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Woman Alone?

Susan Lee

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022, Podiensis 2022
Greetings!

I'd like to walk Le Puy to Cahors in mid September/early October 2022 and wonder if I am likely to meet up with other pilgrims/hikers? I'm hoping to at least have others in line of sight in the more remote areas. Any thoughts on this or safety in general on that route?

Also wondering if anyone can recommend lodgings in Le Puy where I might meet up with a good sized group of people departing--as I've experienced in SJPP, for instance.

All suggestions/thoughts welcome, and thank you!
 
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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2022_Mozarabe from Almeria
Greetings!

I'd like to walk Le Puy to Cahors in mid September/early October 2022 and wonder if I am likely to meet up with other pilgrims/hikers? I'm hoping to at least have others in line of sight in the more remote areas. Any thoughts on this or safety in general on that route?

Also wondering if anyone can recommend lodgings in Le Puy where I might meet up with a good sized group of people departing--as I've experienced in SJPP, for instance.

All suggestions/thoughts welcome, and thank you!
Hi Susan
I walked out of Le Puy early sept 2016.
Weather was okay from memory.
I stayed 2 nights in the Grand Seminaire which is behind the cathedral. If you look in Gronze it will give you email info to request a reservation if you choose it. So much to see in Le Puy and drink it all in slowly.
If you look at Gronze.com and select ‘routes in France ‘ you will get a lot of info on accommodations for the entire chemin. Also shows profile map and distances to next village.
I didn’t experience any moments where i felt unsafe. It is a lovely route.
If you attend the 7am mass in the cathedral (open to all) - the pilgrims all depart down the stairway in centre of the cathedral. It feeds out to the walk the street downhill & out. There were ‘droves’ of us leaving after mass. If you aren’t already with anyone by that time - you can walk with the wave .. gradually people thin themselves out though.

In 2016 I used the ‘Miam Miam dodo ‘ guide which is in French but so easy to understand. Phone numbers and email addresses are universal. Against the accommodation listings they used to add the flag 🇬🇧 to indicate that there was an English speaker at that gite or chambre d’hôtel, hotel , etc.
There are many ‘map’ and online guides nowadays which may offer similar info and the gps mapping apps give security regarding knowing where you are if you’ve taken the wrong directional sign.

Note : recommend you book ahead especially to chambre d’hôtes - even if it is that morning. Best to book a day ahead though but you will hear of people who manage without doing this. It is courtesy.
I found that weekend could be booked out earlier (french walkers ) so often booking the weekends a few days earlier can help.

I carried something to eat for a picnic lunch and /or hunger. Water bottles can always (usually ?) be filled at taps in cemeteries you pass if you are running low.

I’ll add a screen shot of the Gronze page I opened showing some of the Le Puy accommodation.
You’ll love it.

Bon chemin
Annie
 

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Susan Lee

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022, Podiensis 2022
Hi Susan
I walked out of Le Puy early sept 2016.
Weather was okay from memory.
I stayed 2 nights in the Grand Seminaire which is behind the cathedral. If you look in Gronze it will give you email info to request a reservation if you choose it. So much to see in Le Puy and drink it all in slowly.
If you look at Gronze.com and select ‘routes in France ‘ you will get a lot of info on accommodations for the entire chemin. Also shows profile map and distances to next village.
I didn’t experience any moments where i felt unsafe. It is a lovely route.
If you attend the 7am mass in the cathedral (open to all) - the pilgrims all depart down the stairway in centre of the cathedral. It feeds out to the walk the street downhill & out. There were ‘droves’ of us leaving after mass. If you aren’t already with anyone by that time - you can walk with the wave .. gradually people thin themselves out though.

In 2016 I used the ‘Miam Miam dodo ‘ guide which is in French but so easy to understand. Phone numbers and email addresses are universal. Against the accommodation listings they used to add the flag 🇬🇧 to indicate that there was an English speaker at that gite or chambre d’hôtel, hotel , etc.
There are many ‘map’ and online guides nowadays which may offer similar info and the gps mapping apps give security regarding knowing where you are if you’ve taken the wrong directional sign.

Note : recommend you book ahead especially to chambre d’hôtes - even if it is that morning. Best to book a day ahead though but you will hear of people who manage without doing this. It is courtesy.
I found that weekend could be booked out earlier (french walkers ) so often booking the weekends a few days earlier can help.

I carried something to eat for a picnic lunch and /or hunger. Water bottles can always (usually ?) be filled at taps in cemeteries you pass if you are running low.

I’ll add a screen shot of the Gronze page I opened showing some of the Le Puy accommodation.
You’ll love it.

Bon chemin
Annie
Annie, thank you so much for this helpful and encouraging response! I will certainly follow your advice.
Best,
Susan
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Susan Lee I've walked this route twice, once in September and once in early April. It is lovely. I was usually alone, without sight of other pilgrims. I experienced no safety issues particular to the route.

If you are comfortable at home walking by yourself in a solitary rural area, then you will be fine. If not, then think about walking the traditional Camino Francés in Spain.
 

Susan Lee

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022, Podiensis 2022
Thanks so much for your thoughts, Kanga. I've walked the Frances twice and can always return to it if that seems the best course, but would love to be in France this time and experience the uniqueness of the Le Puy route. Sounds promising, and everyone's input helps!
 
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Suzanne H

Camino Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
CF'17; LePuy'18; Porto/Coastal'19; Portugal? '22
I fully agree with the above comments. A couple additional comments that may assist— I met a good number of English speakers in Sept 2018. A note on Miam miam dodo is that it is also available as an ebook from their website. I seem to recall playing with some phone settings and many items in the book may have translated to English. Gronze is also a good reference to have. There is so much soul in this, my favorite, Camino. Enjoy!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
@Susan Lee
I shall be beginning the Podiensis from Le Puy on Sept. 11, after two nights in Le Puy to rest from my travels and to get organized. This will be my first camino in France, except for a couple of days walk from Oloron Ste Marie to begin the Aragones, several years ago. From what I have heard, it is a busy route in the fall, with groups of French seniors. So far, I have only booked my first two nights, in Le Puy and my final nights, in Santiago, and in Madrid (before my flight home). I believe that there are plenty of people on the route at that time, if you are concerned about your security. On the other hand, they may mostly be groups of French friends walking together. If we meet along the route, I shall be happy to share the route with you for a while, but I am quite comfortable walking alone. Bon chemin.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
I've walked this route twice as a solo female pilgrim, once in april (lots of pilgrims, but still often walking alone) and once in summer (many pilgrims until Conques, after that is was more lonely). Always felt very, very safe there. Don't worry :)
 

lisagb

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Greetings!

I'd like to walk Le Puy to Cahors in mid September/early October 2022 and wonder if I am likely to meet up with other pilgrims/hikers? I'm hoping to at least have others in line of sight in the more remote areas. Any thoughts on this or safety in general on that route?

Also wondering if anyone can recommend lodgings in Le Puy where I might meet up with a good sized group of people departing--as I've experienced in SJPP, for instance.

All suggestions/thoughts welcome, and thank you!
Hello! I hiked the first half of Le Puy last fall same time and it was great. Most of the time I hiked alone but sometimes I hiked with others. I would recommend booking ahead especially in Le Puy as it is their annual Renaissance festival the third weekend in September. The large majority of hikers were French and most didn’t speak English so I’d recommend also practicing your French. It was lovely and a great experience. This fall I am continuing from Cahors to Eauze for 11 days. Also I felt very safe. Have fun!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
In 2016 I used the ‘Miam Miam dodo ‘ guide which is in French but so easy to understand. Phone numbers and email addresses are universal.
You have gotten very good advice and guidance here. I am sure the route has more pilgrims than when I walked in 2015. I encountered many people in the Gites. Virtually everyone was French and I met just a few people the whole way who spoke any English. When I walked I was the only person that was a "pilgrim" walking to Santiago. Just about everyone was small groups of friends and just about all of them were retired.I think they would be better described as hikers enjoying a holiday. They were friendly and nice but they were walking in their own group of friends. I was never invited to join a group. It was the nature of the camino. I walked alone every day and barely ever saw someone else walking. I had no cell phone. Nothing. Planning would help alot. I had the Gite owners call ahead to the next Gite to make me a reservation. Owners do not like people just showing up because they are preparing dinner and often breakfast and want to know how many people are coming. Very dIfferent camino from the CF. Maybe now there are more traditional pilgrims from many countries. Others would know better than me.
I carried something to eat for a picnic lunch and /or hunger. Water bottles can always (usually ?) be filled at taps in cemeteries you pass if you are running low.
On a final note make sure you get the Miam Miam dodo guide. I had a Michelin guide that was almost useless. Also when I walked there were towns on the Michelin guide that I thought I could eat and rest and they turned out to be hamlets of just a few buildings. Also there never seemed to be any rhyme or reason to when shops or cafes would be open in villages. There were a few days I did not eat anything from morning until I arrived at the end of the day. Again maybe things have changed. I learned to buy food whenever I could to carry. I never knew when I may need some so i had some canned goods to open and eat if there was nothing.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
May 18,2015 - June 23,2015 El Camino Frances
May 25, 2017 - June 30th, 2017 Le Puy to Moissac
Hello! I hiked from LePuy to Moissac (about halfway) on my own in June 2017. I felt perfectly safe at all times. Even when I was out in the woods on my own. Sooner or later a hiker (more common than a pilgrim) will pass by. We got hit by a heat wave making the hike unpleasant at points. But the walk itself is absolutely gorgeous. You're going to go through towns where time has stopped. You're going to walk through all kinds of terrains (even among cows) that will challenge you a bit more than the Frances but it's worth it. I strongly recommend learning a few phrases in French (DUOLINGO!) before you go because you maybe renting a room over the phone from a delightful old lady in a tiny town who does not speak a word of English. The Miam Miam dodo was a life savior. If you like camping, I suggest you take a light tent and rotate between camping and staying in gites. I wish I had done that. It will save you some money and you're bound to meet all kinds of younger folks. The retired folks stay in the nicer places ;) THE FOOD at the gites was superb.
 

Susan Lee

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022, Podiensis 2022
How wonderful to wake to these inspiring and helpful replies! Thank so much for the encouragement. I was feeling a bit trepidatious about safety in so much solitude, but am not at all now having read all of your accounts.

Does anyone have a particularly wonderful site or chambre d'hôte to recommend? I believe I'll have time to walk from just Le Puy to Cahors.
 

vleadbe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugese (2016)
I am currently a week into the Le Puy route as a solo female. I only know a few words of French. So far I have felt perfectly safe and I'm having a wonderful time. Nearly all the hikers are French and very few speak English but they have been very friendly. I have been booking about five days ahead with accommodation but I have my tent with me which gives me more flexibility. I'm very glad I brought it and French campsites are lovely, some gites let you camp in the garden as well. I highly recommend miam miam dodo, you don't need to be able to read the French. It's been my gospel. It's so beautiful here!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
How wonderful to wake to these inspiring and helpful replies! Thank so much for the encouragement. I was feeling a bit trepidatious about safety in so much solitude, but am not at all now having read all of your accounts.

Does anyone have a particularly wonderful site or chambre d'hôte to recommend? I believe I'll have time to walk from just Le Puy to Cahors.

Relais des jacobins at Cahors. Maybe not the most fancy gite but good pilgrim spirit.

The gite at the abbey at Conques is nice for similar reasons. Don't miss the monks explaining the tympanon of the church. Mass and pilgrim's blessing are lovely. They also have a nice garden where you can relax.
 

Susan Lee

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022, Podiensis 2022
Relais des jacobins at Cahors. Maybe not the most fancy gite but good pilgrim spirit.

The gite at the abbey at Conques is nice for similar reasons. Don't miss the monks explaining the tympanon of the church. Mass and pilgrim's blessing are lovely. They also have a nice garden where you can relax.
Thank you so much!
 
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Wicked

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I have walked from Le Puy to Santiago in 2015, 2019 and only half of the Le Puy in 2022. I was alone in 2019 and never felt unsafe. I have walked always in the Spring - always leaving in May. It is true the most people I met were French people and most of them were out doing a week-end or 10 day trip. But, the first year my friend and I met a gentleman who only spoke French and we were only English speaking but he took us under his wing and would be waiting in each village when we entered. A lot of sign language but we all had the best time. There is a man named Rob Forrester who has his own guide on FB (
https://www.caminowayoflife.com/rob-s-guides) and it contains an up-to-date-listing of where you can sleep, eat, mileage between gites etc, etc. I will recommend some of my favorite places: In Le Puy-Gite Relais de Pelerin Saint Jacques (donativo) and run by pilgrims; take a day or two to see the sites in Le Puy; In Conques, the Abby is a definite and food is great; In Livinhac is Gite La Vita e Bella run by Andrea, a very, talented man who cooks the best pasta and if you can get his recipe I would like a copy!! LOL! In Cahors there is a relatively new place called Le deuxieme Souffle run by Jacques and his wife, Bissette. Both are so welcoming. Great place. If you have any questions, I would be happy to try and answer them I have always met a few walkers who have become very good friends. Good luck with whatever you choose. You have some wonderful answers.
 

Susan Lee

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022, Podiensis 2022
I am currently a week into the Le Puy route as a solo female. I only know a few words of French. So far I have felt perfectly safe and I'm having a wonderful time. Nearly all the hikers are French and very few speak English but they have been very friendly. I have been booking about five days ahead with accommodation but I have my tent with me which gives me more flexibility. I'm very glad I brought it and French campsites are lovely, some gites let you camp in the garden as well. I highly recommend miam miam dodo, you don't need to be able to read the French. It's been my gospel. It's so beautiful here!
So helpful, thanks! May I ask what tent you brought and how much weight you're carrying? Also, do you travel with a sleeping bag? I've just brought a liner on the CF.
 

vleadbe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugese (2016)
So helpful, thanks! May I ask what tent you brought and how much weight you're carrying? Also, do you travel with a sleeping bag? I've just brought a liner on the CF.
I have a Big Agnes MtnGlo 1 person hiking tent. I have my liner and sleeping bag. My sleeping bag doesn't weigh much and I didn't want to be caught out if it did get colder than expected, especially sleeping outside. So far the liner has been fine. I am carrying about 11kg. Due to the heat I usually have 2 litres of water with me and I always have some food as rest stops aren't dependable. Also to save money I make my own meals sometimes. If I was tougher with myself I could probably cut that weight a bit more. To book accommodation I just use the email addresses in miam miam dodo and that's worked fine. I have heard the tourist offices will help if needed and you can ask gite owners to make phone calls on your behalf but I haven't needed any help yet.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Greetings!

I'd like to walk Le Puy to Cahors in mid September/early October 2022 and wonder if I am likely to meet up with other pilgrims/hikers? I'm hoping to at least have others in line of sight in the more remote areas. Any thoughts on this or safety in general on that route?

Also wondering if anyone can recommend lodgings in Le Puy where I might meet up with a good sized group of people departing--as I've experienced in SJPP, for instance.

All suggestions/thoughts welcome, and thank you!
I have been walking all the caminos in Spain and France & Portugal since 2006 through 2021 alone and I have never encountered any problems! Except some knee injury. Plenty of fellow pilgrims but also long stretches alone. Enjoy
I did study martial arts( black belt) but have never had to use it
 
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ScottPilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Greetings!

I'd like to walk Le Puy to Cahors in mid September/early October 2022 and wonder if I am likely to meet up with other pilgrims/hikers? I'm hoping to at least have others in line of sight in the more remote areas. Any thoughts on this or safety in general on that route?

Also wondering if anyone can recommend lodgings in Le Puy where I might meet up with a good sized group of people departing--as I've experienced in SJPP, for instance.

All suggestions/thoughts welcome, and thank you!
You will want to use Miam Miam (as suggested elsewhere) because that is the guide most people on this trail use and if you stay in gites recommended by the guide you will share dinner w fellow hikers every night. The food is unbelievably good. If you speak French, that is very helpful. If not, try to learn a little? When I hikes this in summer 2021, I did not encounter another native English speaker for days so my French improved. It is not like Frances where English becomes default language among a group from many countries. Le Puy Route is largely traveled by French randonneurs. Note the first few days of this hike are quite challenging so I advise you to train harder than I did.
 

Susan Lee

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022, Podiensis 2022
Thank you for this very helpful guidance, Scott! Any favorite gites or chambers d'hôte you'd recommend?
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Thank you for this very helpful guidance, Scott! Any favorite gites or chambers d'hôte you'd recommend?
Yes:) Gite de la Virlange (lovely host & greet food) La Ferme du Barry (feels luxe & great food), Hotel Restaurant L’Horlage (Auvillar) eat at their restaurant book dinner w room, Gite Etap Le Nid des Anges (great host & food), L’Oree du Chemin (French obsessed w this one claim owner/chef michelin quality make sure to confirm your rez two days before arrival or they cancel). Dinner at these places is a 2-hour affair so you will get to know people. When you can, buy lunch to carry as the French will plop down and picnic at the proper lunch hour and if you roll into town at 2:30 good luck getting food before dinner. Orange juice is your new best friend at the end of a long stage.
 

Susan Lee

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022, Podiensis 2022
I have been walking all the caminos in Spain and France & Portugal since 2006 through 2021 alone and I have never encountered any problems! Except some knee injury. Plenty of fellow pilgrims but also long stretches alone. Enjoy
I did study martial arts( black belt) but have never had to use it
Encouraging, thanks!!
Yes:) Gite de la Virlange (lovely host & greet food) La Ferme du Barry (feels luxe & great food), Hotel Restaurant L’Horlage (Auvillar) eat at their restaurant book dinner w room, Gite Etap Le Nid des Anges (great host & food), L’Oree du Chemin (French obsessed w this one claim owner/chef michelin quality make sure to confirm your rez two days before arrival or they cancel). Dinner at these places is a 2-hour affair so you will get to know people. When you can, buy lunch to carry as the French will plop down and picnic at the proper lunch hour and if you roll into town at 2:30 good luck getting food before dinner. Orange juice is your new best friend at the end of a long stage.
So helpful, Scott--thank you!!
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Yes:) Gite de la Virlange (lovely host & greet food) La Ferme du Barry (feels luxe & great food), Hotel Restaurant L’Horlage (Auvillar) eat at their restaurant book dinner w room, Gite Etap Le Nid des Anges (great host & food), L’Oree du Chemin (French obsessed w this one claim owner/chef michelin quality make sure to confirm your rez two days before arrival or they cancel). Dinner at these places is a 2-hour affair so you will get to know people. When you can, buy lunch to carry as the French will plop down and picnic at the proper lunch hour and if you roll into town at 2:30 good luck getting food before dinner. Orange juice is your new best friend at the end of a long stage.
Also Chez Fanny & Jeremy in Chely St Aubrac really lovely people, which is nice because comes at end of a tough stage.
Dinner not on site. Don’t eat at resto right next door wander down to the Hotel Logis and eat with them. Stay at Convent de Malet in Saint Come D’Olt (the French poo poo the food but it is totally fine and the setting is amazing). L’Etape d’Angeline in La Romieu is charming.
 
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ScottPilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Thank you for this very helpful guidance, Scott! Any favorite gites or chambers d'hôte you'd recommend?
Oh. I did bring a small pepper spray. Only one time did I even think I might need it, but felt good to have it. You’ll need to check a bag to bring it but it’s legal to bring. Make sure you practice using it (and don’t spray into wind on this trial).
 

Susan Lee

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022, Podiensis 2022
Wondering about everyone's favorite lodging in Le Puy, Espalion, Conques, and Cahors. All recommendations will be most welcome, gracious Camino community!
 

Susan Lee

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022, Podiensis 2022
Oh. I did bring a small pepper spray. Only one time did I even think I might need it, but felt good to have it. You’ll need to check a bag to bring it but it’s legal to bring. Make sure you practice using it (and don’t spray into wind on this trial).
Good to know this, thanks.
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Good to know this, thanks.
Despite my handle, I am a woman and I did feel safe. 2021 prob low ebb for Americans and Brits on the Le Puy, so you may well find more english speakers. Still vote for learning a little French because I found French people more willing to try their English on me if I tried to my French (maybr just to stop me?)

Finally, as of 2020 edition the ebook of Miam Miam was defunct. No one knew why. Gallic shrug. Maybe it has returned?
 

Susan Lee

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022, Podiensis 2022
Thanks for that clarification, Scott--indeed safety can be a different calculus for women than men.

I have basic French and am practicing as much as possible before I leave. Looking forward to improving it on the trek. My MM print is edition on order. I understand it's worth every ounce it weighs!
 
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ScottPilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks for that clarification, Scott--indeed safety can be a different calculus for women than men.

I have basic French and am practicing as much as possible before I leave. Looking forward to improving it on the trek. My MM print is edition on order. I understand it's worth every ounce it weighs!
Enjoy! Your French will improve so much.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Konstance - Bayonne
You have gotten very good advice and guidance here. I am sure the route has more pilgrims than when I walked in 2015. I encountered many people in the Gites. Virtually everyone was French and I met just a few people the whole way who spoke any English. When I walked I was the only person that was a "pilgrim" walking to Santiago. Just about everyone was small groups of friends and just about all of them were retired.I think they would be better described as hikers enjoying a holiday. They were friendly and nice but they were walking in their own group of friends. I was never invited to join a group. It was the nature of the camino. I walked alone every day and barely ever saw someone else walking. I had no cell phone. Nothing. Planning would help alot. I had the Gite owners call ahead to the next Gite to make me a reservation. Owners do not like people just showing up because they are preparing dinner and often breakfast and want to know how many people are coming. Very dIfferent camino from the CF. Maybe now there are more traditional pilgrims from many countries. Others would know better than me.

On a final note make sure you get the Miam Miam dodo guide. I had a Michelin guide that was almost useless. Also when I walked there were towns on the Michelin guide that I thought I could eat and rest and they turned out to be hamlets of just a few buildings. Also there never seemed to be any rhyme or reason to when shops or cafes would be open in villages. There were a few days I did not eat anything from morning until I arrived at the end of the day. Again maybe things have changed. I learned to buy food whenever I could to carry. I never knew when I may need some so i had some canned goods to open and eat if there was nothing.
You have gotten very good advice and guidance here. I am sure the route has more pilgrims than when I walked in 2015. I encountered many people in the Gites. Virtually everyone was French and I met just a few people the whole way who spoke any English. When I walked I was the only person that was a "pilgrim" walking to Santiago. Just about everyone was small groups of friends and just about all of them were retired.I think they would be better described as hikers enjoying a holiday. They were friendly and nice but they were walking in their own group of friends. I was never invited to join a group. It was the nature of the camino. I walked alone every day and barely ever saw someone else walking. I had no cell phone. Nothing. Planning would help alot. I had the Gite owners call ahead to the next Gite to make me a reservation. Owners do not like people just showing up because they are preparing dinner and often breakfast and want to know how many people are coming. Very dIfferent camino from the CF. Maybe now there are more traditional pilgrims from many countries. Others would know better than me.

On a final note make sure you get the Miam Miam dodo guide. I had a Michelin guide that was almost useless. Also when I walked there were towns on the Michelin guide that I thought I could eat and rest and they turned out to be hamlets of just a few buildings. Also there never seemed to be any rhyme or reason to when shops or cafes would be open in villages. There were a few days I did not eat anything from morning until I arrived at the end of the day. Again maybe things have changed. I learned to buy food whenever I could to carry. I never knew when I may need some so i had some canned goods to open and eat if there was nothing.
I object to the suggestion that retired people walking the Way of St.James are not 'pilgrims'! It is not the fact that one is walking to Santiago that makes one a pilgrim. As for being 'invited' to join a group , how about being friendly and asking if you may walk with others? There was a comment recently complaining that in France, no-one spoke English - try going to Australia, Britain or the U.S and speaking French!! There are some truly lovely people on Le Chemin all doing their pilgrimage their way and there is simply no right or wrong way. People need to know how many people will be present for a meal as, in France, the supermarket are often 18kms or more away! But I am sure that no-one would turn away a young girl if they turned up unannounced - unless they were full. My partner and I have walked from Constance (Germany) across Switzerland ( and most of the Swiss routes during Covid) to Bayonne (France) and went to Mass whenever possible . We will continue to walk (if our health allows) to Santiago. We will do it is stages and on the way will visit any church or chapel that is open, we'll enjoy the beautiful scenery and all our meetings with all whom we come into contact with on the way. The Way has enriched our lives and if one day we arrive in Santiago we will give thanks for all the above and more. (I am 70 and very much a pilgrim)

I wish Susan all the very best on her walk and hope that she enjoys all the gifts that the way from Le Puy has to offer. (don't miss out on the monk in Conques who plays 'House of the Rising Sun'(Eric Clapton) on the church organ in the evening after he tells you all about the cathedral !)
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I object to the suggestion that retired people walking the Way of St.James are not 'pilgrims'! It is not the fact that one is walking to Santiago that makes one a pilgrim. As for being 'invited' to join a group , how about being friendly and asking if you may walk with others? There was a comment recently complaining that in France, no-one spoke English - try going to Australia, Britain or the U.S and speaking French!! There are some truly lovely people on Le Chemin all doing their pilgrimage their way and there is simply no right or wrong way. People need to know how many people will be present for a meal as, in France, the supermarket are often 18kms or more away! But I am sure that no-one would turn away a young girl if they turned up unannounced - unless they were full. My partner and I have walked from Constance (Germany) across Switzerland ( and most of the Swiss routes during Covid) to Bayonne (France) and went to Mass whenever possible . We will continue to walk (if our health allows) to Santiago. We will do it is stages and on the way will visit any church or chapel that is open, we'll enjoy the beautiful scenery and all our meetings with all whom we come into contact with on the way. The Way has enriched our lives and if one day we arrive in Santiago we will give thanks for all the above and more. (I am 70 and very much a pilgrim)

I wish Susan all the very best on her walk and hope that she enjoys all the gifts that the way from Le Puy has to offer. (don't miss out on the monk in Conques who plays 'House of the Rising Sun'(Eric Clapton) on the church organ in the evening after he tells you all about the cathedral !)
I think there is a misunderstanding here. The trails on Le Puy are also part of a French heritage hiking network, so while there were plenty of Pilgrams when I walked in 2021, there were also many people hiking stretches on their vacation or retirement to see French cultural sites. They may be aware they are on a leg of the Chemin and they may not.
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I object to the suggestion that retired people walking the Way of St.James are not 'pilgrims'! It is not the fact that one is walking to Santiago that makes one a pilgrim. As for being 'invited' to join a group , how about being friendly and asking if you may walk with others? There was a comment recently complaining that in France, no-one spoke English - try going to Australia, Britain or the U.S and speaking French!! There are some truly lovely people on Le Chemin all doing their pilgrimage their way and there is simply no right or wrong way. People need to know how many people will be present for a meal as, in France, the supermarket are often 18kms or more away! But I am sure that no-one would turn away a young girl if they turned up unannounced - unless they were full. My partner and I have walked from Constance (Germany) across Switzerland ( and most of the Swiss routes during Covid) to Bayonne (France) and went to Mass whenever possible . We will continue to walk (if our health allows) to Santiago. We will do it is stages and on the way will visit any church or chapel that is open, we'll enjoy the beautiful scenery and all our meetings with all whom we come into contact with on the way. The Way has enriched our lives and if one day we arrive in Santiago we will give thanks for all the above and more. (I am 70 and very much a pilgrim)

I wish Susan all the very best on her walk and hope that she enjoys all the gifts that the way from Le Puy has to offer. (don't miss out on the monk in Conques who plays 'House of the Rising Sun'(Eric Clapton) on the church organ in the evening after he tells you all about the cathedral !)
I was traveling in the summer, so that means more people, but also during Covid travel restrictions, which meant fewer. I was with my daughter and we did not want for company. We often walked alone (though many days we did not) because of pace issues but we needn’t have. We met a range of people: solo women, retirees, students, families, adult children w parents. Conversations were wide ranging and interesting. Most people on the trail—whether for a chemin or a weekend hike—want a little adventure.
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I object to the suggestion that retired people walking the Way of St.James are not 'pilgrims'! It is not the fact that one is walking to Santiago that makes one a pilgrim. As for being 'invited' to join a group , how about being friendly and asking if you may walk with others? There was a comment recently complaining that in France, no-one spoke English - try going to Australia, Britain or the U.S and speaking French!! There are some truly lovely people on Le Chemin all doing their pilgrimage their way and there is simply no right or wrong way. People need to know how many people will be present for a meal as, in France, the supermarket are often 18kms or more away! But I am sure that no-one would turn away a young girl if they turned up unannounced - unless they were full. My partner and I have walked from Constance (Germany) across Switzerland ( and most of the Swiss routes during Covid) to Bayonne (France) and went to Mass whenever possible . We will continue to walk (if our health allows) to Santiago. We will do it is stages and on the way will visit any church or chapel that is open, we'll enjoy the beautiful scenery and all our meetings with all whom we come into contact with on the way. The Way has enriched our lives and if one day we arrive in Santiago we will give thanks for all the above and more. (I am 70 and very much a pilgrim)

I wish Susan all the very best on her walk and hope that she enjoys all the gifts that the way from Le Puy has to offer. (don't miss out on the monk in Conques who plays 'House of the Rising Sun'(Eric Clapton) on the church organ in the evening after he tells you all about the cathedral !)
I hope you are not referring to my remark that most people on the Le Puy are Francophone. It was not a criticism but a statement of fact in contrast to the Frances and it has to do with the fact that the GR65 is a popular national hiking trail distinct from it’s role as part of the Chemin.

I happened to like that about the Le Puy leg but as a result it was how as we crossed the Pyrenees suddenly everyone was conversing in English and not just Americans but groups who all had different first languages but shared English as a second. English-speakers are certainly used to benefiting from being speakers of the lingua franca so we can forget how much courage it takes to speak a foreign language to native speakers.

I do think, however, it is useful to know this going in because if you spoke no French it might be harder to connect. Not impossible but harder.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I object to the suggestion that retired people walking the Way of St.James are not 'pilgrims'! It is not the fact that one is walking to Santiago that makes one a pilgrim. As for being 'invited' to join a group , how about being friendly and asking if you may walk with others? There was a comment recently complaining that in France, no-one spoke English - try going to Australia, Britain or the U.S and speaking French!! There are some truly lovely people on Le Chemin all doing their pilgrimage their way and there is simply no right or wrong way. People need to know how many people will be present for a meal as, in France, the supermarket are often 18kms or more away! But I am sure that no-one would turn away a young girl if they turned up unannounced - unless they were full. My partner and I have walked from Constance (Germany) across Switzerland ( and most of the Swiss routes during Covid) to Bayonne (France) and went to Mass whenever possible . We will continue to walk (if our health allows) to Santiago. We will do it is stages and on the way will visit any church or chapel that is open, we'll enjoy the beautiful scenery and all our meetings with all whom we come into contact with on the way. The Way has enriched our lives and if one day we arrive in Santiago we will give thanks for all the above and more. (I am 70 and very much a pilgrim)

I wish Susan all the very best on her walk and hope that she enjoys all the gifts that the way from Le Puy has to offer. (don't miss out on the monk in Conques who plays 'House of the Rising Sun'(Eric Clapton) on the church organ in the evening after he tells you all about the cathedral !)
We all have our own experiences that are unique to all of us. I can only go by my personal experience. From what I could gather no one I met would have considered themselves a pilgrim. Through a few words here and there I could gather that the people I met were walking from point A to point B and going home. I do not think I saw one other person who ever had a credential. I never complained about the fact that no one spoke English. I can speak one other foreign language and that is Spanish. As for trying to speak French in a foreign, especially English speaking country is nearly impossible. But that problem goes both ways. Being an American and living in Mexico it does come in very handy. I never asked to to join a group and no one asked me to join them and that was just fine with me. I never said that the people I met were not helpful and kind. I did mention how gite owners were invaluable to me calling ahead and making the next night's reservation. I can tell you that at least 5 times owners drove me to get food in a nearby village for the next day.
I am glad that the way has enriched your life like it has virtually everyone else here on this forum. As I said I loved this route and really loved the food.
People ask advice here and we all give it based hopefully not on prejudice or preconceived ideas. I was just relaying information that I felt would be valuable for someone to learn from my experience, nothing more and nothing less. We should all try to do that with what people write on the forum. An opinion is something you can agree or disagree with. Your experience is yours and mine is mine. Please do not denigrate my experience and advice. It comes from a place of trying to help a fellow pilgrim, and as I said it is nothing more or less than that. Buen Camino
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
We all have our own experiences that are unique to all of us. I can only go by my personal experience. From what I could gather no one I met would have considered themselves a pilgrim. Through a few words here and there I could gather that the people I met were walking from point A to point B and going home. I do not think I saw one other person who ever had a credential. I never complained about the fact that no one spoke English. I can speak one other foreign language and that is Spanish. As for trying to speak French in a foreign, especially English speaking country is nearly impossible. But that problem goes both ways. Being an American and living in Mexico it does come in very handy. I never asked to to join a group and no one asked me to join them and that was just fine with me. I never said that the people I met were not helpful and kind. I did mention how gite owners were invaluable to me calling ahead and making the next night's reservation. I can tell you that at least 5 times owners drove me to get food in a nearby village for the next day.
I am glad that the way has enriched your life like it has virtually everyone else here on this forum. As I said I loved this route and really loved the food.
People ask advice here and we all give it based hopefully not on prejudice or preconceived ideas. I was just relaying information that I felt would be valuable for someone to learn from my experience, nothing more and nothing less. We should all try to do that with what people write on the forum. An opinion is something you can agree or disagree with. Your experience is yours and mine is mine. Please do not denigrate my experience and advice. It comes from a place of trying to help a fellow pilgrim, and as I said it is nothing more or less than that. Buen Camino
I think your advice about carrying food still stands. Increasingly, Gite owners recognize this and offer packed lunches for a fee but it is very good to carry a bag of trail mix or something for a pinch. There were days we left before the boulangerie opened in one town, found nothing on the way and arrived after itt had closed in our destination. We were pretty hungry by dinner. I believe Miam Miam also tells you were you can get drinking water & find a toilet which is pretty invaluable.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I think your advice about carrying food still stands. Increasingly, Gite owners recognize this and offer packed lunches for a fee but it is very good to carry a bag of trail mix or something for a pinch. There were days we left before the boulangerie opened in one town, found nothing on the way and arrived after itt had closed in our destination. We were pretty hungry by dinner. I believe Miam Miam also tells you were you can get drinking water & find a toilet which is pretty invaluable.
The biggest mistake I made was not buying Miam Dodo. There were some mornings that the owners of the gites offered us a lunch of leftovers from the night before, with some fruit and a few other little goodies. Usually the charge for what was offered was a bargain. Once or twice it was offered for free. You never know when a cafe or bakery or market in the small villages would be open.
 

kpsosurf

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2022
Greetings!

I'd like to walk Le Puy to Cahors in mid September/early October 2022 and wonder if I am likely to meet up with other pilgrims/hikers? I'm hoping to at least have others in line of sight in the more remote areas. Any thoughts on this or safety in general on that route?

Also wondering if anyone can recommend lodgings in Le Puy where I might meet up with a good sized group of people departing--as I've experienced in SJPP, for instance.

All suggestions/thoughts welcome, and thank you!
I walked with another woman this June from Le Puy to Cahors (and we met up with 2 American guys half way through) and never felt unsafe at all. I would have been fine walking on my own. Most of the other hikers we met were older French or Germans but it was a great group. Very friendly.
 
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