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Opinions please - Camino Frances or Le Puy route

Year of past OR future Camino
VDLP to Finisterre 2009
Le Puy to SJPDP 2013
Frances 2014
GR700 & Arles 2017
Norte 2019
Hi all, I completed the VDLP with my brother in 2009 and now looking at walking another camino, solo this time in September 2013. I'm undecided which route, either Camino Frances or Le Puy. I'd really appreciate your opinions and any feedback you can give, thanks in advance. I'm a 56 year old female from the Gold Coast, Australia.
 
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zammy

Active Member
Take the Le Puy this year as far as SJPDP and finish the Camino in Spain next year.
September will be cooler on the le Puy then the Camino.
Le puy= French food, wine, better gites, greener, more nice French villages, warmer atmosphere.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Agree with Zammy completely about the food, wine etc Cherie on the Le Puy route
BUT
Solitude ??
The VDPL is that however you had your brother.

We had a friend from Melbourne who we talked into walking Le Puy [ instead of Norte ] because we believe its the most beautiful . She found it was hard for a single woman [ 60yrs ] with the lack of pilgrims/albergues.
In hindsight and after listening to her winging :cry: we should have recommended Norte which we also loved.

Get rid of the Frances first mate and then fly Gold Coast ===== Geneva and start there.
The people we met on the GR 65 raved about the beauty between Geneva and Le Puy.
The pace of the Le Puy way is wonderful.
Wish i was your age ..........do them all,
Keep well ,
David
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Thornley said:
Geneva and start there.
The people we met on the GR 65 raved about the beauty between Geneva and Le Puy.


I much preferred the route from LePuy to SJPP over the route from Geneva to LePuy. The Geneva route is quite artificial---not a historical route, and lacks the wonderful old villages.
 

nalod

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2011, Finnesterre 2011,Le Puy to SJPDP 2011& 2012,Via de la Plata,Sambrasa 2012, Mozarabe 2013, Portugees 2013.PartNorde 2011, VDPL 2014,St-Guilhem 2014.Espalion-Roncesvalles 2014.Levante2015
Yes the Le Puy is beautiful, do it. Have not walked from Geneva to Le Puy but believe it is nice.
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Walk the Le Puy route! As a solo walker, you will find plenty of companionship but not crowds. There is adequate lodging, at appropriate intervals. Lovely little towns and terrific scenery. Do brush up on your French.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Walked Le Puy this Spring 2013, fantastic despite the unseasonal weather. The route is more difficult then Camino Frances but not devastating, the outstanding food scenery and company have already been mentioned, it is more expensive, the lodging more comfortable, the days longer since bar/cafe/restaurants are few and far between take your own lunch and beware the dreaded Mondays, summer no problem but the rest of the year everything is open for business Saturdays and half Sunday shuting down at noon until Tuesday morning meaning if you haven't provided for yourself Saturday or Sunday before noon you will be munching dry bread and drinking tap water. Demi-pension is a good idea these daysand all others great food along the way but do call ahead to alert them in the gite you are coming so that they may have with what to prepare your dinner! From Le Puy until Figeac connections to cellular phones are hard to find-a true blessing in my eyes but for those addicted, a real blow.
 

jirit

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
I agree with all other posters and I would suggest you do the Le Puy route in September.

September should be nice time weatherwise, less crowds, school is back, etc. Plenty of reasonable accommodation along this way too - budget for about 30 - 35 euro per day for half board at any of the numerous pilgrim gites. Get the owner of each gite to call ahead and book a bed for you for the next day, and this allows you to take your time without the worry of a place to stay for the night.

The scenery, the cute little villages and towns, and food along this section is unmatched.

There is a local baggage transportation system that services all the key towns should you need it.

Allow 4-5 weeks depending on fast you walk each day. The terrain is slightly hilly than say compared to the via de la plata but the stages are generally shorter and there are plenty of places to stop and have a drink or snack.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Le Puy is my favorite, but expect to be alone in September. There will be weekend walkers, but it is after the French vacation season.

Because customers are sparse, you will need to call ahead at least a day. Drop in, and you may find a locked door. The phone call takes some French skills unless you have your host call for you. They are very willing to do that.

Bon chemin.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
VDLP to Finisterre 2009
Le Puy to SJPDP 2013
Frances 2014
GR700 & Arles 2017
Norte 2019
Le Puy it is! Thanks to all who took the time to give me such great advice. It was appreciated (especially as it was my first post ever!) Cherie
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
falcon269 said:
... expect to be alone in September. There will be weekend walkers, but it is after the French vacation season.

I must vehemently disagree. True, it is after the vacation season for working people. But September is an exceptionally popular month for the retirees to walk: they have their liberty, since they have returned the grandchildren to Mom & Dad at the end of August vacation. Many folks walk for two weeks at a time.

I walked the Le Puy route in September two years running, and the gites were full most nights. There is no chance you will be alone.
 

robertt

Active Member
Well, I started from Le Puy one spring, met friends on the first day in freezing high winds, got sleeted and snowed upon across the Aubrac, got snored at in Estaing, hung out at a truffle farm in Quercy, crossed the Pyrenees via the very under-rated Valcarlos route etc etc...the whole experience! Wouldn't trade those memories. And I was sure, after running out of visa time in Pamplona, that I would finish in Santiago one day. I did, and even got down to Valenca and out to Fisterra. If you start in Le Puy you are on the Way, just further back. If you don't finish one year, you'll finish some other year. Saint James doesn't care if you go fast or slow, if you hop off the track and rejoin it later.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
newfydog said:
ks the wonderful old villa
newfydog said:
much preferred the route from LePuy to SJPP over the route from Geneva to LePuy. The Geneva route is quite artificial---not a historical route, and lacks the wonderful old villages.

The reason i mentioned Geneva is because Cherie leaves Australia.
Its very easy to fly to Geneva,
When we walked Le Puy there was a flight [22hrs] to Paris , have a few hours sit around , fly to Lyon and have a sit around and then get the train to Le Puy.

Whilst we believe the scenery, accommodation , villages etc is rightly regarded as the best between Le Puy and Conques we actually loved The Lot and Basque sections of the GR65.

Many people left after Conques .
We will return and the ease of transport will have us having a leisurely walk from Geneva.

newfydog said:
The Geneva route is quite artificial-

** I'm not much into historical routes ,
Why do people start /finish in St.JDP .
Why not go via Valcarlos [ we loved it] , the original old way or commence Camino Frances @ Osbanos , the original ? commencing point.

Bon Chemin
 

jirit

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
For what is worth I would fly in and out of Paris.

Unless you been so many times, and you are thoughly bored with it, Paris is wonderful place to spend a couple nighta getting over the jetlag from flying from Australia. There are direct high speed TGV trains from Paris to Lyon. From Lyon you can catch a regualar train to Le Puy. You can back track to Paris from Saint Jean PdP.

Since you will know your arrival time from, and your departure time back to Australia, you can book the TGV sections of the trains in advance from Australia and save yourself a ton of money on the tickets.

Geneva is in Switzerland and horribly expensive in terms of transportation, accommodation and food as compared to Paris.
 

billmclaughlin

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
Geneva is also, no offense intended, a bore. Not worth an overnight much less a day.
 
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