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Via Podiensis

5608065047081

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Time of past OR future Camino
may 2013
Hello All, I have read that doing the Via Podiensis from SJPDP finishing in Le Puy is
a better option in terms of scenery and pilgrim traffic. Would anyone comment on this ? Also would the luggage transfer company, La Malle Postale render a service in the same direction ? We are considering doing it in June 2023 and would appreciate any information on this route. Thanks
 
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Hello All, I have read that doing the Via Podiensis from SJPDP finishing in Le Puy is
a better option in terms of scenery and pilgrim traffic. Would anyone comment on this ? Also would the luggage transfer company, La Malle Postale render a service in the same direction ? We are considering doing it in June 2023 and would appreciate any information on this route. Thanks
I have not walked it “ the wrong way”, most people walk from Le Puy en Velay to SJPdP. but the best scenery is from Le Puy to Conques in my opinion. June might be the enjoying of sunfloweracres at the start, I always lost them, walking in May or September.
I guess June might be a busy month, many groups walk for a week or two booking ahead. I would book ahead, demi-pension, since getting food was a problem for me on my first walk, until I learned, since then, always carried food and booked demi-pension.
 
Hello All, I have read that doing the Via Podiensis from SJPDP finishing in Le Puy is
a better option in terms of scenery and pilgrim traffic. Would anyone comment on this ? Also would the luggage transfer company, La Malle Postale render a service in the same direction ? We are considering doing it in June 2023 and would appreciate any information on this route. Thanks
I would love to know the source of your information. Where did you read that walking through a series of landscapes in a particular direction improved the experience of the contrary?
If there is a way of improving my walk to the pub by walking from the pub to my home I would be eternally grateful for the understanding.
 
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hi there.

It’s a beautiful path and I don’t imagine would be any more so walking in the ‘opposite’ direction. In fact, it’s quite something when you get to the stage of having the Pyrenees in your sight as you walk towards.

As to pilgrim traffic, you’d still be stopping for the night at towns or villages where other pilgrims stop. I have an experience of walking ‘in the opposite to usual direction’. At the end of the Arles / Aragones Way we walked ‘back’ from Obanos to Pamplona on the Frances. If anything, walking in the opposite direction to others felt busier to us as you are literally passing every other pilgrim. By contrast when you are walking in the ‘usual direction’ even on the busiest routes you can usually find your bubble of space and solitude.

So from my own experience, I’d encourage you to walk from Le Puy en Velay. 😎
 
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When I last used transport services on the Via Podiensis it was about 6 years ago. At that time la Malle Postale seviced Le Puy to (or almost) to Cahors. From that point forward Transports Claudine took over. If the posts that precede mine have not discouraged you and you still want to walk the route in "reverse", I would email la Malle Postale and ask your question. You can do this in English. I am pretty confident you will receive a prompt answer based on my experience with them.

The transport tariff for your bag or luggage will probably be more than transport in the other direction. That's because I think the van will not turn around to take your bag back, but will instead carry it to the end point after which it will make its return trip picking up passengers along the route and also dropping off your bag.

It's a beautiful trail. Hope you hike it....one way or the other.

Bon chemin.
 
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At that time la Malle Postale seviced Le Puy to (or almost) to Cahors). From that point forward Transports Claudine took over.

That was still the case a few months ago when friends walked Le Puy and used baggage transport. Transport Claudine covers Cahors to Roncesvalles. We have a friend who was a driver for Transport Claudine for many years. The drivers cover all the picks ups and drop offs along their ‘stretch’ of about 150 or more kms and then return directly home.

So, I agree with @TMcA that wanting to transport your bags ‘the other way’- if they agreed to do it - would likely more expensive, as it requires them to make additional stops on their return journey.

A quick enquiry of both services will give you the answer.

However you go, bon chemin 😎
 
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. If anything, walking in the opposite direction to others felt busier to us as you are literally passing every other pilgrim.
This is very true! walking "with the flow" on the Puy route can seem very quiet even though there's probably someone 10 minutes ahead and behind you. Walking the other way, you'll encounter everyone - and perhaps even have to give way at some points. In five years of walking it, I only encountered two "wrong wayers" and they had both walked all the way from Le Puy to SdC and were returning to their start point.
 
Hello All, I have read that doing the Via Podiensis from SJPDP finishing in Le Puy is
a better option in terms of scenery and pilgrim traffic. Would anyone comment on this ? Also would the luggage transfer company, La Malle Postale render a service in the same direction ? We are considering doing it in June 2023 and would appreciate any information on this route. Thanks
It's best to ask La Malle Postale directly. They don't do the full route--they coordinate with Transports Claudine for the end of the route [Lectoure - SJPP] but their return shuttle runs from Lectoure. June shouldn't be a problem in the reverse direction for lodging--the Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques portion is the busiest is at its worst May through early June, and September. https://www.lamallepostale.com/fr/contact The route is the busiest one in France but only about 1/10 as busy as the Camino Francés in Spain, so there is less infrastructure available. The gîtes d'étape are smaller, and there a fewer of them, which is why the Le Puy-en-Velay - Conques segment can be "busy" at times. The French tend to walk the route in stages, walking a week or two at a time and not all at once, taking advantage of holidays [5 in May 2023] which contributes to a brief lodging crunch. If I were you, I would consider doing the Célé Valley variant and adding St. Cirq Lapopie to your walk.
 
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Hello All, I have read that doing the Via Podiensis from SJPDP finishing in Le Puy is
a better option in terms of scenery and pilgrim traffic. Would anyone comment on this ? Also would the luggage transfer company, La Malle Postale render a service in the same direction ? We are considering doing it in June 2023 and would appreciate any information on this route. Thanks
Hi .... having walked back from Roncevaux to SJPDP I can confirm that one's sense of pilgrim traffic increases hugely when one is walking the 'wrong way' .... for the impression of solititude etc, then I'd always suggest going with the flow on a popular route!
 
I walked Le Puy-SJPP over the course of two years, both times in September, and each year encountered one pilgrim walking 'upstream'. Both indicated the markings were generally satisfactory. However, you may notice that going in the 'upstream' direction, you are heading uphill.
 
I did LePuy - Pamplona in August. It is much better signposted westwards and there weren't so many pilgrims anyway I was happy to meet them on the way. I met in 31 days only 1 pilgrim walking "backwards" and I think he was sick of hearing "Hey, Santiago is the other way". Scenary is wonderful as it is, and the way is so well posted that you can reall switch off any fear of getting lost and dive into nature and the exprience. I loved the feeling every morning to get up and just know "Sun is at my back. All is right" :) You can still have great sunrise moments
 

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Hello All, I have read that doing the Via Podiensis from SJPDP finishing in Le Puy is
a better option in terms of scenery and pilgrim traffic. Would anyone comment on this ? Also would the luggage transfer company, La Malle Postale render a service in the same direction ? We are considering doing it in June 2023 and would appreciate any information on this route. Thanks
à propos La Malle Postale and Transports Claudine ... I can say with a very high degree of certainty [perhaps 99.95] that neither of them transfer baggage in the reverse direction ... I know this from having requested the service for just a couple of stages in and around Figeac and Cahors on several occasions ...

as others have pointed out, very few hikers walk the Via Podiensis / Le Puy route «upstream» so it is really not viable for them to offer this service ... it is hectic and complicated enough as it is, particularly this year ...

you could try the new company «les Valises de Saint-Jacques» who will be servicing the back half from Cahors in 2023 ... I expect you will get the same response.

In any case it is lots of fun starting at Le Puy and walking west ... bon chemin 👣👣👣 et Ultreïa‼️
 
I would love to know the source of your information. Where did you read that walking through a series of landscapes in a particular direction improved the experience of the contrary?
If there is a way of improving my walk to the pub by walking from the pub to my home I would be eternally grateful for the understanding.
He may have seen the vide by Efrén Gonzales when he made an off the cuff remark suggesting the it would be most interesting to go in reverase.
 
I can understand that, but within the context of a journey. If I walk from where I am to somewhere else and then walk back to where I was the experience of the landscape will change.
From here to Horsham and back could be described as: Chalk Downland, river valley, forest, Greensand heath, forest, river valley, Chalk Downland. The walk in either direction would give me the experience of each of those landscapes though in a differing order. The round-trip gives me the landscapes, their context and inter-relationships, and gets me home in time for tea. I cannot see how a singular direction trip, northward or southward could be preferable or provide a “better” experience. One foot in the mud, one dry; sun on my face or the back of my neck; rain from the left or the right; a big hill to start a big hill to finish…

The “best” bit is that I can
 
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Hello All, I have read that doing the Via Podiensis from SJPDP finishing in Le Puy is
a better option in terms of scenery and pilgrim traffic. Would anyone comment on this ? Also would the luggage transfer company, La Malle Postale render a service in the same direction ? We are considering doing it in June 2023 and would appreciate any information on this route. Thanks
Bonjour @5608065047081

I have walked the Voie du Puy in both directions and found it a wonder either way. I love this part of France - the terrain with it´s ups and downs, the woods and wild flowers, the ancient villages and sanctuaries...

In summer, 2016 I set off from a village in Le Lot et Garonne department, near Villeneuve-Sur-Lot. I followed the GR652 up to Rocamadour then the Gr 6 on to Fijeac. From Fijeac I continued along the GR65 to Le Puy, afterwhich I headed off via Cluny (Gr765) to Taizé.

All the GR pilgrim trails were signed in both directions. I had little difficulty finding my way.

Finding pilgrim accommodation wasn´t problematic either. I was readily accepted as a pilgrim on my way to Rocamadour, to Le Puy-en-Velay, Cluny and Taizé also. Each of these places is a pilgrimage destination in it´s own right.

As one does, I carried a pilgrims passport. For pilgrimage destination I wrote Taizé via Rocamadour. I also wore a scallop shell - not from obligation but because I´m happy doing this...

Re Pilgrim traffic. From Fijeac to Le Puy I met many pilgrims each day heading in the opposite direction. The rest of the way was, for the most part solitary.

Hope this helps
Regards
Lovingkindness
 
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It is most wonderful to walk from Finisterre to Santiago de Compostela.
Yes, the landscape and the whole experience of walking this "way" is very different.
The view of the gothic-spired cathedral, before one enters the city, inspires awe!
Most likely this was felt by pilgrims of yore who returned to their homes...
 
It is most wonderful to walk from Finisterre to Santiago de Compostela.
Yes, the landscape and the whole experience of walking this "way" is very different....
Yes... I love returning to a place by different trails, too, and viewing an ancient town from several angles. One of my favourite places for entering and exiting is Le Puy-en-Velay itself.

A number of trails converge on Le Puy, each arriving with scenic interest. One view I particularly like is found when setting off from Le Puy along the GR 700 (La Rigordane): After passing by a cemetery on the outskirts of town one commences an ascent. It is here, if one remembers to look back, that one is wowed ....

Cheers!


Panoramic viewpoint . Le Puy-en-Velay.png
 
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Loving Kindness, whilst on this topic of entering Le Puy...
I would very much like to do this, but not walking the stages from Lyon.

I will arrive mid-day (ish) in Lyon (airport).
Is there a village, I can readily access (bus/train) you can recommend I stay in the first night ?
One that also has facilities for a pilgrim

The next day, or maybe the day after that,
I will be able to walk into Le Puy.
I would prefer to bypass the bigger cities and their suburbs (Lyon).

"wow" is one of the most amazing words to describe an experience

Thank you kindly for sharing your experiences!
 
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I have not walked it “ the wrong way”, most people walk from Le Puy en Velay to SJPdP. but the best scenery is from Le Puy to Conques in my opinion. June might be the enjoying of sunfloweracres at the start, I always lost them, walking in May or September.
I guess June might be a busy month, many groups walk for a week or two booking ahead. I would book ahead, demi-pension, since getting food was a problem for me on my first walk, until I learned, since then, always carried food and booked demi-pension.
I am looking for a 3-5 day gentle jaunt along the Via Podienses so I was curious if all think Le Puy to Conques is the most beautiful section of the trail or would anyone recommend another section?
 
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Hi @Jaime Carrollo Le Puy en Velay to Conques is indeed a beautiful section of a beautiful camino path with wonderful landscapes, towns and villages. I’m guessing most people would take between 8-10 days to walk that section.

But a gentle jaunt … I guess it depends how far you walk each day. But, in my experience, the first 7-10 days of the Le Puy Way is among the most challenging first week or so of any Camino. If you take a look at the gronze website, you will be able to click on the elevation map for each stage.


Bon chemin
 
I agree 100% with everyone who recommended walking in the standard direction.

But also: one day I walked 5km in the wrong direction. I did a loop around a town in the Aubrac & walked right back up the hill I had just descended. The scenery definitely does NOT look the same coming vs going!
 
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Where did you read that walking through a series of landscapes in a particular direction improved the experience of the contrary

I came, I turned around, I saw, I turned back and continued on my way.

In early April I had left Livinhac-le-haut headings towards Figeac and beyond.

In the vicinity of Saint-Felix I noticed a couple emerging from a car ahead of me and begin walking towards me. As we drew abreast we stopped for a chat. As they didn't want to look at me with the late morning sun on their faces we did a dosey-do. As we spoke I was now looking back towards the Massif Centrale in the distance. My guess was 50-70 km distant, as crows do fly. It was a very clear day and the recent snow fall I had encountered shortly after leaving Nasbinals was still quite visible. I was enthralled, but was not tempted to walk back.

The Via Francigena, as typically walked, is a good example of going both ways.

The many published routes have us start at Canterbury Cathedral and walk in a southerly direction to Rome.

But the route we take is one written up by a cleric walking from Rome in a northerly direction to Canterbury.

As the cleric and his party did it both ways some bright spark might care to search out both sets of diaries.

Kia kaha
 
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I received an email this morning from Cicerone with a 20% sale on books The Via Podiensis has just been reprinted in case anyone is interested We walked it in 2006 and it’s a beautiful scenic route

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