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Where to start the Le Puy?

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JulesW

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April 2014)
Hi
My husband and I are planning to hike 2 weeks on LePuy in early May, I would like to walk the most scenic part and am thinking starting either at Le Puy for 2 weeks or start around Nogaro finishing in SJPDP.

I'd love any ones thoughts that has done Le Puy, which would be their favourite sections.

Cheers
Julie
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
I would simply start in Le Puy, the way is beautiful in all parts, but if you start at the beginning you will start with many others that are also just starting out and have a better chance to make camino friends. If you start in the middle it might be harder as groups have already formed. Bon Chemin, SY
 

billmclaughlin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
The stages from Nogaro to the Pyrenees are the least interesting scenery of the Le Puy route. Seriously. No contest. Start at Le Puy or, for less strenuous hiking as you start, at Aumont Aubrac.
 

JulesW

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April 2014)
Hi
My husband and I are planning to hike 2 weeks on LePuy in early May, I would like to walk the most scenic part and am thinking starting either at Le Puy for 2 weeks or start around Nogaro finishing in SJPDP.

I'd love any ones thoughts that has done Le Puy, which would be their favourite sections.

Cheers
Julie
Thanks thats a great point :)
 

mla1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2000); Ch St. Giles (2013); Le Puy to SJPP (May/June 2015); vdlp 2016
Start in LePuy! The city itself is also lovely.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Definitely, start at Le Puy. The first ten days (to Conques) are the most scenic. In two weeks you can reach Figeac, which has good transit connections for your return home.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Don't even think about missing Le Puy. That is where the whole thing started, when Godescalc, the Bishop du Puy went to Santiago.

godescalc.JPG lepuy9.JPG
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-SJPDP 2014, Via de la Plata 2014,
Arles-SDC 2015, Lisbon-SDC 2017, (Ruta de la Lana 2019)
I, too, would start at Le Puy, but would consider having packs carried, as the early part of the walk is the most physically demanding. Even though I had prepared well I got extremely tired, and eventually had my pack carried for the latter part, which was less physically demanding. I was 60 at the time, and was suffering from jet lag, having flown from NZ.

Starting at Le Puy also means you can attend the 0700 blessing at the cathedral that is held every day and just start from there. It's a beautiful way to start one's camino.
 

SusanReneGr65

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Le Puy Fall 2015
We walked in October 2015. Le Puy to Conques was my favourite section of the whole 500 km that we did. Le Puy is a great place to begin with the mass and a big town to get any last minute supplies. The Aubrac plateau was magical, and walking into Conques was like a dream.
We blogged about it here:
http://renesusan2015.blogspot.ca/2015/10/oct-6-day-1-le-puy-en-velay-to-st.html
Click through until day 9 when we ended up in Conques.
Also, we did it in 9 days and it was tough! I would recommend 10 or more.
Susan.
 

JulesW

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April 2014)
Thanks for everyones thoughts we have now adjusted our route and are starting in Le Puy.
And loved your blog Rene and Susan, thanks for sharing.
I am getting very excited now!!

I am thinking of walking in hiking shoes rather that taking my full boots as I am looking for lighter weight shoes as we travel through Europe after the Camino. I've never had ankle issues so thinking these would be fine.

Whats your thoughts with the terrain on Le Puy route - boots, shoes???
Julie
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Thanks for everyones thoughts we have now adjusted our route and are starting in Le Puy.
And loved your blog Rene and Susan, thanks for sharing.
I am getting very excited now!!

I am thinking of walking in hiking shoes rather that taking my full boots as I am looking for lighter weight shoes as we travel through Europe after the Camino. I've never had ankle issues so thinking these would be fine.

Whats your thoughts with the terrain on Le Puy route - boots, shoes???
Julie
Have used both Merrell low cut and Ecco sandals.
No problems with either , prefer sandals [80% of all km's/camino's in sandals]
Always take thongs for once we stop.

** And if i may Jules , don't hurry because when you train or bus away you will look back and realise what a beautiful place - area you were in........so enjoy it and take in their culture ......completely different from Camino Frances.
 
Last edited:

SusanReneGr65

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Le Puy Fall 2015
Hi Julie,
We wore Chaco hiking shoes which were super comfortable, but I did experience foot pain by the day's end. On the other hand, many of the women I spoke to experienced the same pain, but not the men.
The trail from Le Puy to Conques is varied: forest trails, gravelly paths, pasture trails, and some small roads.
The route has very steep sections both uphill and downhill. It is not the flatter route of Camino Frances (although we've not done it).
We also blogged about equipment and shoes here:
http://renesusan2015.blogspot.ca/2015/09/preparation-packing.html
I'm excited for you!
Susan and René.
 

Cayou

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Villafranca to Santiago
2016 St Jean to Los Arcos
2018 24-Sept Leon to Finnisterre
My wife & I walked 175k of final French Way last September and were fine with good quality trail running shoes (New Balance). Granted, only light rain one day, so we stayed dry. Also used luggage transfers, enjoyed the views and conversations much more with just the day pack -
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
My wife & I walked 175k of final French Way last September and were fine with good quality trail running shoes (New Balance). Granted, only light rain one day, so we stayed dry. Also used luggage transfers, enjoyed the views and conversations much more with just the day pack -
With respect Cayou the first few hundred on the GR65 makes the Frances look flat
In relation to the last few hundred of the Frances it has no bearing on the Le Puy Camino
I'm not down grading your shoes , they are fine , but it is a very , very , very different way
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I walked the Le Puy twice wearing lightweight Asics runners and I was fine. I took 4 pairs of thin but tightly woven merino wool socks and wore two together. The tighter the weave the more water resistant, and thin dries faster than thick, hence two pairs instand of one thick pair. Resist the urge to wear those looped pile thick socks, they just become a mop to soak up water. My feet got a bit cold in sleet/snow on the Aubrac, and wet and muddy a few times, but no blisters. My trick is to always have warm dry feet at the end of the day; to that end my pack includes cheap fuzzy striped bedsocks from the $2 shop. The ultimate indulgence!

Now I'd probably wear Ecco sandals (like Thornley) and Sealskinz socks in case of foul weather.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Whats your thoughts with the terrain on Le Puy route - boots, shoes???
I have no idea what the trails in Australia are like - but the Le Puy route in France is much, much stonier than any of the national park or national forest trails here in the US. Sections are the old Roman roads. The Romans didn't know about switchbacks or drainage control, so the Le Puy goes straight up the hillside, meaning water comes straight down. The thinly-populated local municipalities that have charge of trail maintenance have other priorities. So one ends up with a deeply eroded dry wash (well, it's dry if there's no rain) rather than a gentle forest trail. And don't even get me started on the dirt bikes.

So I was quite happy to have the ankle support of hiking boots. And I learned the value of good arch support to prevent plantar fasciitis. While I respect that some feet are able to walk comfortably in minimal footwear, I just wanted to point out that ymmv. I used a thin Coolmax liner sock along with a thick Merino hiking sock, both from Bridgedale, with no blisters (actually I've used this same system for five years with no blisters).
 

Cayou

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Villafranca to Santiago
2016 St Jean to Los Arcos
2018 24-Sept Leon to Finnisterre
With respect Cayou the first few hundred on the GR65 makes the Frances look flat
In relation to the last few hundred of the Frances it has no bearing on the Le Puy Camino
I'm not down grading your shoes , they are fine , but it is a very , very , very different way
I best check out some elevation numbers and photos ... although I've hiked the Sierra's, Yosemite, & Grand Canyon with similar and that's what I prefer?
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
I best check out some elevation numbers and photos ... although I've hiked the Sierra's, Yosemite, & Grand Canyon with similar and that's what I prefer?
And if you like the transfer of luggage , Claudine's is very good and reliable.
We only used it near the end and the rate was 7 euro /bag.
Bags normally arrived around noon so extra distances can be achieved.
New Balance would pose no problems unless you walk too early in the season .
In saying that people last year [late June / early July ] were pulling out when the temp got to 40c
Kitsamblers description of the paths is very accurate however we will return God willing for our third GR65 as we love it.
 

BlackRocker57

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route May–July 2018
without a doubt i would start at Le Puy ... the first two weeks through to Conques or beyond offer the best and most dramatic, interesting scenery ... an unforgettable experience ... i can post a list of the accommodation [chambre d’hôtes with demi-pension] we used from Le Puy through to Conques and beyond to Moissac ... all very agreeable and i have had recent correspondence with a number of our hosts [back in 2014] as a mark of quality and the kindness/hospitality they offered. let me know if you are interested ...

i concur with many of the other comments re shoes, sandals, etc. and the luggage transfer service. From Le Puy the baggage transfer service we used was LaMalle Postale. i think Claudines starts their service from Conques or thereabouts. Both are excellent, reliable services at modest price of €7 ... a bargain really :)
 

marbuck

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Condom to Pamplona April 2016.
Le Puy to Condom France - April-May 2015.
Roncesvalles to Santiago April - May 2014
Finisterre to Muxia May 2014
The best way to keep your feet dry is to wear water proof pants over water proof boots. We have done this on two Camino's and have never had wet feet or blisters. If you are walking in May, you are going to get rain. Beware of the public holidays in May.
 

sharon w

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007
Camino Portugues 2009
Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre 2012
Cammino di Assisi 2014
Via Podiensis, Camino del Norte, Camino Frances(Astorga to Santiago) 2015
Aussie Camino 2016
I have walked the Le Puy route twice and have worn boots both times. Have not had any foot problems as the boots gave excellent support and were waterproof.
 

JimmyH

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015, 2016; Chemin de Jacques 2016; Via de la Plata / Camino Sanabres 2017.
without a doubt i would start at Le Puy ... the first two weeks through to Conques or beyond offer the best and most dramatic, interesting scenery ... an unforgettable experience ... i can post a list of the accommodation [chambre d’hôtes with demi-pension] we used from Le Puy through to Conques and beyond to Moissac ... all very agreeable and i have had recent correspondence with a number of our hosts [back in 2014] as a mark of quality and the kindness/hospitality they offered. let me know if you are interested ...

i concur with many of the other comments re shoes, sandals, etc. and the luggage transfer service. From Le Puy the baggage transfer service we used was LaMalle Postale. i think Claudines starts their service from Conques or thereabouts. Both are excellent, reliable services at modest price of €7 ... a bargain really :)
I'd be very interested in that list of accommodation … after walking Roncesvalles-Leon in 2015 for 22 days with a friend, I intend to walk 8 days from le Puy by myself starting June 17, and would be keen for a private room each night . Merci beaucoup!
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
I'd be very interested in that list of accommodation … after walking Roncesvalles-Leon in 2015 for 22 days with a friend, I intend to walk 8 days from le Puy by myself starting June 17, and would be keen for a private room each night . Merci beaucoup!
I suggest you buy ;
Miam Miam Do Do and you will be able to select your single /double private room .
Its a must.
 

BlackRocker57

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route May–July 2018
hallo jimmy, just logged on to this ... i will post the list of recommended chambre d’hôtes for the first 10 days ... you might walk faster than we did and get further in ur eight days on the chemin ... a bientôt :)
 

JimmyH

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015, 2016; Chemin de Jacques 2016; Via de la Plata / Camino Sanabres 2017.
That would be fabulous, thank you !!
 

edandjoan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St. Gallen to Muxia
2012-2018
We walked From LePuy to Pamplona in September 2015 taking the Cele River Valley detour and a few other detours and wore New Balance Leadville 1210...they made it fine but they were very worn out in the end.
We loved the whole route...every part has its own specialness.

Hi Sharon W...we miss you guys and hope you made it to SJPP!
 

marbuck

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Condom to Pamplona April 2016.
Le Puy to Condom France - April-May 2015.
Roncesvalles to Santiago April - May 2014
Finisterre to Muxia May 2014
I'd be very interested in that list of accommodation … after walking Roncesvalles-Leon in 2015 for 22 days with a friend, I intend to walk 8 days from le Puy by myself starting June 17, and would be keen for a private room each night . Merci beaucoup!
Hi Jimmy. Take an easy day out of Le Puy and spoil yourself with a stay at Chambre d'hotes La Barbelotte in a private room in Mountbonnet. Wonderful host, great room, one of the best meals we had on this Camino and the wine is excellent. A fantastic way to start this wonderful walk.
 

Keith Hearn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy -> Conques June 2015
Conques -> Rocamadour -> Moissac? June 2016
Ultreia
I can second the recommendation of La Barbelotte. It was my wife and my first night last June, and we really enjoyed it.

I would definitely start in Le Puy, with the 7am pilgrim mass. It really makes you feel like you are starting on a pilgrimage, and not just beginning a typical trekking holiday. The cathedral is on the side of a hill, and at the end of the mass they invite all the pilgrims to the front to receive a blessing in front of the statue of St James. While the blessing is going on, they open a big grate in the floor of the central aisle of the cathedral, which exposes a flight of stairs that lead directly down to the road that is the start of the Chemin de Saint-Jacques. So your first steps on the Chemin are as you're leaving the Cathedral. I thought it was a pretty special way to start.

As for shoes, I walked Le-Puy to Conques in Merrell Moab Mids, which are kind of in between running shoes and hiking boots. They were perfect, as far as I'm concerned, and I just bought a new pair of them last week. My wife started out with hiking boots, but by the time we got to Saugues, her toes were giving her problems, so we stopped at a shoe store in Saugues, and the woman there recommended a pair of sandals with a decent sole, similar to Tevas. She finished most of the rest of the trip to Conques in them and had no problems. When we got rained on for two of the days, she switched back to the boots. She even did the descent into Conques (steep and rocky) in the sandals with no real problems.

I also highly recommend Miam-Miam Dodo. It was the only guide/map that we carried, and we had almost no problems. We did miss one turn in the rain coming into Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole, but we were clearly not the first, because when we got to the point where I was pretty sure we'd missed the turn, we saw a homemade sign with a coquille and an arrow pointing down the road that took us back to the correct route. Other than that, MMD and the GR65 basilage (arrows showing the route) were sufficient.
 

JimmyH

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015, 2016; Chemin de Jacques 2016; Via de la Plata / Camino Sanabres 2017.
hallo jimmy, just logged on to this ... i will post the list of recommended chambre d’hôtes for the first 10 days ... you might walk faster than we did and get further in ur eight days on the chemin ... a bientôt :)
Hi there … I'm still very keen to see that list of accommodation if you have it … cheers and thanks ! Jim :)
 

JimmyH

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015, 2016; Chemin de Jacques 2016; Via de la Plata / Camino Sanabres 2017.
Hi Jimmy. Take an easy day out of Le Puy and spoil yourself with a stay at Chambre d'hotes La Barbelotte in a private room in Mountbonnet. Wonderful host, great room, one of the best meals we had on this Camino and the wine is excellent. A fantastic way to start this wonderful walk.
Cheers … I will chase that up, thanks !
 

BlackRocker57

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route May–July 2018
Hi there … I'm still very keen to see that list of accommodation if you have it … cheers and thanks ! Jim :)
Coucou Jimmy! I did post this detailed list with names and phone numbers, etcetera several months ago ... if you go back to your original thread on ‘single rooms on the Le Puy route’ you wil find it ... dated 6 February ... bon chemin! please don’t hesitate if you need more info ... or we can chat offline if that suits ...
a bientôt :)
 

JimmyH

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015, 2016; Chemin de Jacques 2016; Via de la Plata / Camino Sanabres 2017.
Coucou Jimmy! I did post this detailed list with names and phone numbers, etcetera several months ago ... if you go back to your original thread on ‘single rooms on the Le Puy route’ you wil find it ... dated 6 February ... bon chemin! please don’t hesitate if you need more info ... or we can chat offline if that suits ...
a bientôt :)
So you did ! I have found it now, thanks so much !! BTW, when did you do it, and from where to where? On your own? With someone? I'm wondering how many English speakers I'll actually meet ! (I did Roncesvalles to Leon last year and of course on the Spanish Camino there are LOADS of English speakers.) Merci beaucoup!
 

BlackRocker57

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route May–July 2018
coucou Jimmy ... et de rien :) I walked the first section with two friends [we all walked at our own pace, mind, so never en-bloc] in September 2014 from Le Puy to Moissac ... fabulous, unforgettable experience ... we had three ‘rest’ days [at Conques, Figeac and Cahors] and we did the Célé valley route ... I am continuing through to StJPP in three weeks time, from Moissac ... this time, solo ... enough English-speakers I guess but I also have some French which I will endeavour to use ... nothing like a long walk to practice those formative language skills ...
a bientôt, Jimmy :) bon chemin
Bronwen
 

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
Maybe I'll see you en route, JulesW. I leave Le Puy on 12 May and arrive in Conques (hopefully!) on 26 May. This is a deliberately SLOW camino, as I'm not as fit as I used to be! No need to rush! I always wear proper Ecco hiking boots for good ankle support. I have been wearing these for many years on various bits of the Camino and they are still going strong.
 

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