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The Via Turonensis in 2012


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Hi Everyone,

I was searching for a route to walk with someone who is not in great shape and is getting on in years. This route immediately appealed to me as it seems pretty flat for the first 500K or so. In addition I live in France and speak the language but have never been to this part of the country. Starting in Tours in September perhaps seems like an ideal way to build up strength in a milder climate before the Pyrenees and Spanish climate kick in.

Right away I noticed, to my surprise, that there are very few posts/information on the route. The information I did find seems to be from quite a few years ago. The most common warnings are for lack of marking (balisage) and limited accommodation (gîtes communaux/privés). Both of these surprised me a little because I walked the GR65 in 2010 and live a few hundred meters from the well marked GR653 (on which I have walked a few day stages). I know the GR655 is less walked but with the growth of the Camino in the last half decade I thought perhaps the situation had improved.

Is there anyone out there who has walked this route in the last year or so, with any insight on these issues and on the route in general? Any advice/sites/references would be greatly appreciated!

Ultreya to all!
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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:
Hello James,
I walked this route 8 years ago - in a Holy Year - and met about 8 pilgrims in the first 500km. (4 of those were cyclist crossing the Gironde at Blaye).

This is the info I have in my book:

The Chemin de Tours or Via Turonensis: ± 1 800 km to Santiago
This is the path that pilgrims from Northern Europe and France took on their way through Tours, itself a major place of pilgrimage with the shrine of the 4th century St Martin. The route is relatively flat as it passes through the Loire valley, the Touraine, Poitou, Angoumois, Saintonge, Bordelais and the Landes where it meets with the other two routes at Ostabat.
Much of the original route has become tarmac highway. Although various associations are working at creating safe paths and guides for pilgrims, it is still not a popular route due to the amount of road walking involved and way-marking is scarce in sections. Pilgrim accommodation is sparse until you reach the south. ... tours.html (Their guide was published in 2010) Has up-to-date info on accommodation, roadworks etc

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