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Hello, I'm Scared to walk from Geneva

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi, I decided to attempt a walk from Geneva to SdC.

I sometimes bite off more than I can chew, but, I'm an optimistic dreamer.

I'll hope you'll be so, too, and help me get there.

I know some of you will tell me to be realistic, and that you'll kindly offer opt-outs and alternatives, but I don't want to opt out. I want to do this.

Any advice you offer will be appreciated so long as it encourages rather than discourages.

I realize that is pretty arrogant to define what I wish from your responses but I just know that you have a lot to offer and I just want to do this and not look back or second guess myself.

I speak conversational Spanish and only "bonjour" and "merci" in French.

I will try to better that in the month of prep ahead.

Ciao!
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
You can do this @leftoverlove !
In 2018, my wife, recovering from cancer, and I walked from the other side of Lake Geneva (the Montreux side) all the way to SdC.
We followed the Via Gebennensis, the Voie du Puy-en-Velay, the Voie Nive-Bidassoa, and the Camino del Norte.

It took us much longer than what you're attempting to do, but you probably walk faster, much faster, than we do, so go for it!

Bon chemin, Buen Camino!
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
I'm not sure what the Voie Nive-Bidassoa is, (will research), but I was planning to do the other three en route to SdC.
You would walk from Geneva to Le Puy-en-Velay, then to SJPdP, and then onto the Francés. So don't worry about the Voie Nive-Bidassoa.
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Ok thank you! Also, I did do the CF previously but never used a guide book. Should I invest in one for this longer journey?

What did you find most useful in your navigation? Or did you just follow the arrows, as well?
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Sorry for questions that leap out at me but, did you have some command of the French language, setting out from Geneva? Did you book ahead? If so, did you buy a SIM card in Geneva?
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Ok thank you! Also, I did do the CF previously but never used a guide book. Should I invest in one for this longer journey?

What did you find most useful in your navigation? Or did you just follow the arrows, as well?
I have never walked the CF, but pretty much followed arrows and GR65 markers. I did have guide books: one for Geneva to Le Puy-en-Velay, which you'll find here:

and the Miam Miam Dodo guide from Le Puy to SJPdP:
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Sorry for questions that leap out at me but, did you have some command of the French language, setting out from Geneva? Did you book ahead? If so, did you buy a SIM card in Geneva?
I speak French fluently, but don't let the language deter you: a few basic words will get you by.
I bought a SIM card after leaving Geneva, in France.
 
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leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I took Spanish in school but will work on French independently, (before I leave, which means I have only a few weeks). I love Paris and the lyrical French language so that will be good except I'm trepidatious about attempting the language at all.

I love your hat, AJ, and thank you for helping me! If you have any other ideas about downloadable maps and apps and such, please let me know!

Do you know if the route from Geneva is quite hot in late July/early August?

An English friend of mine warned, "you'll wilt in the oppressive heat of southern France" in those times.

Yet I think, go, just go. Weather be damned. You'll sit on AccuWeather for a lifetime trying to find the right window in which to jump through and go...

And that is kinda like an analogy for life really...you can't just sit and wait for the right conditions--you just gotta go.
 

CarolamS

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
If your heart is in this you'll do it. You are already finding your way. If you have access to the Internet then Google Translate can be helpful. I am currently using Duolingo to learn some Spanish. If you have time you could try this for some basic French, it's a free app. I feel that showing you would like to have some local language can help the attitude you receive even if it's only please and thank you. I'm sure you'll pick up handy words like coffee, toilet etc once you are there. Very best wishes :)
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Do you know if the route from Geneva is quite hot in late July/early August?
I can't predict the weather... ;)
We started mid June from Geneva. It can get hot, but you can time your morning departures accordingly. There was a heat wave in Europe while we were in the Aubrac, so we didn't feel it, as it is in altitude.

And that is kinda like an analogy for life really...you can't just sit and wait for the right conditions--you just gotta go.
A good analogy!
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
If your heart is in this you'll do it. You are already finding your way. If you have access to the Internet then Google Translate can be helpful. I am currently using Duolingo to learn some Spanish. If you have time you could try this for some basic French, it's a free app. I feel that showing you would like to have some local language can help the attitude you receive even if it's only please and thank you. I'm sure you'll pick up handy words like coffee, toilet etc once you are there. Very best wishes :)
Thank you Carol!
 
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nidarosa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
What an adventure! Your post says you are scared to do it, but you also clearly really want to and are excited to do it, so I'd work on that scared bit, and the more you know, the less scary it becomes. If you have walked the CF, you already know what to take. I'd get the guidebooks, even if you end up leaving them at home. Or end up using apps with the same info. Things will be different this year, so the more info the better. And yes, get Duolingo and start learning a bit of French, so you can understand signs, greetings, menus etc. And download Google Translate with an offline language pack which will be useful. Also maybe seeking out a few YouTube videos from relevant walks to see what you can expect and get info and impressions from walkers. Then all that's left is putting one foot in front of another!
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
What an adventure! Your post says you are scared to do it, but you also clearly really want to and are excited to do it, so I'd work on that scared bit, and the more you know, the less scary it becomes. If you have walked the CF, you already know what to take. I'd get the guidebooks, even if you end up leaving them at home. Or end up using apps with the same info. Things will be different this year, so the more info the better. And yes, get Duolingo and start learning a bit of French, so you can understand signs, greetings, menus etc. And download Google Translate with an offline language pack which will be useful. Also maybe seeking out a few YouTube videos from relevant walks to see what you can expect and get info and impressions from walkers. Then all that's left is putting one foot in front of another!
Thank you for your reply. Yes, I did the CF. I remember being a bit worried to attempt that. And then I found out that the Camino provides, met so many wonderful souls, etc.

But this idea of starting from Geneva is a new thing.

The new fears are once again the fears of the unknown.

Will I be able to communicate effectively?

Will there be enough water sources en route?

Will I find a place to sleep or will I be sleeping on cement and needing a sleep pad?

Will COVID mean that 70% of things are closed?

Will I have to pack liters of food and water every day at the onset? (I travel light; I'm a bird.)

So yeah, things like that comprise the fear...
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
things like that comprise the fear...
Covid is a spanner in the works, but even pre-covid guidebooks will show you how far between towns and accommodation, and water sources, shops etc. And if you could contact some of the places where there are few options, you could hopefully put together a rough itinerary that answers many of these questions.
Also - if you ask at your accommodation, they will probably know if the next one is open or closed, and maybe call ahead and find out for you, or even book/reserve.
You can do this!
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
What an adventure! Your post says you are scared to do it, but you also clearly really want to and are excited to do it, so I'd work on that scared bit, and the more you know, the less scary it becomes. If you have walked the CF, you already know what to take. I'd get the guidebooks, even if you end up leaving them at home. Or end up using apps with the same info. Things will be different this year, so the more info the better. And yes, get Duolingo and start learning a bit of French, so you can understand signs, greetings, menus etc. And download Google Translate with an offline language pack which will be useful. Also maybe seeking out a few YouTube videos from relevant walks to see what you can expect and get info and impressions from walkers. Then all that's left is putting one foot in front of another!
Also, I learned walking the CF what to take or not to take. For example, I knew not to take an ultralight tent. That was a good call. I knew not to walk in heavy boots or carry a sleeping pad.

But from Geneva? Do I need an ultralight tent? Boots for ankle protection? A sleeping pad for the tent? A bigger backpack to accommodate all of this junk?
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Will I be able to communicate effectively?
A smile, a few essential words, some Duolingo practice, Google translate will all overcome that fear.

Will there be enough water sources en route?
This may sound weird, but in France, every cemetery has a water tap, and the water is drinkable.

Will I be find a place to sleep or be sleeping on cement?

Will COVID mean that 70% of things are closed?
If you're on FB, join the Via Podiensis group:
There are people currently walking who can give you updates.
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
But from Geneva? Do I need an ultralight tent? Boots for ankle protection? A sleeping pad for the tent?
Unless you want to camp, you shouldn't need a tent.
As for boots, I walked from Geneva to Le Puy in Teva sandals, and then from there to SdC in Keen Arroyo sandals.
 

Algosot

New Member
Past OR future Camino
French 2014
North 20
Primitivo
Portugues
Mozarabe
Via de la plata
San Salvador
Camino del mar
Hi, I decided to attempt a walk from Geneva to SdC.

I sometimes bite off more than I can chew, but, I'm an optimistic dreamer.

I'll hope you'll be so, too, and help me get there.

I know some of you will tell me to be realistic, and that you'll kindly offer opt-outs and alternatives, but I don't want to opt out. I want to do this.

Any advice you offer will be appreciated so long as it encourages rather than discourages.

I realize that is pretty arrogant to define what I wish from your responses but I just know that you have a lot to offer and I just want to do this and not look back or second guess myself.

I speak conversational Spanish and only "bonjour" and "merci" in French.

I will try to better that in the month of prep ahead.

Ciao!
Hello future pilgrim😁
I’m walking from Geneva to Santiago departing july 26. You are very welcome to come along..
Feel free to get in contact!
Ultreia🤗
 

backpack45

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Vezelay (2017, in progress); Primitivo & Norte; Geneva/LePuy; Arles; Portuguese; Francés + more
Hi, I decided to attempt a walk from Geneva to SdC.

I sometimes bite off more than I can chew, but, I'm an optimistic dreamer.

I'll hope you'll be so, too, and help me get there.

I know some of you will tell me to be realistic, and that you'll kindly offer opt-outs and alternatives, but I don't want to opt out. I want to do this.

Any advice you offer will be appreciated so long as it encourages rather than discourages.

I realize that is pretty arrogant to define what I wish from your responses but I just know that you have a lot to offer and I just want to do this and not look back or second guess myself.

I speak conversational Spanish and only "bonjour" and "merci" in French.

I will try to better that in the month of prep ahead.

Ciao!
My husband and I have done all of this route, but in sections. We had already done the LePuy route into Spain, but we decided to go back and begin a hike in Geneva. We went as far as LePuy and then took another GR route just for fun (not a Camino/Chemin route). I can tell you the countryside from Geneva to LePuy is beautiful and at that time, there weren't many people on it so we were usually the only guests with our hosts -- we ate with them like we were members of the family. Mind you, we speak very little French, but the guidebooks can tell you if hosts speak English or not. I'm sure this bit of the trail has gotten busier, but I remember it as a very special part of the Chemin. And as you continue on and reach LePuy (and remain on this gorgeous trail) there will be increasing numbers of other pilgrims. While in France, you'll find that most Germans, probably all of the Dutch, many of the French (always remember to greet with "Bonjour Madame," etc.), can speak English well and will be helpful too. And in Spain you'll be seeing pilgrims and hosts from all over that can speak English. What a great trip you have planned--just expect a few glitches, stay open to Plan B if new and unexpected opportunities arise, and soak in this incredible opportunity. It's just one step at a time. I don't see anything unrealistic about your plan at all! Buen Camino.
 

Suzanne H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
The fear of the unknown is always the hardest one to conquer, but you've already defined your fears and have received such an outpouring of assistance that I'm feeling incredibly excited for you!

I walked from Le Puy three years ago and it holds a very, very special place in my heart. Just some thoughts: I met a woman who carried an ultra-light tent along the route, giving her an incredible amount of flexibility along her way. It's not necessary, but an option if it gives you more comfort.

I speak virtually no French, so I relied heavily on the tourist information offices along the way to assist with gite reservations, and I booked 4-5 days ahead. Pointing and grunting and writing lists to assist the process. Sometimes, my gite owners would call ahead and book the following night for me... and I am certain that hotel and booking apps will assist. Miam Miam Do Do is the bible for walking in France -- even if you don't know the language, because they often point out the alternate routes. Consider, at a minimum, a map or app from MMDD. I also enjoyed the eBooks I downloaded from ilovewalkinginfrance.com. You may want to find an english language book or map or app because they often list gites that have english language capabilities.

Get accustomed to the GR signage instead of yellow arrows. -- they can be more easily overlooked. At the center of most villages is the Marie -- it is the government facility and has public bathrooms that are normally unlocked. Water can usually be accessed there, as well. I cannot speak to the route before Le Puy, but after -- you won't have any issues.

A smile and 'bonjour madam/monsiour' will always get you off on the right foot. AND, if you're worried about the heat, a light umbrella is an option for shade.

I carried fruit for my daily snacks, and sometimes carried a single potato -- I have celiac disease and know that I can rely on a potato for sustenance if I find a microwave. But, I doubt food will ever be an issue because most villages will have a market with wonderful options. Many gites offer a very nice breakfast, as well.

Although knowing zero French, I made many French friends along the way -- even if our friendships were only smiles and waves each time we passed one another. There were many inspiring young people (and young-hearted!) with fantastic stories. I'm sure this year will be similar. Can you tell that I'm jealous of your opportunity?!? ;)

It's a very special walk. Open your heart, walk one step at a time, and (try to ) leave your fear behind.
Ultreia~!!~
 
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Past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
I have never walked the CF, but pretty much followed arrows and GR65 markers. I did have guide books: one for Geneva to Le Puy-en-Velay, which you'll find here:

and the Miam Miam Dodo guide from Le Puy to SJPdP:

for the section from Geneva to Le Puy, the guidebook published by the «Association Rhône-Alpes des Amis de Saint-Jacques» is your best bet ... it is very thorough and lists most [if not all] of the accommodation options including the very special «accueils jacquaires» ... private homes that welcome pilgrim-hikers ... plus good, accurate maps with distances and profile diagrams ... it is very good
 
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
The fear of the unknown is always the hardest one to conquer, but you've already defined your fears and have received such an outpouring of assistance that I'm feeling incredibly excited for you!

I walked from Le Puy three years ago and it holds a very, very special place in my heart. Just some thoughts: I met a woman who carried an ultra-light tent along the route, giving her an incredible amount of flexibility along her way. It's not necessary, but an option if it gives you more comfort.

I speak virtually no French, so I relied heavily on the tourist information offices along the way to assist with gite reservations, and I booked 4-5 days ahead. Pointing and grunting and writing lists to assist the process. Sometimes, my gite owners would call ahead and book the following night for me... and I am certain that hotel and booking apps will assist. Miam Miam Do Do is the bible for walking in France -- even if you don't know the language, because they often point out the alternate routes. Consider, at a minimum, a map or app from MMDD. I also enjoyed the eBooks I downloaded from ilovewalkinginfrance.com. You may want to find an english language book or map or app because they often list gites that have english language capabilities.

Get accustomed to the GR signage instead of yellow arrows. -- they can be more easily overlooked. At the center of most villages is the Marie -- it is the government facility and has public bathrooms that are normally unlocked. Water can usually be accessed there, as well. I cannot speak to the route before Le Puy, but after -- you won't have any issues.

A smile and 'bonjour madam/monsiour' will always get you off on the right foot. AND, if you're worried about the heat, a light umbrella is an option for shade.

I carried fruit for my daily snacks, and sometimes carried a single potato -- I have celiac disease and know that I can rely on a potato for sustenance if I find a microwave. But, I doubt food will ever be an issue because most villages will have a market with wonderful options. Many gites offer a very nice breakfast, as well.

Although knowing zero French, I made many French friends along the way -- even if our friendships were only smiles and waves each time we passed one another. There were many inspiring young people (and young-hearted!) with fantastic stories. I'm sure this year will be similar. Can you tell that I'm jealous of your opportunity?!? ;)

It's a very special walk. Open your heart, walk one step at a time, and (try to ) leave your fear behind.
Ultreia~!!~

the e-guidebooks in english by Melinda Lusmore [ilovewalkinginfrance.com] are excellent and recently updated for 2021 ... you will find them at her website here : <https://ilovewalkinginfrance.com/walking-chemin-de-saint-jacques-du-puy/> ...

in the absence of the app, Le Vieux Crayon, publishers of the Miam Miam Dodo [MMD] guidebooks will soon publish them as e-guidebooks ... keep a lookout for them at their website here : <https://www.levieuxcrayon.com>

Courage et bon chemin 👣👣👣
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Hi, I decided to attempt a walk from Geneva to SdC.

I sometimes bite off more than I can chew, but, I'm an optimistic dreamer.

I'll hope you'll be so, too, and help me get there.

I know some of you will tell me to be realistic, and that you'll kindly offer opt-outs and alternatives, but I don't want to opt out. I want to do this.

Any advice you offer will be appreciated so long as it encourages rather than discourages.

I realize that is pretty arrogant to define what I wish from your responses but I just know that you have a lot to offer and I just want to do this and not look back or second guess myself.

I speak conversational Spanish and only "bonjour" and "merci" in French.

I will try to better that in the month of prep ahead.

Ciao!

Go.
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Thanks! Does the umbrella you have in mind attach to any backpack or is it part of a system?
We bought ours from Ivar's shop, and it clips to any backpack:
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
It is rare to find a place to buy lunch along the Le Puy - SJPDP route, so carry enough food or snacks to get you through the day.

Breakfast can be obtained at many of the gîtes, but the hosts won’t serve it until their preferred time (like 8 am), which is inconvenient if you want to head out at sunrise to beat the heat. If you are at a self catering gîte, that’s a non issue. Typical breakfast served is crusty bread, preserves, maybe a yogurt, and coffee or chocolate to drink.

It’s a beautiful route.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Thanks! Does the umbrella you have in mind attach to any backpack or is it part of a system?

The umbrella I am referring to (Can't think of the brand name) is heavier than a typical rain umbrella and has reflective material on the exterior to deflect the sun from shining through. It is a bit more costly, but worth every penny. Yes, it does come with rubber adjustable clips that will fasten to your backpack to allow for a hands free walk.
I bought mine at REI, but I am sure Amazon has it as well.
 
Last edited:

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
If it's the same as I have, the Euroschirm, there are lots of posts on the forum about it. Mine is the silver, sun reflecting one with the extra long handle that can be fastened to the backpack shoulder and waist strap so you don't have to hold it.
 
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Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
If it's the same as I have, the Euroschirm, there are lots of posts on the forum about it. Mine is the silver, sun reflecting one with the extra long handle that can be fastened to the backpack shoulder and waist strap so you don't have to hold it.

Thank you !!!!!!!!!!!
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
The umbrella I am referring to (Can't think of the brand name) is heavier than a typical rain umbrella and has reflective material on the exterior to deflect the sun from shining through. It is a bit most costly, but worth every penny. Yes, it does come with rubber adjustable clips that will fasten to your backpack to allow for a hands free walk.
I bought mine at REI, but I am sure Amazon has it as well.
Do you use the hiking umbrella along with a backpack rain cover and a waterproof jacket/rain pants or with a poncho? I brought rain pants on the CF but usually just used a waterproof jacket and backpack rain cover.

I hadn't thought of using an umbrella before but it seems it would be good for shade on a hot sunny day, as well.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
I will be using mine mainly in the sun. Rain often comes with wind, and then I think rain trousers and jacket or proper poncho - like an Altus - would work better. Also, if it is attached to your pack, a poncho would not necessarily fit. But an umbrella is a good multi use item actually.
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I never thought about bringing a tent before, but I started to think about it after reading Davey Boyd's posts, and also because I will be on a tight budget and thought it could save me money, although the ultralight tents I've seen cost $400-$600+ and I do not want to carry unnecessary weight if I will rarely use it.

I am a tad concerned about how easy it will be to find accommodation with the Covid closures, etc.
 
Last edited:

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Bivvy bag? Also very light, fraction of the price, no problem to carry it even if you only use it a few times. You'd need a sleeping mat and bag either way but that is a lot to spend on a tent you might not need and can't leave behind ...
 
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leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
It is rare to find a place to buy lunch along the Le Puy - SJPDP route, so carry enough food or snacks to get you through the day.

Breakfast can be obtained at many of the gîtes, but the hosts won’t serve it until their preferred time (like 8 am), which is inconvenient if you want to head out at sunrise to beat the heat. If you are at a self catering gîte, that’s a non issue. Typical breakfast served is crusty bread, preserves, maybe a yogurt, and coffee or chocolate to drink.

It’s a beautiful route.
Is it possible to purchase dinner along with a gite stay and opt out on buying the breakfast? I'm interested in the dinners but not so much the breakfast.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Is it possible to purchase dinner along with a gite stay and opt out on buying the breakfast? I'm interested in the dinners but not so much the breakfast.
Yes. The dinners are usually fantastic. Dinners are the reason most recommend booking ahead; it allows the host to have food available and prepped. I never pre-booked and was fortunate that food wasn’t an issue, but squeezing one in is not such a problem as squeezing in more than one.
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Yes. The dinners are usually fantastic. Dinners are the reason most recommend booking ahead; it allows the host to have food available and prepped. I never pre-booked and was fortunate that food wasn’t an issue, but squeezing one in is not such a problem as squeezing in more than one.
Thanks for the info. I did not prebook on the CF and would prefer not to on this route, but thought I might do so a night in advance this time so the gite owners would count me in for dinner. Maybe I won't after reading your post. I would prefer to not even bring my phone, tbh.

Do you know if people generally book ahead via email, or by phone (call)?
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
One more question...how are the mosquitoes this time of year in the villages? I sometimes slept under the stars outside of albergues on the CF in my sleeping bag on a sleeping pad with no problem, (when there were clear skies), and never had to contend with mosquitos, etc.

Is this possible on the Geneva or Le Puy routes?
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I took Spanish in school but will work on French independently, (before I leave, which means I have only a few weeks). I love Paris and the lyrical French language so that will be good except I'm trepidatious about attempting the language at all.

I love your hat, AJ, and thank you for helping me! If you have any other ideas about downloadable maps and apps and such, please let me know!

Do you know if the route from Geneva is quite hot in late July/early August?

An English friend of mine warned, "you'll wilt in the oppressive heat of southern France" in those times.

Yet I think, go, just go. Weather be damned. You'll sit on AccuWeather for a lifetime trying to find the right window in which to jump through and go...

And that is kinda like an analogy for life really...you can't just sit and wait for the right conditions--you just gotta go.

It can be very hot in August and even September! As AJG suggests you can plan to leave very early on hot days. Be sure to plan out your water supply and stops. Keep emergency number on fast dial 112. Checkout local transportation…cabs etc. take a picture of them as you pass through town should you need a ride. Since you are going alone, suggest you buy data minutes as well soif you need to research something in between albergues , you can.

Try and leave your fears at home , along with unnecessary items. You don’t need to pack them! Know that at anytime during your journey there will be people here to reach out to! 😀. Do post,so we can follow your journey!
 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Thanks for the info. I did not prebook on the CF and would prefer not to on this route, but thought I might do so a night in advance this time so the gite owners would count me in for dinner. Maybe I won't after reading your post. I would prefer to not even bring my phone, tbh.

Do you know if people generally book ahead via email, or by phone (call)?
I did the Le Puy in 2012 and at that time people seemed to be phoning ahead for reservations. If language is an issue, you can ask your hosts to call ahead for the next night’s booking.
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Yet another question, do any of you know the starting point in Geneva? I've researched it and found different answers to that. Mainly I was wondering which cathedral I should go to to get the pilgrim credential and first stamp. Thanks!
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !

Much debate on this forum about Poncho v. Rain pants/jacket. I am definitely a poncho guy. WHen packing my rule of thumb is everything that goes in my pack HAS to have a dual purpose. (A poncho, for me, meets that standard).
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Much debate on this forum about Poncho v. Rain pants/jacket. I am definitely a poncho guy. WHen packing my rule of thumb is everything that goes in my pack HAS to have a dual purpose. (A poncho, for me, meets that standard).
Yes there's lots of debate about this one! For me the rain jacket/backpack cover, no rain pants was the best option. I was more curious as to whether some people with the umbrella just used that and left the poncho or rain pants/jacket/backpack cover at home.

(I try to travel ultra light with less than 10 kg).
 
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leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hello future pilgrim😁
I’m walking from Geneva to Santiago departing july 26. You are very welcome to come along..
Feel free to get in contact!
Ultreia🤗
Hello, thank you for the offer! Our start times are different but hopefully I will see you along the way at some point. Also, I have to face my somewhat irrational fear and start off alone at least.

Although one thing I learned on the CF is that you are never truly entirely alone, (and I don't just mean because of the other pilgrims you meet along the Way...)

I usually don't get apprehensive about the unknown, so this is a mysterious kaleidoscope of stomach butterflies. I don't remember feeling too apprehensive about the CF starting in SJpdP at all--more excited and curious.

This time the fear comes from the fact that I need to add some of a third language, it's twice the distance, and I keep reading how much more difficult the terrain is as well as the fact that the resources are much fewer and farther in between, the practice of booking ahead, and lastly, I have a few medical concerns I didn't have when I walked the CF.

But I take solace when some of you say just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. It's the need for that life simplicity that draws me back.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Will you be using some form of social media we could follow? Not only would photos be helpful to others planning or dreaming of a similar trip, but we would all be with you every step of the way.
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Will you be using some form of social media we could follow? Not only would photos be helpful to others planning or dreaming of a similar trip, but we would all be with you every step of the way.
I might do a blog but any typing/writing I do will have to be on my phone. More likely I will do most journaling by hand, but I appreciate that thought! Maybe I could post here briefly from time to time if I don't do an actual blog.
 
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
Thanks! Does the umbrella you have in mind attach to any backpack or is it part of a system?
most of the hiking umbrellas available can be attached to any backpack, incl. those from Euroschirm, Gossamer Gear, Zpacks Lotus and Six Moons designs to name but a few ... Gossamer Gear sell an excellent umbrella clamp ... and Zpacks an umbrella holster to attach to the backpack ...
 
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Come follow the vivid imagery of this life-changing adventure.
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
most of the hiking umbrellas available can be attached to any backpack, incl. those from Euroschirm, Gossamer Gear, Zpacks Lotus and Six Moons designs to name but a few ... Gossamer Gear sell an excellent umbrella clamp ... and Zpacks an umbrella holster to attach to the backpack ...
let me know if you need further information ... happy to oblige 👋👋👋
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Thank you for your reply. Yes, I did the CF. I remember being a bit worried to attempt that. And then I found out that the Camino provides, met so many wonderful souls, etc.

But this idea of starting from Geneva is a new thing.

The new fears are once again the fears of the unknown.

Will I be able to communicate effectively?

Will there be enough water sources en route?

Will I find a place to sleep or will I be sleeping on cement and needing a sleep pad?

Will COVID mean that 70% of things are closed?

Will I have to pack liters of food and water every day at the onset? (I travel light; I'm a bird.)

So yeah, things like that comprise the fear...
Bonsoir @leftoverlove
Last summer, between the first and second Covid-19 confinements (July-September, 2020), I set off from the French/Swiss border and walked via Le Puy-en-Velay to Albi then beyond. During the first few weeks I followed La voie de Genèvre/GR 65 from Neydens to Le Puy-en-Velay. It was an energetic trail with splendid scenery. Here are a few notes from along the way and details which I have put together. You may find them useful:

[Edit. The attachment includes routes taken; stages + accommodation for La voie de Genèvre -I'll add the other stages another day; guide books, maps and pdfs; plus bits of this + that]

Be bold, be strong!

Regards
-Lovingkindness
 

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Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Again, soon as possible!

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hello! I walked from Geneva to Santiago as my first Camino in 2015. Best thing I ever did. I wrote a blog with photos which you can find on this forum here

Why not order your credential from the forum shop?

You are going to love it!
Buen Camino
Davey
I read and very much enjoyed your entire blog. It was great! Thanks!

I have decided not to take a tent, though, and therefore will start in Le Puy as it seems like most people on the route from Geneva camp along the way.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
I read and very much enjoyed your entire blog. It was great! Thanks!

I have decided not to take a tent, though, and therefore will start in Le Puy as it seems like most people on the route from Geneva camp along the way.
Hi there @leftoverlove
None of the pilgrims whom I met walking from Geneva carried a tent. They had sufficient means to pay for rooms in a chambre d'hôte or a hotel as well as using cheaper options. My budget was miniscule, hence the need for creativity.

Cheers!
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
I have decided not to take a tent, though, and therefore will start in Le Puy as it seems like most people on the route from Geneva camp along the way
It might be different now because of Covid, but in 2018, we didn't camp, and none of the pilgrims we met camped.
You'll love the Voie du Puy-en-Velay (Podiensis). We're reliving our experience day by day through photos, as it's exactly 3 years ago that we walked.
Bon chemin ! Bonne route !
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi there @leftoverlove
None of the pilgrims whom I met walking from Geneva carried a tent. They had sufficient means to pay for rooms in a chambre d'hôte or a hotel as well as using cheaper options. My budget was miniscule, hence the need for creativity.

Cheers!
My budget will be minuscule, too. What is the name of the cheapest lodgings? Donativo? Gite communal?
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Again, soon as possible!
I read and very much enjoyed your entire blog. It was great! Thanks!

I have decided not to take a tent, though, and therefore will start in Le Puy as it seems like most people on the route from Geneva camp along the way.

There is no need to carry a tent. Those I saw carrying a tent (myself included) were a minority. Those of us that did did so to cut costs. If you can afford accommodation every night there really is no need. If you walk from Geneva you will not be disappointed!

Davey
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hello! I walked from Geneva to Santiago as my first Camino in 2015. Best thing I ever did. I wrote a blog with photos which you can find on this forum here

Why not order your credential from the forum shop?

You are going to love it!
Buen Camino
Davey
Hi Davey,
I really enjoyed reading your blog when I was tossing around the idea of walking the Le Puy route. I finally went with two friends in June 2018 and I loved it!
 
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lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
My budget will be minuscule, too. What is the name of the cheapest lodgings? Donativo? Gite communal?
Bonjour @leftoverlove
The 'Guide Jaune' (2020-2021) would be a good place for you to begin. Listed are Gîte d'étape, Accueils jacquaires, Acceuil pèlerin, chambre d'hôtes and other possibilities.

In 2020 many of the places listed in the 'Guide Jaune' were closed due to the Covid pandemic. There were other accommodation possibilites in some villages but they came at a hefty price so, I greeted people and asked for their help. I introduced myself to the authorities at la mairie, la gendarmerie and many other places in the villages, showing them my credenciale. Eventually somewhere was found for me to sleep.

If you take a closer look at the last page of the attachment which I posted above on 21/07/2021 (click here: #57 ), in the column, 'This+That', you will find a list of places where my enquiries were successful.

Bon courage, pèlerine!
-Lovingkindness


Photo_guide_jaune.jpg
Guide Jaune 2020-2021(not a yellow cover this year)
*Click on 'modifications 2020-2021' to find accommodation updates and cancellations for 2021.
 

Algosot

New Member
Past OR future Camino
French 2014
North 20
Primitivo
Portugues
Mozarabe
Via de la plata
San Salvador
Camino del mar
Hello again!
here I am walking the first part of GR 65, ..it is no different than other caminos except the Gebennensis part is not organized at all. Since very few pilgrims walk from Geneva, there is not really a well established network of accomodation, the very few that exist is hardly found online. There are guides for Gebennensis which contains less than 5% of the posibilities, making the planning process a complete nightmare. On the other side, pandemic has worsened the scenario, many french people dont want the vaccine, and this issue brings lots of consequences. First, many places to stay are shut down, then you have an incredible season of local tourism (no vaccine, no international travel) competing with pilgrims for overnight places to stay in less number of posibilites.
If you add an extremely poor online info, then the recipe for chaos has been served. This is why many pilgrims around here carry a tent and forget about this problem.
In my case, (I don’t carry a tent) I had to unfollow the official camino after Le Pin, just because I found myself dedicating more than four hours a day to find a place for the next day. Crazy…
I finally decided to make a paralel camino where I can book whatever was available (including hard core hotels). I’ve been told that situation improves after Le puy. We’ll see….
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Hello again!
here I am walking the first part of GR 65, ..it is no different than other caminos except the Gebennensis part is not organized at all. Since very few pilgrims walk from Geneva, there is not really a well established network of accomodation, the very few that exist is hardly found online. There are guides for Gebennensis which contains less than 5% of the posibilities, making the planning process a complete nightmare. On the other side, pandemic has worsened the scenario, many french people dont want the vaccine, and this issue brings lots of consequences. First, many places to stay are shut down, then you have an incredible season of local tourism (no vaccine, no international travel) competing with pilgrims for overnight places to stay in less number of posibilites.
If you add an extremely poor online info, then the recipe for chaos has been served. This is why many pilgrims around here carry a tent and forget about this problem.
In my case, (I don’t carry a tent) I had to unfollow the official camino after Le Pin, just because I found myself dedicating more than four hours a day to find a place for the next day. Crazy…
I finally decided to make a paralel camino where I can book whatever was available (including hard core hotels). I’ve been told that situation improves after Le puy. We’ll see….
Algosot,
Sorry to read of your difficulties. However your info is important to post for others who may be considering the same route. Please do keep writing as you follow a parallel route towards Puy.
Stay safe and Carpe diem.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Hello again!
here I am walking the first part of GR 65, ..it is no different than other caminos except the Gebennensis part is not organized at all. Since very few pilgrims walk from Geneva, there is not really a well established network of accomodation, the very few that exist is hardly found online. There are guides for Gebennensis which contains less than 5% of the posibilities, making the planning process a complete nightmare. On the other side, pandemic has worsened the scenario, many french people dont want the vaccine, and this issue brings lots of consequences. First, many places to stay are shut down, then you have an incredible season of local tourism (no vaccine, no international travel) competing with pilgrims for overnight places to stay in less number of posibilites.
If you add an extremely poor online info, then the recipe for chaos has been served. This is why many pilgrims around here carry a tent and forget about this problem.
In my case, (I don’t carry a tent) I had to unfollow the official camino after Le Pin, just because I found myself dedicating more than four hours a day to find a place for the next day. Crazy…
I finally decided to make a paralel camino where I can book whatever was available (including hard core hotels). I’ve been told that situation improves after Le puy. We’ll see….
Bon courage, @Algosot
 
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good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
@leftoverlove I haven't walked from Geneva but from Le Puy. France is much more expensive than Spain in general. You don't *need* a tent, but it can make your walk much easier, especially if you're low budget and don't like to make reservations one or two days ahead. In France most people do make reservations, places are often full when you arrive and there are not many (if full, you might have to walk another 10km after already having walked 25 or 30). Also, the gites (french version of albergues) are more expensive than in Spain. Think about 15 euros just for the bed. Cheapest usually is "gite communal / municipal". Some gites, you can only book with dinner included (around 35 euros). Same for "donativo" , they will often ask for at least 25 Euros. So, if you don't mind to carry a light weight tent... for a budget pilgrim on the le Puy it makes a big difference! Very different from Spain, where a tent is not very helpful. In France an offical campsite costs 5-10 Euros for a pilgrim with tent, same when you camp in gite gardens. I plan to walk the Le Puy (again) next year and will definitely bring a tent (again). Bon chemin!
 
Last edited:

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Again, soon as possible!
Hello again!
here I am walking the first part of GR 65, ..it is no different than other caminos except the Gebennensis part is not organized at all. Since very few pilgrims walk from Geneva, there is not really a well established network of accomodation, the very few that exist is hardly found online. There are guides for Gebennensis which contains less than 5% of the posibilities, making the planning process a complete nightmare. On the other side, pandemic has worsened the scenario, many french people dont want the vaccine, and this issue brings lots of consequences. First, many places to stay are shut down, then you have an incredible season of local tourism (no vaccine, no international travel) competing with pilgrims for overnight places to stay in less number of posibilites.
If you add an extremely poor online info, then the recipe for chaos has been served. This is why many pilgrims around here carry a tent and forget about this problem.
In my case, (I don’t carry a tent) I had to unfollow the official camino after Le Pin, just because I found myself dedicating more than four hours a day to find a place for the next day. Crazy…
I finally decided to make a paralel camino where I can book whatever was available (including hard core hotels). I’ve been told that situation improves after Le puy. We’ll see….
Sounds tough going, I wish you well.

Just wondering if you have a copy of the 'Yellow Guide' for the GR65 by The association of friends of Saint Jacques en Rhône-Alpes? I found it the best accommodation guide for this route.

Take care and Bon Chemin
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hello again!
here I am walking the first part of GR 65, ..it is no different than other caminos except the Gebennensis part is not organized at all. Since very few pilgrims walk from Geneva, there is not really a well established network of accomodation, the very few that exist is hardly found online. There are guides for Gebennensis which contains less than 5% of the posibilities, making the planning process a complete nightmare. On the other side, pandemic has worsened the scenario, many french people dont want the vaccine, and this issue brings lots of consequences. First, many places to stay are shut down, then you have an incredible season of local tourism (no vaccine, no international travel) competing with pilgrims for overnight places to stay in less number of posibilites.
If you add an extremely poor online info, then the recipe for chaos has been served. This is why many pilgrims around here carry a tent and forget about this problem.
In my case, (I don’t carry a tent) I had to unfollow the official camino after Le Pin, just because I found myself dedicating more than four hours a day to find a place for the next day. Crazy…
I finally decided to make a paralel camino where I can book whatever was available (including hard core hotels). I’ve been told that situation improves after Le puy. We’ll see….
Thanks for the info. Your post confirmed I probably did right by starting in Le Puy, instead. I will be very interested from you how things are from Le Puy onward. Searching for a place to sleep for four hours a day does not sound enjoyable.
 

leftoverlove

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
@leftoverlove I haven't walked from Geneva but from Le Puy. France is much more expensive than Spain in general. You don't *need* a tent, but it can make your walk much easier, especially if you're low budget and don't like to make reservations one or two days ahead. In France most people do make reservations, places are often full when you arrive and there are not many (if full, you might have to walk another 10km after already having walked 25 or 30). Also, the gites (french version of albergues) are more expensive than in Spain. Think about 15 euros just for the bed. Cheapest usually is "gite communal / municipal". Some gites, you can only book with dinner included (around 35 euros). Same for "donativo" , they will often ask for at least 25 Euros. So, if you don't mind to carry a light weight tent... for a budget pilgrim on the le Puy it makes a big difference! Very different from Spain, where a tent is not very helpful. In France an offical campsite costs 5-10 Euros for a pilgrim with tent, same when you camp in gite gardens. I plan to walk the Le Puy (again) next year and will definitely bring a tent (again). Bon chemin!
Thanks, I've decided that I can't afford the cost or weight or bulk of a light weight tent, (although I know it will save my money on lodging), but it would also mean I have to get a new backpack, etc. I don't have time for that and have to keep my weight down quite low due to certain health concerns.

I am going to have to start walking in faith that I will not have to walk 40 km a day due to lack of accommodation. I will look out for the gite communal/municipal locations. Worst case scenario I will sleep under an awning somewhere, if I can.

Good to know that Donativo actually means 25 euro +!

I am also on a tight budget.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Hi, I decided to attempt a walk from Geneva to SdC....

.....I know some of you will tell me to be realistic, and that you'll kindly offer opt-outs and alternatives, but I don't want to opt out. I want to do this....

I realize that is pretty arrogant to define what I wish from your responses but I just know that you have a lot to offer and I just want to do this and not look back or second guess myself.

I speak conversational Spanish and only "bonjour" and "merci" in French.

I will try to better that in the month of prep ahead.

Ciao!

?
 
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