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LIVE from the Camino Walking from Le Puy - after a rocky (anxious) start!

Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
I made a last minute decision while staying in Paris to start in Le Puy instead of St Jean-Pied-de-Port and here I am, due to go to mass in the morning and start walking immediately after. I’m in the first village you come to & my host has kindly offered to drive me to Le Puy early in the morning. I’ve immediately noted that there’s probably few places to buy food and to stock up and, with only basic French, at best, I’m in for a rough ride. Plus, I’ve not booked any accommodation. I have the feeling I’m taking on too much. Walking the distances is not an issue but am I getting myself into strife here bearing these other factors in mind? I have the Google translation app on my phone. I managed that much last night, thanks to my host’s prompting. But the food and accommodation issue has me worried. In other words, HELP!!!
 
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kelleymac

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
The tourist offices in France are great. They speak English and you will have no problem. Just ask them to book a place for you, and then start walking. -- The hills are hard on that part of the chemin, so take you time! :)

Another thought -- once I was walking and decided to take an alternate route, and needed to call the Marie office in advance. (The village put me up in a community center, where there was a kitchen, hot water, and a gym mat to sleep on! Thank-you Condom d'Aubrac!) -- I was nervous about making the call in French so I asked a few teenagers (who had recently studied english), if they would call for me. They were glad to help.

Yet another thought-- I joined up with a group of pelerins in Le Puy-- most were French with little or no English, a few were from Quebec and their English was quite good. So they made the calls ahead to find a place to stay. I walked with them for about half the time.

As for food--There are lots of places along the way. When I was in all alone in condom d'Aubrac and I had no food, and the cafe was closed, the woman at the Marie called the cafe owners. They opened it up and made supper for me, and then breakfast the next morning, and packed a lunch for me too. (I paid for this of course.)

You are no doubt asleep now. -- Writing all this brings back such memories to me. The pilgrims' mass and blessing is wonderful. I wish you a Bon Chemin.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Thanks heaps Kelley. I wish I was asleep but though this is my third Camino I’m solo this time and I feel I’ll prepared. But I’ll keep your good advice in mind as I go along. Yes, I certainly plan and hope to walk with other pilgrims, especially in the first few days until I get the gist of it. I’m sure I’ll be asking for a lot of help along the way. I tend to learn fast so fingers crossed. If I get through week one I’ll manage the rest, I think.
Many thanks.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
With google translate and your nightly host, make reservations 2 days ahead for demi-pension. Your host will know these people and place you in good spots. Ask for info on whether shops will be open, or picnic available. When you find a shop, buy supplies for two days; three days if a Sunday is coming up. There will be other pilgrims; their English will be much better than your French, but you will not discover this until you make the effort in French first. It's a wonderful route - enjoy the experience!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
With google translate and your nightly host, make reservations 2 days ahead for demi-pension. Your host will know these people and place you in good spots. Ask for info on whether shops will be open, or picnic available. When you find a shop, buy supplies for two days; three days if a Sunday is coming up. There will be other pilgrims; their English will be much better than your French, but you will not discover this until you make the effort in French first. It's a wonderful route - enjoy the experience!
Thank you Kitsamber. New things to learn that’s for sure. It’s a little different to the Frances Camino. You always pay a price for last minute decisions don’t you. Many thanks.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST: Frances, Le Puy, Portuguese from Lisbon
It's not a little different from the Camino Frances; it is very different! But you will be fine if you seek the help available (tourist office, demi-pension host, fellow pelerins) to book accommodation in advance and if you carry food/water during the day when there are often no open shops or restaurants in the villages. It is a lovely route, much less travelled than the CF, and it can be lonely, especially if you are not fluent in French, but, oddly, that challenge can lead to richer and more memorable experiences, or at least it did for me. Bon courage!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Thanks Dough. I have a guidebook, thankfully, though it is in French. I’m sitting in the Cathedral as we speak. There me and one other. I’m on the cusp of calling quits to be honest. There’s no way I can do this without company, some company. I spent two years walking solo in Australia. Been there, done that. If others don’t show up I’m done.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
Steady on, @Lexicos.
Walk for a few days, and see how it goes. You can always get yourself to SJPP if you have to. But before you bail, see how it actually feels and is in real-time experince - as opposed to what anxious thoughts are telling you it will feel. Who knows?
Bon chemin, whatever you decide.
 
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lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
.
Bonjour @Lexicos!
How exciting, you are now in Le puy en Velay. What a fascinating place.

Here are a couple of links to help with finding pilgrim accommodation along la Voie du Puy. The Miam miam dodo is excellent, too.

Webcompostella.com
Pilgrim accommodation with families and religious communities along Voie du Puy. (Now a pdf, available online. Fill out the form and it will be sent to you via email)

ACIR Agence française de Compostela.

....One of my favourite places is Conques where, since the 12th century the monks have taught pilgrims to sing the Ultreia e suseia refrain...

20220828_235421197.jpg

Bon chemin et
Bon courage, pèlerin!

Regards,
Lovingkindness
 
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imwalking

New Member
I did my first section of the Camino starting from Le Puy, a woman alone, and it was magnificent! Rarely got lost, and my French improved as I went along. There is good accommodation at this time of year and hosts are more than helpful to keep you on the road. Don’t be put off by the differences - it’s superbe!
Bon courage, pelerin!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Thank you all for your advice, encouragement and useful information. I’ve just finished day one and all went well. Accommodation is plentiful, lots of fellow pilgrims here and the walk was great. Leaving the Cathedral after mass was a very pleasant surprise and quite a sight. I won’t spoil if for other first timers in Le Puy. In short, I’m glad to be here. The things you read about limited food supplies and limited accommodation don’t stack up. I don’t plan to book ahead at all and I’m confident it’ll be just fine. Up and running ….. many thanks to those of you who took the time to answer my call. Here’s a few pics!!
8006E7A5-23B2-4084-BA47-2771549A369E.jpeg 3ED6F50E-38FA-4256-A0A4-8A6F3782DA9B.jpeg 19D4E27E-428A-4FA1-9703-75698DF8BE9D.jpeg 80B73992-AF56-45B9-A125-A96F49F49384.jpeg E312DBD6-F6D5-4032-B42E-DFE95482B7F2.jpeg 49FE4F3D-9417-4190-9380-734B8E1A07E7.jpeg
 

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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019), CF/del Norte ‘21
It's not a little different from the Camino Frances; it is very different! But you will be fine if you seek the help available (tourist office, demi-pension host, fellow pelerins) to book accommodation in advance and if you carry food/water during the day when there are often no open shops or restaurants in the villages. It is a lovely route, much less travelled than the CF, and it can be lonely, especially if you are not fluent in French, but, oddly, that challenge can lead to richer and more memorable experiences, or at least it did for me. Bon courage!
Gml, I am glad to read your sentiments… my Chemin will start from Le Puy on September 28 and I worry that the trail will be largely depopulated. So, I am prepared to walk solo while exercising my decent but rusty French skills, and am sooo looking forward to it.
 
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Tandem Graham

E ultreia e suseia, Deus adjuva nos
Time of past OR future Camino
Bike: UK-SdC, Lana
Walk: Le Puy-SdC, VDLP, 23: VF?
Hi @Lexicos,
I loved the Voie du Puy. I got used to telephoning my proposed accommodation at midday, so they knew I was coming that afternoon. It's not just for the bed - it's to make sure that there's a seat (and plate!) at the dinner table for you.
I'm sure you're going to enjoy the wonderful diverse scenery and friendly hospitality as well as the walking itself!
Bon Chemin!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés : Sarria-Santiago (2013)
Via Podiensis : (2014-17)
Via Tolosana : Arles-Toulouse-(2018-19)
Oh dear. Then I am rightfully nervous. I don’t like losing my way in a foreign place. I hope it’s well marked, the route.
It's very well marked. Take the demi-pension when you can which will take care of breakfast and dinner, and you will meet others over a meal. Enjoy !
 

lisagb

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I made a last minute decision while staying in Paris to start in Le Puy instead of St Jean-Pied-de-Port and here I am, due to go to mass in the morning and start walking immediately after. I’m in the first village you come to & my host has kindly offered to drive me to Le Puy early in the morning. I’ve immediately noted that there’s probably few places to buy food and to stock up and, with only basic French, at best, I’m in for a rough ride. Plus, I’ve not booked any accommodation. I have the feeling I’m taking on too much. Walking the distances is not an issue but am I getting myself into strife here bearing these other factors in mind? I have the Google translation app on my phone. I managed that much last night, thanks to my host’s prompting. But the food and accommodation issue has me worried. In other words, HELP!!!
There isn’t a sporting goods store in Le Puy that I can recall from last year but along the way in one of the bigger towns there was. Sauges I think. Most people hikers and gîte owners only speak French. I found it difficult to find accommodation in September last year so I quickly made reservations when I got to Le Puy. However people are very nice and it is a simply gorgeous walk. Best of luck and enjoy!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Gml, I am glad to read your sentiments… my Chemin will start from Le Puy on September 28 and I worry that the trail will be largely depopulated. So, I am prepared to walk solo while exercising my decent but rusty French skills, and am sooo looking forward to it.
My guess Richard is that there will still be quite a few walking it at that time, judging by today’s numbers. I think there’s quite a lot of pent up demand, from what I’m hearing.
 

Gearóid

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino Portuguese (2015)
Via de la Plata (2016)
I made a last minute decision while staying in Paris to start in Le Puy instead of St Jean-Pied-de-Port and here I am, due to go to mass in the morning and start walking immediately after. I’m in the first village you come to & my host has kindly offered to drive me to Le Puy early in the morning. I’ve immediately noted that there’s probably few places to buy food and to stock up and, with only basic French, at best, I’m in for a rough ride. Plus, I’ve not booked any accommodation. I have the feeling I’m taking on too much. Walking the distances is not an issue but am I getting myself into strife here bearing these other factors in mind? I have the Google translation app on my phone. I managed that much last night, thanks to my host’s prompting. But the food and accommodation issue has me worried. In other words, HELP!!!
You’ll have the best camino ever. I’m not long back home in Ireland. It’s an amazing experience.
1. Download Rob’s Guide from the Via Podiensis Facebook. Rob Forester’s condensed Guide (from his own experience walking from Le Puy) has everything you’ll need. It’s the best you’ll find.
2. Wise Pilgrim has a handy little app….. Podiensis
3. The free DeepL translation app is superb!
4. Breath ….. and enjoy!
Carpe diem!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
There isn’t a sporting goods store in Le Puy that I can recall from last year but along the way in one of the bigger towns there was. Sauges I think. Most people hikers and gîte owners only speak French. I found it difficult to find accommodation in September last year so I quickly made reservations when I got to Le Puy. However people are very nice and it is a simply gorgeous walk. Best of luck and enjoy!
Day one Lisa and accommodation was a breeze. I don’t plan to book ahead at all. I’m very comfortable with just seeing what there is when I get there.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
You’ll have the best camino ever. I’m not long back home in Ireland. It’s an amazing experience.
1. Download Rob’s Guide from the Via Podiensis Facebook. Rob Forester’s condensed Guide (from his own experience walking from Le Puy) has everything you’ll need. It’s the best you’ll find.
2. Wise Pilgrim has a handy little app….. Podiensis
3. The free DeepL translation app is superb!
4. Breath ….. and enjoy!
Carpe diem!
Thanks Gearoid. I reckon you’re right. My reservations have proven to be I’ll founded. It’s good, more than good.
 

danielgzepeda

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016
I’m on my way. So far so good. Yea!!
Keep us posted. One day in the coming years this will be me. Jittery and questioning myself! I will go. I will roll with what life dishes out. I will be positive with a the experiences and knowledge gained. I will be thankful for a the happenings during my adventure. I am not a walker. I want to experience life different than driving through an area at neck break speed. BTW i don't know a lick of the French language. I will learn basics in order to survive that Camino. Best of luck. Let it flow! But first I must complete the CF from Pamplona to SDC, Muxia and Finisterre to SDC loop.
 

estorildon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I remember my first day in 2019, I stopped at Escole and the owner was very helpful.
 

billwerme

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I made a last minute decision while staying in Paris to start in Le Puy instead of St Jean-Pied-de-Port and here I am, due to go to mass in the morning and start walking immediately after. I’m in the first village you come to & my host has kindly offered to drive me to Le Puy early in the morning. I’ve immediately noted that there’s probably few places to buy food and to stock up and, with only basic French, at best, I’m in for a rough ride. Plus, I’ve not booked any accommodation. I have the feeling I’m taking on too much. Walking the distances is not an issue but am I getting myself into strife here bearing these other factors in mind? I have the Google translation app on my phone. I managed that much last night, thanks to my host’s prompting. But the food and accommodation issue has me worried. In other words, HELP!!!
2021 LEPUY CALENDAR.jpg
This was our trip last year with a side to Rocamadour and the Célé variant which is highly recommended. Michelin and MMD have great guides with stages and maps
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

JanieG

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Conques October 2018
I’m on my way. So far so good. Yea!!
I adored the beauty and the serenity of this route. Even if you don’t have many other people walking at the same time, you’ll always have a group around the dinner table. Disclaimer: I do speak French, but you’ll be ok if you google and practice some basic phrases while you’re walking. Saying bonjour, s’il vous plaît and merci is essential but you’ll find someone who speaks English. Enjoy your journey! Bon chemin!
 

Sedona11

Camino 2014
Time of past OR future Camino
2014camino see tumblr
I made a last minute decision while staying in Paris to start in Le Puy instead of St Jean-Pied-de-Port and here I am, due to go to mass in the morning and start walking immediately after. I’m in the first village you come to & my host has kindly offered to drive me to Le Puy early in the morning. I’ve immediately noted that there’s probably few places to buy food and to stock up and, with only basic French, at best, I’m in for a rough ride. Plus, I’ve not booked any accommodation. I have the feeling I’m taking on too much. Walking the distances is not an issue but am I getting myself into strife here bearing these other factors in mind? I have the Google translation app on my phone. I managed that much last night, thanks to my host’s prompting. But the food and accommodation issue has me worried. In other words, HELP!!!
I made a last minute decision while staying in Paris to start in Le Puy instead of St Jean-Pied-de-Port and here I am, due to go to mass in the morning and start walking immediately after. I’m in the first village you come to & my host has kindly offered to drive me to Le Puy early in the morning. I’ve immediately noted that there’s probably few places to buy food and to stock up and, with only basic French, at best, I’m in for a rough ride. Plus, I’ve not booked any accommodation. I have the feeling I’m taking on too much. Walking the distances is not an issue but am I getting myself into strife here bearing these other factors in mind? I have the Google translation app on my phone. I managed that much last night, thanks to my host’s prompting. But the food and accommodation issue has me worried. In other words, HELP!!!
We used Miam Miam Dodo Sain Jaqués de Compistelle GR 65 has everything you need EVERYTHING! Please get it ASAP even if it is in French you can follow, beautiful Camino it will change your life for sure, Spain is a walk in the park compared to le Puy but totally doable we did in after we retired in our mid 60’s. Buen Camino
 

Plato

Solvitur ambulando
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
By the time you get this message you will already be on your way so I'm sure the initial anxiety/dread has died down.

I remember once many years ago on my first long distance flight to Canada from Ireland chatting with someone in the departure hall - ok the bar ;) - they pointed out to me that that uneasy, uncertain ball of fear in your stomach is to be cherished, that it's a sign of life and adventure and discovery and becoming and so much more.

Enjoy and Bon chemin!

The gronze site in the link below is very helpful, free and accessible:

 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
My first camino, in 2012, I too made a last minute decision to start at Le Puy, because I had found the Miam Miam Dodo guidebook in Paris and decided, why not!

I never pre-booked anything and only once was at risk of not getting a bed. Stay flexible and be prepared to pay for an occasional hotel. On occasion, I had locals (who carried cell phones which I did not), make advance calls for me - usually the same day as I needed.

Food is an issue some days along the route, particularly for lunch. I always carried one of those tins of mixed tuna salad or dry sausage and trail mix as an emergency food supply, after having gone all day without food.

You’ll have noticed by now that you are not following a yellow arrow, but the red/white marking for the GR65. The miam miam dodo or a downloaded map will hopefully guide you to areas where you can skirt the GR65’s meandering, scenic route to cut off kms with more direct back roads.

Bon chemin!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés : Sarria-Santiago (2013)
Via Podiensis : (2014-17)
Via Tolosana : Arles-Toulouse-(2018-19)
Gml, I am glad to read your sentiments… my Chemin will start from Le Puy on September 28 and I worry that the trail will be largely depopulated. So, I am prepared to walk solo while exercising my decent but rusty French skills, and am sooo looking forward to it.
Richmond, September is the second busiest month after May. The busiest stretch is Le Puy to Conques. There will be considerably fewer people after the first week of October as it then is considered off-season and a few services shut down. You probably will not need to reserve ahead but I would call ahead to make sure a place is open, even if it is supposed to be "open all year" as the owners may want to take a break themselves. I walked in October 2014 and loved it as the weather is ideal walking weather, but do expect a little more rain. Bon chemin !
 
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Lleslie

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino Via Podiensis (2018)
We had very little French language conversation skills apart from the basics but were able to initiate a tentative conversation by asking where had they started that morning and where were they staying tonight. We also learned quite quickly to mention that we were from Australia as we found that once people found this out our poor language skills were instantly forgiven and we found that almost everone switched to english (not that we expected this!) - maybe to stop us mangling the language! Many people expressed amazement that people from Australia knew of the Chemin.
Accommodation wise we either booked a day or so ahead ourselves reading a pre written sentance in french and crossed our fingers our beds would be waiting for us! or our host that night would make the booking for us. Food wise we always took demi pension when it was available which it mostly was. Lunches definately need to be planned - a lot of the smaller villages we passed during the day didn't have a cafe/bakery, particularly after Conques. We usually had a baguette, cheese and tomato in our packs for a picnic along the way. Bon chemin, Linda
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés : Sarria-Santiago (2013)
Via Podiensis : (2014-17)
Via Tolosana : Arles-Toulouse-(2018-19)
We used Miam Miam Dodo Sain Jaqués de Compistelle GR 65 has everything you need EVERYTHING! Please get it ASAP even if it is in French you can follow, beautiful Camino it will change your life for sure, Spain is a walk in the park compared to le Puy but totally doable we did in after we retired in our mid 60’s. Buen Camino
 

Rmarkob

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 21 Sep/22 Oct 2021; CP Jun/July 2022
Depending on your speed and endurance, around day 6 you should find yourself in Saint Côme d’Olt. I met a Frenchman named Gaetan on the Camino Frances last year, and he told me he and his wife Sophie recently bought an Albergue there called Gîte del Roumiou - https://gite-delroumiou.jimdofree.com/. He speaks English and Spanish so making reservations there and for your next stop after Saint Côme shouldn’t be a problem. I haven’t been to his Gite yet, but have seen videos and photos he posted, and hope to get there next year. Tell him Mark from the USA recommended him!
 
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Kobe

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, September 2022
I’m on my way. So far so good. Yea!!
Hang in there, my friend. You will gain some momentum and courage with each passing day. As I wait to board my flight to Paris, I am trying to “cherish” that uneasy, uncertain ball of fear in my stomach as per Plato. Certainly that illustrious philosopher must know what he is talking about!
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
What a good way to start a Camino! Sounds like a great adventure :)

I walked the way from Le Puy for the second time this summer. It certainly is a beautiful route and I found it very well marked. Never got lost.

I mainly camped this time, but there were many pilgrims I spoke to who found beds at the gites without booking ahead - those were usually those walking all the way to St. Jean or Santiago. If you're a bit adventurous and open to improvise if needed, which seems to be the case, it should be possible, especially for an experienced camino walker/hiker. For worst case scenarios, there are open chapels and even some open no-service refuges to find shelter in many places, often a few kms after passing through the town. Just be sure to always carry some food. Bread, hard cheese, nuts ect. Tinned sardines seem to be popular also.

Booking ahead 1-2 days or at least same day is what the french do, though, and some hosts can be a bit unhappy if you show up without reservation and expect a meal in the evening - they want people to call before, at least same day, so they know for how many to cook. In bigger towns with shops and / or restaurants or if you carry your own food that is not an issue, but in places that are not really a town but basically gite only in the middle of nowhere, it might be. Not to discourage you (I personally prefer walking without reservations) but maybe something to keep in mind.

The only place I heard where people had difficulties finding accommodation was in Le Sauvage, which seems to be a bottleneck.

Enjoy your Le Puy adventure! Bon chemin :)
 

dreaming

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF, LE PUY
I remember one day walking with a French pilgrim. We hadn't booked ahead. We got a bed no problem in this little town however we had to watch those who had prebooked eat gourmet meals whilst we went up the road and had sausage and biscuits. I was starving. They did offer us cans of food for us to cook ourselves.
 

Amy Davies

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santigao and Portugal Camino
I made a last minute decision while staying in Paris to start in Le Puy instead of St Jean-Pied-de-Port and here I am, due to go to mass in the morning and start walking immediately after. I’m in the first village you come to & my host has kindly offered to drive me to Le Puy early in the morning. I’ve immediately noted that there’s probably few places to buy food and to stock up and, with only basic French, at best, I’m in for a rough ride. Plus, I’ve not booked any accommodation. I have the feeling I’m taking on too much. Walking the distances is not an issue but am I getting myself into strife here bearing these other factors in mind? I have the Google translation app on my phone. I managed that much last night, thanks to my host’s prompting. But the food and accommodation issue has me worried. In other words, HELP!!!
I'm certain you'll have a magical time! I had less French than you I suspect, when I embarked on it 5 years ago and I survived. It's my favourite camino, and it gets very magical after conque (I felt more camino magic their, than on the CF from my perspective). 6 days into the le puy camino I met my husband on it. He's just walked part of it again (as we're looking to buy a gite out there). If you head to Conque the monks there were looking to use the song he taught them instead of their normal compostelle song. Here's the link for you if you want to listen!
 
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John Holland

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016
It has been said above, but definitely get the Miam Miam Dodo guidebook. Language is irrelevant as this book is brilliantly put together and so easy to use. It has all you need. I have walked the route twice and have zero French. My language skills as so bad that I did not pick up any French. But I got by. People are very friendly and helpful.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
I remember my first day in 2019, I stopped at Escole and the owner was very helpful.
Keep us posted. One day in the coming years this will be me. Jittery and questioning myself! I will go. I will roll with what life dishes out. I will be positive with a the experiences and knowledge gained. I will be thankful for a the happenings during my adventure. I am not a walker. I want to experience life different than driving through an area at neck break speed. BTW i don't know a lick of the French language. I will learn basics in order to survive that Camino. Best of luck. Let it flow! But first I must complete the CF from Pamplona to SDC, Muxia and Finisterre to SDC loop.
You don’t need to worry Daniel. If I can do it anyone can. I’m about as qualified as you are and I’m finding it quite easy, from day one! Relax.
 

steve 217

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino frances planning via del la plata
Thanks heaps Kelley. I wish I was asleep but though this is my third Camino I’m solo this time and I feel I’ll prepared. But I’ll keep your good advice in mind as I go along. Yes, I certainly plan and hope to walk with other pilgrims, especially in the first few days until I get the gist of it. I’m sure I’ll be asking for a lot of help along the way. I tend to learn fast so fingers crossed. If I get through week one I’ll manage the rest, I think.
Many thanks.
Im sure the Camino will find a way to help a pilgrim as it has for a long long time , stash your fears with your first aid kit and hope you dont need either go with it enjoy the adventure and buen camino im sure it will all work out in the long run most thins do
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Im sure the Camino will find a way to help a pilgrim as it has for a long long time , stash your fears with your first aid kit and hope you dont need either go with it enjoy the adventure and buen camino im sure it will all work out in the long run most thins do
Thanks Steve, and you’re quite right. It’s day two and I’m perfectly comfortable and very happy that I chose this Camino. I had read a lot of things about this Camino, from Le Puy, and frankly most of what I had read has turned out to be quite exaggerated, if not down right wrong. So, to set the record straight: There are toilets along the route, it is very well marked, accommodation is not a problem, you can buy food and drinks and you do meet up with plenty of other pilgrims at the stops and along the way.
 
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MichaelC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
Day one Lisa and accommodation was a breeze. I don’t plan to book ahead at all. I’m very comfortable with just seeing what there is when I get there.
Glad you made it! I was worried following this thread that you wouldn't start. It's a great walk. However, it's polite to book ahead one day in France. It's not about you, it's about the gite. The gite owners will do their shopping and prep dinner based upon how many people have reserved for that night. This is especially important in the rural areas - the larger towns might be able to handle "surprise" guests better.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
How to avoid failure "be prepared"
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Glad you made it! I was worried following this thread that you wouldn't start. It's a great walk. However, it's polite to book ahead one day in France. It's not about you, it's about the gite. The gite owners will do their shopping and prep dinner based upon how many people have reserved for that night. This is especially important in the rural areas - the larger towns might be able to handle "surprise" guests better.
Right, I see. Thanks for that Steve, good point. In that case I’ll try and book ahead. I’ve got a much better idea of what distances I can cover now and a better sense of the terrain. Thanks for that info, much appreciated.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
A couple of good selfies there, how did you manage those?
I put the timer on, set to 10 seconds and lean the phone on the ground against my water bottle. Make sure you use the external lense on the back of your mobile phone. It’s a much better lense than the one on your screen.
 
Last edited:

Pafayac

On the way...
Time of past OR future Camino
2021: Le Puy-Cahors. 2022: Cahors-Burgos.
Well, todays 32 km walk to St. Bernard d’ Limagnole was simply stunning.
This town did not exist last time I walked there... Perhaps do you mean "Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole" ?
(Limagnole is a river name, so "sur" is more convenient than "de").
 

SabsP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
This town did not exist last time I walked there... Perhaps do you mean "Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole" ?
(Limagnole is a river name, so "sur" is more convenient than "de").

I guess @Lexicos indeed ment St Alban.
I clearly understood what he was saying.
32 kilometers of walking more than allows making a simple mix up of names imo.

Love the pics @Lexicos .
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Yes, apologies, I got lazy and didn’t check the correct name of the town. It is St. Alban …….. etc!! Merci. 😊
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
You are exactly one month ahead of my Le Puy Camino…and making me salivate! Thank you for the great photos and good to see how much you are enjoying the walk
Ah yes. You won’t be disappointed Richmond. The pics are just a tiny sample. I could write a short story about the people I’ve met and some of the laughs we’ve had. I wish you a good start and the same until your final destination.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
The contrast between your first few posts on your thread and you most recent is very heartening, @Lexicos .
What a difference a few days makes!

How’s your French coming? 😉
Getting there Chinacat. I can just get by with my scratchy French and it’s getting better by the day. My high school French is slowly coming back to me.
 

Gazelle2

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
19th May 2014
With google translate and your nightly host, make reservations 2 days ahead for demi-pension. Your host will know these people and place you in good spots. Ask for info on whether shops will be open, or picnic available. When you find a shop, buy supplies for two days; three days if a Sunday is coming up. There will be other pilgrims; their English will be much better than your French, but you will not discover this until you make the effort in French first. It's a wonderful route - enjoy the experien
I made a last minute decision while staying in Paris to start in Le Puy instead of St Jean-Pied-de-Port and here I am, due to go to mass in the morning and start walking immediately after. I’m in the first village you come to & my host has kindly offered to drive me to Le Puy early in the morning. I’ve immediately noted that there’s probably few places to buy food and to stock up and, with only basic French, at best, I’m in for a rough ride. Plus, I’ve not booked any accommodation. I have the feeling I’m taking on too much. Walking the distances is not an issue but am I getting myself into strife here bearing these other factors in mind? I have the Google translation app on my phone. I managed that much last night, thanks to my host’s prompting. But the food and accommodation issue has me worried. In other words, HELP!!!
I have walked 6 Camino’s and enjoyed the Le Puy the most , it is a stunning route, I went on my own ,I never got lost and the sheer beauty of the walk is breathtaking .
Apart from asking where the toilet is and being able to order wine and beer in French, that was the full extent of my grasp of the French language, like you I was apprehensive, but I had no problems what so ever, I had no problems with accommodation food and drink.
Go to the morning pilgrims mass at the Cathedral and chances are you will team up with some fellow pilgrims. I have made 3 life long friends with three Frenchmen I met along the way and we laughed our way across France, I think it is one of those walks if you make the effort with the French you get it back .
I am green with envy and doing the Le Puy again next year, you will love it but it is tough .
Good luck and I did a blog if you would like me to let you have it
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
I have walked 6 Camino’s and enjoyed the Le Puy the most , it is a stunning route, I went on my own ,I never got lost and the sheer beauty of the walk is breathtaking .
Apart from asking where the toilet is and being able to order wine and beer in French, that was the full extent of my grasp of the French language, like you I was apprehensive, but I had no problems what so ever, I had no problems with accommodation food and drink.
Go to the morning pilgrims mass at the Cathedral and chances are you will team up with some fellow pilgrims. I have made 3 life long friends with three Frenchmen I met along the way and we laughed our way across France, I think it is one of those walks if you make the effort with the French you get it back .
I am green with envy and doing the Le Puy again next year, you will love it but it is tough .
Good luck and I did a blog if you would like me to let you have it
Thanks Gazelle. I’m in day 5 and I’ve loved every single day. I too have found it much less difficult than I anticipated and I’ve teamed up with two really good fellow pilgrims. It’s great.
 
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Billy Buell

Walking Willie
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to sjpdp, next planned Norte.
I made a last minute decision while staying in Paris to start in Le Puy instead of St Jean-Pied-de-Port and here I am, due to go to mass in the morning and start walking immediately after. I’m in the first village you come to & my host has kindly offered to drive me to Le Puy early in the morning. I’ve immediately noted that there’s probably few places to buy food and to stock up and, with only basic French, at best, I’m in for a rough ride. Plus, I’ve not booked any accommodation. I have the feeling I’m taking on too much. Walking the distances is not an issue but am I getting myself into strife here bearing these other factors in mind? I have the Google translation app on my phone. I managed that much last night, thanks to my host’s prompting. But the food and accommodation issue has me worried. In other words, HELP!!!
I walked this route in 2019 with a friend. I don't remember any problems with language and neither of us could speak French. We usually booked a bed the evening before but not always. There weren't any dificulties with cafes. We quit after Moissac. Reports of massive crowds in sjpdp seeking accomodation and now crossing farm fields with very heavy mud convinced us to abort. Just take it a day at a time and don't doubt yourself.
 

Ricardo Moretti

Camino Frances x 2: Apr./May 2018 & Apr./May 2019
Time of past OR future Camino
Two Camino Frances:
April-May 2018
April-May 2019
I made a last minute decision while staying in Paris to start in Le Puy instead of St Jean-Pied-de-Port and here I am, due to go to mass in the morning and start walking immediately after. I’m in the first village you come to & my host has kindly offered to drive me to Le Puy early in the morning. I’ve immediately noted that there’s probably few places to buy food and to stock up and, with only basic French, at best, I’m in for a rough ride. Plus, I’ve not booked any accommodation. I have the feeling I’m taking on too much. Walking the distances is not an issue but am I getting myself into strife here bearing these other factors in mind? I have the Google translation app on my phone. I managed that much last night, thanks to my host’s prompting. But the food and accommodation issue has me worried. In other words, HELP!!!
I would not worry about it. End and start your day knowing to where you are walking to that day. Make phone calls or emails ahead of time to determine which location has lodgings. Starting from Le Puy is doable but starting from St-Jean Pied de Port is more common meaning more access to amenities.
 

bullingtonce

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I plan to do the Ruta de la Lana in August/September 2021
I made a last minute decision while staying in Paris to start in Le Puy instead of St Jean-Pied-de-Port and here I am, due to go to mass in the morning and start walking immediately after. I’m in the first village you come to & my host has kindly offered to drive me to Le Puy early in the morning. I’ve immediately noted that there’s probably few places to buy food and to stock up and, with only basic French, at best, I’m in for a rough ride. Plus, I’ve not booked any accommodation. I have the feeling I’m taking on too much. Walking the distances is not an issue but am I getting myself into strife here bearing these other factors in mind? I have the Google translation app on my phone. I managed that much last night, thanks to my host’s prompting. But the food and accommodation issue has me worried. In other words, HELP!!!
If I may kindly say, you will certainly be in for a rough ride based on your mental perspective and attitude. Do not 'flame' the situation. You have the capability to handle each situation as it surfaces and besides, what will be will be. You have handled similar situations in life and have come out on top so why not now? Enjoy the ride, even knowing their will be bumps in the road. There are bumps in life and their will be bumps on this Camino so what else is new. You are blessed and fortunate to be doing this once in a lifetime journey. There are so many who would love to switch places with you but cannot. You have won the lottery--enjoy it.
 

MariaDunlop

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Thanks heaps Kelley. I wish I was asleep but though this is my third Camino I’m solo this time and I feel I’ll prepared. But I’ll keep your good advice in mind as I go along. Yes, I certainly plan and hope to walk with other pilgrims, especially in the first few days until I get the gist of it. I’m sure I’ll be asking for a lot of help along the way. I tend to learn fast so fingers crossed. If I get through week one I’ll manage the rest, I think.
Many thanks.
If you ask, they will help. The Camino provides. 😎🎒🥾💕
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
All threads that become so very long eventually have repeat comments and questions. This thread has 72 replies so far and anyone seeing it for the first time is probably not going to read through them all before posting a reply.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST: Frances, Le Puy, Portuguese from Lisbon
Gml, I am glad to read your sentiments… my Chemin will start from Le Puy on September 28 and I worry that the trail will be largely depopulated. So, I am prepared to walk solo while exercising my decent but rusty French skills, and am sooo looking forward to it.
I started from Le Puy on September 29 and had lots of company for the first 200 km, to Conques, which is a very popular ten-day walk among French retirees in the fall. After that, it did thin out considerably — I encountered maybe ten other pilgrims all the way to SJPP , and on many nights I was the only one in the gîte d'étape or chambre d'hôte, except the hosts, of course, who were hospitable and patient with my rudimentary French. That was in 2014, and October may be a much busier month now. Still, it's always good to be prepared to enjoy one's own company... on the camino, and in life!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
No wifi today in Espayrac. So, just a few pics to keep you with me.
D7881E78-E1F7-4425-AAF3-8C3C299DB58C.jpeg 30856205-E946-4FE2-98CE-15798CEB31C2.jpeg 4A1248F4-EFFB-46AA-8283-9A924C5784D2.jpeg 83632635-C13D-4E39-9D71-CDDA7906CDC9.jpeg 3453CEF8-089E-45B9-963A-BF8057A5EE6C.jpeg 2EF67129-A5F4-40E4-AEEF-A70357CE2CFD.jpeg
As you may already know, many villages are depopulated. It breaks your heart. Especially when the Gite is a former primary school showing photos, in the dining room, of former students with their teacher. See below…..
 
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A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019), CF/del Norte ‘21
Ah yes. You won’t be disappointed Richmond. The pics are just a tiny sample. I could write a short story about the people I’ve met and some of the laughs we’ve had. I wish you a good start and the same until your final destination.
I’m thinking that I will keep going to Pamplona…. Might be fun to experience the excitement of the first days of the Frances, and transportation from Pamplona to Barcelona should be easier than from SJPP
 

Pafayac

On the way...
Time of past OR future Camino
2021: Le Puy-Cahors. 2022: Cahors-Burgos.
No wifi today in Espayrac. So, just a few pics to keep you with me.
View attachment 132125 View attachment 132126 View attachment 132127 View attachment 132128 View attachment 132129 View attachment 132130
As you may already know, many villages are depopulated. It breaks your heart. Especially when the Gite is a former primary school showing photos, in the dining room, of former students with their teacher. See below…..
Many villages on the way keep on having a grocery, a bakery, a bar... with no more than 400 inhabitants. Elsewhere in France such villages do not have all this facilities: these ones are surviving thanks to the Camino.
Hope that teleworking and improved communication means bring a long-term solution for these nice places...
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
I’m thinking that I will keep going to Pamplona…. Might be fun to experience the excitement of the first days of the Frances, and transportation from Pamplona to Barcelona should be easier than from SJPP
That is an excellent plan! At least try to cross the Pyrenees as far as Conques
 
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dreaming

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF, LE PUY
I walked from Le Puy to Pamplona. I had completed the Frances the year before from StJPP. It was much easier walking the Pyrenees with all those kilometers under my belt. I remember a male pilgrim advising me my walking technique was wrong whilst walking the Pyrenees. I was not happy telling him I had already walked from Le Puy and had managed well. He didn't look as fit as I was.
 

Keegan

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept 2022
You don’t need to worry Daniel. If I can do it anyone can. I’m about as qualified as you are and I’m finding it quite easy, from day one! Relax.
Wasn't the first day super hard? Like 24km to the next town, all up and down steep hills? We're heading out in a couple weeks, starting in Le Puy, and I'm feeling very intimidated by the first leg. :eek:
 

Pafayac

On the way...
Time of past OR future Camino
2021: Le Puy-Cahors. 2022: Cahors-Burgos.
Wasn't the first day super hard? Like 24km to the next town, all up and down steep hills? We're heading out in a couple weeks, starting in Le Puy, and I'm feeling very intimidated by the first leg. :eek:
I was also quite reluctant last summer, but in fact this day is not super-hard.
My advice is to feel free to stop in Montbonnet (16 km from Le Puy) if you are tired. Arriving near Montbonnet, at St Roch Chapel, you should be able to decide if you can reach St Privat d'Allier (8 km farther) or not. In Montbonnet there are 4 gites, and 2 others not so far.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Wasn't the first day super hard? Like 24km to the next town, all up and down steep hills? We're heading out in a couple weeks, starting in Le Puy, and I'm feeling very intimidated by the first leg. :eek:
Yes, so it is very important not to push yourself too soon. Better to take two days than to injure yourself. I’ve been training with a backpack for two years so I managed quite ok but I know a few pilgrims who pushed too hard too soon and now they’re having to take a bus for some parts of the route. Taking it easy in the first few days is rule number one.
 

dreaming

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF, LE PUY
I met a tall, German 18 year old in Le Puy. It was his first trip overseas. I met him on the train so we went to the albergue together. The next day he took off like a rocket. I did make sure he had enough water. He didn't have a hat or sunscreen. He easily made it to Roncesvalles however I met him a day later quite distraught. I didn't realise that he didn't have enough money to eat in the restaurant in Roncesvalles and there was no supermarket. He went off to a German Albergue and rang his parents. He said he learnt to wear sunscreen and a hat, carry and drink lots of water and to carry bags of food plus to pace himself.
 
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Pafayac

On the way...
Time of past OR future Camino
2021: Le Puy-Cahors. 2022: Cahors-Burgos.
I met a tall, German 18 year old in Le Puy. It was his first trip overseas. I met him on the train so we went to the albergue together. The next day he took off like a rocket. I did make sure he had enough water. He didn't have a hat or sunscreen. He easily made it to Roncesvalles
I guess you make a confusion between Le Puy (start of the Via Podiensis in the middle of France) and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (end of the Via Podiensis, 700 km after, in the south of France).
 

lisagb

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Not sure when you’ll be walking from Cahors to Eauze but I’ll be doing that September 29-October 9 and maybe we’ll meet. I’m wondering right now about the wildfire situation in that area and if you’ve reached there and how it is. Thanks!!
 
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A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Hi Lisa. I am in Cahors now, tonight, and I will start walking to Las Cabanes in the morning. In my walks so far I have not seen evidence of fires. I’m not sure what we will see tomorrow. It is dry in parts but only in some small sections. Generally the G65 from Le Puy to Cahors has been green with plenty of shade and quite lush. It may be different tomorrow, I’m not sure. I am just under the half way to St Jean Pied de Port now, so I think I’ll be well ahead of you. It’s a truly lovely Camino.
 

S and J

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
All threads that become so very long eventually have repeat comments and questions. This thread has 72 replies so far and anyone seeing it for the first time is probably not going to read through them all before posting a reply.
Hi C. Chrissy...I've read all posts in this thread :) Very, very helpful!! The Le Puy camino has been on our 'todo list' since before Covid...we hope to walk it in 2024...seems a longgg way away but learning patience. Meanwhile access to the Forum over these 2 years has been wonderful. Thanks to all.
S&J.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Hi C. Chrissy...I've read all posts in this thread :) Very, very helpful!! The Le Puy camino has been on our 'todo list' since before Covid...we hope to walk it in 2024...seems a longgg way away but learning patience. Meanwhile access to the Forum over these 2 years has been wonderful. Thanks to all.
S&J.
Hi @S and J,
That's great to hear that you have read all the many posts! When the desire to walk a particular route "strikes a chord" in us, we devour everything we can to learn more about it and the Via Podiensis is a wonderful choice!
It is always exciting when I have a plan, and looking forward to going is part of the allure.🙂
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I’m thinking that I will keep going to Pamplona…. Might be fun to experience the excitement of the first days of the Frances, and transportation from Pamplona to Barcelona should be easier than from SJPP
I extended Le Puy to Pamplona and I highly recommend it. Pamplona is one of my favorite small cities in the world.
 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
That first glimpse of the Pyrenees is special.

If the weather is decent and you get the chance, take the route option that takes you by the Chapelle de Soyertz. It’s south of the Stèle de Gibralter Xibaltarre / Hiriburia. The view from there is my favourite on the entire Le Puy to Santiago chemin.
 
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