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Via Podiensis

Discussion in 'Le Puy en Velay to Santiago de Compostela' started by Snowwhite, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Snowwhite

    Snowwhite Member

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    Hi all

    Does anyone have any experience with the via Podiensis?

    I have got 15 days to walk in May this year and I am torn between 3 options...

    1 - walking Le Puy to Cahors...
    2 - walking Mossiac to St Jean Pied de Port
    3 - walking Nogaro to Obanos via the Pol de Somport route

    Does anyone have any ideas as to which one may be the most enjoyable?

    I intend to travel via train so I think the 3rd option may be a bit harder to get to.

    Thanks
     
  2. MichaelSG

    MichaelSG Active Member

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    I have not walked that route...yet. But I understand that your three options look like:
    1 - Very mountainous and beautiful for a week then very hilly for the second week.
    2 - Very flat for two weeks.
    3 - Very flat for a week, one huge climb and descent and almost a week of fairly flat land again.

    With that in mind, of the three options, I would choose in this order: 1, 3, 2. Then again, I'm not the one doing the walking. ;)
    Bon Chemin and/or Buen Camino!
     
  3. Margareta Varenhed

    Margareta Varenhed Member

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    I walked Le Puy to Cahors last year at the beginning of June. It was the best Camino I've done and I will do the rest from Cahors to SJPP this year. It's rather mountainous and a bit hard work, but the most beautiful walking you can think of. Lovely routes in natural settings with beautiful views, and almost no tarmac at all. Idyllic small villages taking you back 2000 years. Le Gites are mostly rather small, around 2-6 beds in each room. Most of them offer half pension, so well cooked dinner on local products and breakfast are included at around 32 - 35 euro and it is worth every penny.
    The best gites are the Christian ones, but they are all very nice.

    I tried to book ahead most of the time as it was in June and a bit busy, but normally you should find a place to sleep in May. Weekends might be a good idea to book ahead, since the French often do a three days walk during weekends.
    I would definitely advice you to do the camino from Le Puy to Cahors, or if the time is not enougt, stop in the lovely medieval town of Conques. There are buses leaving from there.
    Buon Camino!
     
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  4. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Margareta, did you take the Cele route? I took a Google earth road trip last night between Conduche and Bouzies to try to understand the route down to St. Cirq Lapopie. Both ways to St. Cirq from Conduche have stretches on a two-lane blacktop road with tunnels carved out of rock with no shoulder at all, and places with no shoulder on the road at all. Then it looks like paths along the river from Bouzies. I was wondering what trying to do this section was like.
     
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  5. Margareta Varenhed

    Margareta Varenhed Member

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    Yes, I actually did walk the Celé Valley, but by mistake. I suddenly realised that I was on the wrong route, but it was very beautiful so no regrets. Just a little bit longer.
    If you have the time, go for it! You might need one more day to reach Cahors but it's worth it. Or you just make a bit longer days, like I did. And I had two very nice fresh pools on the route. The first one at a camping, the Moulin Vieux in Brengues where I stayed in a nice big camper. The second one was a couple of days after in a Gite , le Relais de Pastorat on the last night before Cahors.
     
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  6. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    That sounds good, and thank you so much! I've made note of the information about the Moulin Vieux in Brengues, so that's one more possibility for a good place to stay I'm planning on staying at the Relais de Pastorat too. I was concerned about safety along that road between Conduche and Bouzies, but it sounds like you didn't find it alarming, so that's reassuring.
     
  7. Margareta Varenhed

    Margareta Varenhed Member

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    Nothing alarming on my route, but lovely uncrowded. I was quite alone big part of the Vallée du Célé. Of course you can never be 100% secure, but if we worry about that, then we should stay at home... o_O
    Below I give you some pictures from this part of the road.
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Really beautiful. Thank you so much, Margareta!
     
  9. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I agree with C4S those pictures are great. Thanks for posting them.
     
  10. Margareta Varenhed

    Margareta Varenhed Member

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    I will start my second part on the via Podiensis on the 3rd of May this year, arriving at Cahors by train the day before. I'm counting on arriving at SJPP on the 18th or 19th of May. I think that should be possible...
    Anyone who has experiences of walking this route, pleas advice;
    What is this part like, comparing to the part from Le Puy to Cahors? I did that lovely part last June.
     
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  11. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Note that there are planned train strikes in France on the 18th and 19th. This might effect your planning.
     
  12. Margareta Varenhed

    Margareta Varenhed Member

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    Thanks a lot UnkleHammy!
    That's useful information. Maybe a friend can come to pick me up, or maybe I will leave SJPP a bit later.
    I will keep track on the strike, maybe they will just agree on whatever it is...
     
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