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? restarting my Via Francigena from eastern France

Past OR future Camino
please see signature
Background

In August and September 2018 I walked from Canterbury Cathedral, Kent to Chaumont-en-Haut-Marne.
My original intention had been to attain Reims and I surprised myself getting just over a week from the Swiss border.
This was a time limited adventure as my return home from London was booked for later in September 2018.

I had booked to return 18 months later, in late March 2020. And we know what came before ...

All this year I was expecting a restart no earlier than March 2023 (16 months away).

My country substantially closed our borders, with all arrivals quarantining for two weeks (the ups and downs of being an set of islands with our nearest major point of departure more than 2,000 km away.

By the end of 2021 our population is expected to exceed target for fully vaccinated status. And opening up is getting up a head of steam.

While there is still more caution to be exercised, straws in the wind suggest arrivals (fully vaccinated and with a current negative test) will bypass quarantine from sometime in quarter 2 of 2022, and maybe earlier.

Having said that, along with many other countries, we have an ongoing outbreak of the Delta variant.

And I am conscious that a number of countries in Europe are having a resurgence of cases and are implementing lockdowns.

I became fully vaccinated in June 2021 and can, subject to clarification, can request a booster from December 2021.

In early 2022 I will tick off my 80th birthday.

The countries I would visit include England, Scotland, France, Switzerland and Italy

My question (a bit like "how long is a piece of string")
  1. Is there any more information you would need before making a decision?
  2. Putting yourself in my shoes (they are quite big) would you return to eastern France and continue to Rome?

Kia kaha koutou katoa (May you all take care, be strong and get going when you can)
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Alwyn,
It is good to read your new potential plans. My advice now that I am 82 is to keep on while you can. Cross that famous viaduct in Chaumont-en-Haut-Marne and continue! By the way the pilgrim albergue nearby in Langres is very nice.

Carpe diem!
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Is there any more information you would need before making a decision?
No, because goodness knows what will happen between now and then
Putting yourself in my shoes (they are quite big) would you return to eastern France and continue to Rome?
Absolutely, if that is what you want to do.
Tempus fugit - carpe diem.

Bon chemin, peregrino!
 
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lunna

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances; lisboa-muxia; norte+bayonne; vdlp; le puy; voie d'arles+aragones; geneva to ales
Background

In August and September 2018 I walked from Canterbury Cathedral, Kent to Chaumont-en-Haut-Marne.
My original intention had been to attain Reims and I surprised myself getting just over a week from the Swiss border.
This was a time limited adventure as my return home from London was booked for later in September 2018.

I had booked to return 18 months later, in late March 2020. And we know what came before ...

All this year I was expecting a restart no earlier than March 2023 (16 months away).

My country substantially closed our borders, with all arrivals quarantining for two weeks (the ups and downs of being an set of islands with our nearest major point of departure more than 2,000 km away.

By the end of 2021 our population is expected to exceed target for fully vaccinated status. And opening up is getting up a head of steam.

While there is still more caution to be exercised, straws in the wind suggest arrivals (fully vaccinated and with a current negative test) will bypass quarantine from sometime in quarter 2 of 2022, and maybe earlier.

Having said that, along with many other countries, we have an ongoing outbreak of the Delta variant.

And I am conscious that a number of countries in Europe are having a resurgence of cases and are implementing lockdowns.

I became fully vaccinated in June 2021 and can, subject to clarification, can request a booster from December 2021.

In early 2022 I will tick off my 80th birthday.

The countries I would visit include England, Scotland, France, Switzerland and Italy

My question (a bit like "how long is a piece of string")
  1. Is there any more information you would need before making a decision?
  2. Putting yourself in my shoes (they are quite big) would you return to eastern France and continue to Rome?

Kia kaha koutou katoa (May you all take care, be strong and get going when you can)
You could start in Arles.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
By all means, do what you can, while you can, because there are no guarantees. You could have a stroke or other sudden illness tomorrow.
While you're at it, please let yourself off the hook from any notions of perfection or completeness. If you need to take transport to get around a rough patch, do it so you can keep going. You've certainly reached the point in life where one learns that life simply isn't "perfect" (as our pre-conceived ideas paint it). You can do this - and whatever you do, there will be discoveries and lessons along the way. Ultreia!
 

Rex

One Step at a Time
Past OR future Camino
2018
By all means, make your arrangements and go for it. I'm a bit younger than you, and I'm planning to start from Canterbury around May 20, 2022. There are going to be surges in variants for some time, most likely among the unvaccinated or those with significant co-morbidities. Per the most recent estimates, as we get the children and youth vaccinated, the risk of more surges drops significantly, so, fingers crossed that it is so.
We have all lost two years of seeing the world, but I'm just thankful to be vaccinated and ready to return to trekking, and I'm always inspired by those who are older than me and still ready to hit the trails. Looking forward to hearing how the prep and the actual walk unfold.

Note: I haven't made my plane reservation just yet, as the airline industry pricing models suggest that from USA to Europe ticket prices are best when made within 8-12 weeks in advance of the journey, so my start date remains a bit flexible.
Buen Camino/Bon chemin
 

Tandem Graham

E ultreia e suseia, Deus adjuva nos
Past OR future Camino
Bike: UK to SdC, Ruta de Lana. Walk: Le Puy to SdC
Alwyn,
I understand your deep desire to get on the path again though, for many of us, the relative isolation and resultant low infection rates in your lovely country looks very attractive right now.
Perhaps make your plans but pay extra for flexible tickets which allow you to postpone your journey at short notice?.
One month ago, we booked a (non-camino) short holiday to Amsterdam, for next week, which would have been our first overseas travel for two years. The covid situation has deteriorated rapidly in the Netherlands and some other parts of Europe recently, but we were able to postpone without financial penalty, just seven days before intended departure. I'm glad I ticked that option when booking.
Inevitably there will be some volatility in Covid infection rates, particularly during our winter season, but planning caminos and other adventures gives us all things to look forward to, even if we may have to shuffle the dates a little.
Buen Camino, whenever it happens!
 
Past OR future Camino
please see signature
It is said a week in politics can be likened to a lifetime in normal living.

Starting this stream only a week ago now seems like a lifetime away, so much has changed, and is still changing, in Europe.

Thank you for all your encouraging messages.

While still assessing things, I suspect the extra information I was seeking has forced its way into my thinking, but with a different perspective.

Short answer from me:
1) Keep an eye on developments
2) Keep up my local training, in particular multi-day excursions
 
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evanscl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Oct 2016
Background

In August and September 2018 I walked from Canterbury Cathedral, Kent to Chaumont-en-Haut-Marne.
My original intention had been to attain Reims and I surprised myself getting just over a week from the Swiss border.
This was a time limited adventure as my return home from London was booked for later in September 2018.

I had booked to return 18 months later, in late March 2020. And we know what came before ...

All this year I was expecting a restart no earlier than March 2023 (16 months away).

My country substantially closed our borders, with all arrivals quarantining for two weeks (the ups and downs of being an set of islands with our nearest major point of departure more than 2,000 km away.

By the end of 2021 our population is expected to exceed target for fully vaccinated status. And opening up is getting up a head of steam.

While there is still more caution to be exercised, straws in the wind suggest arrivals (fully vaccinated and with a current negative test) will bypass quarantine from sometime in quarter 2 of 2022, and maybe earlier.

Having said that, along with many other countries, we have an ongoing outbreak of the Delta variant.

And I am conscious that a number of countries in Europe are having a resurgence of cases and are implementing lockdowns.

I became fully vaccinated in June 2021 and can, subject to clarification, can request a booster from December 2021.

In early 2022 I will tick off my 80th birthday.

The countries I would visit include England, Scotland, France, Switzerland and Italy

My question (a bit like "how long is a piece of string")
  1. Is there any more information you would need before making a decision?
  2. Putting yourself in my shoes (they are quite big) would you return to eastern France and continue to Rome?

Kia kaha koutou katoa (May you all take care, be strong and get going when you can)
1. I dont know
2. Yes

The french and swiss bits were some of my best memories of the via. If you can try and get going again I say give it a go, but I hate leaving things incomplete so thats just me!
 

kiwiDavid

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - SJPP-Finisterre
Hi Alwyn - I hope it opens up for 2022 - I have a feeling it will because of increasing vaccination rates. I've watched some hardy individuals walk the VF through COVID and it worked out for them (give or take the odd 40+ km hikes due to accommodation issues). I think be ready to go and if it opens up mid year then go.
Kia Kaha
kiwiDavid
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Alwyn,
Perhaps to help you keep on keeping on before you may return to France you might enjoy reading Hillaire Beĺloc on his walk to Rome a century ago. See more info in this earlier thread.

Happy reading/dreaming!
MM
 
Past OR future Camino
please see signature
you might enjoy reading Hillaire Beĺloc on his walk to Rome a century ago

Thank you: a very dear friend (and a fan of Belloc) recommended this title some time ago.

I have an ePub version on my tablet, so it is readily accessible.
I have given it a few attempts, but found his eclectic style did not suit me.

I have also been privileged to visit, some 70 or so years later, a few of the places he describes. For me, his narration seemed to be quite at variance from my appreciation.

On the other hand, from way back, I have found delight in many of his Cautionary Tales.

After consulting a son in London and a peripatetic cousin in Glasgow, I have flagged away any travel north for 2022. And hope for better news for all for 2023.



Margaret, kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui (may you be strong, confident and patient). Alan.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Alan,

Thanks for your kind wishes.

In the current whirlwind of uncertainty may we all pause, seek 'true north' and find, perhaps, new purpose where patience, kindness and hope increase...

Carpe diem and Happy Christmas wherever you might be!

Margaret
 
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