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Via Tolosana Arles to Puenta la Reina

brianpringle

New Member
Has anyone on this forum undertaken this route?

It seems that the main restricting factor is lack of accommodation, and a comment from anyone who has walked this route recently would be welcome. It appears to be no more strenuous than the route Le Puy to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, but a comment on that as well would be welcome.

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Past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I've just done the stretch from Toulouse on, through Auch, Pau and over the Pyrenees to Jaca, thence west to Puenta la Reina in Navarre. The French stretch was not well-marked in 2005, although locals were friendly and helpful. It is not used much by pilgrims and in September, 2005, I do not think that I saw a dozen pilgrims in as many days. The countryside is gently rolling and is a great walk, with lots of remarkable churches in the villages. I'd do it again in a trice.

Accommodation is easily available, but it is not pilgrim-specific. Hikers gites are quite common and pilgrim-friendly, and there are plenty of inns, b&bs and hotels. However, costs are greater than in Spain and pilgrims will need to be very careful not to spend 10-20E per day more than in Spain. As well, English is not spoken everywhere and you will find the capacity to operate in French will be very helpful indeed. Noe that many small villages have no facilities at all other than water, including cafés or grocery stores.

The Camino Aragonese, in Spain, to Puenta la Reina in Navarre is covered in that section of the Board.
 

backpack45scb

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2001 CF, 04-6 LP, 07 Port, 08-10 Arles, 11 Mozá,12-13 Gen-LP. 00-10 PCT, 15 Norte, 16 Primi
We just completed the Arles to just short of Toulouse part of this route. I posted a more detailed reply on this board in the Arles forum. The Arles route is substantially more strenuous and isolated than the Le Puy route, at least for the Arles to Toulouse part. There is rarely a village or town where you can get lunch, so buy food for several days of lunches. The climbs up out of Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert and out of Saint-Martin d'Orb are much more demanding than anything on the Le Puy route. That being said, it is certainly doable. I'm 72, my wife 67, and we enjoyed the climb. Out of St Guilhem it was a true high mountain trail like we would find on our California Pacific Crest Trail. I put all our thoughts together on an Arles page on our website:
http://www.backpack45.com/camino2p4.html
 

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