I’m following the blogs of two people currently walking Le Chemin St Jacques – Le Puy. The written words as well as the photographs on these blogs are solidifying my desires to make plans to walk this route.
I have purchased the Cicerone Guide “The Way of St James, France, Le Puy to the Pyrenees” and am avidly reading its contents.
I am also following all the threads regarding this route through France on the Camino de Santiago Forum.
One of the APOC Chapter members walked this route last spring. I will arrange for a meeting with her to hear her experiences. She did give a presentation at one of the meetings but I was away on the Camino Francés at that time.
I already can speak a bit of French; I will take a course to assure I can converse intelligently. Speaking only English on the Camino Francés while walking through Spain has never been a problem as most shop keepers and hoteliers along the way speak English. I experienced the same knowledge of English on the Camino Portugués.
I believe, however, Le Chemin St. Jacques it is different, one must speak French in most establishments. The guidebook states this and I understand this to be true from reading the two blogs I am following.
I’ve ordered “Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes” by Robert Louis Stevenson, one of his earlier novels about his solo hike on the Grande Randonnée. Les Sentiers de Grande Randonnée (long distance footpaths) are a network of paths and hiking trails throughout France.
Le Chemin St Jacques – Le Puy is known as the Grande Randonnée 65 or GR65. The GR65 runs from Geneva, via Le Puy en Velay and Conques, to the Pyrenees. The distance of this Chemin (French for Camino) is 500 miles or 805 kms. Le Chemin Le Puy connects with the Camino Francés in St Jean Pied de Port.
The Camino Francés then continues over the Pyrenees and through Spain to Santiago de Compostela. The French Route, as it is sometimes called, is roughly another 500 miles/ 805 kms.
That would be a total of plus-minus 1,000 miles. With sufficient rest days planned along the way, I have no doubt I can accomplish the distance. I would allow three months to complete these two combined routes.
As has always been the case since my first Camino, I am preparing to embark on the current Camino and have plans of my next Camino percolating in my mind.
Simply a case of being “Once Bitten”!!!