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LIVE from the Camino From Vézelay tomorrow, September 12, 2022


Camino enthusiast.
Time of past OR future Camino
After an un-joyful day in Paris yesterday, waiting several hours to stay at the Maison D'Accueil Ephrem, I am passing on my original plan of Beauvais to Orleans. This afternoon I catch a train from Bercy to Vézelay and start towards Limoges from there... I only have 9 or 10 days on that route... See how near to Limoges I can get by the 21st...
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Beginning of day one (five) from Vézelay: seeing people is a revelation. Being in a accueil pelerin with several dormitories is unreal: very nice. 100% better for a great night's sleep and I managed to complete East of Eden before I turned in. My backpack is lighter. Fresh clothes: the last pair of grundies before I will be required to hand wash... Briefly regarded the Miam Miam Dodo and there are two sleeping positions up ahead.

Fantastic homenade confiture! Who knew you could make it with courgettes! That's a thought? All those courgettes being forgetten... Courgette, lemon, ginger, mint... Wonderful: but more like a chutney so would go wonderfully well with meats? Like a less vinegary chutney...

Ready for the offski on day one of nine. Where will this path take me. Having no repase last night was a brave decision: I am not starving and mostly the habit of overconsumption before bed keeps me awake. What with a weak bladder too...
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My first four days were a haphazard affair between Beauvais and Paris, via Mouy, Chantilly, Écouen, Saint Denis and Montmartre (which I loath with a passion unbecoming of a pilgrim I am sure)?

And yesterday, with a bit of a hangover and a poor night's sleep from someone toing-and-froing the bathroom, was an impossibly long day. Walking passed the Tour Saint Jacques, along the Seine to Bercy and a slow, packed to the rafters, regional train which only got pleasant after I'd passed into the hinterland before the Gare nearest Vézelay

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wonderful photo. May the rest of your journey be meaningful.

For all pilgrims who love Vezélay but are unable to be there please do say a prayer as you leave la colline éternelle.

Carpe diem and Bon chemin!
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Hike 30+ miles on California’s Santa Catalina Island as part of the Catalina Camino
A fairly satisfying night's sleep once next door switched off the TV which went on @ 6am, but I was already awake. I think I saw the occupant on my way to bed as she took out Fifi - a yappy Yorkshire Terrier - I guess she must be very lonely trapped in that Chambre permanently?

Varzy is a mainroad passing through it town, so from around 5 I was aware of the comings and goings of articulated lorries.

Last night's repase was good, including a compote de pomme which I had forgotten can be so nice, but a little more than I had budgeted for at €40 for 4 demi Weiss beer, one saucisse de Toulouse assiette, a demi pichon of vin blanc and the dessert. So frugality is the way today: must locate a Gîtes d'Etape/Accueil Pelerin and not walk 7 hours without a break. I think I made an error just following the Voie de Vézelay when some of the places to sleep are along the GR654 which meanders around it...
What is the Telos - the end goal/the purpose towards which I put one foot in front of the other second after second, minute after minute, ad infinitum.

At another crossroads with 2.5 kilometres to Champlemy I can't find a goal or an end point in my thoughts. So is the Camino pointless really?

On the positive side I note I never feel lonely alone. As I walked through a forest, and as the first deer ked dropped on me and I hastily wiped it off my precious body. I realised for quite a few persons a huge woodland, like the ones I often walk through in France, a scream of fear would be on their lips quite soon into the feeling of remoteness it's possible to feel? The remoteness is an illusion, because all forests in France are 'managed', but the scale of the repeatedness of the trees in all directions, except straight ahead, is potentially very threatening: what's in there lingering to pounce or drop, as the deer ked just did, to attack my precious body?

Soon you may arrive at La Charité-sur-Loire, named after a vast Cluniac monastery founded in 1059 and partly destroyed during medieval wars and a 16th c. fire. Do pause for a visit and perhaps overnight. It is a pilgrim friendly spot.
Bon chance et Bon chemin!

PS. Like yourself walking alone I never felt lonely either but was always pleased to meet another en route.
To make my morning smoother I've bought various comestibles for the morning. Natural yogurt. Which in a pack of 4 will be two down this evening. A half a dozen free range eggs of which some will be for breakfast and the remainder for the walk into Charité-sur-Loire, where I am sure I spotted there is another Gîtes, but not on the isle in the Loire, @ €10.

None of the people I left Vézelay with yesterday morning have shown up this evening. And there is only one other Gîtes a little further along from Châteauneuf Val-de-Bargis, before it's some distance to the Loire crossing, so they might've gone there or they're still on their way to this articulated lorry crossroad awfulness.

It's too busy at 17:40... No wonder there are properties for sale around €70k... Too busy: move the damn route nationale. Back to the Gîtes to finish off what I left after lunch. Now off to bed. Worn out really. Too much yesterday for a sensible person and where are the other pelerins?
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Two nights out from Vézelay and I feel a bit remote from the Chemin Saint Jacques...

The previous two nights sleeps were overly effected by uncomfortable beds: too short. Even the one last night was slightly too short. And, in my imagination, I felt a little fearful in the large but empty Gîte; some presence in my mind kept me awake until beyond 10. But I managed to go into Lalaland until 6. Perhaps eating the final few mouthfuls of the 'stew' I'd made in the afternoon rested heavily on my digestion. Like Scrooge the feelings I had were driven by the rumblings of the stomach?

On the way shortly, after the usual ablutions. The items I washed the afternoon previous are slightly damp, but will dry out once I stop in Charité-sur-Loire later today?

The sack has the remainder of the lardon bread, an apple (not used in the stew) and 6 boiled eggs: so no need to purchase anything here in the crossroads village, as the bells peel the time: 7am.

Returned the keys, quick coffee and away just prior to sunrise. At a table behind me yesterday early evening I am sure it was populated by ghosts and spirits sipping their pastis...
Walking through endless forest in the far distance I always feel that there is an angelic figure or a knight on horseback, gleaming in polished steel, ever out of reach of my distance trapping feet? Is the legend of the White Hart at play popping out of its mythical past? As I get a little closer, on this occasion, I realise it's an Opal Corsa CDTi arrayed in virginal white...
A recollection of last night: lightning without thunder and a lot of jet plane activity around midnight... And I thought it's an invasion from space... It was distinctly indigestion!

26 kilometres and I am here. No stopping - 5 hours straight. First soul in the Gîte (€16.50) and next to the Nef and Cours de Château and next to L'Auberge de la Poule Noire. Straight in. A glass of class: Sancerre! But it was expensive and took me over budget. Could I call it a day then?


I've a Hemingway (A Moveable Feast) and a beer, but no other pelerins in three nights. No idea what could've happened to the Dutch brothers other than they probably didn't like the idea of sharing so are in a hotel. The older brother, Bos, had walked from Le-Puy-en-Velay, but Joost never had - and he struck me as the more conventional of the two with his flowing brushed out locks of hair. But it doesn't matter. They've gifted the centre of La Charité-sur-Loire to me!

Earlier I ate expensively before coming back for a siesta. Then the sun became unbearable as I looked for love, and a place to drink more of the good quality Sancerre. Which I found, but had to return to as the proprietor was flogging a lot of wine to a stupid American, with too much money and little sense but a taste for Sancerre...

I popped to a deli on my way back to the Gîte and hung about at the Auberge, but it doesn't open until 7 and is only for eating, not drinking. It did me a favour. Two classic cheeses, two glasses of beer, a boudin rilette and a yaourt brebis and I thought I should write this as Notre Dame stuck 8... The baguette tradi is fantastic. And two of the boiled eggs compete supper. Tomorrow I have plenty of food, but zero coffee: it's the first Gîtes d'Etape I've ever stayed in without a coffee machine - drip version. Locate a café tomorrow. After a deep night's sleep. The bed I chose has no end to it so shouldn't cripple me with its shortness?


Jaded. Another day tomorrow, but the forecast thunderstorm wakes me from the kitchen chair and transports into the sack. It's just me and that battle outside. The Loire seemed very low in its course today so the rain is welcome? If not the torrents...
Everything is a bit damp this morning. It definitely rained during the evening, but the bed was a little sweaty because it had a rubberised cover below the disposable sheets so my stuff is a little damp... Perhaps my sweat was enough for the stuff above me to get damp: I did wake up drenched before midnight, when I didn't know where I was in the pitch black...

Not sure if I fancied a slightly stale Tradi baguette with Boudin in it so I just fed the fish crossing the second bridge to the shining lights of the café Le Berry. Don't waste food I hear you say, but by the time the baguette has saturated and sunk into La Loire it'll be eaten by fish, prawns etc. A bit of blood is something every fish goes for?

Day 4 and Bourges is 49 kilometres away as the cars fly which is definitely 2 days on the Chemin, but one long and one shorter... Not sure about having two days to reach it? Or even one... Ha ha. Auto-stop... First things first: coffee and croissant times two... Jeudi that will get me to Bourges on Vendredi if I don't auto-stop today. I am a bit lonely on this well walked Chemin...

In the sack I still have two pieces of cheese and 4 hard boiled eggs, plus a litre of fresh water. That's my elevensies sorted. At eight I depart once more on the Voie de Vézelay!
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Just stopped for a coffee in main focal point of Brécy and there was the pelerin who woke me up at 5am... I walk fast, but he must have other means: like the devil he's beyond mere humanity, but not God because he's not infinite or eternal? First pilgrm in four days and I didn't like him... He told me I talk too fast so I stopped talking to him after that. Last night he shared none of the fayre I spread on the table: a fine wine, rilette, fromage...

... It might all be in my mind? A little 'jaded' from 4 days between Beauvais and Paris, one day from Paris to Vézelay and five days from Vézelay towards Bourges...
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Today I am catching a train to Argenton-sur-Creuse and will continue along the Voie de Vézelay from there on Sunday. I have had no joy walking from La Charité-sur-Loire to Bourges - relentlessly dull tarmac stretches and boarded up towns...
Today I am not walking, as such, I need a day resting my feet, body and mind. Last night was a restful sleep until a mosquito snuck in the room, but I didn't consider it much really and was awake around 7:30am. None of this 5am madness to contend with and my clothes are all washed and so too am I!

A quick tour of the cathedral and gardens prior to tourists, yesterday I used the north and south portals as a shortcut. Down to the area around the Halle market for breakfast then I go somewhere else on bus, train or Blablacar... To continue towards Limoges for the flight Wednesday 1720...


Down for a coffee outside of the marché which opens around 9. The down to the station to head somewhere else to continue walking three more days towards Santiago...

Blue skies and a colder air: autumn and winter are coming along. It's ceaseless. But it's beautiful!

Last night I spent a little time drinking fine local biological wines in Vinapava where I'd heard of none of the grape varieties: a revelation for me and quite nice too. The local girl, well Breton, was as interested and interesting as I was and did not quarm to share her chevre with the scattering of noisette, amande and raisin. We even enjoyed a sparking wine(and I rarely do) which was a vin naturale...

Sleeping with the window open I've a slightly sore neck... If it's not one thing it is another. The body is frail!PXL_20220917_061140487.jpg
Only €4 to get to Argenton-sur-Creuse ... I am definitely doing something correct?
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Argh! There is a fête in Argenton-sur-Creuse so the hotels chambre d'hotes etc are full. The suggested Hotel on the crossroads is too close to the comings and goings - so this afternoon I must walk to the Refuge municipal in Gargilesse-Dampierre: but not now. Not for a little while. I feel tarnished although I had a fit night last night. The knock on effect of two long 32 kilometres days. But at 15kms it's a pleasant afternoon stroll alongside the Creuse? But it is chilly and in L'Agora Café Bar Brasserie there is 99% shade where the sun is just beyond me to the south. A coffee. Number 3 of this day. No more. Should I eat repase...
At first I thought it's all the same, as I followed a street out of Argenton-sur-Creuse, up passed the Gîte at Le Péchereau, which is full, and much of it was a little bland, however there was the river, once I had rejoined it. And then it hit Moulin Loup, a leat, and a streep incline by the damming barrier across the river. Now I am definitely in 'France'. Gargilesse reminds me a little of Conques, but very much smaller, with a Château not an Abbey. The Refuge Municipal is sublime and there are many many peregrinos who have walked the entirety.

The Boutique, Bar, Epicerie, on the other side of the cleft, has my fading attention with Pietra Colombia in bottles and the Ambrée on tap. Plus I bought composibles for the morning, if I feel I must leave with the sunrise... There is no coffee before 9 up here. Down there is George Sands home and those who hope her ways rub off... I am tired. 4 hours getting from Bourges to Argenton-sur-Creuse and 3 hours getting into proper Chemin territory... Was worth it?PXL_20220917_131616658.jpg
Not the best night's sleep and i think I kept Keith up too with my snoring? He could hear it the previous night through the partition walls, so in the same room it must've been difficult?

Packed up and made a chocolate drink from a few cubes of a good quality dark chocolate, except it had whole almonds in it so I used a spoon mainly: in the pantry there was an unopened packet French crisp bread which was an ideal sop for the chocolate drink.

Now I am ready again: day twelve of walking.It's getting a little darker in the mornings: noticeably! It's all good: coffee 5 kilometres up the road and I have more chocolate, bread and a block of emmental to send me onwards and I ate a lot of pasta yesterday around 3pm, which I hope is still about? 25 kilometres today into Limousin?

Last night I finished A Moveable Feast and I left Hemingway on the coffee table for another person to read. Again, for the second times this time out, I am without reading material. But it's interesting following the route up the Sedelle as it falls over boulders on its way to join the Creuse in the Lac de Chambon. Perhaps another livre will present itself in the next Gîte: last night's was pretty bare!


I feel walking in France is as close to walking before ww2 or ww1 as is possible in the 21st century. It's the distinctive rurality/pastoralism. Old barns, collapsing. Grand ancient farm houses, unique grand château and elegant monumental middle age churches. And where else can you drink from a spring? It's wonderful. It always says non potable, but that's untrue... It's just not been tested for purity. ever since I was coming from Geneva to Le Put I've ignored the sign, or lack of sign, and just tasted the water, then drunk my fill and filled up the 1 litre flask...


I am not a royalist, or very keen on the privileged who run the UK primarily for themselves, but as I walk down yet another drovers path, listening to the bluetits talk in the hedgerow, I am kind of saddened by her passing... I guess all her hard work down the seventy years is something not to overlook on a day of final remembrance?


And I am here. A long day of no real stopping, no cafés to speak of, but I made the centre of La Souterraine in time for Bœuf... Entrecôte Limousine. And then find a bed... And is this it? Marsac has a station in it so possibly I walk there tomorrow?


Really wanted a shower and a siesta, but had to return passed the Porte Saint Jean and the eglise to get cash out of the La Poste ATM I passed earlier: obviously the Gîte is cash only. But it OK. This feels like it for me? The Entrecôte did me and my energy tanks are very low! However tonight is a pilgrim supper which tends to click the right buttons. I've located a walking stick which may be one of the pilgrims I am seeing throughout the last couple of days so I decided to bring it to the Gîte and if it's no one's... My right knee is playing silly buggers this day! Could I ever use one of these things? Nordic walking nonsense... It's Adrienne's! I knew it was one of the pilgrims'.
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
At the end of this Way. This time. Two days and one night remaining so I want to down tools and chill before heading back to Blighty, post-funeral.

Last night was a great end with me listening intently to three speaking French and I do believe it was about the price of things: inflation. A very standard conversation for those that do not move... I'll return to the UK, BBC, my mother and all that stuff on Wednesday so I wasn't really listening too intently.

The meal was fine. A little bland, but they usually are on the Chemin Saint Jacques: white rice, white cauliflower, white cucumber salad and porc in a jus. But it was the right combination of foods. And I slept soundly.

Meaning to have a shower I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, when I awoke with a start everyone was also in their beds, so I am not so clean this morning!

Truly bone weary. To be continually moving since Beauvais, where I walked from the Airport, I feel completely out of it! I could not manage another day!

I left the pilgrims and host on the cheap plonk and they're suffering this morning from 'just one more?'... I want to catch the 8:11am train so will head off at 7:45 and decide whether it's Limoges or another town I stay for the final night?
First time for everything: I caught the wrong train... On the wrong platform going north not south, so now I am in Argenton-sur-Creuse again! It could be worse it could be Leeds-upon-Aire?

My flight isn't until 1720 tomorrow so I could stay here and head to Limoges tomorrow... Catching the correct train on the correct platform, nah!

Hilarious, I got on the wrong train... Fantastic - I am so exhausted, from those dozen or so days, that I didn't register a green screen is arrivals and a blue screen is departures... My bad.

Truly I am at the end of my endurance... Setting off from Beauvais with a hangover, leaving Paris with a hangover and walking a few hundred kilometres between Beauvais and La Souterraine and now a coffee in a corner café... What next? I am frazzled and haven't booked anything in Limoges (good job). Perhaps I head there at my leisure and try to stay with the Nuns?

Time for 2 coffees and a croissant and to ponder who it was positioned directly behind the royal family, behind the coffin, on the cover of Le Figaro in Le Café de Poche: one or two look likely to follow her shortly?


Walked up to the memorial to those killed by the Nazis prior to liberation in 1944. Then to the collosal statue of Notre Dame and child, in monsterous gold, then down to the old bridge over the Creuse. I did pass through very tired and very briefly on Sunday before the 15 kilometress to Gargilesse. Today it's 3 hours and I am exhausted again. Back the correct way at 11:41 via La Souterraine where I can use the original ticket? €10 online on the SNCF app. So I won't arrive in Limoges until lunch: but I don't know where I will be staying. Need a proper kip: none of the paper thin walls in the last night's Halte Jacquaire. And the astonished glance from the hostess as I left without much of a breakfast: but I missed my train!


Four hours later and I am passing through la Souterraine the correct way? Perhaps I'd have arrived far too early in Limoges and would've wound up drunk well before I could check into wherever I am staying - I booked an Airbnb centrally.


Before dinner the hosts cat decided we must be friends, but it did take long, when it was sat on my lap, for a couple of fleas to pounce on me as I removed a tic from around it's neck. After a couple of hours I was itching around the ankles, then I found my friend at the foot of my bed! I hastily shooed it away and shook the blanket into the corridor... It looked such a clean moggy too?
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Eight in the morning on the final day of the Chemin/Holiday(hem hem)... I don't enjoy walking 30 plus kilometres a day! It's just something which like any habit I do without considering it? And it brings me momentary relief from the banality of what goes on in England.

It's not a holiday! Well I suppose it's a kind of one from the point of view of another who sees any break from monotony as a holiday? But if I had the means (financial) and no responsibilities (Lola, mother and allotment) I'd go for a substantial time: perhaps the whole month it takes to do something like the Camino Frances (even with its crowds)?

Truthfully I've spent a little too many weeks in France this year, and my comprehension hasn't increase and my pronunciation is still pas, there are other places I would like to go on the Camino: from where I broke off. Back to Salamanca, Figueira da Foz or Tortosa and these probably should be the future starting points on the goal which would eventually to return to Santiago to complete one recognised route? For sure.

There are parts of the ways in France to connect together in my mind, but I don't think I could walk the flat featureless Berry, to complete Bourges to Argenton-sur-Creuse and I couldn't manage to return to Paris ever again! I've walked into it and out of it this year: and it is too intense, troubling, plenty rude and hurts everywhere walking on so much built up surfaces?

Limoges is always a location in the Southern continental France to which I can return from Leeds... But now I need to work my way back to Leeds, then Wetherby tomorrow to dog sit Ruby after reconnecting with Lola and her lovely eyes!


Back for a coffee in the Halles at Comptoir Les Nines, where I stopped surrounded by Saturday night revellers that Sunday in April.

Last night I forced my screaming mind to stay put after I ate a plate of oven chips(which I located in the empty fridge/freezer) and had a shower (there was no gel douche so I switched to sparringly using washing up liquid). So was asleep before nine, then woke with the binmen and forced myself back into sleep until I was wide awake after sunrise with a blue sky streaming into the lounge space.

Didn't like the images of Biggie Smalls or Tupac placed around the apartment: I feared their visages would enter my sleep and disturb any dreams? But it didn't. Gangsta rap is truly sinister.

The bedroom was cold last night and I couldn't locate any blankets so I dug out my sleeping bag, which smells a little from the previous 15 nights when I've had to use it. It's never let me down that sack, which I bought well back prior to the Camino experiences since 2013, but it's always been a bit narrow for me.

Gosh in May next year it's 10 years I've been experiencing this Way of life, as often as I am capable...
Thanks for sharing your aches, thoughts, and dreams with your digital followers.
May you have a safe journey home.
Wherever you may be Carpe diem!
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