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Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques - Question about water

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
Hello ! :)

Firt post !

I’m in the process to do my backpack. I remove items and add others, then remove them again, etc…, to be light. I would like to do Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques, between July 3 and July 11 (9 days to walk it), so during the summer time, when it’s probably very hot. For now, my base weight is at 5243 grams, with backpack, tent, sleeping bag/pad, clothes and a couple of things for hygiene, safety, etc... I think that it’s not too bad, but I try to continue to cut what isn’t necessary to make sure I’m light, very light in fact. Now I’m at the essential and don’t want to play with my security. So, regarding the water, I have a question… For now, I will have a bottle of 500 ml on a fanny pack (= 518 grams for the water + its plastic bottle), and another bottle of 500 ml in my backpack (so another 518 grams). I know that there are several water points on the Camino, but I don’t know where they are and if only one bottle of 500 ml is enough between each water point. So, based on your personal experience of this section of the Le Puy Camino, and considering that it will be in July (so: hot), do you think that a single bottle is enough or not? Having 1 liter with you is mandatory? Or is it another fear that we carry for nothing?

(I hope that this is clear as I speak French :) )

Thanks in advance!

Pierre
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
A woman working her garden filled my water bottle inside her house when I asked! There is water!!!
 

Camino Chris

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I walked from Le Puy to Auvillar last June and don't even recall my water situation. Must be because I had no problem whatsoever!
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I am assuming this is your first Camino.
I am starting from Le Puy around the same time and this will also be my first GR65. However I have walked many Caminos.
First of all a 0.5L plastic bottle in your pocket will get you through most of the day if you stop here and there to refill it. A very bad and hot day on the Meseta might requires an extra 1.5L bottle in your pack, I don't think that will be necessary here.
You might want to check the tent camping restriction on this Camino. It is populated by farms and they don't want/permit people sleeping people on their property.
Backpack weight is totally relative. I am 73 years old and carry a 30L pack with a couple changes of clothes. It works for me.
BTW, I live in France part of the year and my French is totally shitty:eek:
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I have been informed that the standpipes in French cemeteries have potable water. Apparently, they are intended to refresh cemetery workers as well as picknickers visiting relatives' graves. I tried them in a number of places from Toulouse to Oloron Sainte Marie and had no trouble at all.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
Water is generally available in the towns, which are far less frequent than on the route in Spain. There will be potable water at almost every church, because of the associated cemetery. Also in every Mairie (town hall) during weekday business hours if not lunch. However, it will be hot and the hills will be steep. Taking capacity for 1.5 L would not be out of the question.
 

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
Thanks to all for your answers, I really appreciate it!

OK, let's say that I bring with me ONLY a bottle of 500 ml on my fanny pack, and no other bottle/water in my backpack. It may or may not be enough according to all answers you provided (unless my translation from english to french is bad :) ). So could it be a good idea to bring a Sawyer Mini (https://sawyer.com/products/mini-filter/ for a total of 87 grams with all the stuff) ? So instead of a bottle/water of 518 grams in my backpack, I could have just the Sawyer Mini in my backpack for 87 grams…which will give me access to ALL the water on the road (so, not just the cemetery, mairies, fountains… BUT also to ALL lakes, rivers, streams…). My objective is just to reduce the weight of my backpack, but still have access to what is necessary (water).
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
Not a good idea. Surface water is not available. Why are you carrying a tent? That's the quickest way to reduce your pack weight.
 

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
Oh! I see.
A tent because I want to go to campings on the way.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Piamonte
Aragones
Elizabethpfad
5.25 kilos is pretty good, especially with a tent. I carry 6kg normally (excluding water) and I thought that was light. Cemeteries are indeed a valuable source of water, but like cops, they are never around when you want one. I have found through experience that on sunny, warm/hot day I need to consume roughly 0.5l water every 5 km. Prior to learning this I tried to emulate a camel, and nearly ended-up a dead dromedary. Of course, it depends on the temperature and other conditions - when it's cooler I drink a lot less.
I would have written this in French for you, but my French fails to reach even Biarritzdon's benchmark...
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
I have walked that part and I would not wing it with just 0,5L, especially not in July. I don't recall the water situation on that section exactly, but there are always parts that you are in the middle of nature or for example on the Aubrac plateau where you probably won't find water sources. I have walked a lot in France and in about 1/3 of the cases I couldn't find water around churches either. There is not always a cementery that is still in function. I would take 1L if I were you.
 

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
I would like to thank you all for the time of your life you took to answer my question. Sincerely, it's very comforting to see people like you.

So: I will NOT remove my other 500 ml bottle. It seems a necessity. If it's not, well, I will just recycle the bottle on the road :)

Many thanks again !
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
[ Via Francigena 2019]
Whatever you decide to carry drink as much as you can at each watering point. This way you will not need to drink for a few hours after. If you do decide to take a small bottle carry another empty one in case you realise your mistake and need to fill and carry more.
 
First of all a 50L plastic bottle in your pocket will get you through most of the day if you stop here and there to refill it. A very bad and hot day on the Meseta might requires an extra 1.5L bottle in your pack, I don't think that will be necessary here.
That plastic bottle (50L!!) has more volume than your pack - and such trousers with pockets as large as that are presumably XXXXXXXXXXXXXXL!!!
 

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
LOL. I think that someone did a mistake or a typo error... This is not 50L, but 500ml :)
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
I'm sure you have considered it, but have you thought about a hydration bladder? I used one on this stretch, in hot weather, and it was a life-saver. I needed to drink regularly, and confirm that water points are not always there when you need one. Alison Raju's book The Way of St James - Le Puy to the Pyrenees lists them.
However, it isn't a desert, and you won't die of thirst!

Have you visited France before? I ask because I have met a number of French-speaking Canadians who had difficulty making themselves understood in la France profonde!
 

Carolethecatlover

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2018
I walked Le Puy to Cahors last June and July, and the weather was perfect. You are either very fit or optimistic to think you can do Le Puy to Conques in 9 days and you should stay an extra night in Conques, do watch the son et lumiere at the cathedral at 10pm most nights. That cathedral is the most interesting and the monks are lovely, I was going to say divine, but of course, they are that too, and very musical.
Conques is a tourist destination, and cute by great effort on the part of the locals. Beautiful gardens, interesting artisans.

There is water everywhere. Refills from locals, in cemertaries. from farms, that often sell milk. (Raw Milk! I drank lots and am still alive!) You can buy bottles of it everywhere. I had a little perrier bottle that I refilled, but I didn't drink it dry, because I drank water at breakfast and dinner. I drank from streams too.

The tent is a total waste of time, I took a bivvy( a swag to me) and used it once. And that only at Pech Merle, which is a must see side trip. And if you take a tent, you need to take a bed foam pad... One of the rarest cave paintings in the world. It won't be on view for much longer. (I am into cave paintings big time and would walk far to see them). The Gites were all clean and comfortable, and some were so good I would take up permanent residence at the drop of a hat. I do advise you to take a silk liner and cut open the foot end and sew a zip in, so much easier to to walk to the bathroom. I calculated my average spend at 44 euros per day. 35 for bed and meal, and other for entries to museums, donations and other food and coffee. You can't drink the tea in France!

Always do the demi pension option. The food is never less than terrific. (and I am Australian, not even British).
 

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
Hi Glenshiro! Yes, I have considered an hydratation bladder. And here are what I have finally think of it:

I have a Osprey Talon 33. An hydratation bladder for this model is around 210 grams. This is a 2 L bladder. So let's say you fill it only with 1 L of water instead of 2, the total will be 1210 grams. For the same 1 L of water, on 2 little bottles of 500 ML each, the total will be of 1036 grams (1 L of water + 2 bottles of 18 grams each). This is an economy of 174 grams. Also, I beleive (but not sure) that when you use an hydratation bladder, this one is in your backpack, so you cannot see it when you walk, and cannot know if you have drink a lot or not, or you cannot know how much water it left on it. With bottles, your always know (ex: you know you have a full bottle in your backpack and you see what it left in the bottle of your fanny pack). Maybe I'm wrong :)
 

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
I walked Le Puy to Cahors last June and July, and the weather was perfect. You are either very fit or optimistic to think you can do Le Puy to Conques in 9 days
I'm absolutely not fit, beleive me ! :) Arriving in Conques is not absolutely mandatory for me, or I can also start somewhere else than Le Puy or skip something (taxi or something ...)


I had a little perrier bottle that I refilled, but I didn't drink it dry, because I drank water at breakfast and dinner. I drank from streams too.
This is a VERY PRECIOUS information for me: streams! It means for me that a Sawyer Mini could not be finally a bad idea, no ?

The tent is a total waste of time, I took a bivvy( a swag to me) and used it once.
I want to stop at campings... Why ? This is not a question of money or savings, but of snoring :) I just cannot ear these snorings... and people certainly don't want to ear mine also. I just cannot sleep when I ear that. Else, beleive me, I would have remove tent, sleeping bag and pad from my backpack.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
My first two caminos were with a water bottle, which I thought worked splendidly. However, a naval friend, who is often on long training hikes or bushwalking, swore by the bladder, and convinced me. She told me that, with the bladder, one is constantly sipping, and thereby avoiding dehydration. With a bottle, one drinks when one is thirsty, which is often too late. From the bladder's weight, you will have a good idea of how much is in it. The only downside is that it takes a bit more labour to refill.

I cannot be certain about the possibilities of using a tent, but I have walked other routes in France and would judge it to be impractical.

Canadian French is easily understood in rural France, except when people don't want to! I've done two long-distance Caminos in France (from Toulouse, and then from Mont Saint Michel), and have yet to have a problem.
 

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
My first two caminos were with a water bottle, which I thought worked splendidly. However, a naval friend, who is often on long training hikes or bushwalking, swore by the bladder, and convinced me. She told me that, with the bladder, one is constantly sipping, and thereby avoiding dehydration. With a bottle, one drinks when one is thirsty, which is often too late. From the bladder's weight, you will have a good idea of how much is in it. The only downside is that it takes a bit more labour to refill.
Well... It's hard to decide it seems... But I will try with bottle that time and will see. I prefer to have a part of my water in the fanny pack, so less weight on the backpack...

I cannot be certain about the possibilities of using a tent, but I have walked other routes in France and would judge it to be impractical.
I see many campings on the way between Le Puy and Conques.
Ex: St-Privat-d'Allier has one, Saugues too, you can put a tent at Le Sauvage (I contacted them directly and they accept some tents), St-Alban-sur-Limagnole, Aumont-Aubrac, Nasbinals, Saint-Chély d'Aubrac, Espalion, Estaing, Golinhac, Conques... they all have a camping.

Canadian French is easily understood in rural France, except when people don't want to! I've done two long-distance Caminos in France (from Toulouse, and then from Mont Saint Michel), and have yet to have a problem.
Well... It's sometimes more a question of good will than something else... Here, we ask for a "Coke" at the restaurant and if we do the same at Paris, sometimes they answer: "I don't understand... maybe you want to say a Cola ?". But sometimes, if you don't adapt your own language and continue to use expressions that are typical of your own country, well I can understand they don't understand ! So, I will not say to someone in France something like " Passes moé don l'beurre si ou plè." (kind of slang... means: "give me the butter, please") :)
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
Yes, I have considered an hydratation bladder
As I said, hydration bladders are a matter of personal preference (there are numerous threads on this site arguing the pros and cons) and it comes down to a matter of what suits you. However, if you're carrying a tent, the extra weight (if any) becomes insignificant. I just find it more convenient. (Oh, and you probably know not to call it a fanny pack in the UK!)
Bon chemin et bon courage!
 

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
(Oh, and you probably know not to call it a fanny pack in the UK!)
Well... no, I didn't know... hope I didn't said something wrong... To make sure everyone see what is it for me:
LOL
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
Well... no, I didn't know
"Fanny pack" is the American term for what, in the UK, is called a "bum-bag." (Because it sits on your bum, or bottom. Cul in French)
"Fanny," in the UK, is the name for female genitalia. It is not a word used in polite company!
 

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
Oh ! I am very embarrassed to learn it. I sincerely apologize. I just didn't kow. Oups...
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
No need to apologise - you weren't to know! It's just one of many examples illustrating that the USA and UK are divided by a common language.
Incidentally, Le Puy to Conques in 9 days is a tough itinerary - ( I took 10 days) I hope you've got it worked out.
 

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
Incidentally, Le Puy to Conques in 9 days is a tough itinerary - (I took 10 days) I hope you've got it worked out.
Carolethecatlover and you mentioned it in this thread. Today, I have think to this and I have to say that it's true.... That’s a dream for me, but there’s also the reality: I'm not fit at all, some steps are particularly long, it will be in July, so very hot, with climbs and descents, etc... Yes, I do some training actually and I’m able to walk 10 Km after a month of training (which is not too bad for a guy who just walked from the TV to the bed a month ago). All I have is 9 days (before it's my flight and the train, after it's the train and my fight, all booked).

Every video on YouTube that I watch on this part of the Camino is just wonderful, and when I try to figure what I can skip, I cannot find. I will start from Le Puy... and Conques seems absolutely fantastic. Many web site separate this distance in 9 days… and I trusted them, my mistake it seems… To be honest, I think that I will be able to walk 15 to maybe 18 km per day without problem, but more, I don’t think so.

I know that some people skip some steps: they take the Compostelle Bus for let’s say 30 km and they continue to walk further. Between Le Puy and Conques, which step is “less” beautiful, which step can I skip? I don’t know. If you know, it will help. In French, we say: “cela me brise le coeur”. A dream is a dream…

So for now, I will go to walk :)
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
Difficult to choose any step to miss, but Le Puy to St Privat is not particularly scenic, and you could get to Conques in 9 days from there.
Or Saint-Côme-d'Olt to Estaing.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
It took me 12 days from Le Puy to Conques, and I was slow! Why not just walk from Le Puy, at your own leisure until your time is up, Conques wont move, that means you can come back and start from where you left off! Many pilgrims walk like this, they call it etapes - walking in stages.

I camped a lot on this route, and loved it. I freecamped, used municipal campsites and even many Gites let you stay in a tent too.

I blogged my journey, it can be read here (day by day with pictures - it starts in Geneva, so scroll down for Le Puy).


It is a wonderful route!

Bon Chemin
Davey
 

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
Difficult to choose any step to miss, but Le Puy to St Privat is not particularly scenic, and you could get to Conques in 9 days from there.
Or Saint-Côme-d'Olt to Estaing.
Thanks for this info, very important for me...
I have to translate everything from english to french, then from french to english, and there's a part of your answer that I just cannot understand: "Or Saint-Côme-d'Olt to Estaing." Does it means that this section is not very nice ?
 

plabrecque

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2019: Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques
It took me 12 days from Le Puy to Conques, and I was slow! Why not just walk from Le Puy, at your own leisure until your time is up, Conques wont move, that means you can come back and start from where you left off! Many pilgrims walk like this, they call it etapes - walking in stages.
Yes, I would like to do it that way... :) I just finish a training walk of 10 Km and it is what I have think.

I camped a lot on this route, and loved it. I freecamped, used municipal campsites and even many Gites let you stay in a tent too.
This is an important information for me! If can use gite to do camping (so: no snoring! and food !!!).

I blogged my journey, it can be read here (day by day with pictures - it starts in Geneva, so scroll down for Le Puy).

I promise: I will read every single word of your blog !

Thanks !!! :)
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I enjoyed the walk from Le Puy to St Privat as well as most of the rest. I actually ended day 1 at Montbonnet.

My advice is start walking from Le Puy and when you run out of time, catch the luggage transfer van or hitch-hike to someplace with transport.

Bon chemin!
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
Le Puy to Conques in 9 days is a tough itinerary
Apologies - I have just looked over my old records and it did, in fact, take me 9 days to reach Conques!
My stages from Le Puy were:

St Privat d'Allier
Saugues
Le Sauvage
Aumont-Aubrac
Nasbinals
Saint-Chély-d'Aubrac
Espalion
Golinhac
Conques

So forget what I said and go ahead! You can always cut your trip short or skip a stage by using one of the transport services, such as La Malle Postale.

Bonne chance!
 

Tandem Graham

Every new day an adventure
Camino(s) past & future
Bike: Mont St Michel to CF and part Norte (all 2017) Budapest to Vezelay (2018).
Walk: Le Puy (2018)
Hi there,
Le Puy to Conques is a beautiful walk to do, with thrilling views, and very diverse landscapes. It is undulating, with the first two or three days being the hilliest. However I completed it in 8 days in April 2018, walking 25 to 30 km each day. The camping sites are not always adjacent to the trail. To escape the snoring, some Gites d'etape and the Abbaye at Conques have private rooms, for a few euros more than the dormitory accommodation.
If you are worried about the weight of water, fill your reserve bottle only half - so that you know you must look more urgently for more water when you start it. But I found water easily, and local people were friendly, so I'm sure they would have helped me with more water if I asked.
Bon Chemin!
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Re bladder Vs bottle take a look at aquaclip. I don't like bladders but a bottle isn't always easy... But with the clip it's simple... And they are very light 😁
 
Camino(s) past & future
fall of 2017
I am assuming this is your first Camino.
I am starting from Le Puy around the same time and this will also be my first GR65. However I have walked many Caminos.
First of all a 0.5L plastic bottle in your pocket will get you through most of the day if you stop here and there to refill it. A very bad and hot day on the Meseta might requires an extra 1.5L bottle in your pack, I don't think that will be necessary here.
You might want to check the tent camping restriction on this Camino. It is populated by farms and they don't want/permit people sleeping people on their property.
Backpack weight is totally relative. I am 73 years old and carry a 30L pack with a couple changes of clothes. It works for me.
BTW, I live in France part of the year and my French is totally shitty:eek:
 
Camino(s) past & future
fall of 2017
Glad to hear your French isn't great....planning to do this Camino this Fall and my French I learned 40 years ago isn't coming back very well....a little hesitant to even use it....
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Glad to hear your French isn't great....planning to do this Camino this Fall and my French I learned 40 years ago isn't coming back very well....a little hesitant to even use it....
I learned my French living for 3 years in West Africa, so I speak a Creole version that verges on Jamaican English, mon.
My French friends just laugh at me when I open my mouth. Thing is the French in the regions of the GR 65 is not text book Parisian, and it's not Provencial French either, so I am deaf and dumb when I am there. Some of my Basque friends don't even understand the tourists from Paris when they come to vacation in Biarritz.
It's like the difference between Y'all and Yus guys, sorta, kinda.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
I get by with schoolboy French, although you can't always find a schoolboy when you want one.
 

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