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Via Podiensis, and more... Sept 2022

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I am gradually feeling more attracted to the Via Podiensis and am thinking of beginning in mid-September. When I finish the Podiensis, I am considering making my way to Lourdes, instead of SJPdP, and going on from there to Oloron Ste Marie, then the Aragones into Spain. That is as far as I have thought so far, but if I give myself close to the full ninety days I should be able to walk a route to Santiago and maybe volunteer as a hospitalera as well. So far, I have only gone so far as looking for air tickets. As I look into the routes, I shall hopefully discover whether this is what I really want.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I have found a route from the Via Podiensis to Oloron Ste Marie, thanks to another thread here. It is a 20 km walk from Navarrenx to Oloron Ste Marie along secondary roads, a couple of days short of StJpdP. I have been longing to walk the Aragones again, in particular, to revisit San Juan de la Pena. Perhaps I shall spend a night at the hotel there. I don't yet know where I shall go when I finish the Aragones, but I have six months to think about it. Maybe I'd better buy my air tickets before the price goes up.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Excellent plan @Albertagirl A Le Puy / Aragones - connected by the Arles. I like it! ❤️
So I bought my air ticket to Lyon on Sept. 8 and home from Madrid on Dec. 3. It was a very reasonable price, but the couple of hours that I fought through Air Canada challenges to book it almost brought me to give up. So I am going this year. I don't know where from the Aragones, but I shall sort it out. Wish me well.
 
F

Former member 99290

Guest
So I bought my air ticket to Lyon on Sept. 8 and home from Madrid on Dec. 3. It was a very reasonable price, but the couple of hours that I fought through Air Canada challenges to book it almost brought me to give up. So I am going this year. I don't know where from the Aragones, but I shall sort it out. Wish me well.
That’s really something to look forward to - on these beautiful paths

And, by coincidence, although I am from Australia, I am writing this to you from a hotel room in Lyon as we are meeting a friend here today before we head to Carcassonne for Chemin du Piémont on 1 April. When we arrived at Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu yesterday it brought back memories of arriving here en route to Le Puy for the Chemin du Puy and some years later for the Chemin du Stevenson.

We noticed when we came out of the train station yesterday that there is a tram shuttle service - the RhoneExpress - that goes directly to and from the airport

Will you have some time in Lyon? The old town is gorgeous. We are staying in Part Dieu to be near the train - so it’s a bit of a walk to the old town but very pleasant and gets us into walking mode.

🙏
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I
Will you have some time in Lyon? The old town is gorgeous.
I don't know. I am arriving in the morning and I shall be very weary after the journey. I think that the best choice for me would be to take the train to Le Puy the same day and book a bed for two nights there. Do you have a suggestion for where to stay in Le Puy? Enjoy your walk on the Chemin du Piemont.
 
F

Former member 99290

Guest
Yes I know what you mean. I am always keen to arrive at my starting point. I’ve ‘been to’ Lyon twice before this current visit but only the train station 😂. The connection should be straightforward with the tram shuttle directly to Gare Lyon Part-Dieu for your train to Le Puy via a change in St Étienne, at least that’s how I remember it.

It’s many years since we stayed in Le Puy so I think others who have visited more recently will have better recommendations. We stayed in a hotel, not a gite, as I wanted some space and privacy after such a long trip.

Le Puy is a beautiful town so it will be lovely for you to have a day there. It has a strong camino feel with many reminders that you are ‘en Chemin’ 🙏
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
memories of arriving here en route to Le Puy for the Chemin du Puy and some years later for the Chemin du Stevenson.
Hi Jenny, When my two friends and I walked the Le Puy route in 2018 we met a few people who were choosing to walk the Stevenson route instead and I was curious. Do you have any comparisons you can mention between the two? I think the Stevenson may be shorter, but I did not find much info on it after searching after I arrived back home.
 
F

Former member 99290

Guest
Hi Jenny, When my two friends and I walked the Le Puy route in 2018 we met a few people who were choosing to walk the Stevenson route instead and I was curious. Do you have any comparisons you can mention between the two? I think the Stevenson may be shorter, but I did not find much info on it after searching after I arrived back home.
Hi Chrissy.

We enjoyed the Chemin du Stevenson v much. It’s about 270 kms. We walked 9 days from Le Puy en Valey to Saint Jean du Gard. There is a 10th stage to Ales, but for various reasons we took the bus from Saint Jean du Gard to Ales and then made our way to the Costa Brava for more walking 😎.

The Stevenson Way has nothing to do with the Caminos de Compostelle. It follows the path taken by Robert Louis Stevenson and his donkey Modestine which he later wrote about in his book Walking in the Cévennes with a Donkey. But in some practical respects it’s like walking a Camino. Signposted, gites, its own credential which is really quite lovely with a drawing of RLS and Modestine.

Superb scenery. Tough walking. Lots of up and down. While I’ve had single tougher days on other paths, day on day, I think it’s one of the more difficult paths we’ve walked. We walked in late May so it was pretty hot at times.

We loved it! 😎
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
Hi Jenny, When my two friends and I walked the Le Puy route in 2018 we met a few people who were choosing to walk the Stevenson route instead and I was curious. Do you have any comparisons you can mention between the two? I think the Stevenson may be shorter, but I did not find much info on it after searching after I arrived back home.
Lots of info here on the association website [best viewed on your computer or your iPad if you have one] OR here on Melinda Lusmore’s website :
<https://www.chemin-stevenson.org/?cn-reloaded=1>

<https://ilovewalkinginfrance.com/chemin-de-stevenson/>
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Yes I know what you mean. I am always keen to arrive at my starting point. I’ve ‘been to’ Lyon twice before this current visit but only the train station 😂. The connection should be straightforward with the tram shuttle directly to Gare Lyon Part-Dieu for your train to Le Puy via a change in St Étienne, at least that’s how I remember it.

It’s many years since we stayed in Le Puy so I think others who have visited more recently will have better recommendations. We stayed in a hotel, not a gite, as I wanted some space and privacy after such a long trip.

Le Puy is a beautiful town so it will be lovely for you to have a day there. It has a strong camino feel with many reminders that you are ‘en Chemin’ 🙏
@anamcara I have booked a studio apartment called Studio Pannessac pour 1 personne on Rue Pannessac for two nights, Sept. 9 and 10, heading out on Sept. 11. It is amazingly cheap (60 euros for two nights), but it helps to book way ahead and I shall want to be alone and to sleep. I can cancel if I change my mind. Otherwise, I have done very little planning, although I think that they will be expecting me at the new albergue in Canfranc a few days after I finish the Le Puy. I am very excited to be planning a pilgrimage again.
 
F

Former member 99290

Guest
How exciting @Albertagirl I’m so happy for you. It’s just a wonderful path in every way - in my view. And to continue on to the Frances via the Aragones is ‘Le cerise sur le gâteau’.

I recall reading of the logistical difficulties of your last camino. While I’ve no doubt you can meet any challenge - as you did - I think you will find this next camino will be more joyful.

I had a peak at your studio apartment. Looks great. 🙏
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Albertagirl,
Good luck with all your new plans. It is such happy news to read that you will do another long journey later this year. Looking forward to reading more as your plans develop.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I have a question for the forum pilgrims who have previously walked the Via Podiensis. I have noticed that those who have walked this route are very enthusiastic about the food in the gites, which are where most have stayed. I eat vegetarian and am wondering how demi-pension, which appears to provide a set evening meal for anyone who requests it, could work out for me. In a larger town, I could eat my evening meal in a restaurant, or buy something to cook, if the gite has facilities, but I am unsure how often this would be possible. Observations, please?
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
I have a question for the forum pilgrims who have previously walked the Via Podiensis. I have noticed that those who have walked this route are very enthusiastic about the food in the gites, which are where most have stayed. I eat vegetarian and am wondering how demi-pension, which appears to provide a set evening meal for anyone who requests it, could work out for me. In a larger town, I could eat my evening meal in a restaurant, or buy something to cook, if the gite has facilities, but I am unsure how often this would be possible. Observations, please?
Letting your host know in advance of your dietary requirements will help a lot. We stayed in gîtes and chambres d'hôtes where fellow pilgrims were vegetarians, and the host prepared the meal to accommodate their choice.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Letting your host know in advance of your dietary requirements
That makes a lot of sense, but limits anyone on a special diet to deciding where to stay in advance and to get to where a booking has been made and a food requirement stated, even if tiredness or bad weather would make me want to stop earlier. I might leave the option open to stop fairly early once in a while. I know that you do not tend to walk long days. I suppose that large towns where hotels are available would provide more options. In any case, if the route is busy, everyone would have to book ahead and commit to arriving, or risk having nowhere to stay.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
I have a question for the forum pilgrims who have previously walked the Via Podiensis. I have noticed that those who have walked this route are very enthusiastic about the food in the gites, which are where most have stayed. I eat vegetarian and am wondering how demi-pension, which appears to provide a set evening meal for anyone who requests it, could work out for me. In a larger town, I could eat my evening meal in a restaurant, or buy something to cook, if the gite has facilities, but I am unsure how often this would be possible. Observations, please?

Fellow vegetarian here.

I rarely chose the demi pension when I walked in 2017, as I was on a low budget and also preferred not to book ahead if possible. I usually bought food in the supermarkets and shops and carried it with me to the more rural places where I wasn't sure I'd find something to eat. Prepared my own meals most of the time.

The dinners I had at the gites were a mix between really nices ones with lentils or omelette instead of the meat, and having to eat the side dishes only but paying the full price... but to be honest, I didn't try the dinner option often as I found it much easier and cheaper to prepare my own food.

Most gites I stayed at had kitchens. The gites communal are probably more likely to have them than private ones (some private gites offer the full demi pension package only, and even if they officially have the 'bed only' option, I found some of them very pushy when it came to selling their meals).

For days you plan to self cater, have a look at the miam miam dodo. It should mention which gites have a kitchen, and also which days the shops are open/closed (opening times can be very confusing, especially with small shops in tiny towns).

Not sure what the situation is now, a few years later and after Covid. I hope to walk this summer and maybe can report then. Planning to mostly stay at campsites but also the occasional gite.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
For those of you who have expressed an interest in my plans, I have decided to omit the Aragones for this year. I have ordered a copy from Cicerone of Dave Whitson's new guidebook to the Podiensis. I am hoping that after the Podiensis it will show me how to transit to Irun to begin the Camino Vasco del Interior. I plan to follow that route to Burgos, then on the Frances to Ponferrada and the Invierno to Santiago. I hope for time enough to walk all of it, but shall take a bus, if I must, to omit as much of the Frances as necessary to allow me to complete my camino. I have pretty much traced a route from SJpdP to Irun on the GR10, but would prefer a shorter route through France, to save on time, as my camino route is long. Maybe the Voie Nive?
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
I am hoping that after the Podiensis it will show me how to transit to Irun to begin the Camino Vasco del Interior.
I believe @Dave 's guide includes how to get from SJPdP to Irún along the Voie Nive-Bidassoa.
We walked that route in 2018 to join the Camino del Norte after walking the Podiensis.
The Voie Nive-Bidassoa is a 'gentler' route than the GR10.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
For those of you who have expressed an interest in my plans, I have decided to omit the Aragones for this year. I have ordered a copy from Cicerone of Dave Whitson's new guidebook to the Podiensis. I am hoping that after the Podiensis it will show me how to transit to Irun to begin the Camino Vasco del Interior. I plan to follow that route to Burgos, then on the Frances to Ponferrada and the Invierno to Santiago. I hope for time enough to walk all of it, but shall take a bus, if I must, to omit as much of the Frances as necessary to allow me to complete my camino. I have pretty much traced a route from SJpdP to Irun on the GR10, but would prefer a shorter route through France, to save on time, as my camino route is long. Maybe the Voie Nive?
I am almost certain that Dave Whitson’s guidebook to the GR65 Via Podiensis does not show tou how to transition to Irun [because the focus is the Via Podiensis] ... however his spreadsheet of accommodation and services does include the Voie de Nive-Bidassoa with accommodations et al ... I help maintain the spreadsheet so I know this to be true 😉 ... a weblink to the spreadsheet was posted on this forum some months ago ... ultreïa‼️👣👣👣🙏🏽
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
I believe @Dave 's guide includes how to get from SJPdP to Irún along the Voie Nive-Bidassoa.
We walked that route in 2018 to join the Camino del Norte after walking the Podiensis.
The Voie Nive-Bidassoa is a 'gentler' route than the GR10.
certainly the companion spreadsheet does but I’m not sure about the guidebook 🤔 perhaps a short section at the end OR as an appendix ...
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
certainly the comoanion spreadsheet does but I’m not sure about the guidebook 🤔 perhaps a short section at the end OR as an appendix ...
Thank you. I have downloaded the spreadsheet and I see eight accommodation listings at the very end under the heading of VNB, which I must assume refers to "Voie Nive- Bidassoa." I expect that I can find these on a map. From the list of accommodations on the GR10, I also see locations in Hendaye, and one in Irun, which might be suitable for me. Thank you for referring me to this list.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
Thank you. I have downloaded the spreadsheet and I see eight accommodation listings at the very end under the heading of VNB, which I must assume refers to "Voie Nive- Bidassoa." I expect that I can find these on a map. From the list of accommodations on the GR10, I also see locations in Hendaye, and one in Irun, which might be suitable for me. Thank you for referring me to this list.
As well, there are at least twenty accommodations listed in the GR10 section between StJPP and Irun ... you might care to check out the details here : <https://www.aucoeurduchemin.org/les...ie-nive-bidassoa-st-jean-p-port-hendaye-irun/>
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I had traced the GR10 on maps.me from SJpdP to Irun through the mountains, but without considering going off-route, as I am not familiar with that route. Being mountainous, it might be more challenging than is obvious to an outsider. As an Albertagirl, I am very familiar with the challenges of walking in mountains. But I see that this route is not strictly on the GR10 and has some climbs, but the distances are reasonable and it appears possible to walk it in four days. When I receive Dave's guidebook, I shall do my best to compare the routes given there with this route and choose one to follow according to my particular needs. I shall probably not reach St Jean before the second week in October, so weather and the availability of accommodation will be issues, whichever route I choose. Thank you for your help.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I have a general question which should be easy for all who have walked the Le Puy to answer. I am arriving in Lyon and taking the train to Le Puy. I shall need to buy a sim card for my phone as soon as possible after I land. I know all the major phone services in Spain and nothing about those in France. I assume that I shall have to change to a Spanish sim when I arrive in Spain.
Some questions about French phone services: Are there one or more major services considered best for those who walk the Le Puy? Can I buy a sim card for any of these services at the Lyon airport? If not, or if buying a sim card would be easier to do in Le Puy, would there be a store open on a Saturday (my only full day in Le Puy) and does anyone know of the location of such a store. I cannot imagine setting out on camino without a functioning phone. (How things change!)
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I have a general question which should be easy for all who have walked the Le Puy to answer. I am arriving in Lyon and taking the train to Le Puy. I shall need to buy a sim card for my phone as soon as possible after I land. I know all the major phone services in Spain and nothing about those in France. I assume that I shall have to change to a Spanish sim when I arrive in Spain.
Some questions about French phone services: Are there one or more major services considered best for those who walk the Le Puy? Can I buy a sim card for any of these services at the Lyon airport? If not, or if buying a sim card would be easier to do in Le Puy, would there be a store open on a Saturday (my only full day in Le Puy) and does anyone know of the location of such a store. I cannot imagine setting out on camino without a functioning phone. (How things change!)
Albertagirl,

There are two main airports: Saint-Exupéry International Airport and the Business Airport of Lyon located in Bron. See more airport info here
Where will your plane arrive?

One common mobile telephone service provider throughout France is Orange. See this link for their Le Puy boutique. The sim should work in both France and Spain.
Happy planning and Carpe diem.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Albertagirl,

There are two main airports: Saint-Exupéry International Airport and the Business Airport of Lyon located in Bron. See more airport info here
Where will your plane arrive?

One common mobile telephone service provider throughout France is Orange. See this link for their Le Puy boutique. The sim should work in both France and Spain.
Happy planning and Carpe diem.
Thanks very much @mspath . I am landing at Saint Exupery, flying from Calgary to Montreal to Lyon. I have located the airport information about train service to Le Puy, but was unable to find a phone store. Now, I see one on maps.me just a few minutes walk from my booked accommodation. As I recall, Orange stores, at least in Spain, are open on Saturday, so I should be able to buy a sim card and phone service there. What would be ideal would be to be able to pay on the spot for my three months coverage in Europe (88 days total). If not, I shall just renew my service each month and hope that I can find a store when the service is running out. Thanks again.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
@mspath
Thank you so much for your help. I was wondering if you could suggest one or more banks which would be good for me to use to make withdrawals while in France. I have gradually learned about Spanish banks. On my very first camino, at my first attempt to make a withdrawal from a Spanish bank, in Pamplona, the bank kept my card but didn't give me any money. I knew to make my withdrawal on a banking day in the morning, so I was able to retrieve my bank card. That bank was a farm credit union, not interested in giving cash to pilgrims. Is there anything I should know about bank withdrawals in France? Does a particular bank have lower charges for withdrawals or be more likely to be present in many locations? These are details that I would rather not learn by sad experience, if you would have the time to inform me.
Mary Louise
 
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This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
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mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Marie Louise,

One major commercial bank prevalent throughout France is the Société Générale
Here is their office in Le Puy en Velay.

Although with a credit card you can withdraw cash from any ATM, I would be careful to only use ATMs at a bank and only withdraw cash at that ATM when the bank is open, in order to be able to get help if there is a problem.

Do make sure well before leaving home that your CC is not about to expire and inform your bank that you will abroad for 3 months

April 1, 2006 in Cee on the Finistère camino I walked with 3 British pilgrims. At the local bank ATM my CC would not work, it had expired. Was this some crazy April Fools joke? While I wondered one British pilgrim, who by chance had the same last name as mine, kindly offered to lend me funds. Ouf! Since then, of course, I always carried 2 up to date cards plus a stash of hidden cash.

For all caminos after 2006 I carried 2000€, as 20 100€ bills, hidden in my kit as tea bags. Never talked about it and always used it....Whenever I needed cash I would brew a fresh cup of tea.

Happy planning!
Margaret
 
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BombayBill

Still Learning
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022 Salvador Primitivo
Thanks very much @mspath . I am landing at Saint Exupery, flying from Calgary to Montreal to Lyon. I have located the airport information about train service to Le Puy, but was unable to find a phone store. Now, I see one on maps.me just a few minutes walk from my booked accommodation. As I recall, Orange stores, at least in Spain, are open on Saturday, so I should be able to buy a sim card and phone service there. What would be ideal would be to be able to pay on the spot for my three months coverage in Europe (88 days total). If not, I shall just renew my service each month and hope that I can find a store when the service is running out. Thanks again.
I did this route Calgary, Montreal, Lyon, LePuy. I bought my Sim at the Orange Store in the Lyon Train Station. I suggest an e-sim if your phone is capable. I will message you to discuss.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Marie Louise,

One major commercial bank prevalent throughout France is the Société Générale
Here is their office in Le Puy en Velay.

Although with a credit card you can withdraw cash from any ATM, I would be careful to only use ATMs at a bank and only withdraw cash at that ATM when the bank is open, in order to be able to get help if there is a problem.

Do make sure well before leaving home that your CC is not about to expire and inform your bank that you will abroad for 3 months

April 1, 2006 in Cee on the Finistère camino I walked with 3 British pilgrims. At the local bank ATM my CC would not work, it had expired. Was this some crazy April Fools joke? While I wondered one British pilgrim, who by chance had the same last name as mine, kindly offered to lend me funds. Ouf! Since then, of course, I always carried 2 up to date cards plus a stash of hidden cash.

For all caminos after 2006 I carried 2000€, as 20 100€ bills, hidden in my kit as tea bags. Never talked about it and always used it....Whenever I needed cash I would brew a fresh cup of tea.

Happy planning!
Margaret
Thanks so much. I find that banking is unpredictable, as the banks are constantly inventing new security measures and seem to find it secondary that the money is not theirs; it belongs to their customers, who must have reasonable access to it. At the beginning of my 2019 camino, walking out of Madrid on the camino, I withdrew some cash from a bank machine. It arrived in large bills, just not spendable for a bed in an albergue. I went into the bank, and was informed that there was no cash in the bank, only what was delivered to the machine outside by a service. One branch of that bank in Madrid held cash, but it was not on the pilgrim walking route and I did not feel like making the detour. So I went on, managing my cash as best I could. My credit cards are good for years, but I have just discovered that my bank card expires next month. This should not be a problem, as I am leaving in September. But I shall be getting in touch with all my financial institutions soon to let them know about my travels. I shall probably take some euros with me, to avoid immediate banking challenges. My personal security should be easier this year, as I plan on staying in private rooms as much as possible, to avoid covid. So there will be less danger of my cards or cash disappearing while I sleep in a dormitory. On the other hand, I shall use my cards more than usual and it can be too easy to spend money on a card. I find that only Canadian dollars are real for me, and, to a lesser extent, American dollars. Euros are easy to spend. To my eyes, they just don't look like money. Thanks again for locating a bank for me in Le Puy. I found that both the bank and the Orange store will only appear on my map if I know the exact name, so I can now locate them as needed.
Marie Louise
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
I have a general question which should be easy for all who have walked the Le Puy to answer. I am arriving in Lyon and taking the train to Le Puy. I shall need to buy a sim card for my phone as soon as possible after I land. I know all the major phone services in Spain and nothing about those in France. I assume that I shall have to change to a Spanish sim when I arrive in Spain.
Some questions about French phone services: Are there one or more major services considered best for those who walk the Le Puy? Can I buy a sim card for any of these services at the Lyon airport? If not, or if buying a sim card would be easier to do in Le Puy, would there be a store open on a Saturday (my only full day in Le Puy) and does anyone know of the location of such a store. I cannot imagine setting out on camino without a functioning phone. (How things change!)
Orange network 🍊 There are multiple stores at Le Puy for each of the main networks and all almost certainly open on Saturday ...
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
@mspath
Thank you so much for your help. I was wondering if you could suggest one or more banks which would be good for me to use to make withdrawals while in France. I have gradually learned about Spanish banks. On my very first camino, at my first attempt to make a withdrawal from a Spanish bank, in Pamplona, the bank kept my card but didn't give me any money. I knew to make my withdrawal on a banking day in the morning, so I was able to retrieve my bank card. That bank was a farm credit union, not interested in giving cash to pilgrims. Is there anything I should know about bank withdrawals in France? Does a particular bank have lower charges for withdrawals or be more likely to be present in many locations? These are details that I would rather not learn by sad experience, if you would have the time to inform me.
Mary Louise
I think that Crédit Agricole is, from memory, the most prevalent on the GR65 Via Podiensis ... I confess to not particularly taking note as I am generally keeping my eyes peeled only for the ATM ...
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Orange network 🍊 There are multiple stores at Le Puy for each of the main networks and all almost certainly open on Saturday ...
Thank you. @mspath has informed me of the availabiltiy of the Orange network and shown me one location in Le Puy. I appreciate the help of all who are familiar with this French route.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
Thanks very much @mspath . I am landing at Saint Exupery, flying from Calgary to Montreal to Lyon. I have located the airport information about train service to Le Puy, but was unable to find a phone store. Now, I see one on maps.me just a few minutes walk from my booked accommodation. As I recall, Orange stores, at least in Spain, are open on Saturday, so I should be able to buy a sim card and phone service there. What would be ideal would be to be able to pay on the spot for my three months coverage in Europe (88 days total). If not, I shall just renew my service each month and hope that I can find a store when the service is running out. Thanks again.
if not do-able to pay for three months in advance, I rekkon that Orange likely has a website or an app where you can simply top-up your account as required ...
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
Thank you. @mspath has informed me of the availabiltiy of the Orange network and shown me one location in Le Puy. I appreciate the help of all who are familiar with this French route.
oops, I realise now that I am a tad late in responding 😉
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Dear Friends of the Podiensis,
My plans have changed entirely. I was offered a position as a hospitalera at Gaucelmo Albergue in Rabanal and have accepted. Because my air ticket brings me to Lyon on Sept. 9 and my position as hospitalera is for the first half of October (arriving a couple of days ahead) I have decided to walk as far on the route from Le Puy as is practical. I shall have 15 days to walk from Le Puy, leaving the route to head for Rabanal on Sept. 26. So far, I find that I must end my Podiensis somewhere between Figeac (good train route from here?) and Moissac. But I have had extreme challenges in finding a transportation option. Night buses that don't run every day seem to abound, one with several hours wait between buses in the middle of the night. What I have determined so far is that I must find a booking which can take me to Astorga (only taxis from there to Rabanal). If I book with a particular company, eg. Trainline, a route will appear once, then disappear forever on further attempts. I would like a one-day journey from Figeac, Cahors or Moissac to Astorga, with as few changes as possible. Can anyone advise, please?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Albertagirl,
What happy news it is to read of your next hospi position in Rabanal! I will ponder your transport request shortly.
Have you tried Figeac to Toulouse then Toulouse to Astorga?
 
Last edited:
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Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
Dear Friends of the Podiensis,
My plans have changed entirely. I was offered a position as a hospitalera at Gaucelmo Albergue in Rabanal and have accepted. Because my air ticket brings me to Lyon on Sept. 9 and my position as hospitalera is for the first half of October (arriving a couple of days ahead) I have decided to walk as far on the route from Le Puy as is practical. I shall have 15 days to walk from Le Puy, leaving the route to head for Rabanal on Sept. 26. So far, I find that I must end my Podiensis somewhere between Figeac (good train route from here?) and Moissac. But I have had extreme challenges in finding a transportation option. Night buses that don't run every day seem to abound, one with several hours wait between buses in the middle of the night. What I have determined so far is that I must find a booking which can take me to Astorga (only taxis from there to Rabanal). If I book with a particular company, eg. Trainline, a route will appear once, then disappear forever on further attempts. I would like a one-day journey from Figeac, Cahors or Moissac to Astorga, with as few changes as possible. Can anyone advise, please?
Bonjour Albertagirl ... and congrats on your hospitalero position👍 Can I suggest that, if you have not already done so, you might first research your options on Rome2Rio [app or website] ... it could be a long and tricky journey ... La Malle Postale runs a shuttle to and fro Conques and Moissac via Figeac and Cahors ... you might find that useful to get to your chosen departure point ...
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
Dear Friends of the Podiensis,
My plans have changed entirely. I was offered a position as a hospitalera at Gaucelmo Albergue in Rabanal and have accepted. Because my air ticket brings me to Lyon on Sept. 9 and my position as hospitalera is for the first half of October (arriving a couple of days ahead) I have decided to walk as far on the route from Le Puy as is practical. I shall have 15 days to walk from Le Puy, leaving the route to head for Rabanal on Sept. 26. So far, I find that I must end my Podiensis somewhere between Figeac (good train route from here?) and Moissac. But I have had extreme challenges in finding a transportation option. Night buses that don't run every day seem to abound, one with several hours wait between buses in the middle of the night. What I have determined so far is that I must find a booking which can take me to Astorga (only taxis from there to Rabanal). If I book with a particular company, eg. Trainline, a route will appear once, then disappear forever on further attempts. I would like a one-day journey from Figeac, Cahors or Moissac to Astorga, with as few changes as possible. Can anyone advise, please?
My hunch is that Toulouse to Astorga will be the quickest but by plane not train based on my research ... Toulouse is 40 mins from Moissac [I think] and, perhaps, two hours or less from Figeac ... other public transport options [trains or busses] make for a long, arduous journey ...
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Albertagirl,
What happy news it is to read of your next hospi position in Rabanal! I will ponder your transport request shortly.
I will appreciate your help, as a resident of France and a very helpful, well-informed friend. So far, I have found that I can get a train in the daytime from Cahors to Burgos on Sept. 26 (3 changes). I am confident that I can go on from there by train to Astorga the next morning (Sept. 27) after a comfortable night in a hotel in Burgos. I am expected to be on duty at Gaucelmo in Rabanal on the 29th, and might walk or take a taxi there from Astorga.. My information comes from Trainline. But I find the complexity of the whole process somewhat daunting and would appreciate it if you would look at the details of this journey, as I am not confident that I have understood them.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
My hunch is that Toulouse to Astorga will be the quickest but by plane not train based on my research ... Toulouse is 40 mins from Moissac [I think] and, perhaps, two hours or less from Figeac ... other public transport options [trains or busses] make for a long, arduous journey ...
I am aware that train service to Astorga from wherever I reach by Sept. 25/6 is likely to be problematical and that travel to the airport at Toulouse is maybe simpler. But the plane sevice which I found at Toulouse goes to Oviedo, which is a fair ways from Astorga and another complication.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I will appreciate your help, as a resident of France and a very helpful, well-informed friend. So far, I have found that I can get a train in the daytime from Cahors to Burgos on Sept. 26 (3 changes). I am confident that I can go on from there by train to Astorga the next morning (Sept. 27) after a comfortable night in a hotel in Burgos. I am expected to be on duty at Gaucelmo in Rabanal on the 29th, and might walk or take a taxi there from Astorga.. My information comes from Trainline. But I find the complexity of the whole process somewhat daunting and would appreciate it if you would look at the details of this journey, as I am not confident that I have understood them.
Ok. Can you send me their details please.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
I am aware that train service to Astorga from wherever I reach by Sept. 25/6 is likely to be problematical and that travel to the airport at Toulouse is maybe simpler. But the plane sevice which I found at Toulouse goes to Oviedo, which is a fair ways from Astorga and another complication.
Understood! I am flying at the minute so can’t see everything that I would ordinarily see ... but I can see the train journey from Cahors to Bayonne via Montauban and Bordeaux ... and bus from there 😉
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Ok. Can you send me their details please.
Mon 26 Sept 2022
Standard
1st Class
We recommend this journey based on price and duration.

06:3019:32
13h 2m, 3 changes

C$276.89

Only 2 left

@mspath
So far, this includes only the train trip to Burgos from Cahors. I have just noticed that it is first class, which may account for the high price. I was having challenges with booking a train ticket from Burgos to Astorga the next day. Renfe didn't like how I entered the information. What I like about the above trip is that it is a journey of just over 13 hours, entirely in the daytime. Other options were much worse. I must go to bed now, as I cannot concentrate any longer.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Looks good. Does it exist in 2nd class ? If not take this.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I have taken your advice and booked tickets (3 changes) from Cahors to Burgos. I am considering splurging and booking a night in Hotel Norte y Londres in Burgos. With a bathtub to soak in and a few minutes walk to the bus station to get the 10:30 am bus to Astorga, it really seems to make sense. Then I shall have a night to spend in Astorga and a day to walk on to Rabana, but I shall just take a taxi if I am not up to walking. I am determined to arrive at Gaucelmo on the required date (Sept. 29) and prepared to serve. Thanks to much for encouragement.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Albertagirl,
I am so glad that you have booked your tickets to Burgos. Do be aware that the
Rosa Manzaro rr station is not located near central Burgos so a taxi will be useful. For a hotel the Norte y Londres can't be beat. Staying there is similar to a pleasant private club; all is comfy, gracious and very relaxed, ie perfect.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Thank you. I took a train to the Rosa Manzano train station last fall, and went out front of the train station to catch a city bus to downtown a few minutes later. My train will be arriving in Burgos later in the evening this year, but should be early enough to take me downtown soon. If not, I can take a taxi.
 

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