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Need help for calculating my first Camino

Sagiberg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#1
Hello,
My name is Sharon. My husband and I, (both on our mid fifties) plan to start the Camino on September 21st and walk for thirteen days.
I read a lot of reviews and blogs in this amazing forum and my excitement is huge.
I feel that there is one issue that is unclear to me - the matter of the number of km per day.
We are both in good fitness, but I wonder about the possibility to go 23-28 km each day.
Can you help with advise ? Is it better to cut these distances or is it that the route is very easy to walk?

thank you:)
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#2
Welcome,and buen camino. You seem to have a realistic idea of daily distance, and more or less that should work out, depending on where your stop for the day fits in to your guide distance. When you are on the camino, you will find that works itself out.
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#4
Hi Sharon
I’m assuming you’re planning to walk the Le Puy route ? (where you’ve posted this thread ).
You are master of the distance you walk. Usually advisable in France to book ahead ..at least 1st two days and get a feel on how far you’d like to do daily and arrange bookings accordingly. You don’t need to stick to the suggested daily stage lengths. . open the gronze site here;
https://www.gronze.com/camino-santiago-le-puy

Shows distances and some accommodation recommendations. You can also buy guides with lots more suggestions (eg. ‘Miam Miam dodo’)
Another easy reference is the Michelin guide.
You can buy them in France.

Bon chemin
Annie
 

Sagiberg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#5
Welcome,and buen camino. You seem to have a realistic idea of daily distance, and more or less that should work out, depending on where your stop for the day fits in to your guide distance. When you are on the camino, you will find that works itself out.
Thank you Kirkie,
From what i read it seems that there are days that are not easy to brake. Is it because there are no villages in between ?
Sharon
 

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Sagiberg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#7
Hi Sharon
I’m assuming you’re planning to walk the Le Puy route ? (where you’ve posted this thread ).
You are master of the distance you walk. Usually advisable in France to book ahead ..at least 1st two days and get a feel on how far you’d like to do daily and arrange bookings accordingly. You don’t need to stick to the suggested daily stage lengths. . open the gronze site here;
https://www.gronze.com/camino-santiago-le-puy

Shows distances and some accommodation recommendations. You can also buy guides with lots more suggestions (eg. ‘Miam Miam dodo’)
Another easy reference is the Michelin guide.
You can buy them in France.

Bon chemin
Annie
Hi Annie ,
Thank's for the gronze site.
Do you think that in September it will be good enough to book the night only two days ahead ?
Sharon
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#8
I wonder about the possibility to go 23-28 km each day.
A half-marathon a day for thirteen days is not easy, particularly with an additional 15 pounds of pack weight. Until you are on the pilgrimage, you really will not know what you can do (unless you walk several days in a row at home). The first day you will be unconquerable unless blisters bring you down. After that, there will be a cumulative break down that will peak after a week to ten days. You will be stopping at about the time that most people get their second wind.

The distances on the Le Puy route are much more set than on the Camino Frances, so it is not possible to extend three to five kilometers. Three kilometers at the end of the day may be an additional hour, an hour when you are tired, your feet hurt, your pack is pulling on your shoulders, and your blood chemistry deteriorated. It won't be the same as the same distance when you start the day!

You will have the most fun if you are not "driven" to cover distance. Only you know why you will be out there, but it rarely is to cover as much distance as possible. Allow yourself to be non-competitive, even with yourself. And do call ahead. The French do, and they are most of the pilgrims.:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#9
Thank you Kirkie,
From what i read it seems that there are days that are not easy to brake. Is it because there are no villages in between ?
Sharon
I think falcon269 has a key question, which route? I can only speak for Frances and Portugues, in your context. Mark Day has also given you something helpful. Hope it ll works out.
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#11
Hi Annie ,
Thank's for the gronze site.
Do you think that in September it will be good enough to book the night only two days ahead ?
Sharon
Sharon
September is a popular month. I walked from Le Puy in September 2016 ..
to answer question /during the week., I think 2 days ahead is fine. Even the day before / just as long as you have a booking and ‘they’ can plan dinner for correct number..
Good idea though to have the weekend accommodation booked further ahead as I found that places booked out earlier for weekends.
Great walk
Annie
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#12
there are no villages in between ?
Correct - this is a very thinly populated sector of France. Young people move to the cities for work, and the seniors are passing away. It's very similar to the situation along the Camino Frances in northern Spain before the great hordes of pilgrims discovered it.

You're posting in the Le Puy forum, so I assume you are planning to start from Le Puy. In the 13 days you have, Figeac is a reasonable target.
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#13
Do you think that in September it will be good enough to book the night only two days ahead ?
I started at Le Puy in Aprl 2016. I booked ahead only twice (and for one of them was two days late in arriving, but no worries). And I had no trouble getting a bed in the first gite I enquired at each afternoon.

The evening meal was usually an optional extra - you could go to a local restaurant, if there was one. Some gite did not offer a communal meal but had a communal kitchen and dining table. But the pattern is varied

I suggest, if you feel a compelling desire to book ahead, you do so for the next day only after arrival each afternoon. At that time you will have the most realistic view of your intentions for the next day

The entire chemin to Saint-Jean has a gite in just about every town and village. But after Moissac the towns and villages tend to be further apart.

So, @Sagiberg , kia kaha (you take care, be strong, get going).
 

Sagiberg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#14
A half-marathon a day for thirteen days is not easy, particularly with an additional 15 pounds of pack weight. Until you are on the pilgrimage, you really will not know what you can do (unless you walk several days in a row at home). The first day you will be unconquerable unless blisters bring you down. After that, there will be a cumulative break down that will peak after a week to ten days. You will be stopping at about the time that most people get their second wind.

The distances on the Le Puy route are much more set than on the Camino Frances, so it is not possible to extend three to five kilometers. Three kilometers at the end of the day may be an additional hour, an hour when you are tired, your feet hurt, your pack is pulling on your shoulders, and your blood chemistry deteriorated. It won't be the same as the same distance when you start the day!

You will have the most fun if you are not "driven" to cover distance. Only you know why you will be out there, but it rarely is to cover as much distance as possible. Allow yourself to be non-competitive, even with yourself. And do call ahead. The French do, and they are most of the pilgrims.:)
Hi Falcon269,
Your reply raised a smile on my face. A good reminder that I want to do the Camino in order to share with my husband a meaningful, spiritual experience. You are right - I will have to remind myself to leave my competitive side aside and flow with the way. And I will call ahead and hopefully will manage to show up
Thank you
Sharon
 

Sagiberg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#15
Hi Kitsambker,
We are going to start from Le Puy and go the Podiensis . I also believe that we would manage to go till Figeac.
Thank's Alwyn for your reply.
Reading all the posts led to the decision - I will try to book ahead our nights at least for the first few nights and we'll see:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#17
The French are REALLY irritated by reserved beds that end up empty. Really irritated.
I booked ahead twice only. On the second occassion my hostess at Larresingle rang ahead that morning to the gite at Mnciet. And I didn't make it. I ran into a temporary foot issue, so hitched a ride that stopped at Eauze (my saviours were performing the the large church that afternoon and helped me find a gite in the town).

Next morning the doctor prescribed an ice treatment and a day of rest. My hostess for two nights turned on a very grand meal on both occassions and on the third day drove me the 10 km to Manciet, my intention on leaving Larresingle. All was smoothed away between the two owners.

And as my host and I had Rugby Footballand some english in common we parted on good terms the next morning.

But I have not booked ahead since then. Not even in the UK where it seems to be de rigeur to book months ahead.
 
Last edited:

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#18
I booked ahead twice only.
But the OP is walking in September, which is a very popular month. Also, if your preference is on gites that speak English, because perhaps your French is as miniscule as mine, then you would want to call ahead. Especially if you want the demipension meals.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (Planning)
#21
Hi Sharon!

I believe 23-25km day is very doable. But I always suggest to start with shorter stages for 1-2 days and extend them after you get the gist of the camino. Better not to risk the first days and jeopardize the rest of the walk.
If you find the 10km-15km days to be ok, then go longer :) The important thing is to pay attention to how your body feels, not to the amount of kms walked.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015) this year Portugal (2017)
#22
Hi,
We did Le Puy Sept. 2015 , if you start from Le Puy and so on keep in mind you will be in the Pyrenees . So the first 15 days many kilometers up and down hill . 20 to 25 kilometers training on flat trail aren't the same beleave me.
You will be in France ,Sunday noon most of the stores are closed , in major villages restaurants and bars will open for dinner. If you pick Maison d'hôte (Bed & Breakfast) make sure you have cash ,some don't have credit cards or Interac machines. By law in France Maison d'Hôte has to provide bed sheets, towels and breakfast. If you are looking for fresh water outside of the Churches you should find water. miam Miam dodo is usefull for this Camino ,everything you need is in this book.
It was our first and prefer Camino.
Bon Chemin
 

Sagiberg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#23
Hi Susan, Anayma and Jeep500,
Sharing your experience is a great help:)
As for now I am thinking of the following and would love to hear what you think about it:
Day 1 Le-PDay 1 Le-Puy-en-Velay to Montbonnet (16 km/10 mi)
Day 2 Montbonnet to Monistrol-d’Allier (14.5 km/9.1 mi)
Day 3 Monistrol-d’Allier to Le Falzet (22 km/13.8 mi)
Day 4 Le Falzet to Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole (22.5 km/14.1 mi)
Day 5 Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole to Aumont-Aubrac (14 km/8.8 mi)
Day 6 Aumont-Aubrac to Montgros 22 km
Day 7Montbros to Saint-Chely-d’Aubrac 21 km
Day 8 Saint-Chely-d’Aubrac to Estaing 25 km
Day 9 Estaing to Le Soulie, 19.9 km
Day 10 Le Soulie to Conques, 14.8 km
Day 11 Conques to Decazeville, 19.4 km

Day 12 Decazeville to Bord, 15 km

One thing is- How do we get back to Le Puy from Bord or Figeac ?

Thank's
Sharon
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015) this year Portugal (2017)
#25
Hi,
I got your scedule let me review it with my scheduled then I will connfirm the distance. First day seem ok with me the following days there is alot of climing . You need to reach Figeac to take the train back to the airport. Train doesn't stop in every small villages.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015) this year Portugal (2017)
#26
Hi,
The distances provided seem accurate. You may need to adjust your schedule based on where you could sleep or make sure you reserve prior leaving.
Le Flaget one place to sleep 3 bedrooms .
Montgros 9 bedrooms for 2 persons, 14 in the Gîte meaning single beds.
The leg between Espalion and Golinhac big climing that should be a good day walk
Bord 2 bedrooms only.
Leaving Conque try to reach Livinhac le Haut nice place then you will be closer to Figeac. Make sure after leaving Conque to walk on the new trail avoid the old one and Take a lunch with you prior leaving in the morning no place to eat.
Let me know if you need more details
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances; Via Podensis; Via Francigena; Via Portugues; Via Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg.
#27
I walked the Via Podiensis in two sections over successive years: Le Puy to Conques and then Conques to SJPDP. One thing to consider when planning stages is if you have a deadline to catch a flight home. I live in Australia, so that is always a factor for me. My approach is to build in a couple of 'rest' days as flexibility/contingency.

Walking 20 to 25 km/day was fine for me. If possible, make the first couple of days easy and don't push too hard on those days. No matter how much training you do at home or how fit/prepared you are, I find in general it takes a couple of days for my body to adjust to the actual conditions and carrying a pack. It takes me a couple of days for my daily routine to get sorted out.

I booked accommodation using the Miam Miam Dodo guide, which was excellent.

BTW, Conques is a wonderful destination in its own right. A fantastic village, beautiful Abbey, very memorable pilgrim accommodation, especially the meals in the refectory. Google or visit http://www.southfrance.com/aveyron/conques/index.html

Hope this is helpful.

Bob M
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#29
Hi Susan, Anayma and Jeep500,
Sharing your experience is a great help:)
As for now I am thinking of the following and would love to hear what you think about it:
Day 1 Le-PDay 1 Le-Puy-en-Velay to Montbonnet (16 km/10 mi)
Day 2 Montbonnet to Monistrol-d’Allier (14.5 km/9.1 mi)
Day 3 Monistrol-d’Allier to Le Falzet (22 km/13.8 mi)
Day 4 Le Falzet to Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole (22.5 km/14.1 mi)
Day 5 Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole to Aumont-Aubrac (14 km/8.8 mi)
Day 6 Aumont-Aubrac to Montgros 22 km
Day 7Montbros to Saint-Chely-d’Aubrac 21 km
Day 8 Saint-Chely-d’Aubrac to Estaing 25 km
Day 9 Estaing to Le Soulie, 19.9 km
Day 10 Le Soulie to Conques, 14.8 km
Day 11 Conques to Decazeville, 19.4 km

Day 12 Decazeville to Bord, 15 km

One thing is- How do we get back to Le Puy from Bord or Figeac ?

Thank's
Sharon
Looks good, just one suggestion. Rather than stay in the uninspiring and rather ugly mining town of Decazeville why not stay the Le Mineur Paysan eco-gite at Vivoles just a couple of km before Decazeville. I recomend the place, and the owners are very nice. It would not alter your daily km much, just 17km on the last day.

Davey
 

Sagiberg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#30
Hi,
The distances provided seem accurate. You may need to adjust your schedule based on where you could sleep or make sure you reserve prior leaving.
Le Flaget one place to sleep 3 bedrooms .
Montgros 9 bedrooms for 2 persons, 14 in the Gîte meaning single beds.
The leg between Espalion and Golinhac big climing that should be a good day walk
Bord 2 bedrooms only.
Leaving Conque try to reach Livinhac le Haut nice place then you will be closer to Figeac. Make sure after leaving Conque to walk on the new trail avoid the old one and Take a lunch with you prior leaving in the morning no place to eat.
Let me know if you need more details
Thank you so much Jeep500,
I will check the schedule again with regard to the sleeping places. It is an important remark.
I take your advise regarding the sleep in Livinhac le Haut. We will walk 21 km per that day but it seems a good option:).
I am a bit worry about what you wrote -'The leg between Espalion and Golinhac big climing ..." - would you suggest a change in my plan regarding -Saint-Chely-d’Aubrac to Estaing (25 km) ?

Sharon
 

Sagiberg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#31
Looks good, just one suggestion. Rather than stay in the uninspiring and rather ugly mining town of Decazeville why not stay the Le Mineur Paysan eco-gite at Vivoles just a couple of km before Decazeville. I recomend the place, and the owners are very nice. It would not alter your daily km much, just 17km on the last day.

Davey
Thank you Davey,
I will keep away from Decazeville -you save us from a disappointment. I do consider walking 2 more km till Livinhac le Haut in order to shorten the next day
Sharon
 

Sagiberg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#33
I walked the Via Podiensis in two sections over successive years: Le Puy to Conques and then Conques to SJPDP. One thing to consider when planning stages is if you have a deadline to catch a flight home. I live in Australia, so that is always a factor for me. My approach is to build in a couple of 'rest' days as flexibility/contingency.

Walking 20 to 25 km/day was fine for me. If possible, make the first couple of days easy and don't push too hard on those days. No matter how much training you do at home or how fit/prepared you are, I find in general it takes a couple of days for my body to adjust to the actual conditions and carrying a pack. It takes me a couple of days for my daily routine to get sorted out.

I booked accommodation using the Miam Miam Dodo guide, which was excellent.

BTW, Conques is a wonderful destination in its own right. A fantastic village, beautiful Abbey, very memorable pilgrim accommodation, especially the meals in the refectory. Google or visit http://www.southfrance.com/aveyron/conques/index.html

Hope this is helpful.

Bob M
Thank you BobM,
Reading your note made me think that I did not leave much space for flexibility.
Our flight is from Lyon.
And maybe I should give us a day of rest in Conque instead of hurrying... so hard to tell in advance:rolleyes:
Sharon
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015) this year Portugal (2017)
#35
Hi,
We walked from St Chély d'Aubrac to Espallion next to Golinhac next to Conques. These are bigger village with nice restaurants and much more places to sleep. As I said it ´s a climing zone from St-Chély to Golinhac . Between Golinhac and Conques you will get a little break on climing. I agree with Davey Decazeville its not a very pretty city.
Bon Chemin
 

Sagiberg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#36
Hi,
We walked from St Chély d'Aubrac to Espallion next to Golinhac next to Conques. These are bigger village with nice restaurants and much more places to sleep. As I said it ´s a climing zone from St-Chély to Golinhac . Between Golinhac and Conques you will get a little break on climing. I agree with Davey Decazeville its not a very pretty city.
Bon Chemin
:)
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#37
Thank you Davey,
I will keep away from Decazeville -you save us from a disappointment. I do consider walking 2 more km till Livinhac le Haut in order to shorten the next day
Sharon
I stayed in Vivoles and the next day intended walking through Livinhac after stopping off there for breakfast.

I was there (Livinhac) two days! I got kidnapped by locals and taken home. So beware! But yes Livinhac is a nice place!

Davey
 

Sagiberg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#38
I stayed in Vivoles and the next day intended walking through Livinhac after stopping off there for breakfast.

I was there (Livinhac) two days! I got kidnapped by locals and taken home. So beware! But yes Livinhac is a nice place!

Davey
I believe that at that stage we will pray to be kidnapped by a good local who will give us an excuse to rest;)
 

Sagiberg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#41
Also, if you want my day by day account you can read it here with pictures..

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/from-geneva-to-the-end-of-the-world.40650/

I actually started in Geneva, but you can scroll through to Le Puy

Davey
Good morning Davey,
I spent the last two days reading your blog. It made me happy and created a huge wish to start myself a.s.a.p.
I loved the way you shared your experience and feelings plus sharing important information about the way. I followed your story from the start in Geneve and now arrived with you to Conque. Now I believe that this is going to be our final stop in this first stage. Thank you:)
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#42
Good morning Davey,
I spent the last two days reading your blog. It made me happy and created a huge wish to start myself a.s.a.p.
I loved the way you shared your experience and feelings plus sharing important information about the way. I followed your story from the start in Geneve and now arrived with you to Conque. Now I believe that this is going to be our final stop in this first stage. Thank you:)
Well, at least it didn't put you off! It is incredibly beautiful though! I'm actually hoping to walk it again next year

Bon Chemin!
Davey
 

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