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From Le Puy France to Roncesvalles Spain

Victoria Young

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Spain August 29, 2017
Since I have already walked from Rocesvalles to Santiago as well as the Norte and Lisbon to Santiago I am considering walking from La Puy to Rocesvalles and was wondering if anyone can give me any feedback on this segment? Such as albergues, signage, kilometers and how many pilgrims walk it? Also is there a book detailing this journey. Thanks in advance. Cheers, Victoria
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino Via Podiensis (2018)
Eileen and I walked from Le Puy to SJPP in 2018 - we had a wonderful time. The signage was good, gites great - mostly no bunks and superb food. Our fellow pilgrims were mostly French who forgave us our poor 'franglish' and were happy to chat in english once we had exhausted our limited conversation skills. We used the 'Lightfoot Guide to the Via Podiensis' and the Miam Miam DoDo guide books. I wrote a blog with more details if you are interested - walking500more.wordpress.com
Bon Chemin, Linda
 
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Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Del Norte & part of Lebaniego 2019
There is Book by Miam Miam Dodo but in French For this route on GR65
more convenient there is an app by Miam Miam Dodo and you are able to see it in english.

There is a sub forum for this route so you can use the search button in the top right
also another useful source https://www.csj.org.uk/Pages/Category/france
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
A huge amount of info here in the Le Puy section of Ivar's forum (ie, where you posted). It will offer great reading over the winter months. You would also be interested in my blog, which includes the Le Puy section. See link in the sig block.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino June 2018 from Leon to SdC. Plan Frances 2022, Porto Central-Finisterre 2023, LePuy-SJ 2024

MechEngr69

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP to Burgos 2014. Burgos to SdC arriving 5/5/2015. C2C (2016) Le Puy to Moissac April (2018)
Le Puy Camino, GR-65
In April my friend, who was 70, and I (71 then) traveled to Lyon, France, then took a train to Le Puy en Velay. We hiked the GR65 from Le Puy to Moissac (250 miles, 400km) in 18 days ending on April 24th. That part of France is hilly, and our total elevation gain was 6100 meters, which is a daily average of 340 meters (1100 ft.) up and back down. My backpack weighed 11 kg, because I brought many more clothes than I should have. Next time I'll try to have no more than 8 kg. We used the Miam Miam Dodo guides (in French) which I recommend.

It was a great adventure. We stayed in gîtes, except for one night at the St. Foy Monastery in Conques. If you're thinking about this hike, here's my recommendations:

I would not walk the Le Puy Camino alone, if you prefer to have company. We did not pass many other hikers, and walked alone except for four days with two French women.

If I were doing this again, I’d start at St.-Côme-d'Olt, and skip the first 6 days from Le Puy. That part was difficult, but also required warm clothes that we only needed those 6 days. My backpack weighed 23# and I needed only 15# afterwards. Also, this would skip the 3500 ft., single-day descent to St.-Côme-d'Olt.

The countryside is interesting, but not spectacular. The landscape after Limogne-en-Quercy (our Day 14) wasn’t very scenic for a couple of days, and it was hot also, especially when climbing. Still, not unbearably hot since it was only April.

Finding potable water was not a problem, but during our first week several spigots were shut off probably to prevent freezing. I never carried more than one liter.

If you stay at a gîte that offers LL & SL, they will normally do it for you, or show you how to operate the machines. Several gîtes had Siemens dryers that used some kind of desiccant for moisture removal. They have no exhaust vent and don’t work very quickly. But, after the our first week it was usually feasible to line dry light fabrics outdoors. Drying outdoors was much slower than Spain.

Except for one day, we asked out Camino friends, or our gîte owners, to make reservations for the next night, including half pension. This gives the next day's gîte time to plan the evening meal. Most of the restaurants in small villages are closed until more hikers/pilgrims show up. In 17 nights on the chemin we ate dinner in restaurants only two times.

The gîte dinners were better than the pilgrim dinners in Spain. Other than the first three gîtes that served sausages (which we liked), we never had the same main course for the other 12 dinners at gîtes. Usually, dinner was soup, bread, wine, salad, meat, cheese with more bread, and dessert.

Except for three larger towns, the mini-markets and boulangeries were closed for lunch, so we mostly bought something for lunch before we left each morning. We tried to spend the night in towns where we could buy something for lunch.

We missed the footpath signs twice and walked about 20 miles to our destination those days. However, we found the French to be very helpful when we needed directions back to the route. Bon Voyage!
 

John Holland

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2011;
Camino Portuguese - 2013;
Camino Norte - 2014
Mosel Camino (Koblenz to Dijon so far)
I have walked this route twice, once with a German friend (last year) and once on my own. I speak zero French. The Miam Miam Dodo guide is superb. You don't need to understand French to follow this guide. It is excellent. If there are a lot of people on the route, book your nights a couple of days in advance as you go along. Just ask one of the French people you will meet along the way to do this for you. While many of them do not speak English, there should be no problem finding at least one dual language person to do this. They are all very friendly.
 

Sparleb644

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Podiensis 2017
del Norte 2018
Fisterra 2018
Primitivo 2019
Madrid (2020)
Le Puy Camino, GR-65

I would not walk the Le Puy Camino alone, if you prefer to have company. We did not pass many other hikers, and walked alone except for four days with two French women.

If I were doing this again, I’d start at St.-Côme-d'Olt, and skip the first 6 days from Le Puy. That part was difficult, but also required warm clothes that we only needed those 6 days. My backpack weighed 23# and I needed only 15# afterwards. Also, this would skip the 3500 ft., single-day descent to St.-Côme-d'Olt.

This is a very complete reply to your question with a lot of good information. Some of it is related to the dates when MechEngr walked, IMO. The first few days do have a lot of ups and downs. But many French people only go for this section. The “desert d’Aubrac” is spectacular, especially once wild flowers start to bloom. Good from mid-May to end of June.

Same goes for the number of people walking. May and June are big months, so lots of people. Staying in gîtes means you meet lots of people. Your language level in French will have some impact on this as many walkers are French.

My wife and I walked the whole route in May 2017. Wonderful walk. Have fun planning!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino June 2018 from Leon to SdC. Plan Frances 2022, Porto Central-Finisterre 2023, LePuy-SJ 2024
This is a very complete reply to your question with a lot of good information. Some of it is related to the dates when MechEngr walked, IMO. The first few days do have a lot of ups and downs. But many French people only go for this section. The “desert d’Aubrac” is spectacular, especially once wild flowers start to bloom. Good from mid-May to end of June.

Same goes for the number of people walking. May and June are big months, so lots of people. Staying in gîtes means you meet lots of people. Your language level in French will have some impact on this as many walkers are French.

My wife and I walked the whole route in May 2017. Wonderful walk. Have fun planning!!!
Excellent!
 

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