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Via Podiensis Next

August 22, 2018

I’m leaving for Paris on September 10 to walk the Via Podiensis  from Le Puy en Velay to St Jean Pied de Port. Like any of these adventures, it is a long way (450 miles) and there is no telling what will happen. I’m going solo; just me and Google Translate. I studied French in high school and college, so I think I’ll do OK with the communication. Getting to Paris will be a flight from Austin to JFK, then to Paris.The first real challenge will be to get from the Charles de Gaulle Airport to the train station, then to southern France. The cover photo is from a hiker currently on the trail; I’ll replace it with my own when I get there.

I have friends who have been in some of these places who have told me the place is magical. It will also be hot sometimes and rain sometimes and there is a lot of up and down. I’ll be carrying my trusty pack with a single change of clothes, rain and cold weather gear, a small sleeping bag, and not much else. This is a very rural route and I understand that there aren’t always restaurants or grocery stores, that one must take a little back-up food. Lodging is not in the hostels that I am used to, it is more gites providing meals. The trail is known as GR 65 and is maintained by the French government. I have a guidebook which doesn’t get good reviews. Most of the walkers are French, the trail greeting is not Buen Camino (Spain)  or Bohm Caminho (Portugal), but Bon Chemin.

That’s about all I know. You are welcome to come along, in person or by this blog. I am 66 years old, single, and in good health. I have a scallop shell and a guidebook and a map on my iPhone ( and enough money in the bank. I’ve walked two Camino so far.

What could possibly go wrong?

From → Writing Fiction

  1. Bon chance, Robert! Have a great great adventure!! Wish i could join you but still in Peace Corps!

  2. When do you finish your gig?

  3. Chip Frazier permalink

    Dude! You are possessed! LOL In reality, I am envious. To do the CF and CP and now GR 65 shows you invested better than I did! Bon voyage et bon chemin!

    • Lucky. Going while I can. I don’t want to look back and say “ I was going to…” not that expensive either.

      • Chip Frazier permalink

        You’ve obviously never traveled with MY wife! LOL

  4. Sooo looking forward to experiencing this next stroll with you, Robert! I am still planning to walk one of the Caminos as soon as I complete Peace Corps service, on August 31😉! I clicked on the link you included and read about the Via- wow!

    And did i mention i want to do Waltz Across Texas Part 2? To see all the dance halls i missed last time when i stayed in your ever so sweet Air B&B- who looks after it while you are out walking?

    By the way, best way i can reach you from out here in Zambia is via whatsapp- do you have that? My whatsapp # is: +260 975 498 637 I do seem to get most of your blog entries when they come in through my gmail “social” wave….

    Mweende kabotu! (go well in Lenje) Jane

  5. Good luck!

  6. Wilhelm permalink

    Bon Chemin!

  7. Belle Weaver permalink

    Pictures, Robert, we like pictures!

  8. I just walked the Camino Frances in September and October of this year, and so many people raved about the walk from Le Puy to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. I’ve heard it’s beautiful but a lot of up and down. Did you love it?

    • It is quite different. Your first Camino can never happen again. Much more secular and much less pilgrim infrastructure. One has to prepare to walk all day without coming across a single (open) restaurant or grocery. You must reserve ahead because there aren’t so many gites as albergues in Spain. The rural scenery wasn’t that spectacular but the villages are. The highlight of each day is the communal dinner in the gite. You get used to the constant up and back down on the first part, I left the trail at Moissac but I’m told from there in there is not much elevation change. I’m going to walk in Italy after EPW in June, another Camino, and if I can walk del Norte in Spain in the fall.

      • I’m sure the infrastructure isn’t nearly as good as on the Camino, and it sounds like the gites are more expensive than the Camino’s albergues. I heard walking over the mountains is beautiful, but maybe that’s not correct? It sounds like you have a lot of pilgrimages ahead of you! Buen Camino and happy walking. 🙂

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