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stage 2 of Camino from Le Puy, doing in 2 week doses

Maya17h

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
#1
Hi everyone,
My family of four people walked a small part of the Camino last summer during our two week break. We started in Le Puy and had to leave it at Massip, just short of Conques before taking a taxi to Rodez, then train to Toulouse and then Toulouse to Paris. It was a heavenly trip, we didn't push ourselves too hard and tried to enjoy the experience, take in the scenery and not get hurt too early on. This year we will have 2 more weeks, picking up from Massip and passing through Cahors, but where to stop before returning to Paris is what I am trying to figure out, and how to get back to Paris.
So, three questions:
1. How far to go during the 2 weeks (we will realistically have 11/12 days once we leave Conques as we have been advised to stay stay in Conques one extra night.
2.) I understand that the route from Conques to Decazeville (19k) or Livinhac (24k) is rather unpleasant or too much of it is on the road; is this true, once you get past the steep climb?
3.) Do you have advice on how to get back to Paris once we are past Cahors? We will likely have a couple of more days left once we get to Cahors, averaging 20-24km? Thanks very much and bon courage to all of you out there in the middle of your own journeys. Helen
 

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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#2
1. How far to go during the 2 weeks (we will realistically have 11/12 days once we leave Conques as we have been advised to stay stay in Conques one extra night.
You should be able to make Moissac: ten days Conques to Cahors, four days Cahors to Moissac.
2.) I understand that the route from Conques to Decazeville (19k) or Livinhac (24k) is rather unpleasant or too much of it is on the road; is this true, once you get past the steep climb?
Yes. Get the French FFRG guide with topo map and make your own route (see my blog for that day).
3.) Do you have advice on how to get back to Paris once we are past Cahors? We will likely have a couple of more days left once we get to Cahors, averaging 20-24km?
Moissac (stay at Gite Ultreia, directly across from the train station) has good rail connections back to Paris; change at Agen I think it is.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Burgos, Camino Frances (2012 - 2018)
#3
I agree with everything Kitsambler says, although I did Cahors to Moissac in 3 days - 22.5 k to Lascabanes, 22.6 to Lauzerte (very pretty town) and 25.7 to Moissac.

I suggest you avoid Decazeville (a former mining town, now very run-down,) and go straight from Conques to Livinhac-le haut. This is the reference in Kitsambler's 2010 blog and I recommend the route. The following day is an easy 25.5k to Figeac, but you can shorten it with the use of a 1:25000 IGN map. (Which I recommend for all stages - you can buy them locally in Conques ,Figeac etc., but I am a bit of a map addict.)

So: 2 days from Conques to Figeac ( a lovely small town, take at least an hour or two to look round) 3 days from Figeac to Cahors (4 if you take the Cele valley variant) and 3 to Moissac. That gives you plenty of time to take smaller stages if it suits you, or to linger a bit in Figeac, Cahors or Moissac.

Moissac railway station will take you Paris via either Agen or Montauban Ville Bourbon in about 4 1/2 hours. If you go beyond Moissac, say, to Auvillar, you'd need to get a taxi back. There are no railway lines west of Moissac until you get to St Jean Pied de Port. (although there are some buses - usually just one a day.)

It's a very pretty route and I wish I was joining you! Bon chemin et bon courage!
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#4
I have different experiences and so different advice.

1. How far to go during the 2 weeks (we will realistically have 11/12 days once we leave Conques
You should make Moissac easily in that time. Michelin guide 161 Chemins de Compostelle say 8 days. I did it in 6 days in April 2016. Progress after that is easy going with good stages but with less frequent gite choices.

A gite in the town centre may be attractive for a family group. From personal experience I can highly recommend Gite La Petite Lumiere. Very comfortable modern dorm and a wonderful table in the evening. It is on a hillock with views into the town and over the countryside beyond.

A day in each of Cahors and Moissac would use up the time you have.

2.) I understand that the route from Conques to Decazeville (19k) or Livinhac (24k) is rather unpleasant or too much of it is on the road; is this true, once you get past the steep climb?
I love walking on roads. Reasons include: navigation is easier, more cafe choices, surfaces are more even (in Spring too many muddy paths) and predictable. And, especially after the hill behind Livinhac, the great variety of agriculture equipment in the road-side sheds etc. One persons meat ...

3.) Do you have advice on how to get back to Paris once we are past Cahors?
Moissac has a local passenger rail service towards Toulose or Bordeaux. Next rail line is just after Arthez-de-Bearn, another 8 days on (see Michelin 161). With Saint-Jean a further 4 days on there is the opportunity to come back for a fortnight next year.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

NavyBlue

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy and Camino Frances. Via Francigena. Tro-Breiz in progress.
#5
2.) I understand that the route from Conques to Decazeville (19k) or Livinhac (24k) is rather unpleasant or too much of it is on the road; is this true, once you get past the steep climb?
Hi,

I don't remember (2014) the Conques-Decazeville part as really unpleasant.

Decazeville has no real interest ; unless you want to stop here for the night and get downtown, the GR touches only the city limits. From Decazeville up to Saint-Roch, yes, it's another steep part in suburban streets.

An alternative, unmarked, path is shown in the MiamMiamDodo, from Roumégoux to Saint-Roch, along D580 road. Signs posted by locals encouraged the pilgrims to forget it ! So we kept on the GR (kind of solidarity, we spent some years in another mining town...), and had a coffee break in a bar which had known better days.

Out of Conques, after 25 minutes : nice view, worth the (real) effort

p4.JPG

Arriving to a flatter section, 15 minutes further :

P5.JPG

Landscape, one hour after, not bad. Asphalt in the foreground suggests a change from gravel road to a paved one, at least for some time :

P6.JPG

No other pictures taken that day. Significant or not ? :rolleyes:
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy (2016,2017)
#6
You should be able to make Moissac: ten days Conques to Cahors, four days Cahors to Moissac.
Yes. Get the French FFRG guide with topo map and make your own route (see my blog for that day).

Moissac (stay at Gite Ultreia, directly across from the train station) has good rail connections back to Paris; change at Agen I think it is.

Gite Ultreia is wonderful. Run by two bubbly Irish people.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#7
I just returned 3 weeks ago from walking Le Puy to Auvillar with two friends and agree with many of the above suggestions. We included the Cele Valley variant and absolutely loved it! We ended up with two extra days at the end, so although we had planned to end in Moissac because that is where the train station is, we walked the extra day to Auvillar, which is another one of France's "100 most beautiful villages". It was a lovely walk along a canal with shade trees most of the way, spent the night in Auvillar, then walked back to Moissac our last day, spending a 2nd night with Rom and Aideen of Gite Ultreia...awesome people, awesome dinner!
 
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Maya17h

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
#8
I'm eternally grateful for all the comments, useful suggestions and tips. I am going to read them first thing in the morning.
In the meantime, I wonder if anyone has a good suggestion for a place to stay (for a family of four) in Conques for the extra night after the Abbey.

Finally, how are folks doing on the Camino with this unbearably hot weather? Is there a thread on that already? We're cooking in Paris. Merci beaucoup!
 

caminka

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
#9
2.) I understand that the route from Conques to Decazeville (19k) or Livinhac (24k) is rather unpleasant or too much of it is on the road; is this true, once you get past the steep climb?
This is the reference in Kitsambler's 2010 blog and I recommend the route.
I will add to that that the less demanding L waymarked route that goes via noailhac is now the GR65 and the more demanding R waymarked route is now GR6. it used to be the other way around. they split on top of the steep climb.
the route via noailhac has been rerouted and a good portion now runs on paths paralleling the D580 past the lovely rest area (toilet, but no potable water which is 200m back up the road at the start of the nearest village, signposted).
 

Lleslie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Via Podiensis (2018)
#10
We walked from Le Puy to SJPP late May thru June this year:) A staff member at the Conques Abbaye told us to avoid going down into Decazaville (an industrial town) if you didn't need to as you then only had to climb back up out of the valley. He gave us alternate instructions to get to Livinhac which saved us 3km. I think we must have followed the same route as Navy Blue. All road walking once you left the GR65 tho. We stayed at Gite La Fontaine du Chemin just as you entered Livinhac. Very nice modern renovation in an old house only opened last year. Lovely meal too:) We also stayed at Gite Ultreia in Moissac where we had a great dinner out in the garden:)
 

Maya17h

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
#11
Thanks so much everyone for your tips and all your insight. We are reading them and following up on your leads and tips. Very much appreciated!! This is such a wonderful community.

I'm wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a place to stay in Conques? We will stay in the Abbey the first night and will need another place for family of four adults to stay the second night. (Everyone seems to recommend that we stay there a second night, We only have 14 days to walk this year and that includes our trip from and to Paris. Would you stay in Conques the extra night if that was the case? We're not trying to set a record for the distance in walking, but we'd like to keep things steady while making the best out of the sweet spots during this journey. Grateful for your advice. And, Thanks again!
Good luck toe everyone weathering the heat, we compare the Paris and Conques area temps on a daily basis, then we gasp for air. I'm following the other thread on the related weather subject. Buen Camino.
 

Maya17h

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
#12
PS, I know I'm asking for a lot, but the other question is that we are looking for a way to get from Figeac to Massip, which is just past Conques going towards direction of Le Puy. Our train from Paris will bring us to Figeac then we need to get to Massip, so we can 'officially' pick up where we left off last year. i'll start inquiring about taxis by calling the tourism office there tomorrow. (Going from Massip to Rodez by taxi, then Rodez to Toulouse by local train, and Toulouse to Paris is what we did last year. Taking that route in reverse this year is proving to be too complicated as different family members will be coming from different points, so Figeac seemed to work out best in terms of a better meeting point and getting us to Massip by dinner time.)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy (2018)
#13
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Lleslie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Via Podiensis (2018)
#14
Thanks so much everyone for your tips and all your insight. We are reading them and following up on your leads and tips. Very much appreciated!! This is such a wonderful community.

I'm wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a place to stay in Conques? We will stay in the Abbey the first night and will need another place for family of four adults to stay the second night. (Everyone seems to recommend that we stay there a second night, We only have 14 days to walk this year and that includes our trip from and to Paris. Would you stay in Conques the extra night if that was the case? We're not trying to set a record for the distance in walking, but we'd like to keep things steady while making the best out of the sweet spots during this journey. Grateful for your advice. And, Thanks again!
Good luck toe everyone weathering the heat, we compare the Paris and Conques area temps on a daily basis, then we gasp for air. I'm following the other thread on the related weather subject. Buen Camino.
We walked from Senergues to Conques - only 10ks so we were there before lunch - and spent the afternoon and evening exploring so one night was enough for us. We stayed in the Abbaye:) We had our rest day in Figeac, we stayed in the old town at Le Soleilho. Great spot and we enjoyed this town.
 

Maya17h

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
#15
Thanks Lleslie, we plan to pick up our walk from where left off last year, which is Massip/Golinhac. I think it's a 21k from Conques. It will be our first day of hike since last year, and ahem.... not all of us are 'getting in shape' as I write this. We'll likely be tuckered out. I'm inspired by those who walk the entire length of the Camino from Le Puy, or have more time than two weeks. But, I'm also grateful that we have somehow put this amazing trip on our radar as a family. I'll take whatever comes our way in terms of time, distance... grateful to be inspired by so many that have gone before us on the forums here and the guidance you are all so keen to give.
 

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