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Ups and downs

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kmccue

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
As I've read posts in the past year, several people have commented to "take this route" to avoid some of the steep inclines. I always just follow the waymarks. How does one know when to deviate off course so as to save some steps...or at least some elevation. One area where a lot of folks post is to avoid Decasville? How do I do that?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to SJPDP in sections over 2016-2019
Hello kmccue
If you obtain a good guide book, it will have maps showing the "variantes" that you can take. Miam Miam Dodo is excellent. To avoid Decazeville, it shows an alternative route "vers Livinhac". The new editions also have elevation, so if there is a route that avoids hills you will be able to see it. However I do not remember seeing options like that as I walked.
Susan
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
One area where a lot of folks post is to avoid Decasville?
Decazeville is an old coal mining town. Some don't like its gritty nature, but you do not avoid terrain by avoiding Decazeville! You only avoid going downtown. Les Volets Bleus there is one of the nicer gites.

To avoid the terrain to Livinhac-le-Haut, you will need a taxi, which will take a very circuitous route across the mountain ridge to Decazeville. where you can start the relatively flat section to Livinhac. The gite there, "Song of the Stars," is also a good place.
 

billmclaughlin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
There’s nothing wrong with Decazeville. Not picturesque but you can find a nice lunch, friendly teens who have never met a foreigner, and various level accommodations. Compared to the dreary outskirts you trudge through on the way into Moissac it’s Giverny.
 

TaijiPilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
I walked from Le Puy to Cahors in May. There are not too many alternate routes for avoiding climbs. Asking the gite owners is a way to find out about them as well as local conditions of the trails. Accept that the Le Puy route is lots of steep ups and downs - more so than the Camino Frances - and has a beauty of its own as a result. I also stayed at Les Volet Bleus, and Thierry gave me a bouquet of muguets for my birthday!
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
From my blog, Conques to Livenhac:
"Route: 21 km with 1080 ft climb and a 1380 ft descent

Tour: The climb up out of Conques was, well, legendary. The very first step was chest-high and I thought I was a goner. But the Chapel of Saint Roch made a halfway stop, and after an hour total we were up out of the gorge, standing on the ridge, with nice views all around. I was walking with the Canadians, who had concocted a variant-variant-shortcut scheme as follows: Follow the signs to Noilhac (variant marked) until the T-intersection at road D580, where Noilhac markings go left and you can see the steeple of St Roch chapel (2nd one today) on the right. Turn right and proceed to the chapel, where variant waymarks resume. COntinue to follow D580 through Agnac, now following other variant as marked in MMD to (3rd for the day) Chapel of St Roch, where the main GR65 markings resume, and then it’s another hour downhill into Livenhac. This route saves 5 km, and took us from 7:45 to 4:30 with the usual stops. There is water in Agnac (marked in MMD) and in Beausoiles (not marked in MMD – behind the school). Apart from the climb out of Conques and the descent into Livenhac, the entire route is pavement or road shoulder walking, very hard on the feet. We were all exhausted. I recommend a shorter day!
"
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
How does one know when to deviate off course so as to save some steps...or at least some elevation.
The whole point of the GR65 is to climb hills! The trail was laid out by the Fédération française de la randonnée in the 1970s, and is part of the E3 long distance path from Geneva to Roncesvalles. The French are particularly proud of their hills, and feel it only right that you should have the opportunity to experience EVERY SINGLE ONE! (Well, that's what it feels like, sometimes.)

There are some climbs (like the one out of Monistrol-d'Allier) that are unavoidable, and really part of the experience. Other, frankly pointless, diversions can be avoided with the use of an IGN 1:25000 map, readily available online. (Although I am a bit of a map nerd.)

There’s nothing wrong with Decazeville.
Strictly speaking, true. It's an uninspiring town, and suffers by comparison with its prettier neighbours, Conques and Figeac, but it will provide for all your needs and has a good supermarket. I've spent the night in far worse places. And I agree about Moissac, which is only saved by its monastery.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Le Puy (2016)
Vézelay (2019)
Norte (2019)
Uninspiring?
Decazeville isn’t ancient but it provided employment in the iron industry and a town grew around that employment. That’s a point of difference on the GR 65.
One man’s boring is another man’s inspiring.
And we had a really nice night at a CH just out of town. Our introduction to Magret de Canard and I got some duct tape there. (Try getting duct tape in Conques).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago APR 2015
Le Puy to Cahors 2016
Cahors to SJPDP 2018
We had a great night in Decazeville too in 2016. Cathedral has excellent paintings. We stayed at La Gabie - excellent CH and host Ben.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
Phew! The thought that I'd missed the opportunity to explore a medieval cathedral would keep me awake at night for weeks. Rodez cathedral is beautiful. (Although not a patch on Albi, which is sui generis.)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago APR 2015
Le Puy to Cahors 2016
Cahors to SJPDP 2018
Ah yes of course, church of Notre-Dame de Decazeville…sorry for the gaffe…taking a quick peek at the forum during a tea break at work not paying attention. None the less, the paintings by Gustave Moreau in the church were well worth the stop. The tourist office was very enthusiastic wanting to know where we were from and what made us stop in the town and keen to stamp our Creanciale. The optometrist fixed my partners broken glasses without charge, so I have fond memories of the town.
 

lbpierce

Linda Breen Pierce
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
If I am reading the MIam Miam Dodo guide correctly, it looks like the route through Decazeville is about 17 km from Conques and the variant to Livinhac-le-Haut is about 4 km more. Does that seem right?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to SJPDP in sections over 2016-2019
That sounds right to me. I was in Decazeville by 2PM (started from Conques at 7:30 AM) and my friend who was goin to Livinhac walked with me until our paths split had a little further to go.
I had been dreading the hill out of Conques as the first day of my walk, but it really wasn't that bad.
 

NavyBlue

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy and Camino Frances. Via Francigena. Tro-Breiz in progress.
If I am reading the MIam Miam Dodo guide correctly, it looks like the route through Decazeville is about 17 km from Conques and the variant to Livinhac-le-Haut is about 4 km more. Does that seem right?
Not sure. In my Miam-Miam Dodo (2014), the direct way to Livinhac is a mentioned as as "shortcut" ("raccourci" in French).

Maybe a confusion as :
"Conques direct to Livinhac" is longer than "Conques to Decazeville"
but shorter than "Conques to Decazeville to Livinhac".

Good to know that the path out of Decazeville up to Saint-Roch is really steep, through suburban developments.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago APR 2015
Le Puy to Cahors 2016
Cahors to SJPDP 2018
My memory is not so great from 2016 but judging by my photos (which are some sort of chronologic order) Livenhac was a morning coffee stop when walking between Decazeville and Felzins….so 4kms after Deczeville sounds right. My fuzzy memory recalls we were there quite early and not much open :)
 

lbpierce

Linda Breen Pierce
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Thank you all for your replies. I figured out that if I stay overnight at a guest house just before Noalihac, I can take the alternate route to Livinhac-le-Haut (avoiding Decazeville) and still keep my distance down to a reasonable level for me, which is 16 km.
 

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