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The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Questions, questions, questions

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2008, Le Puy route 2013
#1
Hi all,

Hope your all well.

In May this year, I completed the Camino Frances and now I'm hooked! :D

This time I'm thinking of walking the Le Puy route.

From your experience
- is it safe for a female to walk alone?
- how much should I budget for?
- is the route well marked?
- Can you get by with limited French?
- Which is the best Le Puy guidebook?

I'd greatly appreciate your input. Thanks again

Buen Camino
Love, light and smiles
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#2
Hi Sonn,
I walked the Le Puy route starting mid-April and loved it.

As a woman alone I felt perfectly safe. It's worth noting though that there are fewer people around than in Spain.

It is definitely more costly in France than in Spain. The communal gites tend to charge around 8-10 Euro per night for a bed. I often stayed in private gites where it was possible to get demi-pension, ie breakfast and dinner were included, usually for around 25-30 Euro. The evening meals were often superb and were a wonderful chance to get to know fellow walkers. (In fact I think these shared meals helped lead to a real feeling of community amongst many walkers on the route.)

The route is mostly very well marked, with red and white painted strips, though some areas are more consistently marked than others.

There were mostly French people walking when I did, and not many English speakers at all. I met a woman from South Africa who didn't speak much French, but she took her mobile phone, and found that there was always someone willing to ring up and make gite reservations for her. One of the differences between Spain and France is that there are less beds along the way in France, and gite reservations are the norm. Groups of people walking have sometimes made their reservations months ahead. The main problem you could meet if you don't reserve is that you might end up paying much more to get a bed in a more expensive place than a gite. Mostly it was OK to ring and reserve just a day or two ahead, but later in May, or around holidays, it was better to plan ahead a bit more.

Everyone walking on the route carries the Miam Miam Dodo guide (available from CSJ) which has maps and lists all the accommodation options with prices etc. It is in French, but you can work out the main info you want from the symbols used. I started off with the TopoGuides as well, to give me more information about the history etc of places I was walking through, but soon ditched these to reduce pack weight.

I absolutely loved walking the Le Puy route. The section from Le Puy to Conques I found to be especially beautiful. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask again.
Margaret
 

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