Chemin de Compostelle (Part Two)

And they’re off!
As I wrote in the previous post, we began our walk in Le-Puy-en-Velay, a lovely historic city about two hours southwest of Lyon. It’s one of the ancient starting points in France for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (Saint-Jacques de Compostelle in French) in northwestern Spain, 1,522 kilometers away (946 miles).

This route is often called the Via Podiensis, although its more utilitarian name is the GR 65, where “GR” stands for Grande Randonnée (great trek). All of the GR routes are marked with a white-and-red blaze, which you’ll see in the photos below. This section of the GR 65, between Le Puy and Conques, is considered by many French people to be the prettiest in all of France. Our plan was to walk half of it now, and half later. When we started out, I tried to say “Conques or bust!” to Claude. As often happens, it fell flat, but we finally figured out that “Conques ou rien!” would be the translation (Conques or nothing).

Continue reading “Chemin de Compostelle (Part Two)”

Chemin de Compostelle (Part One)

Too many photos! Too many stories! So I’ve divided our adventure into two blog posts. Part One is the background of our journey on the Chemin de Compostelle and the big kick-off in the historic and beautiful city of Le-Puy-en-Velay. Part Two covers our eight days of walking, through lovely, ever-changing country (with a lot of cows) … (and flies).

How did I get here?

As often happens, I was chatting with my friends Maryse and Claude about interesting places to visit in France. Somehow, we landed on the Chemin de Compostelle (Camino de Santiago, or The Way), and in particular, the portion that starts in Le-Puy-en-Velay and ends in Conques, a walk of about 220 kilometers. They agreed that this is widely considered to be the prettiest section of the Chemin in France.

Claude gave me a wistful look and said that he’d wanted to do this for 40 years. So I said, “Let’s do it!”

Continue reading “Chemin de Compostelle (Part One)”