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I hope to walk for a week from le Puy in August.


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I am hoping to get time to walk for a week from le Puy in August. Can anyone tell me how busy it will be then compared to the route from SJPDP?

Bob M
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.
Bob, I am not completely sure, but I was told by a gite owner that around Moissac further south, the route gets a lot quieter in July/August because of the heat.
One of the people who could answer you best is Janet who has walked this route in the summer, but she has just left home en route for a sumertime walk via Vezelay, so can't speak up!

PS: Just one date to watch out for: Assumption Day on August 15th is a Public Holiday in France, and I imagine there will be a lot of people in the Le Puy area around then since the Cathedral is a place of longstanding Marian devotion.
Thx, Margaret, for the helpful tips - especially Assumption Day. That's about when I will be starting, I think.

BTW, re gites, someone told me that it is best (necessary?) to phone ahead each day to book a room. Is that the case in summer?

Bob M
I walked the Le Puy route from mid-April through May, and May especially was a very popular time for the French to walk. It was usually best to book ahead a day or two in advance, so you didn't end up staying in a more expensive chambre d'hote rather than a gite. But in summer I am not sure if it is quite the same.

You can book some places in Le Puy online, eg I booked the Capucins gite online.
This is going to be a very minimalist camino, if I can manage it. For only a week, I will try to fit everything into a small daypack, relying on only a thin sheet to sleep in (August is hot!). Only one spare set of clothes, poncho in case of rain, no fleece, no luxuries like shaving gear or i-pod.

I figure that for only a week I can endure anything, especially having previous experience of walking from SJPDP to Santiago :)

This spartan regime may not be workable, so I would be interested to hear of other pilgrims who have experience of minimalist walking.

Bob M
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The gites in France always have blankets so a sheet will be fine. You may well get fine weather on the Aubrac Plateau then, but you will be walking at 1300m+, it takes some two days to cross, and can turn on nasty weather anytime I gather! I never like to underestimate the clothing I need for mountain terrain at any time of year.
Ah! 1300+metres. That's something to think about. Certainly a fleece and windproof vest might be needed.

What interests me about trying a minimalist walk is that is how pilgrims centuries ago did it: Wool cloak, staff and water gourd, sandals, and what we in Australia would call a light "swag" - a small roll carried crossed over the back with sleeping gear etc. They would not have had superfluous luxuries. Sometimes I think we overdo creature comforts.

Looking at drawings in pilgrim museums, one is struck by the spartan apparel and possessions of the pilgrims of long ago. Of course, many of them got sick and even died - that's the other side of traveling in poverty.

Bob M
I certainly sympathise with what you're saying. Myself, I will carry a backpack small enough to pass as hand luggage (no waiting in airports, no risk of loss, etc).
Bob, one of my most 'medieval' moments was at Aubrac. The mist had descended and I could barely see anything. I was walking along the modern road as advised at the previous gite, since the heavy rain the previous day would have rendered the track very boggy. Suddenly, out of the mist and rain, loomed towers of the medieval monastery. It was perhaps the moment along the whole Chemin where I felt most that I was following in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims. I was also aware that they would not have had the luxury of a modern road to guide them in such weather, and that the sound of bells tolling from the towers might well have saved some lives in such conditions. However, I gratefully left the medieval moment and entered the warm, dry modern restaurant nearby, where I had a delicious lunch along with many other pilgrims!

A few days later I met some French walkers who had crossed the plateau the day after me. They never saw towers looming out of the mist. They said the mist was so thick they could barely see their hands in front of their noses. And they walked in snow.

€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
KiwiNomad06 said:
Suddenly, out of the mist and rain, loomed towers of the medieval monastery. It was perhaps the moment along the whole Chemin where I felt most that I was following in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims.

What a wonderful experience! It is the possibility of having such experiences that attracts me to pilgrimage.

I am a Roman Empire tragic and I was constantly amazed at what still survives from the Roman era in Spain (and also in other European countries). One experience struck me particularly. Here is an extract from my blog:

As I trod the long and ancient Roman Road (Via Trajana) after leaving Carrion de los Condes I reflected on the long-vanished legions that had also travelled here before me.

In the deep blue sky of that crisp early morning, the slanting sun illuminated a perfect christian cross formed by two vapour trails from jets passing far overhead (see pic in my Gallery).

While he was praying for divine help before the important battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine also saw a cross of light in the sky, with the inscription “in hoc signo vinces” (“in this sign you shall conquer”).

He decreed that the cross would be the symbol that represented his army in battle. He won the battle of the Milvian Bridge and converted to Christianity, paving the way for Christianity to replace the old Roman gods throughout the Roman Empire. ... -results=7


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Hi, I am starting off from Le Puy on the 22 nd of August. That weekend there is a music festival " Le Chaise Dieux" in Le Puy and rooms are hard to come by. I managed to get a bed in one of the hostels, you just have to email around. Have a look in the Miam Miam Dodo book or website for places to stay. Regards, Gitti
Bob I definetely recommend a layer of Merino and a windfleece as well as water proof jacket. The climate these days is so weird. My friend just went hiking in Austria and got cought in a snowstorm, it was very unseasonal. Last year I walked through Austria and the Czech Republic for 5 weeks and I was freezing in July. Just had a lightweight fleece and it was miserable. One feels quite cold after the exhaustion of a days walk and a shower. Sounds like we will miss each other, you will be a few days ahead of me. Regards, Gitti
Thx, Gitti. My start date from Le Puy is flexible, since I will be in Poland and the Czech Republic before going to Le Puy.

Your comments re weather in the Czech Republic got my attention, since I plan to do some walking around Zakopane in the Tatras. Maybe I will take some better cold/wet weather gear. One always has to respect mountains, or they will kill you.

Bob M
gittiharre said:
Hi, I am starting off from Le Puy on the 22 nd of August. Regards, Gitti
Gitti, It just so happens that you are starting off on my birthday. I will think of you leaving Le Puy that day!
Today is a special day for me, as a year ago today, I reached Santiago. Lots of good memories have filled the day!
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Happy thoughts to Margaret for both her anniversaries :D :D :D :D

BTW, where could I buy a guidebook in Le Puy for the pilgrim route? My preparations area bit rushed and I don't have time to order a guidebook.

Bob M
To Bob M.
You should be able to find guides in French in "any good bookshop" in Le Puy. We used the Topo-guides to the GR 65 but we needed three just to cover the route from Le Puy to the Pyrenees. Many pilgrims favour the Miam Miam Dodo guide.
Hi Margaret, how wonderful that I will be starting off on your birthday. I will think of you and light a little candle somewhere. I am starting my preparations, route planning and packing, I love the sense of anticipation that goes with this kind of journeying. Love, Gitti
Hi Bob, hope you enjoy your time in the Czech Republic. We certainly loved it although accommodation was sometimes tricky, as limited in parts and booked up way ahead. We walked the Czech Greenways from Prague to Vienna, which was really fascinating. No mountains, but you pass through and area called Czech Siberia for good reason as it was chilly. 5 to 8 degrees C and rainy on some days towards the end of July. Regards, Gitti
They sell all the guidebooks you need in the cathedral in Le puy and you can buy them after the 7.00am pilgrim's blessing before you start out. I met one guy who was carrying less then 4 kilos in a small day sack and had everything he needed. You will only need a silk or cotton liner rather than a sleeping bag and even with a fleece jumper and waterproof jacket, you should be able to keep the weight pretty low. One tip is not to carry any food or water. I took a plastic water bottle and used it as a cup to drink from at every fountain, but carried very little water inbetween fountains. The miam miam dodo book marks clearly where all water points are on the route and there are a lot of bars and eating places set up in people's garages or outhouses along the route so you never go hungry or thirsty. There was also a theory going around the camino that it's best to drink a lot in the early morning and the evening and not so much during the heat of the day.
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
When I have walked 7 days, maybe to Estaing or Espalion, I need to get to Frankfurt by train or bus for my flight home.

Can anyone tell me the best way to do this? Return to Leon first :?:

BTW, my little 11 litre day pack will be just fine for a week, weighing less than 4kg, not counting food.

Food I will carry in a "waist" bag that will hold 2 x 500ml plastic bottles in elastic straps ready to hand. It also has small pockets for food (lunch and snacks). This extra bit of gear is an experiment that may or may not be better than my previous practice of carrying food in plastic bags hung off my pack.

I take the point about not needing to carry food, but I like to be self-contained as much as possible. I am not trying to be contrary. :)

Bob M
For what it is worth, here is the bum bag I will try out for a week:

The pic makes everything look large, but the bottles are only small 500ml bottles. I won't carry those bottles, they are just for illustration. I will carry small plastic bottles.

The bumbag itself weighs 260gm. Edge to edge in the pic is only about 35cm, so the bottles don't interfere with arm swing when worn in front for easy access.

There is a small sack between the bottles that will hold food for lunch, snacks but not the poncho. The waist straps are visible in the rear of the pic.

My small 11 litre daypack does not have straps to attach water bottles. If it did, I would not bother with the bum bag.

Bob M


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