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Starting the VFat Canterbury on July 19, to Besancon

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
I should thank everyone on the forum who has been helpful to me as I have planned this walk.

newfydog has helped a great deal with GPS navigation.

Numerous people helped with towed cart ideas when that seemed like an option for me. In the end I opted not to take a cart because of the logistic hassles getting it to/from Australia - plus my brief experience of the effort required to lug the beast up rough hilly tracks.

Paul Chinn has been remarkably helpful via email and has responded to many questions about his (and Babette Gallard's) guidebook. So has Alison Raju on her guidebook.

In the end I opted to take Paul/Babette's guide because the layout suits my personal navigating preferences. But Alison's guide is much better for including small snippets of information on the VF other than purely practical stuff like navigation and accommodation.

I customised Paul/Babette's guide in several ways to make it more useful:
1. I had it spiral-bound at a local printer for only A$3.05 - remarkable inexpensive. Now I can use it far more easily in the field - even in a plastic bag if it rains.
2. I scaled all the maps, because they all vary in scale to fit the page, but Edition 3 does not show scales. Paul told me that Edition 4 does.
3. I made extra notes where appropriate on historical stuff, tips about food/water. It would have been nice to have a blank page or two for notes at the end of each "stage" - like the Brierley guides do for the CF and VP routes.

At the moment I am culling my pack load. It's down to 6.5kg (no water/food), but I want to trim another kg if I can, because some stages are difficult for food/water & I may have to carry extra. I am taking a set of IGN maps (!:100 TOP10 series) and they weigh 500gm. Also, the phone, camera & GPS unit with chargers weigh 1.5kg. That's the real pain.

It's that bloody Higgs Boson that is causing all the trouble. Can we turn it off?

Rgds

Bob M
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Bob - it is almost impossible to control a WIMP. :lol:

Prohike Australia have a one wheel, upright trolley that has worked on the Camino and other trails.
http://www.prohikeaustralia.com.au/
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
sillydoll said:
Bob - it is almost impossible to control a WIMP. :lol:

Prohike Australia have a one wheel, upright trolley that has worked on the Camino and other trails.
http://www.prohikeaustralia.com.au/
You know your Physics, Sil :) If I can't turn off the Higgs Boson, perhaps I can tap into some of that Dark Energy that is making the universe accelerate.

I exchanged emails with Patric of Prohike when I was researching carts. He was also extremely helpful to me. I eventually settled on Bob Dixon's Rollercart, it was the cheapest & Bob could ship it to me in a week for $80.

Anyway, I hope to use the cart here in Australia when I can do some indulgent and luxurious walks - after my three-year go at the VF is over. I am NOT an obsessive, just determined :wink:

I hope the VF becomes more popular & attracts more pilgrim-friendly infrastructure on the France section. That lack and some long stages makes the VF too intimidating for many.

One could do a very nice pilgrimage from Canterbury to Arras (about 10 days) and then use that as a base to explore the WW1 battlefields for a week. There is a spiritual linkage there for those of us who know the history and who have family linkages to the dreadful conflicts that raged over those gentle lands. One must have suffered to truly feel the suffering of others.

Rgds

Bob M
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Here is where I am at with packing for the VF. I am down to 6kg (excl water, food, but incl Higgs Boson :) ) and that is pretty much it.

I decided the IGN maps (530gm) have to stay home. It would have been nice to look at the maps each day to get the big picture, but "nice" is the operative word. I am taking a GPS unit which will do the navigating if I stray from the guidebook route. The Garmin City Navigator map for France is OK in the country & very good for towns, roads.

I "have" to take my camera & probably my mobile phone with all their chargers, plugs.

But I am still debating the phone. Coverage in rural France can be spotty I have found & in theory I could use a public phone or hotel phone each night to book accommodation ahead. Alison Raju says in her guidebook that public/pay phones still exist on the VF. Does anyone have any comment on that? Personally, I find mobile phones an utter pain, so any excuse to dump mine will be welcomed.

The other gear in my pack is basically one change of clothes, plastic jacket(?), light fleece(?), flipflops, towel, sleeping bag liner, toiletries (but no shaving gear), a small maintenance kit (eg clothes pegs, cord, Swiss Army knife, mini LED light), medical kit (bandaids, needle/cotton for blisters, panadol), documents (incl diary, credencial), poncho, pack cover.

Even though I will be walking in July/Aug, rain/storms are still possible, so the rain gear is probably an essential.

Not taking a sleeping bag locks me into Gites etc, and rules out parish accom in church halls.

Rgds

Bob M
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
Here is where I am at with packing for the VF
Kia ora @BobM , I know this was posted nearly eight years ago.

And I know I restart, from Chaumont-en-haut-Marne in less than two months.

Do you have a blog I can read

Nga mihi
 

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