We have found that is frequently the case, though this one is pretty special.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
I can stumble along in face to face French, but the telephone is an obstacle to me. When the other party gets eloquent, I may not be able to ferret out the demi-pension question. Asking if you want dinner can come in a lot of different sentences. On the phone I go for single words back and forth, so I would state my request up front with the expectation that I could ignore any response. I know it is pathetic, but for the language challenged, it works.

Demain.
Un lit.
Demipension, s'il vous plait.
Complet? Oui ou non?

Course if you can conduct an actual conversation, do so. It is so much more polite.;)


I'm sure you start with "bonjour!" and finish with "merci a demain!"
 
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paulstmalo

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy - Espalion (2013)
Aire sur l'Adour - St Jean-Pied-de-Port (2014)
The "a demain" only if you expect to seem them tomorrow. On the 'phone it probably won't be "tomorrow" so more likely, "Merci a bientot".
 

Magnara

Maggie Ramsay
Past OR future Camino
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
My research has revealed that I will have the following types of accommodations on the Le Puy route: municipal gites, private gites, chambre d'hotes, and hotels. I am confused about private gites and chambre d'hote. What are these? Are they private gites in someone's home or is it a free standing building? Are the rooms shared? Does the cost of demi pension include the room and the meals? Are they pentiful on this route? And I don't know what a chambre d'hote is? Thanks so much. I do not think I'll be able to sleep through snoring so I imagine the municipal gites won't work for me.


This might be useful. If you want to be economical you can stay in a gite d'Etape with either dortoir (dormitory) or private room, depending on availability . We found that worked well with the added little luxury of hiring a sheet and towel ( draps et serviettes) for a couple of euros. Private cheap room with a bit of comfort plus the nice group meal atmosphere.
Maggie Ramsay
( The Italian Camino - Amazon )
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
I have two questions. Staying in private gites or Chambre d'hote what might I expect to spend? And what turned out to be the problem with your left foot? ... there is a third question -- do you have a blog of your Cahors trip?
In 2010-2011, I spent about 35-40 euros per night at private gites with demi-pension. Chambre d'hotes were running 50-65 euros for room and breakfast. But Miam Miam Dodo is your best current reference. Thanks for asking - the foot problem was plantar fasciitis, caused by selection of a very poor quality (but very well advertised) insole. Prescription orthotics solved the problem permanently. All the blogs are on the same site; just look at the section links over on the right side.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
The "a demain" only if you expect to seem them tomorrow. On the 'phone it probably won't be "tomorrow" so more likely, "Merci a bientot".

Yes, but you might notice in his post, falcon269 specified "demain", so "a demain" is one more confirmation.
 

paulstmalo

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy - Espalion (2013)
Aire sur l'Adour - St Jean-Pied-de-Port (2014)
Perhaps, but you would not use "a demain" on the 'phone unless you were sure that you will see the person tomorrow. It's not like manana in Spanish.
 

HeatherWriter

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012
Le Puy- Roncesvalles & Figeac-Rocamadour 2014
Le Puy-Conques & CeleValley 2016
My research has revealed that I will have the following types of accommodations on the Le Puy route: municipal gites, private gites, chambre d'hotes, and hotels. I am confused about private gites and chambre d'hote. What are these? Are they private gites in someone's home or is it a free standing building? Are the rooms shared? Does the cost of demi pension include the room and the meals? Are they pentiful on this route? And I don't know what a chambre d'hote is? Thanks so much. I do not think I'll be able to sleep through snoring so I imagine the municipal gites won't work for me.
I am a light sleeper as well and found that it worked for me on the camino Frances to stay in a private room (cheap in Spain) twice or even three times a week to catch up on sleep. Staying in dorms is fun and social though and strangely enough, you do get used to the snoring!
 

billmclaughlin

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
You will also be asked your name when making a reservation. "Quel est votre nom?"

Many of the French, especially if not hiking solo, provide their last name. Beyond that there seems to be no system. You arrive and see a mix of first and last names. In my case, I always translated Bill into French and said "Guillaume". Worked perfectly. One German named Wolfgang would arrive and find some mangled version of his name on the welcome board. Once it was "Volkan". He complained: "But it's just like Mozart. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart." We suggested he'd have more success making reservations under the name "Mozart".

If you can translate your name into something the French will recognize or perhaps just give yourself a French name for reservation purposes, that might make the phone conversation just a bit simpler. In the course of 2 treks on the Le Puy route I never encountered another Guillaume. Feel free to adopt it!
 
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s. brown

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2015
Thanks everybody for the tips. I have not been able to access this discussion or the main website in the last 48 hours.

Paulstmalo: I definitely would like to stay in monasteries, as this is something I regularly do in Georgia. Thanks for the tip on those two.

Kanga: I believe the chambre d'hotes and private gites will be the way for me. Glad to hear you recommend them so highly.

Falcon: I hear you. In spite of having a few years of intensive French in college my French is really awful. Immediately following graduation I was in Paris in an office alone waiting to meet someone for lunch. A white poodle walked in and jumped up on the leather sofa where I was sitting. The secretary came in and, presumably, scolded him and he got off the sofa and "followed" her directions as what to do next. I didn't understand of word of it, but the dog did! At that point I knew I was doomed. Talking on the telephone is the worst and something I avoid at all costs. On the same trip I was in the American Embassy for some reason and noticed an ad for a room to lease in someone's home in Paris. I copied down the phone number and gave it to an Australian girl I knew who was looking for such a thing. She called the number and then, suddenly, handed me the phone to ask about the room. Stumbling I said (in french) that I had a friend who was interested in the bedroom. I got a very chilly response. It turns out I was saying, "I have a friend who is interesting in your bedroom." After we hung up the Australian then asked me if the 9 I had written down was a 7. She had dialed the wrong number! With my French I didn't stand a chance during that call. I'm going to try to get a few phrases down and your suggestions are very helpful.

Newffydog: How far is Lesjardins de champsfleury from the train station? It does look great.

Heatherwriter: I'm sure you are sincere, but so help me I don't know that I will get used to the snoring!

Bill: Both my first and last name are difficult for the French. I have definitely lost reservations at Hotels and restaurants because of their difficulty in understanding what I'm saying. I guess I could try to spell in French or I might adopt your name.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Les Jardins de Champfleury is 1.69 km from SNCF as the crow flies. It is on Google Earth
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
I guess I could try to spell in French or I might adopt your name.

Worked for me! The alphabet is different in French, for sure; by that, I mean the names of the letters.

The other difficulty in speaking/listening to French on the Le Puy route, is that they speak an entirely different accent from Paris, which is the accent foreigners learned in school. All the Le Puy route is south of the Langedoc line; even Parisians have trouble understanding the spoken language there. Your best bet is to have your gite host, or the Tourism/Info office, call ahead a day or two for you.

Email works well too, if you work well in advance. But many gites are not yet online, so phones will give you more lodging choices.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
The other difficulty in speaking/listening to French on the Le Puy route, is that they speak an entirely different accent from Paris, which is the accent foreigners learned in school. .

I have a great video skype French teacher with whom I practiced various phone calls. He had fun with it because he is quite a linguist and would adopt the accent of the towns we were going to visit.

I have run into farmers in the south of France that a Parisian could not understand, but never had much trouble with a chamber d'hote. Back to Paul's "a demain" lecture, my wife accused me of getting a Provence accent last week, when I called to confirm our reservation---the proprietaire said "a demang", and I replied likewise. The only accent I had trouble understanding was a Romainian waitress working at one hotel.

Julian, my French teacher can be found here:

http://www.verbalplanet.com/publicviewprofile.asp?tr_id=10008925460&lang=FRE&lang2=FRE
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Have walked the Le Puy Route twice now, luxurious compared to the Camino Frances, stayed mainly in Gite d'Etapes demipension, in 45 days shared dorms about 7 times or so, daily budget 2012 was around Euro 45, including bed, breakfast, own picnic lunch, regional 3 course meal with hosts including wine, self catered a few times, aperitif, the odd coffee or beer.
Here is the link to my blog www.gittiharre.blogspot.com
 
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Sraaen

Steven Raaen
Past OR future Camino
Via Podiensis (Le Puy - Pamplona) [2013]
Via Turonensis (Tours - SJPdP) [2013]
Camino Frances (SJPdP - SdC) [2013]
Via Tolosana (Montpellier - Pau) [2015]
Camino del Norte (Irun - SdC) [2015]

marbuck

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Condom to Pamplona April 2016.
Le Puy to Condom France - April-May 2015.
Roncesvalles to Santiago April - May 2014
Finisterre to Muxia May 2014
Are the meals like on the Frances, where a bottle of wine is included in the price of the meal?
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Are the meals like on the Frances, where a bottle of wine is included in the price of the meal?

It varies. When you book demi-pension you will be given an evening meal. It is a set menu and whether or not you get wine depends on your host. We've had amazing meals in some gites and chambre d'hôtes - one place in Armagnac springs to mind. It was a wonderful meal, fabulous food and very friendly hosts and fellow guests. Not only did we get wine with the meal, we also had unlimited quantities of Armagnac, finishing with a liqueur made on the farm.... We were sleeping in a little cottage not far from the main house. Our room had big picture windows and it was hot, so we had them open. After a rather unsteady walk back to our room after a very long dinner, I collapsed on the bed - which seemed to be afloat on an ocean. Shut my eyes to stop things from moving around. Opened them to find, examining me in a friendly way, a horse that had stuck his head through the window....
 

marbuck

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Condom to Pamplona April 2016.
Le Puy to Condom France - April-May 2015.
Roncesvalles to Santiago April - May 2014
Finisterre to Muxia May 2014
Thanks for that Kanga, you make me want to be there now. Not have to wait until April 2015. The Le Puy sounds even better than the Frances and we thought that would be hard to beat.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
The Le Puy sounds even better than the Frances and we thought that would be hard to beat.
A major difference between the two routes to me is that the Camino Frances is a pilgrimage with other pilgrims, while the Via Podiensis is a pilgrimage with the French. Once you have done it, I think you will understand why I say that. I do prefer it, but it is less convenient for short walks.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
It is less about getting efficiently across the country aiming for Santiago and more about having a nice walk in the right direction, sort of. It is a pilgrimage if you make it one, but a pilgrimage with detours for the good view. With French lessons thrown in.
 

paulstmalo

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy - Espalion (2013)
Aire sur l'Adour - St Jean-Pied-de-Port (2014)
I have a great video skype French teacher with whom I practiced various phone calls. He had fun with it because he is quite a linguist and would adopt the accent of the towns we were going to visit.

I have run into farmers in the south of France that a Parisian could not understand, but never had much trouble with a chamber d'hote. Back to Paul's "a demain" lecture, my wife accused me of getting a Provence accent last week, when I called to confirm our reservation---the proprietaire said "a demang", and I replied likewise. The only accent I had trouble understanding was a Romainian waitress working at one hotel.

Julian, my French teacher can be found here:

http://www.verbalplanet.com/publicviewprofile.asp?tr_id=10008925460&lang=FRE&lang2=FRE

Sorry newfy if you thought I was lecturing, but after 43 years of living in France I think I know what "A demain" and "A bientot" mean, and when to use them. I wasn't lecturing just stating a fact.
 

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