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LIVE from the Camino Limoges to Santiago; experiences and thoughts

JanusDT

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay
Hello all,

I arrived in Limoges on tuesday morning and walked to aix sur vienne (12 km), wednesday to Chalus (20km), thursday to Thiviers (+/- 35km), and today to Sorges (18km).

My experience so far is a mix of different feelings. It has been really overwhelming so I did not really observe the nature and surroundings; I was mosly in my head worrying about where to sleep, what to eat, to have enough water, to not get a heatstroke etc. Yesterday and today, very aggresive dogs came charging at me which is adding another stressor to my days. i've heard from the hospitalero today that the two dogs I encountered today (and i decided to stop walking immediately and not pass them by) have attacked and bitten two people this week.


In Aix Sur Vienne and Chalus i was alone at the place where i slept. Yesterday and today I was/am with other friendly pelgrims. Unfortunately communication is hard because I speak very bad French and they do not speak English. I chose the vezelay route because i wanted loneliness but the loneliness of sitting at a table where you are unable to join in the conversation is a different kind: one I don't like and would rather avoid.

Tomorrow i walk to Periguex (+/- 25km).

That's it for today
 
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roving_rufus

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
In France it's fairly normal to have to book a day in advance or even 2 or 3.
As for socialising, be polite and engage if you are sitting at a table together for dinner but then feel free to do your own thing.
As for water - if you get caught out and run low especially in hot weather, ask at a house for water with your empty bottle in hand, - most people will help you (I have even gotten cold water from fridge). One other water hint is most cemeteries have a water tap in France.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
JanusDT,
Thanks for your update. Walking anywhere now in France must be very difficult due to the extreme heat. Do take care, especially during the next 5 days or so. The temperatures will be exceptionally high.
Further to your query re being by yourself after dinner. There is no firm rule just do what feels best for you.
However do follow the French news either on your phone or tv. Besides great heat parts of France now have wild fires in the fields. Do ask your hosts Where are the fires now please/ Ou sont les feux maintenant s'il vous plait?

Hopefully all the dogs will be sleeping as you move on. Please send a post re how tomorrow goes.
Carpe diem et Bon chemin.
 

Harington

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Hey,

First of all: I am sorry for opening yet another topic. However, i feel like i need a topic in which I can write down all my experiences and questions.

I arrived in Limoges on tuesday morning and walked to aux sur vienne (12 km), wednesday to Chalus (20km), thursday to Thieves (+/- 35km), and today to Sourges (18km).

My experience so far is a mix of different feelings. It has been really overwhelming so I did not really observe the nature and surroundings; I was mosly in my head worrying about where to sleep, what to eat, to have enough water, to not get a heatstroke etc. Yesterday and today, very aggresive dogs came charging at me which is adding another stressor to my days.I decided to reserve one day in advance which takes away a bit of stress.

In Aux Sur Vienne and Chalus i was alone at the place where i slept. Yesterday and today I was/am with other pelgrims. Unfortunately communication is hard because I speak very bad French and they do not speak English. I chose the vezelay route because i wanted loneliness but the loneliness of sitting at a table where you are unable to join in the conversation is a different kind: one I don't like and would rather avoid. I am very introverted and therefore it takes a lot of energy of me. It shows, because today people asked me whether I was 'sad'. i am just really tired of the interaction and trying to be social all the time. Is the camino even for me? Is it common etiquette to socialize and stay with the rest, or is it accepted to be nice during dinner and than isolate a bit more? At the moment I "escaped" and sit somewhere outside.

Thus, so far it has been a challenge. I am fighting my demons already, which was somewhat the purpose of my camino so perhaps its fine. Hopefully it will teach me something in the end, and my camino will evolve.

Tomorrow i walk to Periguex (+/- 25km).

CHEERS!

Update: i've heard from the hospitalero today that the two dogs I encountered today (and i decided to stop walking immediately, to walk backwards and take another road) have attacked and bitten two people this week. I have no clue why people leave these dogs still unleashed after they clearly showed this agressive behavior. Also,i am concidering skipping France and start from SJPDP.
rather late for me to say so, but it is always wise and courteous to try and master a few basics if you're walking through a foreign country. Whereas in italy and Spain people are generally wanting to try out their English, France is very different. It's their country; why should they speak a different language? I feel for you, but suggest you keep going because it's better than not doing so. I expect you were too upset to read the town signs of the towns you passed through? Aix, Thiviers, Sorges.
 

JanusDT

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay
rather late for me to say so, but it is always wise and courteous to try and master a few basics if you're walking through a foreign country. Whereas in italy and Spain people are generally wanting to try out their English, France is very different. It's their country; why should they speak a different language? I feel for you, but suggest you keep going because it's better than not doing so. I expect you were too upset to read the town signs of the towns you passed through? Aix, Thiviers, Sorges.
Thanks for your reaction!

I do know some basic French, enough for simple Q&A (i've had a few years of French in school) and to take care of my needs. However, that will never be enough to engage in vivid conversation between French speaking people. So you just sit at the table, trying to look frienly. That just feels really awkward (at least for me). Its not their fault, its not mine, but its difficult (at least for me).

Now, the facts that: my camino just started and I have to find find my way still + I have not slept very well since tuesday + scary dogs on the road + yesterday was a very cozy and social refugee, made me more upset than I should have been. Today was a nice day.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I am sorry for opening yet another topic.
This is good thread to document your journey as you proceed, so I have added the prefix "LIVE from the Camino" to it. Just come back to this same thread and add to it daily, or as often as you like. We are happy to hear about different routes!

Take care in the heat!
 

Bala

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015, 2018, 2022
..... Just come back to this same thread and add to it daily, or as often as you like. We are happy to hear about different routes!
Yes, please do! I would love to hear about the route and your experiences, which I hope continue to get better and better. I visited that area in May as a tourist and fell instantly in love with the town of Vezeley and its beautiful cathedral. I thought at the time it would be a special Camino to walk. I hope you come to find it so.
 

JanusDT

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay
Yes, please do! I would love to hear about the route and your experiences, which I hope continue to get better and better. I visited that area in May as a tourist and fell instantly in love with the town of Vezeley and its beautiful cathedral. I thought at the time it would be a special Camino to walk. I hope you come to find it so.
I will! Today was already better so I'm sure the camino will become special:). I started from Limoges so unfortunately i did not get to see Vezelay. But, i heard a lot of good things of it! Maybe next time
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Thanks for your reaction!

I do know some basic French, enough for simple Q&A (i've had a few years of French in school) and to take care of my needs. However, that will never be enough to engage in vivid conversation between French speaking people. So you just sit at the table, trying to look frienly. That just feels really awkward (at least for me). Its not their fault, its not mine, but its difficult (at least for me).

Now, the facts that: my camino just started and I have to find find my way still + I have not slept very well since tuesday + scary dogs on the road + yesterday was a very cozy and social refugee, made me more upset than I should have been. Today was a nice day.
I walked from Le Puy, of course a different route but many of the same issues you face. I did not even have a phone. I had a Michelin guide book that was close to worthless except it did offer some GItes to sleep. Bonjour and merci exhaust my knowledge of French. I didn't even know that Chemin was the correct word for Camino. I got lost on more than a few occasions because I missed the small stripe directional guides so much and when I would say Camino a farmer, if there even was one to ask or a villager, they would look at me blankly. That whole part of the camino from Le Puy to St. Jean I do not think I encountered 5 people who spoke any English. I had days were the map showed there were villages but when I got there there were just a few houses and no shops or bars. Other days I would arrive at all different times and if there was a cafe or shop it was closed. No consistency at all for opening closing. Believe me there were more than a few days I had nothing to eat from breakfast to dinner. So I just said f%#k it. I learned to just enjoy the beauty. Enjoy the solitude. Lose my mind over the fantastic dinners in the Gites that were often like eating in Michelin star restaurants. I learned to pantomime what I needed. If I could buy food tomorrow and if the Gite owner would make me a reservation for the next night. About 10 days in if a gite owner understood what I wanted I had them write it down so I could point to the sentence when need be.
I loved that camino.
 
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roving_rufus

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
Thanks for your reaction!

I do know some basic French, enough for simple Q&A (i've had a few years of French in school) and to take care of my needs. However, that will never be enough to engage in vivid conversation between French speaking people. So you just sit at the table, trying to look frienly. That just feels really awkward (at least for me). Its not their fault, its not mine, but its difficult (at least for me).

Now, the facts that: my camino just started and I have to find find my way still + I have not slept very well since tuesday + scary dogs on the road + yesterday was a very cozy and social refugee, made me more upset than I should have been. Today was a nice day.
It can be an awkward feeling if you are the non French speaker at the table - I sometimes brought my guide/notes/ phone to look at tomorrow's route - it gave me something to look at and sometimes helped a conversation in my poor French and in mime. And often in return found out info that was in a French guidebook but not mine or got a recommendation.
But glad to hear today was a better day! And it takes a bit of getting used to the smaller style marking of French routes compared to caminos in Spain.
Would love to hear how you are getting on!
 
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simeon

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
It can be an awkward feeling if you are the non French speaker at the table - I sometimes brought my guide/notes/ phone to look at tomorrow's route - it gave me something to look at and sometimes helped a conversation in my poor French and in mime. And often in return found out info that was in a French guidebook but not mine or got a recommendation.
But glad to hear today was a better day! And it takes a bit of getting used to the smaller style marking of French routes compared to caminos in Spain.
Would love to hear how you are getting on!
I know it's not your route but I did the le puy last year and had the same issues not speaking french. After a few days I got to know a few with a little English which helped. I however resorted to a friend at home who had good french to help with booking ahead. Some accommodation that had a English speaking flag on their listing even seemed to think that it was unreasonable to speak English🙄. Having a friend who spoke french seemed to do the trick for me. It was always an adventure as I never knew what sort of accomadation I had been booked into for the night! Enjoy the food in France it's fantastique! Its so much better than Spain. Somebody on the forum said that the worst food day in France was better than the best day in Spain - so true. If you can treat yourself to a posh hotel once in a while. It's nice to have a break from the effort now and again. And get a great night's sleep. I found this out by accident when I booked a hotel for €200 (my french language issue). Enjoy the adventure carpe diem!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, September 2022
I know it's not your route but I did the le puy last year and had the same issues not speaking french. After a few days I got to know a few with a little English which helped. I however resorted to a friend at home who had good french to help with booking ahead. Some accommodation that had a English speaking flag on their listing even seemed to think that it was unreasonable to speak English🙄. Having a friend who spoke french seemed to do the trick for me. It was always an adventure as I never knew what sort of accomadation I had been booked into for the night! Enjoy the food in France it's fantastique! Its so much better than Spain. Somebody on the forum said that the worst food day in France was better than the best day in Spain - so true. If you can treat yourself to a posh hotel once in a while. It's nice to have a break from the effort now and again. And get a great night's sleep. I found this out by accident when I booked a hotel for €200 (my french language issue). Enjoy the adventure carpe diem!
Oh my - I hope your luxury hotel offererd an exquisite breakfast as well! If you have a smart phone, you can download translation apps that have a feature where you can point your camera at the French (or Spanish) text and it will give you the English translation. "Google Translate" is an example. You can also type (in English) a few of the common phrases you would like to express to see and hear the translation in French.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2022_Mozarabe from Almeria
I started from Limoges so unfortunately i did not get to see Vezelay. But, i heard a lot of good things of it!
Hi Janus
It so encouraging to read notes about the Vezelay route.
Many of us are interested in your comments about your experiences . Hoping you find time and opportunity to post if possible. Much appreciated.
Bon chemin
 
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]
Janus ... bon chemin, bonne continuation et courage🙏🏽 I hope that you will continue to post here about your daily experiences and progress ... we are here to support and encourage you on your Way ... the Vezelay is a beautiful but solitary route and because of the small numbers also less infrastructure ... do try Google Translate or, better still, DeepL, for on-the-spot translations to french ... it is a beautiful language and well worth the effort to learn / master a few words and phrases ... ultreïa‼️👣👣👣🌻
 

simeon

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
Oh my - I hope your luxury hotel offererd an exquisite breakfast as well! If you have a smart phone, you can download translation apps that have a feature where you can point your camera at the French (or Spanish) text and it will give you the English translation. "Google Translate" is an example. You can also type (in English) a few of the common phrases you would like to express to see and hear the translation in French.
Unfortunately sometimes it's not the ability but the unwillingness of the person asked to respond in English that's the issue.
 
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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Time of past OR future Camino
yes...
Hello and I am very late to this thread. I live near the route not far from St Astier... 25km from Perigueux... if you need anything, or need some assistance or would like some company them please message me! Tomorrow is going to be hot hot hot so take care our there!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I visited that area in May as a tourist and fell instantly in love with the town of Vezeley and its beautiful cathedral. I thought at the time it would be a special Camino to walk.
I too, have visited charming Vezeley as part of a driving tourist trip. I loved the cathedral, too. At the time I went in 2014, I was unaware of any of the "Caminos". I was literally "so close, yet so far".
Edit- I have walked the Le Puy route with two friends. None of us spoke French, so at the dinners we were mostly our own company, although it was interesting to watch the interactions of the others at the table. I would not have wanted to walk it alone, so I imagine the Vezeley would be a much lonelier route without knowing the language and fewer people.
 
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JanusDT

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay
Hello and I am very late to this thread. I live near the route not far from St Astier... 25km from Perigueux... if you need anything, or need some assistance or would like some company them please message me! Tomorrow is going to be hot hot hot so take care our there!
That's very kind, thanks a lot! I just arrived in Mussidan but perhaps on my next camino de vezelay😋
 

Harington

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Thanks for your reaction!

I do know some basic French, enough for simple Q&A (i've had a few years of French in school) and to take care of my needs. However, that will never be enough to engage in vivid conversation between French speaking people. So you just sit at the table, trying to look frienly. That just feels really awkward (at least for me). Its not their fault, its not mine, but its difficult (at least for me).

Now, the facts that: my camino just started and I have to find find my way still + I have not slept very well since tuesday + scary dogs on the road + yesterday was a very cozy and social refugee, made me more upset than I should have been. Today was a nice day.
The choice is yours: go forward or go back. As your name implies! It will get better, I believe. Sending positive vibes
 

JanusDT

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay
I will definitely continue!

Small remarks:

1. I am starting to find my way:). Apparently you cannot run away from your problems on the camino; instead they get magnified. At home I suffer from social anxiety, low self-esteem, and I am a people pleaser. When I am at a table with people that speak another language I am not so much bothered I cannot join the conversation (I actually prefer it often), but more by the toughts: 'what will they think of me', 'do they think I am weird because I don't talk', etc. Perhaps this confrontation will be good for me in the end.

2. After about 1 hour of walking my trapezius (mostly left side) gets very tight and cramped up, especially when I look down or push on it. Its only when I have my backpack on. After a while also other parts of my back get tight. Any suggestions on what might be wrong and how to fix it? I have an osprey talon 33 which is adjustable I just don't know what tweaks are required. Perhaps I will even buy another pack as for me 33L is a bit uncomfortably small since i brought Teva Sandals.

*The walk:*
It will not be too elaborate since I am only using my phone for writing. Today was my seventh day of walking. The first week was a 'warm up' in which I dealt with my body and mind getting used to the camino. Thus, I paid less attention to my surroundings.

Saterday: Sorges - Périgueux

Sorges was amazing. It had a small church which somehow impacted me. There was a poem/prayer of st james which gave me courage to continue my path. I stayed in a refuge municipal (albergue) next to the church which was really nice. The hospitaleros were a maried (?) couple. They cooked for us (me and 5 other French pelgrims) a really nice dinner with three courses. Before eating they had a tradition of singing a prayer and drinking a self made alcoholic beverage. Lovely.

The day after, I walked to Perigueux. Here I stayed together with three other pelgrims in a municipal albergue. This was a more strict: no dinner, no noise after 10. Another pelgrim left because she told me "the man was crazy". I did not mind the strictness. For dinner i had a pizza from domino's.. (because it still feels a bit awkward to go to an actual restaurant by myself). Perigueux was a real city (in contrast to the other places I've stayed so far), and I liked that. The cathedral and architecture where also very lovely.

Yesterday i walked to Saint-Astier beautiful walk but i do not remember a lot. There i stayed in a camping in a pelgrims-hut with two other pelgrims. For dinner we had camping menu, nothing more to say😋 Saint Astier is a really beautiful old village on a hill.

Today we all woke up early at 5:45 to avoid as much of the extreme heat as possible on our way to Mussidan. We walked solo though. Again a nice walk with a lot of going up, and going down. At the moment I am staying in a municipal refugee with two pelgrims (the same as the days before).

Tomorrow I have a long walk to Port-Sainte-Foy (33km). It will be about 32 degrees celcius but compared to today it seems little 😜

Find attached some photo's
 

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Purky

The Dutch guy
Time of past OR future Camino
Reality is frequently inaccurate
After about 1 hour of walking my trapezius (mostly left side) gets very tight and cramped up, especially when I look down or push on it. Its only when I have my backpack on.
Too much weight on your shoulders? Most of the weight of your pack should be carried by the hip belt of your backpack, and should rest on your hips, not around the hips. (See this thread.) See if you can find a Youtube-tutorial about adjusting your pack. Bon chemin!

EDIT: and as you proceed, try to aim for a stay in the Moulin de Piis in Bassanne, just after La Reole. You'd have to bring your own food or eat something in La Reole, but it is one of the most memorable nights I had on the Vezelay. Highly recommended!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, September 2022
Unfortunately sometimes it's not the ability but the unwillingness of the person asked to respond in English that's the issue.
Yes - that is always a bit problematic. On a cultural note, it is considered customary to always greet a shopkeeper or innkeeper, upon entry to the building, with "Bonjuour Madame (or Monsieur)," with emphasis on the need for using the gender title. One can also offer "Comment allez-vous?" with a smile, followed by "I'm sorry but I really don't speak much French." The initial effort with the French language is always appreciated and there is considerable tolerance of poor pronunciation when a smile is involved!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, September 2022
I will definitely continue!

Small remarks:

1. I am starting to find my way:). Apparently you cannot run away from your problems on the camino; instead they get magnified. At home I suffer from social anxiety, low self-esteem, and I am a people pleaser. When I am at a table with people that speak another language I am not so much bothered I cannot join the conversation (I actually prefer it often), but more by the toughts: 'what will they think of me', 'do they think I am weird because I don't talk', etc. Perhaps this confrontation will be good for me in the end.

2. After about 1 hour of walking my trapezius (mostly left side) gets very tight and cramped up, especially when I look down or push on it. Its only when I have my backpack on. After a while also other parts of my back get tight. Any suggestions on what might be wrong and how to fix it? I have an osprey talon 33 which is adjustable I just don't know what tweaks are required. Perhaps I will even buy another pack as for me 33L is a bit uncomfortably small since i brought Teva Sandals.

*The walk:*
It will not be too elaborate since I am only using my phone for writing. Today was my seventh day of walking. The first week was a 'warm up' in which I dealt with my body and mind getting used to the camino. Thus, I paid less attention to my surroundings.

Saterday: Sorges - Périgueux

Sorges was amazing. It had a small church which somehow impacted me. There was a poem/prayer of st james which gave me courage to continue my path. I stayed in a refuge municipal (albergue) next to the church which was really nice. The hospitaleros were a maried (?) couple. They cooked for us (me and 5 other French pelgrims) a really nice dinner with three courses. Before eating they had a tradition of singing a prayer and drinking a self made alcoholic beverage. Lovely.

The day after, I walked to Perigueux. Here I stayed together with three other pelgrims in a municipal albergue. This was a more strict: no dinner, no noise after 10. Another pelgrim left because she told me "the man was crazy". I did not mind the strictness. For dinner i had a pizza from domino's.. (because it still feels a bit awkward to go to an actual restaurant by myself). Perigueux was a real city (in contrast to the other places I've stayed so far), and I liked that. The cathedral and architecture where also very lovely.

Yesterday i walked to Saint-Astier beautiful walk but i do not remember a lot. There i stayed in a camping in a pelgrims-hut with two other pelgrims. For dinner we had camping menu, nothing more to say😋 Saint Astier is a really beautiful old village on a hill.

Today we all woke up early at 5:45 to avoid as much of the extreme heat as possible on our way to Mussidan. We walked solo though. Again a nice walk with a lot of going up, and going down. At the moment I am staying in a municipal refugee with two pelgrims (the same as the days before).

Tomorrow I have a long walk to Port-Sainte-Foy (33km). It will be about 32 degrees celcius but compared to today it seems little 😜

Find attached some photo's
Thanks for your photos! I will be embarking on my Camino in September and your photos inspire anticipation. I have had issues with muscle tightness as I am now training for the trek. I've read that we need to stretch everything connected from the top of our heads to our plantar fascia to keep the posture/walking apparatus working without issue. The best times to stretch are when arising in the morning, a few miles down the trail, and especially at the end of the day when muscle/connective tissue fibers are especially warmed up and ready to extend a little further than usual. I just stretch arms, legs, etc. with whatever feels good - it is not a prescribed science. Hope this helps. Buen Camino!
 

JanusDT

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay
Apperently a part of the camino Vezelay is closed today because of fires. Does anyone know more about it?
 

JanusDT

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay
New update:

My back and my mind are getting calibrated to the camino. I feel better by the day.

During my walk to Sainte-Foy-la-Grande the fog of the fire in Gironde blocked the sun: it was therefore cooler than predicted. Also you could smell the burning wood. In Sainte-Foy-la-Grande I stayed in an albergue that was run my the church, for 12 euro. The space was super nice and big, the bed was also good. There was no dinner or breakfast included so I made my own. Omelet with vegetables, bread with olive spread, fruit; for both.

The next day I walked subsequently to Saint Ferme and today to La Réole. Both walks were trough endless fields of wineyards. Not a lot of shade but fortunately the weather was better (cooler) than the days before. Saint-Ferme is a super small village but with a beautiful church. I stayed in a municipal refugee as the only pelgrimage. The hospitalero did not speak English so communication was a bit awkward, but he made wonderful dinner (3 courses). There was also breakfast, which was okay, but I noticed France has no breakfast-culture: generally it is quite scanty with coffee (in a bowl!) and toast with butter.

At the moment I am staying in a wonderfull hostel in Reole, Amañi Hostel, which opened 2 months ago. It is super nice and I recommend it to future pelgrims. As it is so new it is not yet in the camino guides. La Reole is good, also it feels good to be in a place with some 'aliveness' and people around. This is not common on the Vezelay which generally crosses a lot of deserted/very small villages (besides beautiful nature/which is of course also one of the charmes of the 'lonely' vezelay).

Now, because of the fire in France it is not allowed to walk a big part of the Vezelay: the part that is still ahead of me. On top of that I feel a lot of timepressure to reach Santiago before my deadline in September. For both these reasons I decided to not continue the Voie de Vezelay but instead travel tomorrow to SJLDP which gives me around 40 days to finish the camino Frances. It feels a bit like a failure, but at the same time it's a relief. Also, this means that this topic is no longer relevant.

Generally, I experienced the Vezelay route as beautiful, chocking, and lonely. Beautiful because you pass diverse and gorgeous nature, cute villages and amazing cities. Chocking because I come from the Netherlands so i am not used to the low population density (sometimes literaly no houses in miles of walking), the deserted and decaying villages (boarded up or collapsed vacant houses, no bars/restaurants/shops), and the dogs I sometimes encountered (which in the end scared me less). Lonely because not many pelgrims walk the Vezelay and the ones that do generally speak French.

I can see how the loneliness of the Vezelay could be good for internal reflection or meditation. For me it got better day by day. However, for me the loneliness and cultureshock were a bit too overwhelming and I at the moment still have not calmed these initial fears. That's why I am happy to start the Frances, with more people and infrastructure.
 
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roving_rufus

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
Thanks for including us on your journey, and it will provide insight for others considering Vezelay route in future to get a realistic perspective of the good, the difficulties and everything in between.
Enjoy the CF and buen camino!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Glad to read that you are safe. Thanks for your update and photos. Looking forward to reading your comments as you continue on from Saint Jean Pied de Port.
Carpe diem and Buen Camino.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Thank you @JanusDT for your posts which will be very helpful to members considering walking the Vezelay, and your photos are beautiful. Buen Camino for your walk on the Francés!
 
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