A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Camino Forum Store

Advertisement

Water in Southern France? And other problems.

Camino(s) past & future
Voie du Piémont/Camino Frances (2014)
Caminho Portugues (2016)
#1
I will be walking from Lourdes to St. Jean PdP in June.

I was wondering: are the fountains on this route (Chemin du Piemont) readily available, fairly common, and CLEAN (potable) to drink from? Where can these fountains be found?

Also I speak no French. Will this be a problem? I speak fluent Spanish, however, and fluent English (obviously).

Another question: Where can I stay on this route? Can someone give me names of auberges/gites (WITH CONTACT INFO) in the following towns - Lourdes, Asson, Arudy, L'Hopital St Blaise, St Just Ibarre, Mauleon Licharre.

Lastly: How tough is the terrain on this section?

Thanks!!!!!!!!!
 

Advertisment

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#3
Your fellow pilgrims mostly will speak only French, and everyone along the way will know very little English. Plan to get by with a smile and hand gestures. When no one understands you, relax, and remember that louder is not clearer and additional, complex English vocabulary/synonyms will not improve things. Stick to simple subject, simple verb, and simple object. Your message, even in English, may get through. You can find assistance in English at most Office de Tourisme.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: 2013, 2014
Madrid: 2016
Portuguese: 2015, 2017
Invierno: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#4
In your research you may find multiple statements that all cemeteries in France have potable water sources (to water flowers presumably) and you can refill there. While it is true that many or all "cimiteries" have a water tap. However, it is NOT true that they are all from potable sources.

There have been recent postings in other conversation threads about this, and the ensuing problems. Perhaps you could use the Google search capability at the top of this page to search for "water France" or "water Le Puy" or "water Vezeley." The results should show some of these cautionary tales.

Bottom line caveat emptor. Stick to cafes, gites, generous residents, or other apparently safe sources of drinking water in France.

I hope this helps.
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#5
I had no problems finding clean drinking water from Lourdes forward.
 

Advertisment

dutchpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, 2005, 2008, 2012
#6
Drinking water in France is available at any grave-yard (tap water).

Ultreya,
Carli Di Bortolo.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
#7
Oh for goodness sake, of course the tap water in France is safe to drink.

Some people with particularly sensitive stomachs can be upset by the different mineral balance in water in different places. That does not mean the water is unsafe, it just means some people take a day or two to adjust.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#8
the tap water in France is safe to drink
The difficulty is defining tap water. Many town square taps are labeled non-potable. Countryside taps may not be from central treated water systems. Most are labeled potable or non-potable. I disagree that all taps at cemeteries are potable. I have two bad water incidents from cemeteries affecting four people.

If you stick to treated water taps, you will be fine. Bars often have a tap on the beer dispenser that delivers cold water, quite a treat on a hot day. No bar seems to resent being asked for water, though I have always been a patron as well.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
#9
South of France is heavily tourist. Plus many expats. Doesn't mean everybody speaks English of course.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#10
I will be walking from Lourdes to St. Jean PdP in June.

I was wondering: are the fountains on this route (Chemin du Piemont) readily available, fairly common, and CLEAN (potable) to drink from? Where can these fountains be found?

Also I speak no French. Will this be a problem? I speak fluent Spanish, however, and fluent English (obviously).

Another question: Where can I stay on this route? Can someone give me names of auberges/gites (WITH CONTACT INFO) in the following towns - Lourdes, Asson, Arudy, L'Hopital St Blaise, St Just Ibarre, Mauleon Licharre.

Lastly: How tough is the terrain on this section?

Thanks!!!!!!!!!
You still have 3 months to learn some French!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Voie du Piémont/Camino Frances (2014)
Caminho Portugues (2016)
#11
Post-Camino Update!!!

Having walked the Voie du Piemont in June, I can now say that yes, there were abundant sources of water. HOWEVER, I only encountered ONE fount that was marked "eau potable". Therefore, the majority of the time I was drinking tap and bottled water.

We walked during the hottest week of the year and became severely dehydrated twice, once outside of Arudy and again the day after outside of Oloron Sainte Marie. I had to knock on farmhouse doors and ask in horrible French (I basically repeated "petit de eau s'il vous plait" over and over again) for some water!!

Moral of the story: If you are a trusting person, you will have no problems with water on this route. BUT, if you are a wimpy American like me who will do anything to avoid a nasty stomach bug, water IS an issue and you will have to fill your bottles FULLY before departing your accomodation... ESPECIALLY in summer!

Bonne chance et bon chemin!
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#12
I'm an American.
I guess I'm not wimpy.
I drank the water all along the way from Lourdes to Spain and didn't have any problems with the fountain water at all.
Maybe it's my sturdy Azorian genes...
 


Advertisement

Latest posts

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 6 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 22 4.6%
  • April

    Votes: 76 16.0%
  • May

    Votes: 131 27.5%
  • June

    Votes: 37 7.8%
  • July

    Votes: 12 2.5%
  • August

    Votes: 6 1.3%
  • September

    Votes: 122 25.6%
  • October

    Votes: 53 11.1%
  • November

    Votes: 5 1.1%
  • December

    Votes: 3 0.6%
Top