Monique is a pilgrim from Calgary who walked the Via Podiensis from le Puy en Velay to Saint Jean Pied de Port from mid September to mid October in 2017.
Two rest days were taken: From Figeac a day trip by train was made to Rocamadour. In Moissac, an extensive visit was made to the Abbaye Saint-Pierre, a Romanesque convent, and a walk along a tributary to the Canal du Midi was made to the unique “Pont-Canal” a canal bridge over the river Tharn.
Due to steep and frequent elevation changes, the first week from Le Puy is arduous. The camino follows the GR65 and is well signposted. No big cities are crossed and one is immersed in varied scenery in ancient agricultural lands that have a rich history. Accommodations are plenty but few are run by pilgrims’ associations. Gîtes must be reserved a day ahead as operators often host in their own home and wish to be prepared for their guests’ arrival. Some gîtes offer home cooked dinners and breakfast, guests have the option to reserve meals or not.
The “Miam Miam Do Do” lists many accommodations on the GR65, and has accurate walking maps. It informs travelers on languages spoken by hosts and their experience as pilgrims. It is advisable to purchase the most recent edition as it is updated annually: it is available in bookstores in Le Puy, Conque, Rocamadour or Moissac which is where many hikers embark on the GR65.