From LE PUY-EN-VELAY to PAMPLONA via the VIA PODENSIS

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Link to: SUSAN'S (much prettier) PAGE
HINT:Scroll down her page for the 2007 section at the bottom.

STAR RATINGS:
Villages/Towns:   * -
Not worth stopping; ** - things to see; *** - don't miss
Accommodation: * - I'd find somewhere else; ** - OK; *** I'd definitely stay here again
Explanation of the information about prices and accommodation at bottom of page.

 
WEEKS   PLACES km miles total km total miles Walk Photos Stay (for 2) NOTES PLANNED
1 Wed 02-May ***
Arrive Le Puy
  x
0.62
  x 0.62   ibis Hotel, Centre
39 + pdj 7 each
  Arrive le Puy
Thu 03-May Stay in le Puy           Photos ** 2-beds en suite. 39E for 2  if booked 30 days in advance. Stay in le Puy
Fri 04-May *
Tallode, St. Christophe sur Dolaison
8.9 5.5 8.9 6 Easy except steep bit out of Le Puy Photos ***
Mme Allegre, Tallode,
demi-pension  66
3-bed comfortable room + ensuite.  Excellent meal with lentils.  Interesting hosts. Good company. Good breakfast. Originally Montbonnet but rescheduled.
Sat 05-May ***
Saint-Privat-d'Allier
Break at Le Grand Duc, Montbonnet.
15 9.3 23.9 15 Damp but easier than anticipated Photos **
Gite La Cabourne, 25.60
+pdj 4.20 each
 2-bed room with washbasin.  Evening picnic in the kitchen.  Basic breakfast. Originally Monistrol-d'Allier
Sun 06-May ***
Saugues
Ate late in bar opposite hotel - 16E for very good plate of cheese plus salad and tasty dessert.
19.6 12.2 43.5 27 Steep slippery paths in bad weather. Arduous at first but with great views at end. Photos ***
Hotel La Terrasse
73.00+ pdj 8 each.
Comfortable and friendly after our arduous walk.     We didn't eat there but heard later that it is very good.
ALTERNATIVE: Gite Martins-Itier, Saugues;
Saugues - caught up with our plan.
2 Mon 07-May *
Le Falzet
9.9 6.1 53.4 33 Pleasant, some road walking Photos **
Accueil a Ferme Delcros,
demi-pension 60
Picnic: 6 each
Bunk beds in shared room for 3. Rooms not as nice as they appear in photos.  9 people and only one bathroom. Food & company good. Interesting hostess.
ALTERNATIVE: L'Oustal de Parent;
Le Falzet
Tue 08-May *
Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole
19 11.8 72.4 45 Long but lovely.  First view of sun. Good views. Photos ***
CH Les Genets
40 pdj included
2-bed room OK except no lock on shared bathroom.  Excellent breakfast.  Very welcoming and interesting hosts. Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole
Wed 09-May **
Aumont-Aubrac
15.2 9.4 87.6 54 Sun at last & some views Photos **
Hotel Prunieres
76.80
Room OK.  Menu: 13.90 each. Food OK. Unfriendly staff. REST DAY
Thu 10-May REST DAY           Photos Sleepy little village but well suited to us after the exertions of the week. Aumont-Aubrac
Fri 11-May *
Finieyrols
16.1 10 103.7 64 Easier now up on plateau Photos ***
Ferme Auberge Les Gentianes
demi-pension 60
2-bed room in gite - shared bathrooms.  Food OK.  Good company.  Helpful proprietoress. Finieyrols
Sat 12-May **
Nasbinals
Good lunch at Maison de Rosalie Montgros
10.2 6.3 113.9 71 Shadeless but worth while detour to Cascade du Roc Photos **
Gite Communal
24
2-bed room. Showers at each end of corridor. Kitchen. Full of noisy non-walkers. Nasbinals
Sun 13-May **
Saint-Chély-d'Aubrac
16.3 10.1 130.2 81 Steep downhill to St. Chely. Beautiful. Photos **
CH Bar Relais St Jacques
demi-pension
78
2-bed room with shared bath in house down by bridge.  Meal in Bar. OK. Saint-Chély-d'Aubrac
3 Mon 14-May ***
SAINT-COME-D'OLT
Don't miss the twisted tower
V. good 'onion tarte' from Boulangerie opposite gite.
16.1 10.0 146.3 91 Long, cold walk, up, across & down in very  bad weather - Nice stop "Chez Muriel" at Grezes. Exhausting Photos **
Le jardin d'eliane
78.00
for 3 pdj included
Spacious, clean 3-bed room with kitchenette and en suite.  Breakfast OK. Lots of rules on walls. Mixed reception.
 
Saint-Come-d'Olt
Tue 15-May REST DAY           Photos  

FRIEND JOINS US

REST DAY
Wed 16-May **
Espalion
Don't miss Eglise de Perse at bottom of hill.
7.2 4.5 153.5 95 Heavy rain, steep, muddy paths. Seemed much further than 7 km and took us hours and hours. Photos *
Hotel Moderne
25 for 2 + pdj: 7E each
Basic twin room on Pilgrim Floor.  One loo with shower for all 16 rooms! Espalion
Thu 17-May ***
Estaing
12 7.4 165.5 103 Heavy rain Photos **
Aux Armes d'Estaing,
demi-pension
108 for 3
Ensuite room for 3 in annexe. OK.  Heater. Food good. Estaing
Fri 18-May **
Le Battedou
15.6 9.7 181.1 112 Steep, cold, cloudy first section.   Lovely views. Photos **
Le Battedou
demi-pension 35 each
1 double + 1 single bed room. Showers etc downstairs.  Food good. Lovely spot. Golinhac was full.
Sat 19-May **
Senergues
One euro pies and quiche in village Charcuterie. Delicious pear juice from Boulangerie.
13.2 8.2 194.3 121 We went the wrong way here but ended up in the village anyway. Photos ***
Domaine de
Senos
15:00 + pdj
Lovely room for 3 with en suite. Friendly staff.  Cooked own food.  Senergues
Sun 20-May ***
CONQUES
9.4 5.8 203.7 126 Steep, muddy, downhill. Photos *
CH Marie Scepe
67 for 3 + pdj 5 each
Room OK overlooking Abbey.  Self-service breakfast for early starts.
ALTERNATIVE: Accueil Monastique, Conques   Everyone we met told us it was wonderful.
Conques
4 Mon 21-May REST DAY
Nice sculptures
          Photos  

FRIEND RETURNS UK TOMORROW

REST DAY
Tue 22-May *
Livinhac
via Noailhac (Ice tea at pleasant restaurant.) and  Chemin de Cretes
19 11.78 222.7 138 Steep out of Conques. OK a.m. Hot &  horrible  p.m. Suburban road walking and then a nasty downhill mud slide. Photos **
Gite La Magnanereie
20 + pdj 5 each

Room in Silkworm tower.  Cooked in kitchen. Interesting proprietoress. OK, but loo and shower across garden.
Delicious prune tart from village Boulangerie
ALTERNATIVE: La Mariotte, Montredon;

We avoided Decazeville and went straight to Lininhac - a bad idea.
Wed 23-May ***
FIGEAC
24.5 15.2 247.2 153 A lot of  hot, horrible  shadeless  road walking. Photos ***
CH Le Solheilho
70 pdj included
Room with wonderful view over Figeac  (even airconditioning!). Kindly proprietoress. 
ALTERNATIVE: Le Pentadou, Felzins
Originally Montredon but we went straight to Figeac - a mistake.
Thu 24-May REST DAY           Photos     Figeac
Fri 25-May REST DAY - had to wait for a parcel to arrive at post office.           Photos Very good 4-course lunch at Puce a L'Oreille restaurant for 15.50 REST DAY - instead of one day ahead we are back on schedule.
Sat 26-May *
Beduer
        Rainy Photos **
CH Le Mas de La Croix
40 pdj included
2-bed Room + shared bathroom. Lift offered to restaurant in nearby village but we had lunched well and didn't eat that evening. Pech Rougié (Béduer)
Sun 27-May **
Espagnac
11.5 8.494 260.9 162 Rainy - fairly easy walking Photos **
Gite Communal
18.40
Dorm with 4 beds - en suite loo. OK. Nearby restaurant for meal (15e) and self-service pdj (5.50e) - "Les jardins du Célé" - OK. Originally Cajarc - we deceded to take the Cele route - a big mistake.
5 Mon 28-May **
Marcillac-sur-Cele
Friendly open bar at St. Sulpice for lunch.
13.7 10.974 278.6 173 Wet, hilly. Very scary bit on cliffs above Brengues. Photos ***
CH Le Tilleul
45 pdj included
Nice big room + en suite. Cold.  Books to read.  Interesting hostess. Excellent breakfast. Originally Limogne-en-Quercy
Tue 29-May **
Cabrerets
Visit the cave at Pech Merle
17.7 12.09 298.1 185 Long walk with steep narrow paths. Slightly scary cliffs. Photos **
Hotel des Grottes,
83 demi-pension
Double bed in very small room in annexe but with balcony and washing line. Food good in dining room with view over river but grudging, slow service.
ALTERNATIVE: Gite Espinieres
Originally Vaylats
Wed 30-May **
Arcambal
19.5 12.09 317.6 197 Wet, muddy. exhausting. Up hills but no views. Photos ***
Le Relais de Pasturat
38 pdj included.
Small room with en suite. OK.  Excellent meal (12e). Good company. Kind and interesting  hosts. Originally Cahors
Thu 31-May ***
CAHORS
21 13.02 338.6 210 Muddy, exhausting. Photos *
Hotel La Chartreuse
72+pdj 7 each
Room OK and good bathroom BUT scaffolding and workmen right outside the window so it was noisy and smelly, no view and no privacy but worse was their refusal to give us any discount for the inconvenience! Originally REST DAY in Cahors but because we went down the Cele route we were one day behind.
  Fri01-Jun REST DAY           Photos Nice Galettes (savoury pancakes) in friendly Creperie just off main street in Rue Wilson. Originally Lascabanes
Sat 02-Jun **
Hospitalet
14 8.68 352.6 219 Steep at first and some nasty roads but then easy. Photos **
Chez Madame Daude
76 demi-pension
Double bed + en suite shower but loo shared- no lock.  Meal OK.  Interesting proprietoress. Self-service breakfast.
ALTERNATIVE: Las Cabanas
Originally Montlauzun
Sun 03-Jun ***
Montcuq
18.7 11.594 371.3 230 Lovely walk - flat with good views. Photos ***
Gite Le Souleillou
2 bed room - plenty of shared bathrooms.  Excellent meal.  Genial, kind hosts. Originally Durfort-
Lacapelette
6 Mon 04-Jun ***
Lauzerte
14.1 8.742 385.4 239 Hillier than yesterday. Nasty dogs and nasty notices on approach. Photos ***
Gite Les Figuieres
33 pdj included
2 bed room + en suite.  Genial, kind hosts. We cooked our own food but were invited to join everyone else at the table for coffee and cake. Excellent value. Originally Moissac but now we are now two days behind.
  Tue 05-Jun *
Durfort-
Lacapelette
10.8 6.696 396.2 246 Short muddy walk. Dull weather. Don't miss pigeonnier on right. Photos **
Hotel Aube Nouvelle
94 demi-pension
4 bed room + en suite.  Large, rich evening meal. Breakfast nothing special. Originally REST DAY in Moissac
Wed 06-Jun ***
MOISSAC
16 9.92 412.2 256 Very wet and muddy - footpaths 18 inches deep in water, mudslides etc. Photos *
Hotel Luxembourg

+ pdj 8 each
This hotel wins the award for the WORST VALUE BREAKFAST OF THE TRIP.  Eight euros for a quarter baguette, 1 pat butter, 2 plastic sachets of jam and 1 very small cup of stewed coffee with hardly any milk, served grumpily. Notably, this was the only place where they didn't ask us if we would like some more of anything. Originally S. Antoine - but 27 km would have been a bit too far for us - even though the first part of the route is flat.
Thu 07-Jun REST DAY           Photos Good 12:50 lunch in restaurant next to tourist office.  Lovely, expensive ice-creams opposite tympanum.
Friendly lady in Kiosque de L'Uvarium down by river.
Originally Lectoure
Fri 08-Jun ***
Auvillar
via Canalside path
21.2 13.144 433.4 269 Mostly pleasant by canal (some mud) but very hot & shadeless at end. Photos ***
Gite Communal
10 each
2-bed room. Wonderfully equipped spanking new gite.  Garden and views. Delicious 'Argentiere' pancake at 4 p.m. in Le Baladin nearby.
ALTERNATIVE: CH Sarraut, Auvillar
Originally Marsolan
Sat 09-Jun **
Castet Arrouy
David, the French-Canadian proprietor of La Plancha next to the Gite has done camino four times and is very interesting.
21.8 13.516 455.2 282 Welcome bar at Saint-Antoine on way. Photos *
Gite Communal
27 pdj included
Repas at La Plancha 13:50
Gite OK but very cramped - six bunks in each of three very small rooms.  Kitchens and washing facilities downstairs OK.  Self-service pdj. 
ALTERNATIVES: Lou Casâu, Miradoux
ALTERNATIVE: Maison Valentin, Castet-Arrouy
Originally Condom
Sun 10-Jun **
Lectoure
10.7 6.634 465.9 289 Short, pleasant walk, mostly shady on a hot day. Photos ***
Hotel de Bastard
70+pdj 10 each
Lovely room with view over swimming pool.
Nice lunch at Restaurante Le Bellevue on main street.
Originally Montréal-du-Gers - we are three days behind now.
7 Mon 11-Jun ***
La Romieu
18.7 11.594 484.6 300 Sunny. Photos **
Gite Communal
16
OK - although possibly bed bugs when we were there.  Appears to have closed now. Originally Eauze
Tue 12-Jun **
Condom
16 9.92 500.6 310 Hot. Photos ***
Le Logis des Cordeliers
52+pdj 8 each
Room OK - friendly reception.  Swimming pool with towels provided. Nice brekkie at 7 a.m.
ALTRNATIVE: Gite de Gabarre, Condom
Originally Nogaro
Wed 13-Jun ***
Montréal-du-Gers
18.3 11.346 518.9 322 Hot, muggy and exhausting. Don't miss detour to  Larresingle. Photos ***
La Maison des Agapanthes
42 pdj included
2-bed room en suite.  Bathroom a bit dodgy - noisy loo and blocked shower.  Very kind hostess.
Nice late lunch in bar in town.
Originally Lanne-Soubiran but we actually cut this step out when we did do it.
Thu 14-Jun **
Eauze
17 10.54 535.9 332 Quite a bit of straight flat shady walking along old railway line Photos *
Gite Communal
18
5-bed dortoir.  Showers and loos downstairs.  Kitchen. Originally Aire-sur-l Adour
Fri 15-Jun *
Nogaro
20 12.4 555.9 346 Very hot but clouds, breeze and trees helped. Photos *
Hotel Le Commerce
70 + repas 12 each
Large 2-bed room next to a noisy road.  Reception was not good and we were refused early breakfast although a male pilgrim was given a tray.  Expensive, poor value. Originally Miramont-Sensacq
Sat 16-Jun *
Barcelonne du Gers
Slight detour as Aire-sur-L'Adour was having Fiestas.
21.5 13.33 577.4 358   Photos *
Chez Alain
+32 pdj 3 each
2-bed room in annexe with washbasin & shower.  Loo down two flights of stairs.  We think Alain might have been quite a laugh but we had trouble understanding his accent. 
Self-service breakfast - at 3E the cheapest of trip!
Originally Arzacq-Arraziguet
Sun 17 Jun **
Miramont-Sensacq**
21.5 13.3 598.9 371   Photos ***
CH Maison du Bos
80 demi-pension
Double bedroom en suite.  Lovely place.  Excellent meal.  Interesting and genial hosts who had done an impressive 'grand designs' job on a ruined farmhouse.
ALTERNATIVE: Centre d'Accueil Communal, Pimbo
We went without the planned REST DAY in Arzacq (just as well as we didn't like it).
8 Mon 18-Jun *
Arzacq-Arraziguet
Recommended restaurant (Cafe des Sports) was closed Mondays.  A hungry evening.
15.8 9.8 614.7 381 Shortish walk but very hot after a late start.  Lots of ups and downs. Photos *
Gite Communal
19
4-bed dortoir - top floor next to the main road and neighbouring bar - very noisy.  Rooms at the back though reported as very good. We didn't stop at the planned  Uzan but at Pomps.
Tue 19-Jun *
Pomps
19.5 12.1 634.2 393 Lovely view of lake leaving Arzacq. Photos **
La Posada
demi-pension
62
+ 4 drinks
2-bed room en suite.  Good meal.  Self-service breakfast.
ALTERNATIVE: Gite Communal, Sauvelade
Originally Maslacq - only 1 day behind now.
Wed 20-Jun *
Maslacq
19.3 12:00 653.5 405 Nice walk as far as  Argagnon. Then roads & traffic. Photos Chez Cazetien
demi-pension
62
**
2-bed room - 1 shared bathroom downstairs.  Good meal.  Friendly English proprietoress.  Self-service breakfast.
Originally Navarrenx
Thu 21-Jun ***
Navarrenx
Don't miss the loo in the Taverne de Saint. Jacques!
22.2 13.8 675.7 419 Lovely and with stunning views but with some hot bits, e.g. very long hill to Station Pomp. Photos *
Hotel du Commerce
50+pdj 7.50 each
Served on tray night before in room - good.
Room (33) with very grotty bathroom in annexe - other guests got up at 4 a.m., talked loudly and banged doors. Mixed reception.  Free (but slow) internet access. Originally Aroue
Fri 22-Jun *
Aroue
18.3 11.3 694 430 Nasty bit of road walking right at end. Photos Gite Communal
16
*
4-bed dortoir - provisions sold at 6 p.m so you can make evening meal. OK although possibly bed bugs when we were there. 
ALTERNATIVE: ;Ferme Bohoteguia, Arroue(meal)
Originally Ostabat
Sat 23-Jun **
Ostabat
ON WAY: Delicious snack lunch and kind service at Auberge Duhalde at Uhart- Mixe
22.5 14:0 716.5 444 We took the  short-cut via Uhart-Mixe but tracked back up the hill to Chapelle de Soyarza for views. Well worth it! Photos *
Ospitalia
18
4-bed dortoir - house OK with balcony for drying clothes BUT too many flies.
ALTERNATIVE: Auberge Duhalde at Uhart- Mixe;
ALTERNATIVE: Ferme Gaineko Etxea, Ostabat.
Originally Saint-Jean-le-Vieux
  Sun 24-Jun ***
SAINT JEAN-PIED-DE-PORT
22.4 13.9 738.9 458 Long, tiring. Fairly flat but muggy weather. Photos ***
Hotel Ramuntcho
65+pdj 8:50 each
Room (11) with lovely view.  Early breakfast tray in room. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port - caught up with our shedule here.
9 Mon 25-Jun REST DAY           Photos We needed a rest day in this lovely town.  Ate in a couple of places but none worth recommending. Originally Honto or Orisson - one day behind again.
Tue 26-Jun **
Orisson
8 5.0 746.9 463 Short walk - a bit steep at the end. Photos ***
Refuge Orisson
60 demi-pension
6 bunk dortoir.  OK but hot water a bit scarce in showers.  Very good meal.  Pleasant atmosphere.  Good views. Originally - Roncesvalles
Wed 27-Jun ***
Roncesvalles
17.7 11.0 764.6 474. Walking Ok except for thick mist at top Photos ***
"Itzandegia" refuge
10 for two!
How cheap is that?  Viva Espana!
100+ bunk dortoir.  Very peaceful and atmospheric.  BUT only one shower for ALL the women staying there.  We ate the pilgrim meal (trout 7e) in the Casa Sabina. Good. Originally - Zubiri
Thu 28-Jun *
Zubiri
21.7 13.3 778.1 482 Pleasant walk until Zubiri. Photos **
Albergue Zaldiko
20
Very cramped rooms and minimal kitchen but all very clean with super showers and free internet access. Originally - Pamplona
Fri 29-Jun ***
PAMPLONA
END OF PILGRIMAGE THIS YEAR
22.5 14.0 792.0 491 Mostly pleasant - some roads. Photos **
Hostal Arriazu
60+pdj 5 each
OK - comfortable room.  Breakfast very minimal and not before 9 am at the weekend. Originally Stay in Pamplona but sadly we moved on to catch up.
Sat 30-Jun ***
SANTANDER
via bus and FEVE train
        Bus to Bilbao then FEVE train to Santander Photos ***
Hotel Central
reasonable for Santander
Room on 6th floor (602) with lovely view over Santander Bay. Accommodation in high season Santander was pricy and difficult to find so we were grateful for this.  Hotel food was very good value. Originally To Bilbao - bus/train but we decided to go on to Santander as we have been to Bilbao before.
Sun 01-Jul **
OVIEDO
via FEVE train
        FEVE train to Oviedo Photos **
Hotel Favila
Reasonable
3-bed room en suite.  OK although view onto internal shaft. Train to Oviedo 13:00 - 20:54
10 Mon 02-Jul *
FERROL
via FEVE train
          Photos ***
Parador de Ferrol
Wonderful room.  Cafe bar OK. Train to Ferrol 7:47- 14:09 or 14:47-21:09
Tue 03-Jul Ferrol           Photos     Ferrol - on schedule!
Wed 04-Jul *
Cedeira
          Photos **
Hotel Herbeira
80+tax
+Breakfast
Room OK, interesting architecture.  Friendly owners.  Breakfast very expensive:12 each Originally planned to walk the Camino Ingles - day 1
Thu 05-Jul Cedeira           Photos     walk 2
Fri 06-Jul *
Muxia
          Photos **
Hostal La Cruz
Room OK. Food a bit pricy.
ALTERNATIVE: Hotel Rustico Lorena, Muxia
Walk 3
Sat 07-Jul Muxia           Photos   Excellent 'raciones' at O Coral on the front. Walk 4
Sun 08-Jul *
Lugo
          Photos **
Hotel Mendez- Nunez
60:
OK - well located.
Good value food in the bars in the centre.  English books on sale in the stalls on the main square.
Walk 5
11 Mon 09-Jul Lugo           Photos     Walk 6
Tue 10-Jul ***
Santiago
          Photos ***
Hostal de Los Reis Catholicos
We thought it was wonderful.  Don't miss the chapel with the statue of St. James. Santiago
Wed 11-Jul Santiago           Photos *
Hotel Husa Universal
Room OK.  Left early before breakfast. Santiago
Thu 12-Jul Santiago

The next few days we took an organised walk to Finisterre.  We paid 'La Pelerine' but they subcontracted to 'Balaguere'.  So we had luggage carried and accommodation booked for us.  I suspect they pay the hotels a very low rate and so mostly you get to stay in places that need the custom.  The rooms (apart from the last) were OK but the locations and meals were not good - EXCEPT FOR THE HOTEL RURAL AT CACIN where the meal and hospitality were wonderful.  Walk was mostly pleasant but we found Galicia to be very built up and industrial after France or even, indeed, our local North of England landscapes.

walk 1
Fri 13-Jul *
Negreira
21.3 13.2     Rain and mist. A bit suburban   *
Hotel Tamara
Unattractive building in unattractive town. Room OK but noisy concrete mixer in forecourt. Meal was NOT good - 7 euro pilgrim fare or worse.  Early breakfast OK. walk 2
Sat 14-Jul *
Chacin
Taxi from Maronas
22.0 13.6 43.3 27 Lots of road walking in thick mist and rain.   ***
Hotel Rural Santa Eulalia
Nice place with friendly hosts. Excellent dinner with good wine home-made liqueurs, coffee  - no extra charge. walk 3
Sun 15-Jul * Cee
Guidebooks suggest Corcubion is nicer but we didn't agree.
c.20.0 from Oliveroa 12.4 63.3 39 Pleasant walk after  carbide factory onwards. Nice views at last.   *
Hotel Insua
Room OK.  Meal not particularly nice.  Lively bar. walk 4
12 Mon 16-Jul Cee*               Good 'raciones' in Cafe Bar Tio Moncho in Corcubion. walk 5
Tue 17-Jul **
Finisterre
17.0  10.5 80.3 50 Pleasant walk - mostly along beaches.   *
Hotel Ancora
Cramped room.  Meal not particularly  nice. Charged us extra for coffee after the meal. Finisterre
Wed 18-Jul Finisterre               Good lunch at Meson O'Fragon above the port. Finisterre
Thu 19-Jul **
La Coruna
            *
Hotel Zenit Coruna
Cramped, tiny room.  Ugly hotel - only one street from beach but another big ugly building blocked view.  Poor value. La Coruna
Fri 20-Jul La Coruna
Good meals at 'Comer & Picar'.
              Good chocolate con churros in the chocolateria in the  Maria Pitti Square. La Coruna
Sat 21-Jul Fly home                 Fly home

PRICES: 
Always for two people except where stated.  Prices are difficult to compare because they are usually (but not always) based on a price for the room rather than per person.  However, sometimes breakfast is included and sometimes the evening meal as well.  In France you often have to pay a little extra in tax - usually around one euro.  In Spain it's a more expensive seven per cent.
pdj = petit dejeuner (breakfast).  Usually quoted separately from the room price.
demi-pension = room plus pdj and evening meal.  Usually quoted per person but here I give the price we paid for two of us. Demi-pension is usually very good value - especially in Gites.
Self-service breakfast is great because it means you can get away early.  This is especially important in hot weather and always worth asking about.
On the whole hotels were not good value - we got much better food at very reasonable prices in the private pilgrim accommodation.

HOTELS: Hotels usually took one look at us all covered in mud and gave us the worst room in the place.  Hotels which were noticeably friendly despite our grotty appearance were La Terrasse at Saugues (and the cheeseboard is definitely worth trying apparently) and the Le Logis des Cordeliers, at Condom.  In fact the people at Condom were even nice about our having walked off with the key to the room (we posted it back from the next town and they sent us a 'Thank you' postcard).  Also pleasant were the Hotel Ramuntcho in SJPP where we had the nicest room in the place and, later on our way to Finisterre, the Hotel Rural Santa Eulalia.   On any future trip I would avoid hotels and try to stay in the private gites or bed and breakfasts.  Hotels are only worth paying for if you are really tired and just want to go to bed without having to talk to anyone!

COMMUNAL GITES:  These varied enormously from the gloriously equipped and located gite in Auvillar (with FREE use of the washing machine!) to those with grotty, cramped dormitories and sparse washing facilities.  However, in France and if you can afford it, it's always worth asking if they have any private rooms.  These can be very good value.  Most communal gites don't seem to provide food but some do and it can be good.  Apparently the meal at the Gite in Arzacq was good - we didn't try it and didn't much enjoy our stay there - but others did.

ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION:
A note of other accommodation that was recommended to us by other pilgrims or that looked nice when we passed: Gite Martins-Itier, Saugues; L'Oustal de Parent; Accueil Monastique, Conques; La Mariotte, Montredon; Le Pentadou, Felzins; Las Cabanas; CH Sarraut, Auvillar; Lou Casâu, Miradoux; Maison Valentin, Castet-Arrouy ; Gite de Gabarre, Condom; Centre d'Accueil Communal, Pimbo; Gite Communal, Sauvelade; Ferme Bohoteguia, Arroue(meal);  Auberge Duhalde at Uhart- Mixe; Ferme Gaineko Etxea, Ostabat. Hotel Rustico Lorena, Muxia


Original Notes

Planned with the help of the Camino Planner.  This version  was planned with the elevation profile in mind and also because I have already visited and liked Figeac, Cajarc, Conques and Cahors and Limogne. Books, etc. say five weeks from Le Puy to Roncevalles - we are taking eight but, if this turns out to be too fast, we'll just take longer and get transport for the final stage.  Similarly we may stay longer in nice places.  The first couple of weeks are very steep and hilly and the next two are not a lot better but from week five to St. Jean Pied a Port it is not too bad.  The final step from St. Jean Pied a Port to Roncevalles, however, is horrendous - although there is an alternative slightly gentler route.  See the elevations profile image available from the Camino Planner pages.

UPDATE: The itinerary below is already out of date 'cos Suz has a knee problem so we will need to go a lot slower than my planned c. 10 miles a day.  Now we're reckoning on only 5 miles for the first couple of days.  We'll still meet Jackie in St. Come d'Olt though as planned - we'll take a taxi, bus or whatever and get there on time.