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Le Puy Camino

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016 PRIMITIVO 2022 LE PUY 2023
I'm interested in doing a different Camino having walked the Primitivo this year and CF in 2016. Le Puy seems very interesting and hopefully I can walk from Le Puy to Conques. I was hoping to walk in April or May. Any suggestions on when to go, and what the weather would be like? I will be walking solo. Merci!
 
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On the Aubrac it gets close to 1400m elevation, it's a high plateau. Think of the scottish highlands, maybe. In april snow is not unlikely there. In may it can happen also but it's not as common as in april.

May is a very popular month for the french people to walk shorter sections, especially Le Puy-Conques, so it will probably be busy. Beautiful though during that time of year, with all the spring flowers, and the temperature not too hot. You'll probably have rain and mud as well as warm and sunny days.

I walked it solo in april-may 2017 and really liked it. Had no snow, but a lot of mud.

Now, walking it in summer at the moment, it is just as beautiful - less crowded, but the heat is extreme.

Happy planning. Good choice of Camino :)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy - Santiago(2007-2012), Via Gebennensis (2013)
Geneve - Le Puy - Santiago (2017)
My only thought would be snow, sleet and rain at time of the year. You are walking at elevations of 2500 m late winter.
Actually, the highest point of the route is between Nasbinals and Aubrac, at Col d'Aubrac, 1343 m.
 

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016 PRIMITIVO 2022 LE PUY 2023
On the Aubrac it gets close to 1400m elevation, it's a high plateau. Think of the scottish highlands, maybe. In april snow is not unlikely there. In may it can happen also but it's not as common as in april.

May is a very popular month for the french people to walk shorter sections, especially Le Puy-Conques, so it will probably be busy. Beautiful though during that time of year, with all the spring flowers, and the temperature not too hot. You'll probably have rain and mud as well as warm and sunny days.

I walked it solo in april-may 2017 and really liked it. Had no snow, but a lot of mud.

Now, walking it in summer at the moment, it is just as beautiful - less crowded, but the heat is extreme.

Happy planning. Good choice of Camino :)
I had planned on doing the Portuguese but after viewing Efren Gonzales youtube videos of both.... I can tell why he was much more excited about Le Puy. I finished the Primitivo April 7th. Loved it. Any comparisions?
 

Vagabonder

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to SJPP (2019)
I had planned on doing the Portuguese but after viewing Efren Gonzales youtube videos of both.... I can tell why he was much more excited about Le Puy. I finished the Primitivo April 7th. Loved it. Any comparisions?
We walked the Primitivo in May and le Puy last fall. Similar as to difficulty, however the route des hospitales was tougher going than anything we experienced in France. Quite different vibes, the Primitivo was very international whereas Le Puy was very French. Both were great.
 
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Dilbin

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Irun to Santander del Norte
I had planned on doing the Portuguese but after viewing Efren Gonzales youtube videos of both.... I can tell why he was much more excited about Le Puy. I finished the Primitivo April 7th. Loved it. Any comparisions?
Hi. Maybe a suggestion for May although it's only 5 days would be the San Salvador. Mr Gonzales also has his videos of that. I'm doing 8 to 10 days next month so my walk a section of the route before Leon coming from Madrid. You are starting up at approx 700 metres and reaching levels of 1500 metres. Personally I'm a bit anxious as apparently it's fairly tough but also rewarding with amazing scenery. On of my Camino companions has done it and highly recommendeds . Daniel
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Quite different vibes, the Primitivo was very international whereas Le Puy was very French. Both were great.
I never walked the Primitivo but have walked other routes. They are all different but Le Puy is very different. Different country, different language. I spoke no French and didn't have a smartphone to translate. I had to make reservations every day as the Gite owner needs to know how many to feed. I had to carry provisions whenever I could. Just had a little Michelin Guide that was not much good. The volunteer in the Paris Pilgrim office tried to get me to buy the Miam Doo Doo guide. I was stubborn, and said I didn't understand French. Big mistake as I found out 2 days before St.Jean how easy it was to follow. No big cities and very few decent size towns. You never knew (at least when I walked in 2015) when a shop or cafe would be open in a village. I went more than a few days without food from breakfast to dinner. It is beautiful. Didn't meet even 5 people who could speak any English. People walk with the people they came witn. I am not a camino "family" guy but if you expect that I think you can forget it. The scenery is diverse. The markings were different and I got lost a few times as it is so peaceful and there is so much solitude I was missing the GR stripes. The food was amazing almost every night. Many nights I said a meal of this quality which cost me about 30E for dinner, bed and breakfast would have cost 5 times as much in a big city if you included the wonderful French wine. Most nights there was enough for 2nds or even 3rds of each portion. Try asking for seconds eating a pilgrim menu. Cheese course, fruit course, soup course, salad course, main course, (even had a suckling pig, rabbit etc) and forget about the desserts and the incomparable French bread. Breakfast was delicious coffee, homemade jams, bread, bacon or ham, eggs, milk, yogurt. If there were leftovers from the night before often the owners would pack you a lunch with a nominal cost. Most everything came from the gardens of the Gite it seemed like on most days.
Hard, often lonely even at night as everyone spoke in French. Everyone nice but I couldn't join in so I just ate until I dropped!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I've done both and although i really "liked" the Portuguese (and it is less expensive), there is absolutely no comparison...Le Puy wins hands down imo. I walked as far as Auvillar, just past Moissac. I added in Rocamadour on a day train trip and the Cele Valley variant; all I can say is Wow!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I never walked the Primitivo but have walked other routes. They are all different but Le Puy is very different. Different country, different language. I spoke no French and didn't have a smartphone to translate. I had to make reservations every day as the Gite owner needs to know how many to feed. I had to carry provisions whenever I could. Just had a little Michelin Guide that was not much good. The volunteer in the Paris Pilgrim office tried to get me to buy the Miam Doo Doo guide. I was stubborn, and said I didn't understand French. Big mistake as I found out 2 days before St.Jean how easy it was to follow. No big cities and very few decent size towns. You never knew (at least when I walked in 2015) when a shop or cafe would be open in a village. I went more than a few days without food from breakfast to dinner. It is beautiful. Didn't meet even 5 people who could speak any English. People walk with the people they came witn. I am not a camino "family" guy but if you expect that I think you can forget it. The scenery is diverse. The markings were different and I got lost a few times as it is so peaceful and there is so much solitude I was missing the GR stripes. The food was amazing almost every night. Many nights I said a meal of this quality which cost me about 30E for dinner, bed and breakfast would have cost 5 times as much in a big city if you included the wonderful French wine. Most nights there was enough for 2nds or even 3rds of each portion. Try asking for seconds eating a pilgrim menu. Cheese course, fruit course, soup course, salad course, main course, (even had a suckling pig, rabbit etc) and forget about the desserts and the incomparable French bread. Breakfast was delicious coffee, homemade jams, bread, bacon or ham, eggs, milk, yogurt. If there were leftovers from the night before often the owners would pack you a lunch with a nominal cost. Most everything came from the gardens of the Gite it seemed like on most days.
Hard, often lonely even at night as everyone spoke in French. Everyone nice but I couldn't join in so I just ate until I dropped!
I was lucky to walk the Le Puy with two Camino girlfriends, so we were not lonely and in June we got caught in a couple of bubbles of groups of French walkers, but it thinned out after Conques and again after Figeac.
We did not speak French so at dinners we were quiet, but not awkward being our own littlegroup of three. Yes, we always booked ahead a day or two with the help of a nice gite owner, or tourism center where they always spoke English.
Loved reading your thoughts on the food and I concur...all yummy!😋 Ooops, I did not like the coffee in the big cereal bowls.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I was lucky to walk the Le Puy with two Camino girlfriends, so we were not lonely and in June we got caught in a couple of bubbles of groups of French walkers, but it thinned out after Conques and again after Figeac.
We did not speak French so at dinners we were quiet, but not awkward being our own littlegroup of three. Yes, we always booked ahead a day or two with the help of a nice gite owner, or tourism center where they always spoke English.
Loved reading your thoughts on the food and I concur...all yummy!😋 Ooops, I did not like the coffee in the big cereal bowls.
I agree with your feelings entirely except once I figured out how to drink my coffee in those cereal bowls and not spill it all over me it was fine. I really agree about dinner and being quiet but there was never a night that people didn't try to include me or make me feel left out.
 
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gittiharre

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
I'm interested in doing a different Camino having walked the Primitivo this year and CF in 2016. Le Puy seems very interesting and hopefully I can walk from Le Puy to Conques. I was hoping to walk in April or May. Any suggestions on when to go, and what the weather would be like? I will be walking solo. Merci!
I have walked the Le Puy Route x 3 because I love it so much for reasons others have mentioned. I have also loved the Gebennensis from Geneva to Le Puy and did it twice. It is Primitivo like in scenery and difficulty and has good network of gite communal accommodation and private donativo hosts. Real emmersion into French life. It is not busy and May would be good.
I did the Primitivo this year and loved it also.
The Portuguese options are much less rural and remote and have lots of Asphalt.
 
Last edited:

Helen Avoca

Slow walker.
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning to finish to Chemin Le Puy in April 2022.
I'm interested in doing a different Camino having walked the Primitivo this year and CF in 2016. Le Puy seems very interesting and hopefully I can walk from Le Puy to Conques. I was hoping to walk in April or May. Any suggestions on when to go, and what the weather would be like? I will be walking solo. Merci!
I just did it in very late April and May. It was stunning. Climbing roses are everywhere as well as wild flowers.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
I'm interested in doing a different Camino having walked the Primitivo this year and CF in 2016. Le Puy seems very interesting and hopefully I can walk from Le Puy to Conques. I was hoping to walk in April or May. Any suggestions on when to go, and what the weather would be like? I will be walking solo. Merci!
the Le Puy route [aka GR65 Via Podiensis, Voie du Puy-en-Velay] is a beautiful walking path with a number of variantes. May and September are the busiest months on this route and this year bookings were very tight in May ... but that’s this year ... next year you might reasonably expect things will be a little less frenetic ...

weather is almost impossible to predict but the last two weeks of May and / OR the first two weeks of June would be [on the balance of probabilities] very agreeable weather-wise ... and the peak of the wildflower season ... an absolute highlight at the higher elevations of the Margeride and Aubrac plateau ...

on or around 22 May is the fabled transhumance in the Aubrac region where cattle move out of their cozy sheds to the open summer pastures to munch on all those yummy wildflowers ... imho, an event not to be missed🤩

p.s. I have walked this path three times since 2014, this year will be my fourth ... I am a known recidiviste and can’t get enough of these beautiful, wild landscapes, the many impossibly-beautiful villages and wonderful, generous french hospitality ... am adding «le Chemin Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert» to the repertoire this year 😅😍😂
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
I never walked the Primitivo but have walked other routes. They are all different but Le Puy is very different. Different country, different language. I spoke no French and didn't have a smartphone to translate. I had to make reservations every day as the Gite owner needs to know how many to feed. I had to carry provisions whenever I could. Just had a little Michelin Guide that was not much good. The volunteer in the Paris Pilgrim office tried to get me to buy the Miam Doo Doo guide. I was stubborn, and said I didn't understand French. Big mistake as I found out 2 days before St.Jean how easy it was to follow. No big cities and very few decent size towns. You never knew (at least when I walked in 2015) when a shop or cafe would be open in a village. I went more than a few days without food from breakfast to dinner. It is beautiful. Didn't meet even 5 people who could speak any English. People walk with the people they came witn. I am not a camino "family" guy but if you expect that I think you can forget it. The scenery is diverse. The markings were different and I got lost a few times as it is so peaceful and there is so much solitude I was missing the GR stripes. The food was amazing almost every night. Many nights I said a meal of this quality which cost me about 30E for dinner, bed and breakfast would have cost 5 times as much in a big city if you included the wonderful French wine. Most nights there was enough for 2nds or even 3rds of each portion. Try asking for seconds eating a pilgrim menu. Cheese course, fruit course, soup course, salad course, main course, (even had a suckling pig, rabbit etc) and forget about the desserts and the incomparable French bread. Breakfast was delicious coffee, homemade jams, bread, bacon or ham, eggs, milk, yogurt. If there were leftovers from the night before often the owners would pack you a lunch with a nominal cost. Most everything came from the gardens of the Gite it seemed like on most days.
Hard, often lonely even at night as everyone spoke in French. Everyone nice but I couldn't join in so I just ate until I dropped!
agree wholeheartedly ... the little Michelin guide, aside from its inaccuracies, is almost useless ... the Miam-Miam-Dodo, now in electronic version, is excellent ... and there are now lots of other resources as well ... ask Prof. Google OR the good, long-serving professors right here on this forum🙏🏽
 

Leaderene

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Camino Portuguese
Camino Ingles
I'm interested in doing a different Camino having walked the Primitivo this year and CF in 2016. Le Puy seems very interesting and hopefully I can walk from Le Puy to Conques. I was hoping to walk in April or May. Any suggestions on when to go, and what the weather would be like? I will be walking solo. Merci!
Le Puy route is so beautiful and Conques is a jewel that many of the French do not know about. I started my Camino Frances in Le Puy many years ago and this route is still my favourite. So much quieter with beautiful scenery and the mst beautiful cows ever, the Aubrac cows. I have walked most of it in May and no problems at all. People lovely and as long as you make an effort with a little French such as hello, goodbye, thanks etc people are very helpful. Great food and such pretty medieval towns. Enjoy.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
agree wholeheartedly ... the little Michelin guide, aside from its inaccuracies, is almost useless ... the Miam-Miam-Dodo, now in electronic version, is excellent ... and there are now lots of other resources as well ... ask Prof. Google OR the good, long-serving professors right here on this forum🙏🏽
Funny you should mention the online version of Miam Dodo. Dear friends I met on the Camino from Australia are planning their next camino. We have been talking for a while to decide if we can walk together. (They are the perfect couple for me to walk with as we meet most nights for dinner if we are in the same albergue, they sometimes get pensions, walk together for some of the day but not to much etc. Last night David called me and he said that they have decided they will probably walk Le Puy and then walk the French side to Somport and then we will meet there and travel on the Aragones. We will then decide where to go next. They may go home or we may continue on the Frances or even go to Lisbon and walk the Portugues. We talked at length about my Le Puy Camino and I definitely stressed that the biggest mistake I made was before I started in Le Puy was I didn't buy the Miam Dodo book at the Paris Pilgrim office as the lady there begged me to do. David speaks decent French and his wife some also. I told him with some planning and their language ability they could an even richer experience than I did. Of course I waxed on about the beauty and food. I also mentioned in no uncertain terms, like you, that although the Michelin guide helped a little it was woefully inadequate.
 

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016 PRIMITIVO 2022 LE PUY 2023
We walked the Primitivo in May and le Puy last fall. Similar as to difficulty, however the route des hospitales was tougher going than anything we experienced in France. Quite different vibes, the Primitivo was very international whereas Le Puy was very French. Both were great.
Merci!
 

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016 PRIMITIVO 2022 LE PUY 2023
I never walked the Primitivo but have walked other routes. They are all different but Le Puy is very different. Different country, different language. I spoke no French and didn't have a smartphone to translate. I had to make reservations every day as the Gite owner needs to know how many to feed. I had to carry provisions whenever I could. Just had a little Michelin Guide that was not much good. The volunteer in the Paris Pilgrim office tried to get me to buy the Miam Doo Doo guide. I was stubborn, and said I didn't understand French. Big mistake as I found out 2 days before St.Jean how easy it was to follow. No big cities and very few decent size towns. You never knew (at least when I walked in 2015) when a shop or cafe would be open in a village. I went more than a few days without food from breakfast to dinner. It is beautiful. Didn't meet even 5 people who could speak any English. People walk with the people they came witn. I am not a camino "family" guy but if you expect that I think you can forget it. The scenery is diverse. The markings were different and I got lost a few times as it is so peaceful and there is so much solitude I was missing the GR stripes. The food was amazing almost every night. Many nights I said a meal of this quality which cost me about 30E for dinner, bed and breakfast would have cost 5 times as much in a big city if you included the wonderful French wine. Most nights there was enough for 2nds or even 3rds of each portion. Try asking for seconds eating a pilgrim menu. Cheese course, fruit course, soup course, salad course, main course, (even had a suckling pig, rabbit etc) and forget about the desserts and the incomparable French bread. Breakfast was delicious coffee, homemade jams, bread, bacon or ham, eggs, milk, yogurt. If there were leftovers from the night before often the owners would pack you a lunch with a nominal cost. Most everything came from the gardens of the Gite it seemed like on most days.
Hard, often lonely even at night as everyone spoke in French. Everyone nice but I couldn't join in so I just ate until I dropped!
Thank you for your honest input! sounds right up my ally. The one thing going for me is that I speak French pretty well...Better than Spanish. My main concern was when to go without it being over crowded. I would like to go beginning in April or very first part of May.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Thank you for your honest input! sounds right up my ally. The one thing going for me is that I speak French pretty well...Better than Spanish. My main concern was when to go without it being over crowded. I would like to go beginning in April or very first part of May.
I walked it starting in mid September. It is mostly retired friends walking together and virtually everyone was French with a few Germans. I have no idea what it is like now or in April. I checked the pilgrim website statistics from Le Puy. Of course it is just people going all the way to Santiago. 604 people received compostelas in June '22. In all of 2019 3,180 received Compostela for the whole year. It is also difficult to gauge as many people in France are really not on pilgrimage . They are starting in different locations and walking with friends for a week or two. If anyone has better information please be free to correct me. It is 7 years since I walked so things may have changed dramatically.
 

Bill905

Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2019
CP 2022
Via Podiensis 2022
I just walked the Via Podiensis from Le Puy to Moissac in May of 2022. I recommend that time. Some observations:
1. Book ahead - long distance walking has exploded since Covid restrictions have eased. We had to stop at Moissac because it was too difficult to find accommodation without walking 30 - 35 kms for some stretches. We are planning on returning next May to finish the last 330 kms.
2. Weather - We had 1 day of rain in 21 days of walking. We also experienced temperatures of 30 - 35 C for several days. We walked in shorts all except for 1 or 2 days.
3. The cheese is deeelicious!
4. Some gites do not offer meals (demi pension). As a result restaurants are also busy and reservations are recommended.
 
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gittiharre

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
I just walked the Via Podiensis from Le Puy to Moissac in May of 2022. I recommend that time. Some observations:
1. Book ahead - long distance walking has exploded since Covid restrictions have eased. We had to stop at Moissac because it was too difficult to find accommodation without walking 30 - 35 kms for some stretches. We are planning on returning next May to finish the last 330 kms.
2. Weather - We had 1 day of rain in 21 days of walking. We also experienced temperatures of 30 - 35 C for several days. We walked in shorts all except for 1 or 2 days.
3. The cheese is deeelicious!
4. Some gites do not offer meals (demi pension). As a result restaurants are also busy and reservations are recommended.
Thanks for that. Times have changed. I walked the Le Puy Route x 3 and never had these issues....apart from heatwave in June.
After Moissac used to be very quiet.
 

billwerme

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I was lucky to walk the Le Puy with two Camino girlfriends, so we were not lonely and in June we got caught in a couple of bubbles of groups of French walkers, but it thinned out after Conques and again after Figeac.
We did not speak French so at dinners we were quiet, but not awkward being our own littlegroup of three. Yes, we always booked ahead a day or two with the help of a nice gite owner, or tourism center where they always spoke English.
Loved reading your thoughts on the food and I concur...all yummy!😋 Ooops, I did not like the coffee in the big cereal bowls.
hahaha, I didn't either!
 

Arbey48

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy - Figeac (2017)
Figeac - StJPdP (2018)
I'm interested in doing a different Camino having walked the Primitivo this year and CF in 2016. Le Puy seems very interesting and hopefully I can walk from Le Puy to Conques. I was hoping to walk in April or May. Any suggestions on when to go, and what the weather would be like? I will be walking solo. Merci!
Hi, I walked the same route in 2017 but in September, after the heatwave season had passed. Even so on the Aubrac plateau there were days of incessant rain but elsewhere the walking was very agreeable. The Le Puy route is also the GR65, it's very well signed. I used the app MAPS. me, which has now evolved into Organic Maps, that I now use for all my walking. I could provide you with more detailed info if you reply with your email address. I planned everything in advance, even though I was living in France. I suggest you do the same. Its very simple to do and ensures you have a bed and meal for each of your stops. Let me know if you would like me to send you my info.
Buen Camino
 

John Holland

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016
I have walked the Le Puy route twice as well as volunteering as an assistant at a private albergue on one occasion. In April I experienced snow and a lot of mud. In late May-early June I experienced severe storms and cold weather on the Aubrac plateau as well as mud and hot weather elsewhere. So the weather can vary a lot. I do not speak a word of French but had the Miam Miam Dodo (essential and extremely easy to use no matter what language you speak). You will need to ring ahead a day or two as it can be very busy in parts. But it is a superb walk, I believe even better than the Primitivo which is also good.
 

Matthew Fitzhenry

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-en-Velay, April 2023
I'm interested in doing a different Camino having walked the Primitivo this year and CF in 2016. Le Puy seems very interesting and hopefully I can walk from Le Puy to Conques. I was hoping to walk in April or May. Any suggestions on when to go, and what the weather would be like? I will be walking solo. Merci!
Might see you there. Planning to leave Le Puy on April 27
 
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WalkerForever

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Walking in France never seems to have an international mix of people and the French will generally not be very sociable to outsiders. This has been my experience in the Alps, Pyrenees, Jura particularly.

For this reason, I wouldn't take the Le Puy path. It's also much more expensive too plus you have more threat of Madman Macron bringing in passes and other freedom restricting measures.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Walking in France never seems to have an international mix of people and the French will generally not be very sociable to outsiders. This has been my experience in the Alps, Pyrenees, Jura particularly.

For this reason, I wouldn't take the Le Puy path. It's also much more expensive too plus you have more threat of Madman Macron bringing in passes and other freedom restricting measures.
Last time I was on the Le Puy, there were 2 Aussies, 2 Kiwis, 2 Americans, 3 Germans, 2 Swiss, a couple of English people, it was very international. We all meat up in SJPP and had dinner together. The French were outnumbered.
 

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