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Struggling on the Le Puy

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truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
Hi all,

I’m waking from Le Puy to Santiago and boy, am I on the struggle bus. I walked the Camino Frances 3 years ago, so I’m well aware of what to expect as far as life on The Way.

But the in the last week I’m just very resistant to walking. I speak only “survival French” (my Spanish is much better) and it’s been lonely at dinner with everyone chatting in French. I also don’t feel a tremendous urge to connect to people. One thing I do NOT like doing is booking ahead for rooms. I love walking into a town and staying where the mood strikes. Lots of places close on a Sunday and Monday, I have to plan to bring my lunch and everyone is consumed with “where are you going next?”. I don’t have a timeline to adhere to, I don’t care how many km you’ve walked (a topic that bores me to tears) and I feel lost.

Then I think “I shouldn’t feel this way! I’m back on the Camino, in France, with the best fromage! And adorable villages!! Why am I feeling this way?”

I’m in Livinghac du Haut today, having walked out of Conques yesterday and (I think) pushing myself too far. I’m emotionally spent, and I find my self wanting to stop and “shake off” certain groups of people. I get sick of seeing the same folks over a 5 day period.

I’m not sure what the antidote is, but I thought I’d post my feelings on this forum to perhaps get some (non-judgemental) feedback.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Hi @truenorthpilgrim, so sorry that you're struggling at the moment. As I haven't walked that route, I've little to offer in the way of practical suggestions, but hopefully others will weigh in soon. A bad day on the Camino/chemin can feel really really bad, especially when you're tired.

From what you've said, it sounds as though you need to take a break to rest and take stock of how you're feeling. You've walked from Le Puy to Conques - well done on that! If you've plenty of time and your goal is to walk to Santiago, there are other ways to do that. Pausing to rest and think might help to ease the monotony and the feeling of being lost. You might feel better about what you're doing, or you might have a 'eureka moment' about a change of plan. I've made spur of the moment decisions on two occasions to change my route and it felt wonderfully liberating! Equally, you might find that a rest day allows you to re-energise and connect with different people.

There are no rules about these things, other than the self-imposed ones. Be kind to yourself.
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
Hi @truenorthpilgrim, so sorry that you're struggling at the moment. As I haven't walked that route, I've little to offer in the way of practical suggestions, but hopefully others will weigh in soon. A bad day on the Camino/chemin can feel really really bad, especially when you're tired.

From what you've said, it sounds as though you need to take a break to rest and take stock of how you're feeling. You've walked from Le Puy to Conques - well done on that! If you've plenty of time and your goal is to walk to Santiago, there are other ways to do that. Pausing to rest and think might help to ease the monotony and the feeling of being lost. You might feel better about what you're doing, or you might have a 'eureka moment' about a change of plan. I've made spur of the moment decisions on two occasions to change my route and it felt wonderfully liberating! Equally, you might find that a rest day allows you to re-energise and connect with different people.

There are no rules about these things, other than the self-imposed ones. Be kind to yourself.
Thank you. I’ve taken about 4 rest days so I’m feeling extra guilty. There is something that’s not working and I love what you said about changing it up can be liberating. Will ponder.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Hi - I do love honest posts!! Well, there you are and it isn't working for you. I too intensely disliked the French system of booking ahead so I didn't do it, just turned up and asked - though this did mean that a couple of times I had to add an unexpected 18 or so kms to my day !!
I also found the route in France too lacking in pilgrims - I love the hugger-mugger of pilgrim throngs.

That you have stuck it out and walked all the way from Le Puy to where you are now shows that your post isn't an idle 'moan' but a deep felt series of emotions and conflicts that you have been trying to work on.

All I can suggest is that you 'go home' and by 'go home' I mean find a town with a train station and leap to St Jean and walk the Frances again - unless you would then transfer your current guilt feelings to a 'I didn't finish' guilt feeling?
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Hi @truenorthpilgrim

Thanks for the honesty and sharing this with the forum. I have not walked Le Puy, but I can kind understand feeling uncomfortable or wanting to leave something that until other day was pure joy. It can happen to anyone, and sadly is happening to you at the moment.

I don´t know what are you 'personal rules' about the camino, but would you consider maybe taking a bus to some place ahead, to have a change on the people around you? Or maybe just staying longer on a city you particularly enjoy?

I hope everything falls into place soon. In the worst case, get out of the trail and enjoy some French or Spanish city. Santiago won´t mind, he understands each camino is different :)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I am so sorry to hear of your disappointment on the Le Puy. I walked it as far as Auvillar in June 2018 with two friends and loved the beauty of landscape and architecture of that route. I'm sure had I walked alone I most likely would have felt as you do as I know no French. We were in a glut of French walkers until Conques. Some were part of a larger group of about eight. Booking ahead each day was annoying, but still worth it to me and I understood the need for the gite owners to know for preparing dinner. A few of the French spoke a little English and at least my friends and I had each other at the dinner table.
Unfortunately many of the various camino routes are making me feel a need to book ahead. I don't prefer doing that, but at the same time I like the peace of mind not full of angst about getting a bed end of day.
I like what David has said. If you truly are not enjoying yourself, head on over to SJPdP.
All the best on the remainder of your journey!
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
That you have stuck it out and walked all the way from Le Puy to where you are now shows that your post isn't an idle 'moan' but a deep felt series of emotions and conflicts that you have been trying to work on.

All I can suggest is that you 'go home' and by 'go home' I mean find a town with a train station and leap to St Jean and walk the Frances again - unless you would then transfer your current guilt feelings to a 'I didn't finish' guilt feeling?
Ah yes, home. I find myself yearning for SJPdP right now. You are correct in that this isn’t an idle moan, but of something much deeper. Do I “stick it out” and hope everything turns around? Do I go “home?” The camaraderie is quite different on the LP, but I like the fact that it’s much quieter and spacious than the CF.

Sigh.
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
When in France, do as the French. I recognize your stated desire not to plan, but you have put yourself in a system that plans. It is a little like the boat that says I see the river runs that way, but I am going up stream because I don't want to take the easy way that everyone else does. If I was shooting in the dark, I would say the Camino is telling you to adapt, call ahead to reserve a bed; this is a different Camino from the Frances and others in Spain.
You also may want to just jump about when the people around become stale. Or, you might want to extend yourself. The French often speak English, but because they are not fluent, they just don't use it. However, they really appreciate when a non-French person makes the effort to speak French. I know this can be challenging, but it also can lead to some wonderfully fulfilling interactions.
Take the time to find your center. Abandon old demands and find the joy that is always there. I know you from your posts and I am confident that you will find your way through.
His peace be with you always,
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Oh, my, TNP, this is a big inner hill to climb.
I’m not sure what the antidote is,
Surrender. This is what's happening. Just feel what you feel as directly as you can without resisting or trying to fix it. Nothing is wrong, and you're not doing anything wrong. But what you are feeling needs to be dealt with inside first - because no matter where you go the mind and heart go with you. Managing the outer conditions to alleviate the discomfort only puts off until later the reckoning with loneliness, boredom, disconnection, struggle...whatever else is coming up. These are actually doorways in to the deepest places in the heart.

But it's also important to mitigate the struggle if it's too much. Noticing and paying attention to what is pleasant here and now, and not getting caught in thought loops is vital.
And bringing tenderness to the process...
There are no rules about these things, other than the self-imposed ones. Be kind to yourself.
 

Man in Black

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September/October (2017)
Camino Finisterre October 2017
Chemin St Jacques (2018)
Hey Truenorthpilgrim:

I'm feeling for you out here in digital land. I've walked both the Camino Frances and the Via Podiensis over the past 2 years. Around the communal table, it can be very isolating when you don't have the language or a partner to share your day's experiences with.

After returning last year I wrote my Top 10 Camino Tips and you may find some insight or solace in this excerpt.

2. Go your own "Way" -- embrace your "inner pilgrim".

Pilgrims come in many shapes, sizes, nationalities and are driven by a multitude of diverse ambitions and reasons for being on the "Way". For many it is a profoundly religious experience. We spoke to one German pilgrim, lost in the Pyrenees mists and fogs, who related being saved by a white robed pilgrim who guided him back to the track only to disappear again. He keenly felt that Jesus had appeared in his time of need.

For some, the pilgrimage is an opportunity to reflect and meditate on their lives. Others are looking to re-boot their lives after a life crisis or they sat at a crossroads in their life and did not know what path to take. For others, it was the challenge of walking 800 km.

Whatever brings you to the Camino, know that this is YOUR camino. You will get tons of unsolicited advice on the Way. The herd isn't always right. Our first night on the Way, rumours were racing thru the albergue like wildfire that there were no beds available the next day at Roncevalles. Big deal, we walked a few kilometres further and there was plenty of room at the inn.

Trust your gut. What works for one pilgrim may not work for you. Find and settle into your pace. Want company today? Seek out other pilgrims to walk with. Want solitude ... you can find that too.


God luck and find peace with whatever decision you make.
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
I’m not sure what the antidote is, but I thought I’d post my feelings on this forum to perhaps get some (non-judgemental) feedback.
Hi "I-don't-know-what-your-name-is-but-would-have-loved-to-address-you-using-it",

I don't if I can be of any help/comfort, being far away, with only this digital connection.

Thank you for sharing your feelings. Even the not so happy ones are worth sharing.

Sometimes life takes us to 'places' (circumstances) where we don't want to be/like to be. That goes for everyday life as well as being 'on the road'. Just remember one thing: whatever happens and wherever you are, there is always one, very important constant: YOU. I hope you're able to like yourself, love yourself.

If you succeed in doing so, you might feel very comfortable with your own company: being with someone you like and love and who is very worthwile, even if she feels lost and sad.

This won't help you with the language problem or having to put up with yet again the same bunch of people, but at least you're in good company with yourself. And who knows, maybe the way you feel might become less dependent of the circumstances you're in or the people you're with. At least I hope so.

I wish you all the best. 🍀
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Conques to Livinac is an exhausting day. I too struggled with aspects of the Le Puy and by the time I hit Livinac, enough that I left the camino. That decision haunted me and I had to go back and finish.

I too don't book ahead. I changed my daily distance a couple of times to escape the groups of week-walkers. My French is good, but still not good enough to enjoy the dinner conversations. I found them tedious. Not understanding them might have been better.

You are of course free to make any decision, but revisit your reasons for this pilgrimage. Will you be happy with yourself if don't finish what you started? Can you plan another rest day and let the current group pass you by? (You'll make up the time later.)

There is a tremendous satisfaction in see the Pyrenese on the horizon and watching them approach.

***EDITed as my stupid phone posted the message before I was done.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
I understand exactly what you're feeling.
I've felt it myself more than once.
My solution is what others here have suggested.
I hope on a bus and head "home" - for the nearest Camino Frances town where I'm familiar with the territory and the culture. After all, I'm there to walk and enjoy Spain.
What this means is several unfinished routes :cool: - but they'll be there when I'm ready to go back and continue them, perhaps just in short spurts.
The nice thing about walking the various routes of the Camino is that "home" is always near.
Good luck and Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
Ah yes, home. I find myself yearning for SJPdP right now. You are correct in that this isn’t an idle moan, but of something much deeper. Do I “stick it out” and hope everything turns around? Do I go “home?” The camaraderie is quite different on the LP, but I like the fact that it’s much quieter and spacious than the CF.

Sigh.
Well, at least on the CF, you know the lay of the land, and you can more easily get "between" groups of pilgs.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
am I on the struggle bus.
My first pilgrimage walks were on the Le Puy route, starting in 2010. The first year I spoke no French at all, and the second year, only a few basic phrases. So I immediately learned some of the basic Camino lessons: I am not in control; I must rely on the kindness of strangers; I will not get what I want but I will get what I need, and I will be grateful for that; If I wanted comfort and familiarity, I would stay home.

I so often see these same sorts of responses from other pilgrims on this Forum who have walked the CF before walking the LE Puy route, so you are not alone in your sentiment. France is not Spain. The land, the food, and the pilgrim culture are different. Perhaps it's best to recognize that the CF is not the norm for pilgrim routes -- in fact it is quite the outlier. No other route offers the numbers or walkers and lodgings, or the frequency of lodging that allows one to stop spontaneously.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I know how you feel about the Le Puy Camino. No one spoke English for what seemed liked days on end. There were very few pilgrims and most were seemed to be retired married couples/groups that were very tight knit. For me when I feel the way you are feeling I know it is because I am in my head way too much. I also know that it is going to get a little worse before it gets better. But soon I realize how liberating not thinking is, and just enjoy the scenery and the sound of the camino and take that in. At night I just smiled and ate some of the best food imaginable and didn't worry about the fact that I couldn't speak to anyone really. It is the moment that I submit to the camino is the moment the good stuff happens.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Ah yes, home. I find myself yearning for SJPdP right now. You are correct in that this isn’t an idle moan, but of something much deeper. Do I “stick it out” and hope everything turns around? Do I go “home?” The camaraderie is quite different on the LP, but I like the fact that it’s much quieter and spacious than the CF.

Sigh.
Relax. Breathe. You’ll figure out what to do.

If it were me, I might jump ahead to a day before Saint Jean and see how I feel on arriving and spending a night there. I might continue on the CF, connect with the Camino del Norte, hop on a train to Bayonne for the Baztan ..... or do something else. How exciting! In the meantime, enjoy the rest and stand back to admire what you’ve accomplished so far. This might be your most memorable Camino ever 😀
 
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MarkyD

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Hi all,

I’m waking from Le Puy to Santiago and boy, am I on the struggle bus. I walked the Camino Frances 3 years ago, so I’m well aware of what to expect as far as life on The Way.

But the in the last week I’m just very resistant to walking. I speak only “survival French” (my Spanish is much better) and it’s been lonely at dinner with everyone chatting in French. I also don’t feel a tremendous urge to connect to people. One thing I do NOT like doing is booking ahead for rooms. I love walking into a town and staying where the mood strikes. Lots of places close on a Sunday and Monday, I have to plan to bring my lunch and everyone is consumed with “where are you going next?”. I don’t have a timeline to adhere to, I don’t care how many km you’ve walked (a topic that bores me to tears) and I feel lost.

Then I think “I shouldn’t feel this way! I’m back on the Camino, in France, with the best fromage! And adorable villages!! Why am I feeling this way?”

I’m in Livinghac du Haut today, having walked out of Conques yesterday and (I think) pushing myself too far. I’m emotionally spent, and I find my self wanting to stop and “shake off” certain groups of people. I get sick of seeing the same folks over a 5 day period.

I’m not sure what the antidote is, but I thought I’d post my feelings on this forum to perhaps get some (non-judgemental) feedback.
Try learning a little bit of Francais and join in, even just listening and smiling can help lift your spirits up. Don't give up though, if the crowd is not to your liking just stop somewhere a couple of days so they move well ahead of you.
Enjoy the silence and nature while you can, the Camino Francés will provide ample opportunity to socialise with many groups and individuals as much as you like. Or get a bus or train and jump a few stages to get ahead of your group.
Maybe you could offer to help out at an albergue for a few days, do some floor scrubbing and mattress washing etc. and learn a little bit of the language at the same time. Lots of options for you. Breathe deep, relax, life is short but very wide.
 
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truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
Hi "I-don't-know-what-your-name-is-but-would-have-loved-to-address-you-using-it",

I don't if I can be of any help/comfort, being far away, with only this digital connection.

Thank you for sharing your feelings. Even the not so happy ones are worth sharing.

Sometimes life takes us to 'places' (circumstances) where we don't want to be/like to be. That goes for everyday life as well as being 'on the road'. Just remember one thing: whatever happens and wherever you are, there is always one, very important constant: YOU. I hope you're able to like yourself, love yourself.

If you succeed in doing so, you might feel very comfortable with your own company: being with someone you like and love and who is very worthwile, even if she feels lost and sad.

This won't help you with the language problem or having to put up with yet again the same bunch of people, but at least you're in good company with yourself. And who knows, maybe the way you feel might become less dependent of the circumstances you're in or the people you're with. At least I hope so.

I wish you all the best. 🍀
My name is Erin and the shamrock was apropos. Thank you
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
Conques to Livinac is an exhausting day. I too struggled with aspects of the Le Puy and by the time I hit Livinac, enough that I left the camino. That decision haunted me and I had to go back and finish.

I too don't book ahead. I changed my daily distance a couple of times to escape the groups of week-walkers. My French is good, but still not good enough to enjoy the dinner conversations. I found them tedious. Not understanding them might have been better.

You are of course free to make any decision, but revisit your reasons for this pilgrimage. Will you be happy with yourself if don't finish what you started? Can you plan another rest day and let the current group pass you by? (You'll make up the time later.)

There is a tremendous satisfaction in see the Pyrenese on the horizon and watching them approach.

***EDITed as my stupid phone posted the message before I was done.
Thank you for this. Wonderful advice
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
Try learning a little bit of Francais and join in, even just listening and smiling can help lift your spirits up. Don't give up though, if the crowd is not to your liking just stop somewhere a couple of days so they move well ahead of you.
Enjoy the silence and nature while you can, the Camino Francés will provide ample opportunity to socialise with many groups and individuals as much as you like. Or get a bus or train and jump a few stages to get ahead of your group.
Maybe you could offer to help out at an albergue fir a few days, do some floor scrubbing and mattress washing etc. and learn a little bit of the language at the same time. Lots of options for you. Breathe deep, relax, life is short but very wide.
I know survival French but at the end of the day I’m so tired I can’t even speak English! 😆 but I’m picking up on more phrases every day.
 

intrepidtraveler

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Madrid, Frances and Finisterre (2015)
Camino Norte-2017; Camino Ingles from A Coruna - 2017
Like you I am currently walking the LePuy route. Yes, it is very different than the CF. Yes, I sometimes feel left out during the dinner conversation because my French is not fluent. Face it, for them to talk with me takes effort. At the end of a long day of walking, most people are probably looking for easy conversation, not extra effort. Instead of dwelling on feeling left out, I am using it as an opportunity to work on my listening-to-French skills. I have also found that if I encounter my dinner companions on the trail the next day in smaller numbers, they are usually quite open to trying to talk with me.

Could part of your dissatisfaction be that you are wanting this route to be just like the CF, but with French food, history and landscape?

Different strokes for different folks. I am almost at the end of my walk in France. I have until the end of Sept. available to walk. When I read the reports online of how busy the CF is early on, I'm starting to consider the Aragones instead of continuing on to Roncesvalle. The idea of joining the "wave of humanity" and the concept of Camino Families (reminds me of Jr. High cliques) sounds highly unappealing. But that's me, YMMV.
 

TMcA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
I think you may have a little bit of culture shock affecting you.
  • High expectations for this route based on your experience on the CF
  • Linguistic isolation
  • Local customs/way of doing things that displease you - shop closures on Sundays and Mondays and"need"/advisability of reserving lodging ahead of time
  • Other hikers questioning about or discussing kms/day
Culture shock is not rare. It happens to almost everybody who winds up in a foreign place for a period of time, especially if one is isolated by language. I am not an expert on this, but I have felt it. And it can easily lead to more irritation and more frustration if you don't begin to realize what is getting to you, what is bumming you out, and even what is depressing you.

My message is intended to be non-judgmental and is conveyed to make you understand that what has been happening to you and around you is almost universal. And sometimes the best way to tackle this is to discuss it...maybe with a fellow hiker who speaks English and just might be experiencing a little of the same.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I didn't realize how going on the Le Puy with two friends enhanced my experience. Reading many of these replies lets me know how very fortunate I was to not do it alone! It softened the negatives so that I barely noticed them at the time.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
Try to find or borrow a Miam Miam Dodo guide book, it IS in French BUT WITH SOME ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS, but so simplified that you WILL understand the basics. The most important part, however, is that the gîtes and other places to stay are marked with the languages spoken by the "management". English is represented by a British flag. At least then you will be able to communicate with someone who can help you. They will also know what awaits you further on -- ask for help, it does wonders to get communication started. Let the Chemin/Camno take over, don't try to force what is supposed to happen. It WILL be worth it! All the best to you, @truenorthpilgrim !! 🥰
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
This thread really illustrates how different via Podiensis and camino Frances are.
I have done LePuy twice and rank as my favorite camino experience. But always walked with a companion so there was some dinnertime English without the survival French struggle (both ways). I do not think I would chose to do LePuy route solo.
I am not drawn to the CF for the 'family'; I love walking, so Podiensis has that advantage. But for ease and low stress the CF wins-- although the increase in foot traffic has made advance reservations there necessary for this slow walker.
I have no real advice except to do what is in your heart and not get caught in the 'I must finish this' mentality.
My old age mantra is "I will do discomfort but I will not do misery"

bon chemin
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sep/Oct 2018)
Camino Portugues (Sep 2020)
Don't feel bad for feeling bad. Hopefully, being able to vent will help unload some baggage. You mentioned not wanting to take more rest days - Maybe a few shorter days will allow you to get in sync with a more compatible group? Good or bad, I'm sure you've already had a memorable experience in France. Regardless of how many more days you walk to SJPdP, by the time you get to Santiago, I hope they will only be good memories. Also, this experience may provide a new perspective on the rest of the CF. Keep us updated!

Buen Camino
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
You are all lovely and awesome. Thank you each for your support and thoughts. I think I just needed to vent and unload a little. The balanced perspectives are what I appreciate about this forum.

@TMcA May have pinpointed some of the undercurrent I’m experiencing.

merci à vous
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
Try to find or borrow a Miam Miam Dodo guide book, it IS in French BUT WITH SOME ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS, but so simplified that you WILL understand the basics. The most important part, however, is that the gîtes and other places to stay are marked with the languages spoken by the "management". English is represented by a British flag. At least then you will be able to communicate with someone who can help you. They will also know what awaits you further on -- ask for help, it does wonders to get communication started. Let the Chemin/Camno take over, don't try to force what is supposed to happen. It WILL be worth it! All the best to you, @truenorthpilgrim !! 🥰
Thank you-already using the MiamMiam guide and it’s quite good.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Just chipping in to say it was good to reach the end and see how the contributions have helped you. Keep posting. You have many days walking ahead...lots to post about! Seriously, well done for being open and willing to see and hear through the wise words others have offered you. Bon chemin, Erin, such a soft name!
 

tominrm

Hiking to Celebrate the End of Working Life.
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2014,2019)
del Norte ( 2015)
Portuguese ( 2016)
Primitivo ( 2017)
VdlP (2018)
I had similar experience last April. I struggled because of the terrain and the weight of my backpack.

If you you want to stop walking that part of GR65, take that daily shuttle to Conques.
Then again you can take another shuttle bus to Figeac.

You can continue or skip to SJPdP.
 

mgnswaus

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Muxia 2012. Arles to Puente la Reina 2013. Puente la Reina to SdC 2014 European Peace Walk 2016 Portuguese 2017 Ingles 2017
In my mid 70s, I walked from Le Puy for the second time, beginning late April this year, with all accommodations booked.
Reading your post, I was immediately plunged back into the identical space and similar experiences in and with which you have been finding yourself. I sympathise as it can be a very lonely place, even around a crowded, noisy table, and I have some French.
The journey to Conques is ‘notorious’ for the number of groups, large and small, undertaking this section. Until considerably further on, a significant proportion of walkers are ‘on holiday’; their focus is not SdC or SJPdP. I hadn’t fully understood this which is why the energy and lack of connection is so ‘uncaminolike’.
You are now at the beginning of my favourite part of the GR65. Take heart. You will be blessed with stunning views as far as the eye can see for the remainder of the first third and before you begin the middle section. Here, the view becomes ‘small’ and, as with the Frances, it’s a time for contemplation.
After Moissac, the energy will change again and there are many more pilgrims as opposed to recreational walkers and the Camino feeling and energy lifts noticeably.
It is an amazing route. It’s challenging on so many levels, but oh so satisfying. Hang on in there. If I can support you in any way, please PM me.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I have to say that your experience of feeling isolated is why I'm don't think that I'd do any of the Caminos in France solo. I've had several communal dinners on the Frances with no one to talk to in English or (my very basic) Spanish, but at least I know that I'll probably find English speakers in the next day or so.

Have you thought about heading over to the Primitivo or Norte?
 

The_Moo

looking into the heart of light
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013-15

Le Puy 2015 - 2018
Le Puy to Conques is a tough part of the pilgrimage IMO. Beautiful scenery but the booking ahead feeling a little too rigid and the unexpectedly monocultural feeling was a shock to me after the Frances.

After Conques, for me it became a little easier. My french improved. The route seemed slightly less challenging (or i got fitter). It felt that the balance tipped a little towards 'pilgrims' rather than 'hikers'. The French pilgrims and hikers were all friendly. I found a booklet detailing the religious communities who provided pilgrim accommodation and stayed in those where i could, it was a different vibe and i only had one awkward experience.

La Romieu was a huge highlight for me. It's FULL of cat images, a true mad cat lady location.

It's an amazing feeling walking into (rather than out from) SJPP. I'd suggest sticking it out a bit longer. Dont look for the pilgrim multinational experience of the Frances; see if you can enjoy the experiemce of being in the France that most people dont get to see. Look out for the changes in building style, roof styles, food, landscape, agriculture, accents.

Finally, if it's really not working for you, there's no shame in changing direction. Bon chemin!
 

Paul nelson

Sauntering through life
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-2015..Podiensis-2018
Hi all,

I’m waking from Le Puy to Santiago and boy, am I on the struggle bus. I walked the Camino Frances 3 years ago, so I’m well aware of what to expect as far as life on The Way.

But the in the last week I’m just very resistant to walking. I speak only “survival French” (my Spanish is much better) and it’s been lonely at dinner with everyone chatting in French. I also don’t feel a tremendous urge to connect to people. One thing I do NOT like doing is booking ahead for rooms. I love walking into a town and staying where the mood strikes. Lots of places close on a Sunday and Monday, I have to plan to bring my lunch and everyone is consumed with “where are you going next?”. I don’t have a timeline to adhere to, I don’t care how many km you’ve walked (a topic that bores me to tears) and I feel lost.

Then I think “I shouldn’t feel this way! I’m back on the Camino, in France, with the best fromage! And adorable villages!! Why am I feeling this way?”

I’m in Livinghac du Haut today, having walked out of Conques yesterday and (I think) pushing myself too far. I’m emotionally spent, and I find my self wanting to stop and “shake off” certain groups of people. I get sick of seeing the same folks over a 5 day period.

I’m not sure what the antidote is, but I thought I’d post my feelings on this forum to perhaps get some (non-judgemental) feedback.
 

Paul nelson

Sauntering through life
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-2015..Podiensis-2018
Did the Camino Frances in 2015 and Le Puy in 2018...Frances is all about the camino spirit and the fellow pilgrims you meet along the way. Le Puy is a beautiful walk with great food but in no way exudes any of the camino spirit ....and the French we met were great but had little interest in any spirituality or communicating in any language but French...the exception was the gite owners themselves who were very hospitable and often from varied backgrounds and nationalities...very little" bon chemin" but historically,topographically and epicurally "tres bien"...so don't compare , just saunter along at your own pace.
PS we are going back on the Frances next Spring
 

Susu60

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, La via plata, Aragon,
Hi all,

I’m waking from Le Puy to Santiago and boy, am I on the struggle bus. I walked the Camino Frances 3 years ago, so I’m well aware of what to expect as far as life on The Way.

But the in the last week I’m just very resistant to walking. I speak only “survival French” (my Spanish is much better) and it’s been lonely at dinner with everyone chatting in French. I also don’t feel a tremendous urge to connect to people. One thing I do NOT like doing is booking ahead for rooms. I love walking into a town and staying where the mood strikes. Lots of places close on a Sunday and Monday, I have to plan to bring my lunch and everyone is consumed with “where are you going next?”. I don’t have a timeline to adhere to, I don’t care how many km you’ve walked (a topic that bores me to tears) and I feel lost.

Then I think “I shouldn’t feel this way! I’m back on the Camino, in France, with the best fromage! And adorable villages!! Why am I feeling this way?”

I’m in Livinghac du Haut today, having walked out of Conques yesterday and (I think) pushing myself too far. I’m emotionally spent, and I find my self wanting to stop and “shake off” certain groups of people. I get sick of seeing the same folks over a 5 day period.

I’m not sure what the antidote is, but I thought I’d post my feelings on this forum to perhaps get some (non-judgemental) feedback.
 

robproct

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP from Lisbon 2018
Hi Erin. It seems that you have hit a barrier which is normal and something that most of us will have experienced more than once. You describe the feeling so well. Its like a mood and it will pass but in the meantime you may as well just experience it and see if it has any lessons for you. Sometimes all one can do is to survive it and wait for it to pass, perhaps with help from the considerable experience of those who have also contributed to this thread. Its a cycle, what goes up must come down and what goes down must come up again. There may be something to learn, maybe not, but persevere, accept it for what it is, wait for it to pass and don't too judgemental about yourself. We are a family and all supporting you on he journey. Rob.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
@truenorthpilgrim - Thank you so much for starting this thread and being so open, and thanks to all who have posted such thoughtful responses!
I have walked the Frances a number of times, and enjoyed (in hindsight) every moment!! I've not been interested in walking from Le Puy until a week ago, but something is calling, so in a short time I'll experience it for myself - but not without concerns - tho' fewer concerns than this morning! I'm comfortable in French, I've gone over the three mountains each time on the Frances without problems, so I'm pretty sure I can manage on the Le Puy. but... I'm wondering why I'm having these concerns. This thread has helped so much, and I'm extremely grateful to you ALL for your thoughts, concerns, likes & dislikes!! C'est normale!
~~~ And at this very moment my very own copy of The Way of St James France GR65 (Cicerone) was delivered to my door!!
Again @truenorthpilgrim - all the very best over the next weeks!
 

Healthful

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Siempre
Hi all,

I’m waking from Le Puy to Santiago and boy, am I on the struggle bus. I walked the Camino Frances 3 years ago, so I’m well aware of what to expect as far as life on The Way.

But the in the last week I’m just very resistant to walking. I speak only “survival French” (my Spanish is much better) and it’s been lonely at dinner with everyone chatting in French. I also don’t feel a tremendous urge to connect to people. One thing I do NOT like doing is booking ahead for rooms. I love walking into a town and staying where the mood strikes. Lots of places close on a Sunday and Monday, I have to plan to bring my lunch and everyone is consumed with “where are you going next?”. I don’t have a timeline to adhere to, I don’t care how many km you’ve walked (a topic that bores me to tears) and I feel lost.

Then I think “I shouldn’t feel this way! I’m back on the Camino, in France, with the best fromage! And adorable villages!! Why am I feeling this way?”

I’m in Livinghac du Haut today, having walked out of Conques yesterday and (I think) pushing myself too far. I’m emotionally spent, and I find my self wanting to stop and “shake off” certain groups of people. I get sick of seeing the same folks over a 5 day period.

I’m not sure what the antidote is, but I thought I’d post my feelings on this forum to perhaps get some (non-judgemental) feedback.
Hi there! (I love that name btw--TrueNorthPilgrim!)

I just wanted to thank you for your post and tell you I read it with a full heart, (as well as many of the introspective and thoughtful replies).

But you're a pilgrim, you're strong, you're loved, and I wish you well on the remainder of your unfolding adventure.

I don't really like to give advice but I'd just encourage you to keep feeling whatever you're feeling. You're feeling it for a reason and allowing yourself to feel it no doubt helps you evolve in ways you may not fathom now.
 
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redking

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed - September 2017 - Cahors to Saint Jean.
Completed - September 2018 - Le Puy to Cahors.
I solo walked the GR65 Chemin le Puy in September 2017 & September 2018.

Being Irish, I walked the second half from Cahors to Saint Jean in 2017 and completed the first half from Le Puy to Cahors in 2018 !!

I had all my accommodation booked in advance and used a luggage transfer service, so I only had to carry a daysack. I am now 68 years of age.(Male)

My French is OK. I can understand more than I can speak.

On my first trip in 2017, at first I found myself sitting at dinner tables with with maybe up to 20 French speakers, which I found quite daunting.

At dinner on the first night,I said to myself "What am I doing here"

After a few days I started to try and converse in French and believe it or not,the French speakers started to try and converse with me in English.

I made mistakes, such as saying that my husband was English ,rather than my wife was English!!!

I found the French people I met to be mostly very pleasant.

Just keep trying your French.
The more you listen to the French words ,the better you will improve.
You have a wonderful opportunity to learn French over the next few weeks.
In the six weeks I spent in walking the Chemin Le Puy, my French language skills improved immensely.

As regards the walking, I found the journey between Le Puy and Conques to be quite difficult.
Lots of quite severe ascents and descents.

After Conques the journey is much easier.

I enjoyed the walk that I completed in 2017 (Cahors to Saint Jean) much better than the walk in 2018. (Le Puy to Cahors)

From my experience in 2017 and 2018, my advice to you is to keep going.

I am convinced that when you arrive in Saint Jean, you will have had a wonderful experience.
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Hi Erin, hope you're feeling more positive and in a better place today.

I start next week (Wed) from Moissac, so maybe our paths will cross!

I can relate to how you feel. I walked Le Puy to Conques last Sept, but with my daughter so there was always someone to talk with! Then I went on to Moissac this May on my own, via the Cele valley. That was quite an experience, with both highs and lows. Now I hope to get to SJPP by early Oct, when I'll stop.

I walked the CF in 2014, in Sept and I loved it. Walking other caminos, and the Le Puy route, in shorter 2 week stretches is a very different experience. It's more like a holiday than a pilgrimage. At the point that you are at, I've had to go home. It's almost like cheating. I long to do a really long walk again and work through that point as I did on the CF.
 

efdoucette

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
Since 2011 - too many to list
I had the exact experienced when I walked from Le Puy in 2013. It had become clear as someone quoted to me "The French walk in France, the world walks in Spain". At that time I moved from Conques to SJPP, no regrets, the difference was like night and day.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@truenorthpilgrim I've walked the Le Puy twice and I understand exactly what you are experiencing. With luck you will be like me and meet up with some native English speakers - if not can I suggest you get yourself to Moissac and book into Ron and Aideen's lovely Ultreia Moissac gite - here. It is a great place to meet other English speakers - if necessary stay there a few days until the right people come along! Moissac is fascinating. My husband and I had several days there waiting for some friends to arrive - we spent time watching the boats on the canal and the lochs in operation, and one day we walked to Castelsarrasin for the big market that happens once a week. I'm hoping Ron and Aideen are still there and not too weary of pilgrims - I found them kindness itself. And very amusing in that unforgettable Irish way.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
Your situation sounds very similar to mine this year on the Lisbon to Porto route. Having done the Frances and Norte before multiple times I thought I knew what I would get out of it, yet found myself very lonely and constantly frustrated that things weren't living up to my expectations. And after all you've been looking forward to this all year and have saved up your hard-earned money to do it...

It took a heart-to-heart with God for things to improve. After three weeks of this, I sat down and said: Okay, look I don't know crap. I thought I knew what I would get out of this, but clearly I don't. I'm willing to be wrong about my preconceptions of this camino. Just fix things up for me a bit so I can start loving it the same way as I've loved the others.

From pretty much that hour on things improved, and by the time I had made it to Santiago, I had more friends than I knew what to do with and people were joking that I "knew everyone".

The moral of the tale? Prefer to be happy than be right. Who wants to be right about something when those expectations are making you miserable?
 

steve 217

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances planning via del la plata
Dear Truenorthpilgrim
Thanks for your honesty , whenever i read a post like this im amazed at the replies all of which i agree with.
Its horrid to feel so isolated and can only empathise with you .
Its one of the few advantages of this digital age that we live in that your post can reach so many people so quickly.
Its a platitude i know but whenever ive had a bad day on the Camino and felt like giving it up going home or just curling up and ignoring the world almost always something comes along to restore my faith whever it be a kind word a good deed or simply a local going out of there way to help a pilgrim.
If your not “feeling” it i agree with the post give yourself a break, recoup and think about what your doing there .
I hope you refind the thing that brought you back to the Camino whether that be in France or back at SJDP.
Please dont be so hard on yourself we are always our own harshest critics .
I took my 81 year old Mother to walk from Sarria earlier this year and whilst i found the French way very changed since the last time i did it , It reignited my love of the Camino to such an extent that i am returning to SJDP in Oct .
I hope that you rediscover that feeling all the best please keep your posts coming.
Buen camino
 

Faye Walker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I had the exact experienced when I walked from Le Puy in 2013. It had become clear as someone quoted to me "The French walk in France, the world walks in Spain". At that time I moved from Conques to SJPP, no regrets, the difference was like night and day.
That's such an interesting little truism about who is walking where. I suppose I would be happy enough in France as a few days there always returns my fluency.... but I think it is unaffordable for the time being so my next walk (in several weeks) will be the Portugues, at a point when I am hopeful there will be few out there other than the Portuguese people. I love the CF, and I absolutely love all of Spain that I have seen (most except the SW). But on CF 2 I was very aware that because of the saturation of the camino bubble all along the corridor, I was having a harder time seeing Spain, and being with its varied inhabitants.

I actually do not hope to meet very many people when I walk. A person or two... maybe. But I would rather see the land and the people whose land I am visiting than I would those who are more like me than unique to the place I am in. I don't want to meet people who want the Spanish or Galician or Basque or Catalan people to change to become a tourist location indistinguishable from home (for example, there was a guy recently who was planning to hand out chastising cards to bar owners who did not provide the kind of food he wanted; there is the current donnybrook about how the Spanish really should provide us with toilets all along the way... an increasing feeling that some would happily sell the whole CF to Marriot)....

And so I hope for the OP that peace with being with the French in France will come... and that for all of us an acceptance that we have chosen to leave home will mean some discomfort, some *vacating* from our usual habits... some growth...

I respect the OP's honesty about the struggle.... value it even.

But I wonder if we all, more generally, would benefit if we became more inclined to accept that travel will be disruptive, sometimes lonely, and fundamentally challenging rather than comfortable.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
That's such an interesting little truism about who is walking where. I suppose I would be happy enough in France as a fe days there always returns my fluency.... but I think it is unaffordable for the time being so my next walk (in several weeks) will be the Portugues at a point when I am hopeful there will be few out there other than the Portuguese people. I love the CF and I absolutely love all of Spain that I have seen (most except the SW). But on CF 2 I was very ware that I was having a harder time seeing Spain because of the saturation of the camino bubble all along the corridor.

I actually do not hope to meet very many people when I walk. A person or two... maybe. But I would rather see the land and the people whose land I am visiting than I would those who are more like me than different. I don't want to meet people who want the Spanish or Galician or Basque or Catalan people to change to become a tourist location indistinguishable from home (for example, there was a guy recently who was planning to hand out chastising cards to bar owners who did not provide the kind of food he wanted; there is the current donnybrook about how the Spanish really should provide us with toilets all along the way... an increasing feeling that some would happily sell the whole CF to Marriot)....

And so hope for the OP that peace with being with the French in France will come... and that for all of us an acceptance that we have chosen to leave home will mean some discomfort, some *vacating* from our usual habits... some growth...

I respect the OP's honesty about the struggle.... value it even.

But I wonder if we all, more generally, would benefit if we became more inclined to accept that travel will be disruptive, sometimes lonely, and fundamentally challenging rather than comfortable.
For interest...
3365E2C0-C9AA-46FF-80DC-031DADEB6C2A.jpeg
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
Hi all,

I’m waking from Le Puy to Santiago and boy, am I on the struggle bus. I walked the Camino Frances 3 years ago, so I’m well aware of what to expect as far as life on The Way.

But the in the last week I’m just very resistant to walking. I speak only “survival French” (my Spanish is much better) and it’s been lonely at dinner with everyone chatting in French. I also don’t feel a tremendous urge to connect to people. One thing I do NOT like doing is booking ahead for rooms. I love walking into a town and staying where the mood strikes. Lots of places close on a Sunday and Monday, I have to plan to bring my lunch and everyone is consumed with “where are you going next?”. I don’t have a timeline to adhere to, I don’t care how many km you’ve walked (a topic that bores me to tears) and I feel lost.

Then I think “I shouldn’t feel this way! I’m back on the Camino, in France, with the best fromage! And adorable villages!! Why am I feeling this way?”

I’m in Livinghac du Haut today, having walked out of Conques yesterday and (I think) pushing myself too far. I’m emotionally spent, and I find my self wanting to stop and “shake off” certain groups of people. I get sick of seeing the same folks over a 5 day period.

I’m not sure what the antidote is, but I thought I’d post my feelings on this forum to perhaps get some (non-judgemental) feedback.
The walk out of Conques is exhausting. Give yourself a break and rest for a bit. Get some good food, get a good night sleep.--

I had a hard time on the Chemin too. I walked two years ago- sept/october. I kept falling in with non-pilgrim folk, that is to say, people interested in a holiday and talking/complaining about the quality of the towels or beds, or food...

In LePuy, I connected with a great group of about 8 people (french and quebecois)-- a few spoke english, and I joined in with them for a bit. My french is very bad-- I can read it, and I can cobble a few sentences together. And as a group of 8 we called ahead. I broke away from them because for various reasons they started annoying me-- but then I'd be walking through a village and one or the other would spy me and invite me to join them for dinner. And I'd smile and join in-- just to leave them again in a day or so.

-- When I walked alone, I did not call ahead, I just showed up and had no problem-- though I did show up on the early side (for me), and I did try and stay at parochial/religious gites and municipal gives when available.

I took the alternative route to Bonneval, and I did call the nuns to tell them I was coming. Well- actually, I asked some young french college students to call for me. The walk to Bonneval was kind of lonely-- but the kindness I received both at Bonneval and at Condom d'Aubrac (overnighted there on the way) made up for it.

I had walked the Frances with my son, and walking alone, I missed him sorely.


Kate
 
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Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I have to say that your experience of feeling isolated is why I'm don't think that I'd do any of the Caminos in France solo. I've had several communal dinners on the Frances with no one to talk to in English or (my very basic) Spanish, but at least I know that I'll probably find English speakers in the next day or so.
I know this is a little off topic (?) and it is not intended as any kind of criticism, just a thought, so please excuse me, but every time I see a post like this, I wonder if you native English/American speakers realize your favorable position. There is a good chance you will run into people from all over the world speaking your language, whereas that will never happen to someone like me coming from a small country. If I didn’t speak other languages, I would feel very isolated anywhere out of my own country. So perhaps it has to do with expectations: When I travel abroad, I don’t expect to be able to communicate in my own language 🙂
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
It’s not necessarily a criticism but perhaps your projection? This wasn’t about me as an American expecting people to speak English..
I don't recall making any remarks about you being American or your specific expectations. Perhaps your projections...?
 

TheSparrow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2019) Walked Tomar to Coimbra - Porto to Ponte Vedra - Spiritual Variant to Santiago
Hi all,

I’m waking from Le Puy to Santiago and boy, am I on the struggle bus. I walked the Camino Frances 3 years ago, so I’m well aware of what to expect as far as life on The Way.

But the in the last week I’m just very resistant to walking. I speak only “survival French” (my Spanish is much better) and it’s been lonely at dinner with everyone chatting in French. I also don’t feel a tremendous urge to connect to people. One thing I do NOT like doing is booking ahead for rooms. I love walking into a town and staying where the mood strikes. Lots of places close on a Sunday and Monday, I have to plan to bring my lunch and everyone is consumed with “where are you going next?”. I don’t have a timeline to adhere to, I don’t care how many km you’ve walked (a topic that bores me to tears) and I feel lost.

Then I think “I shouldn’t feel this way! I’m back on the Camino, in France, with the best fromage! And adorable villages!! Why am I feeling this way?”

I’m in Livinghac du Haut today, having walked out of Conques yesterday and (I think) pushing myself too far. I’m emotionally spent, and I find my self wanting to stop and “shake off” certain groups of people. I get sick of seeing the same folks over a 5 day period.

I’m not sure what the antidote is, but I thought I’d post my feelings on this forum to perhaps get some (non-judgemental) feedback.
Hello Camino Friend,
When people walk the Appalachian Trail they say you should always ask yourself "why am I doing this trail" and that you should know why. So, and you do not have to answer here of course, but why did you walk that trail?
Merci, you got this!!
 

hieudovan

DoVanHieu
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012), VdLP (2014), CF (2017), Rota Vincentina (2018), Caminho Portugues (2019), Le Puy (2020)
I found a booklet detailing the religious communities who provided pilgrim accommodation and stayed in those where i could, it was a different vibe and i only had one awkward experience.
Hello, where did you get the book on the religious communities? I am contemplating walking the Le Puy and would love to have this information. Bon chemin. /Hieu
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Far too many French pilgrims (repeat ones in particular) seem to have this sort of attitude about how you're supposed to do it in a certain particular manner, and really try and impose themselves on you (without actually wanting to), and it can get pretty stifling.

Also some stages can be pretty difficult in themselves on the French Caminos.

But it's hard to give any general advice, except grit your teeth and get patience ? It does get better the closer you get to Gascony and the Basque Country.

Else I dunno, grab a rest day and let them walk on and ahead and out of your Camino ?
 

Ptermini

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(10/2018)
Hi all,

I’m waking from Le Puy to Santiago and boy, am I on the struggle bus. I walked the Camino Frances 3 years ago, so I’m well aware of what to expect as far as life on The Way.

But the in the last week I’m just very resistant to walking. I speak only “survival French” (my Spanish is much better) and it’s been lonely at dinner with everyone chatting in French. I also don’t feel a tremendous urge to connect to people. One thing I do NOT like doing is booking ahead for rooms. I love walking into a town and staying where the mood strikes. Lots of places close on a Sunday and Monday, I have to plan to bring my lunch and everyone is consumed with “where are you going next?”. I don’t have a timeline to adhere to, I don’t care how many km you’ve walked (a topic that bores me to tears) and I feel lost.

Then I think “I shouldn’t feel this way! I’m back on the Camino, in France, with the best fromage! And adorable villages!! Why am I feeling this way?”

I’m in Livinghac du Haut today, having walked out of Conques yesterday and (I think) pushing myself too far. I’m emotionally spent, and I find my self wanting to stop and “shake off” certain groups of people. I get sick of seeing the same folks over a 5 day period.

I’m not sure what the antidote is, but I thought I’d post my feelings on this forum to perhaps get some (non-judgemental) feedback.
I have hiked many miles on the Appalachian Trail in the United States we always say” never leave the Trail on a bad day ( week)”. You are good to takes “zero” days, no miles. Rest up, eat well, maybe, make short term goals, of only a few days and evaluate after some good days. The good days will come. Trust.
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
I don't recall making any remarks about you being American or your specific expectations. Perhaps your projections...?
Sorry you’re right. I deleted my response.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances. 2001
Via de la plata 2008
Arles -Piemonte-Frances-Cee 2014
(Bastan-Francés) 2019
Hi all,

I’m waking from Le Puy to Santiago and boy, am I on the struggle bus. I walked the Camino Frances 3 years ago, so I’m well aware of what to expect as far as life on The Way.

But the in the last week I’m just very resistant to walking. I speak only “survival French” (my Spanish is much better) and it’s been lonely at dinner with everyone chatting in French. I also don’t feel a tremendous urge to connect to people. One thing I do NOT like doing is booking ahead for rooms. I love walking into a town and staying where the mood strikes. Lots of places close on a Sunday and Monday, I have to plan to bring my lunch and everyone is consumed with “where are you going next?”. I don’t have a timeline to adhere to, I don’t care how many km you’ve walked (a topic that bores me to tears) and I feel lost.

Then I think “I shouldn’t feel this way! I’m back on the Camino, in France, with the best fromage! And adorable villages!! Why am I feeling this way?”

I’m in Livinghac du Haut today, having walked out of Conques yesterday and (I think) pushing myself too far. I’m emotionally spent, and I find my self wanting to stop and “shake off” certain groups of people. I get sick of seeing the same folks over a 5 day period.

I’m not sure what the antidote is, but I thought I’d post my feelings on this forum to perhaps get some (non-judgemental) feedback.
I share your aversion to being required to book ahead and I really dislike giving up all the spontaneous alternatives I might find along the way. My solution is to carry a bit heavier sleeping bag and a cut down foam pad that will enable me to spend the night comfortably If I don’t find lodging.
I seldom use this option on the Camino Frances but find it well worth the extra pound of pack weight to never have to struggle to find a bed.
The sleeping out option will only work for you if you tolerate or even crave solitude and you must have or learn the skills necessary to safely and comfortably find an occupy a suitable campsite.
I love having the option but It’s not for everyone.
Good luck.
Gary
 

Jeep500

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015) this year Portugal (2017)
Hi!
You could stop and rest à Fès dans un Figeac next stop. Nice village site good restaurants and Cafés. Take the train in the morning to Rocamadour, this si very Nice site and come bacs by the train late afternoon.
 

flickchic98

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 18,2015 - June 23,2015 El Camino Frances
May 25, 2017 - June 30th, 2017 Le Puy to Moissac
dear truenorthpilgrim,

I know EXACTLY what you're went through. I walked the Lepuy in 2017 and decided to return to the States when I made it Moissac (or rather a big fat blister decided for me). I do plan to return to go from Moissac to SJPD.
The language barrier is tough. Very few english speakers do that route. I took three years of French in High school so I can struggle by with some serious effort and of course my handy dictionary. But I found a lot of resistance to speaking English the further I got from the touristy towns.
One time when I said in my poor french "I am sorry, i speak french very poorly, do you speak any english?" the owner of the bnb where I was staying in responded "why should I speak English when I am in France?" His wife seemed horrified at his comment since he did choose to be in the hospitality business. But as it turned out his place had one of the best meals of all the places I stayed in. Yes the LePuy is very pricey compared to the Frances because you get a gourmet meal at each place, usually your own bed not a bunk bed and maybe even your own room with towels. One place had lamb that I can still taste. Average 55 euros a night.
Most hosts did their best and were patient with my poor french. Mostly we laughed a lot. But the walkers themselves were not as warm as the ones on the Camino. My theory is that the Lepuy is viewed more as a trek (GR-65) . French folks love to walk and they take their holidays to walk for a few days and then they go back home. Most walkers were wealthy retirees. Over there people are forced to retire early so they still very fit. The attitude is a bit different too. Everyone wanted to know if I had voted for Trump. Once they learned that I had not, they seemed more accepting and yet...

I also got a lot of "You're American? You don't look American!" I am latina and had a great tan then. If anyone can tell me what an American is supposed to look like, I'd like to hear.

The big difference (other than rougher terrain in the Lepuy) is that in the Lepuy you do have the opportunity to camp. Since it is a famous trail, the French have made sure to provide many camping sites (though far apart) I met a lot of campers and they all said it was the only way to do it and always with a smile on their face. I knew about the camping before I started but being the spoiled princess that I think I am, I decided not to camp. Looking back I regret that decision, I'm going to make sure that I take a tent w me when i return to France and split my time between camping sites and bnb's.

Maybe that's the secret, a combo of rest days and camping days and splurge days. I have to say that the Lepuy walk is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous. The towns you encounter are so picturesque, they look like they were able to stop time. And the food? To die for. Meals can be lonely if no one speaks English but if they see that you try to speak a little bit of french they open up a bit. But make sure you are able reserve a room ahead of time IN FRENCH. That is a must. I did meet some wonderful folks who happened to be Belgian!

Bon Chamin!
 

Suzanne H

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Baztan and Frances 2017, Le Puy 2018, Porto 2019
Dear Erin,
Today I am packing. I fly to Porto on Monday, and I am already carrying too many burdens on my shoulders... we will see what the Camino will bring. I'm just hoping for Peace. So, thank you for your generous honesty. It -- and the fulsome responses you've received on this site -- are helping me as I prepare.

I walked the CF in '17 and Podiensis in '18. I enjoyed both immensely but they are not similar at all. I was also not prepared for the ways of the Le Puy route, but did stop by TIs along the way to make reservations (against my will). They always worked out, and I was always happy to stop at the end of our day. I was walking with a friend, so I am not in your shoes. In the end, my favorite pilgrims were those French men and women that went out of their way to speak English to me (because I was butchering their language). I would string together a sentence that was supposed to mean "I'm sorry I do not speak French" and they certainly got the picture. So, I would speak English and they would speak French and we found ways to get by with smiles and hand gestures.

But, I didn't meet most of my favorite Pilgrims until after Conques, so try to be patient. The first 10 days were HARD because we thought we could push ourselves for distances as we did on the CF. It's really best not to. It's okay to slow down, it's okay to take rest days. But you must grant yourself permission and not judge yourself. Remember, it's not a race.

Do stop at Gite Ultreia in Moissac. I think it's exactly what you need. Splurge for a private room (!!)

One of the things I learned about 'me' while on the CF is "Where ever you go, there you are..." So, when I begin to get down or I am hard on myself, that's the time to ask 'why.' The answers are frequently already there, but sometimes we need to slow down, quiet the voices in our head, and really listen.

I realize I'm repeating much of the same as other who have responded, but I do want to note that walking into SJPdP was a Top 10 highlight of my past two Caminos combined.

And, finally, if you figure out that you're not walking the 'right' Camino for you 'right now,' jet over to Porto -- a group of English speakers will be leaving Porto on the 20th headed for SdC. We'll make room for you. But we'll probably book albergues in advance ;)

Cheers! Wishing you the best as you work through your burdens,
Suzanne
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
dear truenorthpilgrim,

I know EXACTLY what you're went through. I walked the Lepuy in 2017 and decided to return to the States when I made it Moissac (or rather a big fat blister decided for me). I do plan to return to go from Moissac to SJPD.
The language barrier is tough. Very few english speakers do that route. I took three years of French in High school so I can struggle by with some serious effort and of course my handy dictionary. But I found a lot of resistance to speaking English the further I got from the touristy towns.
One time when I said in my poor french "I am sorry, i speak french very poorly, do you speak any english?" the owner of the bnb where I was staying in responded "why should I speak English when I am in France?" His wife seemed horrified at his comment since he did choose to be in the hospitality business. But as it turned out his place had one of the best meals of all the places I stayed in. Yes the LePuy is very pricey compared to the Frances because you get a gourmet meal at each place, usually your own bed not a bunk bed and maybe even your own room with towels. One place had lamb that I can still taste. Average 55 euros a night.
Most hosts did their best and were patient with my poor french. Mostly we laughed a lot. But the walkers themselves were not as warm as the ones on the Camino. My theory is that the Lepuy is viewed more as a trek (GR-65) . French folks love to walk and they take their holidays to walk for a few days and then they go back home. Most walkers were wealthy retirees. Over there people are forced to retire early so they still very fit. The attitude is a bit different too. Everyone wanted to know if I had voted for Trump. Once they learned that I had not, they seemed more accepting and yet...

I also got a lot of "You're American? You don't look American!" I am latina and had a great tan then. If anyone can tell me what an American is supposed to look like, I'd like to hear.

The big difference (other than rougher terrain in the Lepuy) is that in the Lepuy you do have the opportunity to camp. Since it is a famous trail, the French have made sure to provide many camping sites (though far apart) I met a lot of campers and they all said it was the only way to do it and always with a smile on their face. I knew about the camping before I started but being the spoiled princess that I think I am, I decided not to camp. Looking back I regret that decision, I'm going to make sure that I take a tent w me when i return to France and split my time between camping sites and bnb's.

Maybe that's the secret, a combo of rest days and camping days and splurge days. I have to say that the Lepuy walk is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous. The towns you encounter are so picturesque, they look like they were able to stop time. And the food? To die for. Meals can be lonely if no one speaks English but if they see that you try to speak a little bit of french they open up a bit. But make sure you are able reserve a room ahead of time IN FRENCH. That is a must. I did meet some wonderful folks who happened to be Belgian!

Bon Chamin!
yes yes yes. Also, really “you don’t look American?” I say “I’m from California” and everyone’s faces brighten up. Better than “I’m from the USA, currently the laughing stock of le monde”. I’m averaging about 36€ a day. Sometimes I go cheap and buy my food, other times I enjoy the communal meal. You’re right, the food is outstanding. And yes, many French retirees, all tight-knit and hardy (kicking my butt). The route is gorgeous and so picturesque. But—I’m dreaming of the Frances.
 
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Healthful

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Siempre
Ye

yes yes yes. Also, really “you don’t look American?” I say “I’m from California” and everyone’s faces brighten up. Better than “I’m from the USA, currently the laughing stock of le monde”. I’m averaging about 36€ a day. Sometimes I go cheap and buy my food, other times I enjoy the communal meal. You’re right, the food is outstanding. And yes, many French retirees, all tight-knit and hardy (kicking my butt). The route is gorgeous and so picturesque. But—I’m dreaming of the Frances.

Thanks for sharing!
Glad things are panning out for you! Cali too...
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
Dear Erin,
Today I am packing. I fly to Porto on Monday, and I am already carrying too many burdens on my shoulders... we will see what the Camino will bring. I'm just hoping for Peace. So, thank you for your generous honesty. It -- and the fulsome responses you've received on this site -- are helping me as I prepare.

I walked the CF in '17 and Podiensis in '18. I enjoyed both immensely but they are not similar at all. I was also not prepared for the ways of the Le Puy route, but did stop by TIs along the way to make reservations (against my will). They always worked out, and I was always happy to stop at the end of our day. I was walking with a friend, so I am not in your shoes. In the end, my favorite pilgrims were those French men and women that went out of their way to speak English to me (because I was butchering their language). I would string together a sentence that was supposed to mean "I'm sorry I do not speak French" and they certainly got the picture. So, I would speak English and they would speak French and we found ways to get by with smiles and hand gestures.

But, I didn't meet most of my favorite Pilgrims until after Conques, so try to be patient. The first 10 days were HARD because we thought we could push ourselves for distances as we did on the CF. It's really best not to. It's okay to slow down, it's okay to take rest days. But you must grant yourself permission and not judge yourself. Remember, it's not a race.

Do stop at Gite Ultreia in Moissac. I think it's exactly what you need. Splurge for a private room (!!)

One of the things I learned about 'me' while on the CF is "Where ever you go, there you are..." So, when I begin to get down or I am hard on myself, that's the time to ask 'why.' The answers are frequently already there, but sometimes we need to slow down, quiet the voices in our head, and really listen.

I realize I'm repeating much of the same as other who have responded, but I do want to note that walking into SJPdP was a Top 10 highlight of my past two Caminos combined.

And, finally, if you figure out that you're not walking the 'right' Camino for you 'right now,' jet over to Porto -- a group of English speakers will be leaving Porto on the 20th headed for SdC. We'll make room for you. But we'll probably book albergues in advance ;)

Cheers! Wishing you the best as you work through your burdens,
Suzanne
Thank you for such a lovely response. I’m feeling that the second half will be better. I’m currently resting in Cahors and gathering myself for the weeks ahead.
 
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Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Thank you for such a lovely response. I’m feeling that the second half will be better. I’m currently resting in Cahors and gathering myself for the weeks ahead.
Take your time from here , and stay with Aideen in Moisac.
Please believe me , Frances will not be any better than whats coming on the GR and in my opinion behind what you have walked.
Be proud of what you are achieving and don't bugger it all up for a tooooo long a day.
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
Take your time from here , and stay with Aideen in Moisac.
Please believe me , Frances will not be any better than whats coming on the GR and in my opinion behind what you have walked.
Be proud of what you are achieving and don't bugger it all up for a tooooo long a day.
I’ve walked the Frances so I know what I’m up against. 😀 and I’ll look up Aideen in Moissac
 
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Rellrog

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: March 2013
Le Puy: July 2015
Portugues: April 2018
We are completely sympathetic. We walked it from Le Puy in 2015...loved the beautiful villages, great food and good accommodations. However, I have little French and felt isolated from the other pilgrims...at least 90 percent were French walking the Gran Randonnee, not the Camino. At least for the first half. I speak Spanish and am not criticizing the French language; since I believe it is one of the most beautiful. I just missed the comradely of the Camino Frances...where we were lucky enough (and spoiled) to be able to communicate easily with most of the pilgrims. It was a lonely time for me at dining rooms where the only language was French. Well, I’m still glad I did it.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
At least for the first half. I speak Spanish and am not criticizing the French language; since I believe it is one of the most beautiful. I just missed the comradely of the Camino Frances...where we were lucky enough (and spoiled) to be able to communicate easily with most of the pilgrims. It was a lonely time for me at dining rooms where the only language was French. Well, I’m still glad I did it.
Marvellous how well they talk English when they hit the Frances😀
I was fortunate having the missus with me , alone i agree completely with you.
It's one of the reasons why every other nationality sit together at the dinner table😏
 
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Simon Shum

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Oct 2013, Porto, San Salvador & Primitivo 2014. Norte 2016, VdLP & Via Francigena 2017
I am
Thank you for this. Wonderful advice
in your situation too! Just spent most of Sunday sitting on a picnic table mapping details of how to go from Condom to Oloron so I could walk the Camino Aragones thru Somport Pass. And all those French pilgrims walked by and all talked to me in broken English and I felt we all felt missing each other’s - even though most of the dinner time I wasn’t talked to! I am still learning French everyday so I know I should converse better!
Now 11 pm in. Hotel room in Pau, tired but still need to see the route for tomorrow! Few more days to enjoy more French Camino, then “home” to my espanol Camino! I think I am just switching from one home to another! I already miss those French pilgrim friends — somehow exchange of kindness thru our eyes made up for language mismatch! Just my feeling!
Au devour! Bon Chemin, I will miss saying this, even though I love saying Buen Csmino!
 

inmari

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Pamplona (2013)
El Camino de San Olav, Burgos - Covarrubias (2014)
Pamplona - SdC (2015)
I did Le Puy - Pamplona 6 years ago, and I know what you mean by "survival French", that's about my level. I had very few social days before reaching St. Jean. Most pilgrims were French - and talking to one another. But I understand a lot more than what I'm able to express, so I learned a lot about French daily life sitting around the table. As for prebooking, I only did that a few times, and it worked really well (I walked in June). For some days I walked with two German ladies who hardly spoke English, and they prebooked every night. The only place we didn't get a room in a gîte, was in Conques, but the very friendly staff in a donativo auberge the night before were too great help. One of the ladies there knew an English woman living in Conques, and she provided beds and delicious food for all of us.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
but the very friendly staff in a donativo auberge the night before were too great help. One of the ladies there knew an English woman living in Conques, and she provided beds and delicious food for all of us.
GOD BLESS La Soulie
 
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Solitaire

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007, Chemin du Puy 2016, Primitivo and San Salvador 2018
Hi all,

I’m waking from Le Puy to Santiago and boy, am I on the struggle bus. I walked the Camino Frances 3 years ago, so I’m well aware of what to expect as far as life on The Way.

But the in the last week I’m just very resistant to walking. I speak only “survival French” (my Spanish is much better) and it’s been lonely at dinner with everyone chatting in French. I also don’t feel a tremendous urge to connect to people. One thing I do NOT like doing is booking ahead for rooms. I love walking into a town and staying where the mood strikes. Lots of places close on a Sunday and Monday, I have to plan to bring my lunch and everyone is consumed with “where are you going next?”. I don’t have a timeline to adhere to, I don’t care how many km you’ve walked (a topic that bores me to tears) and I feel lost.

Then I think “I shouldn’t feel this way! I’m back on the Camino, in France, with the best fromage! And adorable villages!! Why am I feeling this way?”

I’m in Livinghac du Haut today, having walked out of Conques yesterday and (I think) pushing myself too far. I’m emotionally spent, and I find my self wanting to stop and “shake off” certain groups of people. I get sick of seeing the same folks over a 5 day period.

I’m not sure what the antidote is, but I thought I’d post my feelings on this forum to perhaps get some (non-judgemental) feedback.
As an Australian who struggles with languages I have found the Spanish walks, Frances, Primitivo and San Salvador, easier because there is a greater mix of nationalities and so English is more commonly used.
I had a friend accompany me for a week on Via Podiensis or the Le Puy Route and then i had 10 days by myself and while everyone was friendly and helpful it was much harder at night to engage in conversation compared to the Spanish walks as the walkers are predominantly French speaking. But THAT makes for a different experience and did make me work harder to engage and think more about this journey. Still enjoyable , maybe more reflective?
One aspect I enjoy about countries such as Japan, France and Spain is there is still a very strong national identity and culture, particularly away from tourist hot spots.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
One thing I love about France, is the support I get when I try to speak French. And I am slow and I am sure I butcher the words at times and hurt peoples' ears. I know that my french is really bad, as I studied french decades ago, and have forgotten everything pretty much-- But people are patient, and smile, repeat themselves, and wait for me to understand. -- I usually begin with an apology-- something like this: "Pardon, je ne parle français, je suis desole. Je connais que nous sommes en France, mais parlez-vous anglais? Non? Alors, je vais essayer de parler francais, mais je vais faire beaucoup d'erreurs."
(Translated: Sorry, I don't speak French, I am really sorry. I know that we are in France, but do you speak english? No? Well, I will try to speak french, but I am going to make a lot of mistakes.)
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
Attention to those who suggested Ultreïa Moissac! I’m here, kind of loving this small city (larg-ish village?) and have booked myself my own room here for tomorrow night. The weather is hot and unbearable (for me) and I’m feeling under the weather. So now I rest for real.
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
One thing I love about France, is the support I get when I try to speak French. And I am slow and I am sure I butcher the words at times and hurt peoples' ears. I know that my french is really bad, as I studied french decades ago, and have forgotten everything pretty much-- But people are patient, and smile, repeat themselves, and wait for me to understand. -- I usually begin with an apology-- something like this: "Pardon, je ne parle français, je suis desole. Je connais que nous sommes en France, mais parlez-vous anglais? Non? Alors, je vais essayer de parler francais, mais je vais faire beaucoup d'erreurs."
(Translated: Sorry, I don't speak French, I am really sorry. I know that we are in France, but do you speak english? No? Well, I will try to speak french, but I am going to make a lot of mistakes.)
You’re right, I’ve gotten nothing but understanding from the French when I attempt to butcher their language.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Attention to those who suggested Ultreïa Moissac! I’m here, kind of loving this small city (larg-ish village?) and have booked myself my own room here for tomorrow night. The weather is hot and unbearable (for me) and I’m feeling under the weather. So now I rest for real.
Tell that Irishman to shout you a big steak @ Lou's Grill and give him my regards.
It's a wonderful restaurant with very kind owners.
Enjoy from here on and in Lectoure , togs out and into communal Spa.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Do tell Aideen how well she is regarded on this forum! I and my 5 friends remember her (and her cooking) with great affection.
Last time I was there they were considering selling .
It has been a big job with that and the 2 kids,
The kids are now at the age where the last years of schooling is important.
They will be with relatives so no big change.
I would love them to share farm the gite.
 
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Jun Meng

The Only Way I know
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Le Puy
Hanging there. We are coming
Hi all,

I’m waking from Le Puy to Santiago and boy, am I on the struggle bus. I walked the Camino Frances 3 years ago, so I’m well aware of what to expect as far as life on The Way.

But the in the last week I’m just very resistant to walking. I speak only “survival French” (my Spanish is much better) and it’s been lonely at dinner with everyone chatting in French. I also don’t feel a tremendous urge to connect to people. One thing I do NOT like doing is booking ahead for rooms. I love walking into a town and staying where the mood strikes. Lots of places close on a Sunday and Monday, I have to plan to bring my lunch and everyone is consumed with “where are you going next?”. I don’t have a timeline to adhere to, I don’t care how many km you’ve walked (a topic that bores me to tears) and I feel lost.

Then I think “I shouldn’t feel this way! I’m back on the Camino, in France, with the best fromage! And adorable villages!! Why am I feeling this way?”

I’m in Livinghac du Haut today, having walked out of Conques yesterday and (I think) pushing myself too far. I’m emotionally spent, and I find my self wanting to stop and “shake off” certain groups of people. I get sick of seeing the same folks over a 5 day period.

I’m not sure what the antidote is, but I thought I’d post my feelings on this forum to perhaps get some (non-judgemental) feedback.
Hanging there. We are coming 😁😁
 

OTH86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
Attention to those who suggested Ultreïa Moissac! I’m here, kind of loving this small city (larg-ish village?) and have booked myself my own room here for tomorrow night. The weather is hot and unbearable (for me) and I’m feeling under the weather. So now I rest for real.
Rest well, @truenorthpilgrim!! Your perseverance is wonderful!!
 

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