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French Camino Walk Sept 2019 

The Le Puy Chemin is definitely worth walking- lots of magnificent scenery, lots of history and historic buildings, amazing architectural structures for the times. Interesting paths through forests, farms, towns and cities. Plus interesting people along the way. The first 2 weeks are very steep, lots of going up and coming down steep rocky paths. We heard from other more seasoned hikers that they felt that the first 14 days of this Camino was the toughest hike they had ever done. So be prepared! It seems that 20km/day is a reasonable pace considering the hills and rocks, plus you also want to have time to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way as well as when you get to each days destination.

Sometimes the book/maps/apps overestimate how long it takes to get from town to town, - be warned!
This part of France seems to close fir the season from 1st October, not many places for food or accommodation are open. You can still find something but your choices are limited. Plus there are a lot less people doing the walk, so it could be quite lonesome.

The weather is still good though- not too hot or too cold.
Nearly everyone on a camino takes away something from it. In my case - a realisation that everyone is different, we all have our idiosyncrancies, and we all have our good points - appreciate diversity! And concentrate on the good in people.

Overall- it was a beautiful and worthwhile hike, can thoroughly recommend it. If anyone would like more information about this walk - I am always up for a chat! Au revoir,  A bientot.

Helen from Australian Brain Coaching

Helen's French Camino walk Sept 2019 starting Le Puy-en-Velay,
Helen Dugdale
/ Categories: Camino French Walk

Helen's French Camino walk Sept 2019 starting Le Puy-en-Velay,

Other names for this walk are Via Podiensis, or GR65. The full walk from Le Puy to St Jean Pied de Port is about 760km (The Way of St James), but I am only doing about 500-600km as I only have 4 weeks to spare. (Will have to come back and do the rest another time!). On average I hope to do 25km per day for 25 days.
This blog will hopefully provide some useful tips to people who are thinking of doing this walk or something similar and might spark an urge to do some hiking!
The hiking experts say that you should be able to carry 10% of your body weight. I have been practising carrying slightly more than 10% because I have so much stuff! So far I have been doing 3-4 hr hikes carrying 7kgs and haven't had any problems yet. Even had to buy new hiking boots two weeks ago, as my old boots that I used on Kilimanjaro, were thought to be too stiff and rigid for this French walk. Apparently, there are lots of boulders and rocks on the paths, so boots need to be more flexible. (Although I have heard that people walk it in trainers). I prefer the support that boots give to your ankles.
After reading through a few blogs from other people who have done the walk, I have put together my own packing list. Will see how much of it I actually use, and what I have forgotten!
This French Camino is not as well used as the main Spanish Camino, so there are fewer people and fewer nationalities on the paths, apparently less infrastructure too ie, fewer cafes and hotels, but still has amazing scenery and lovely local people. Can't wait to experience it!

 

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The Map of the French Camino Walk

Below shows the map of the area of France where you walk the French Camino.  The blue line is the distance travelled from the starting point to the end.  The redline shows Helen's progress across France walking between 19kms and 25kms a day.  Staying at BnB's a long the way.  

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    Helen Wheels French Camino walk Sept 2019 starting Le Puy-en-Velay, 

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    Paris Gare de Lyon to Le Puy en Velay by train.

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    Gare de Lyon to Le Puy-en-Velay to Sauges on first three days of trekking on the French Camino.

    Day 4 to 6 from Aumont-Aubrac to Nasbinals.

    From Golinhac to Conques to Decazeville

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    The last leg of the journey
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