Planning accommodation through France right now

AdrianoConnie

New Member
Hi all,

We are planning our pilgrimage. I know most people disagree with planning but we must stay within the 90 day period and we really want to do the whole VF.

In our planning we have been watching Efren Gonzales blogs from 2018. Something that has struck us is the lack of accommodation and places to eat or buy food along the way. Our Lightfoot guide books say the same thing. So we have started booking in advance.

In doing so we have found the start and end points we planned have had to change and our tent that we were starting to think about not taking, is becoming well used in our planning.

Others might think that we are overly thinking and planning but I am a planner. However I fully understanding things can change and thats cool too. I am just sharing my current planning experiences with anyone who might be like me/us as something to think about.

Kindest regards and thought, AdrianoConnie
 

vihrea

New Member
VF in 2021. Your view confirms mine. I accepted that I will need to carry a tent though perhaps not a sleeping bag. I am tempted to prototype a cart somewhat like the one that Efren used (made by Radical Designs?) this summer and see how I like it.

Have you considered how you will carry a tent and a dozen liters of water like he did?

My best to all,

Jack
 

kstonewalls

New Member
Hi AdrianoConnie
We are two Australians planning to do the whole VF in 2021 within the 90 European days. We have done a fair bit of long distance walking but not Caminos or other pilgrimage walks.
We are keen to touch base with you, as we too need to plan carefully to make sure we get into and out of Rome in time. So far we have planned 75 walking days and 13 rest days from Calais and have started to map out a possible route and potential accommodation (which we will probably have to book in advance) for each day . We are hoping to not take a tent, because of the extra weight involved as we want to travel as ultralight as possible.

At this stage we are intending to leave in mid July as we want to get over the SB pass in late August / Early September and avoid the rice fields around Santhia in high Summer and then complete the walk going down through Italy to Rome in Mid October.

We are keen to work out the best possible routes that will avoid a lot of unpleasant road walking, but not add unduly to the daily total, as we will have to stick to our schedule more or less. We have compared the Cicerone guide with the Lightfoot guide and have now ordered the latest edition of the Lightfoot Guide. What are you using as your main planning tool?

We would love to hear more about your suggested itinerary and other planning tips and ideas from you both and your comments about our plans too!
Kind regards
K
 

Aileen

New Member
Hi, I to would like to do the whole walk in one go and would be keen to touch base. Some time ago I down loaded a planning sheet from www.kymwilson.com.au Kym walked the whole track in 85 days. On her spreadsheet she lists day to day details km each day, her accommodation and phone numbers. I have attached the information so hope it comes through.
 

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Roving rufus

New Member
I am not confined by the 90 day rule and I am walking the VF in sections. I have taken my tent because it reduced costs and at times gave me different options for split up days. Yet most people walk the VF without a tent. Efren when he carried 10 litres of water was probably over kill as I did that section from Chalons en Champagne along the Roman Road (the alternate route) and while there are no shops or bars - nearly every village had somewhere to fill up water bottles - but there is also a chain of pilgrim hospitality along here that proved dinner, bed and breakfast. Water is often available in graveyards in France - and if you really get stuck ask someone!
I am also reluctant to book everything in advance because if something goes wrong - bad weather (a day of thunderstorms did happen to me on the VF in France) or a minor injury that slows you down. In France I normally only booked a few days in advance and mostly there was no problem - except after Reims as it was vendage and everywhere was bunged with workers. Most tourist information offices have also got more used to pilgrims and are generally helpful finding commercial type accomodation but are not so aware of specific pilgrim accomodation - though some some pilgrim accomodation such as Eden Gite in Therouanne are very helpful at helping to plan accomodation for the next few nights . Also Kim's list of accomodation is getting old and some no longer exists or prices have increased - I met an Australian girl walking using Kim's list and who was spending vast amounts more money than I was as I had also gotten other accomodation lists that helped me find much cheaper options. I found very useful the accomodation map and list on the Pilgrims to Rome website that was recently updated https://pilgrimstorome.org.uk/. Meanwhile the official website does provide lists of accomodation and also maps in sections - https://www.viefrancigene.org/en/ but gives no real clue as to style or price of the listed accomodation. The reality is that no single list is ever complete and it is worth downloading them all!
As for food - there are very few sections that you do not have shops (the Roman road from Chalons en Champagne is the major exception) - but you may only pass them once in the day- maybe in the town or village you stop at night. That means carrying food for lunch and snacks. Most villages in the region you will be walking through no longer have bars or shops but the larger villages and towns will generally have something with a bar, bakery or shop - though be warned that most have interesting opening hours and are closed at least one day a week (often bakeries are shut on Mondays for instance, and shops on Sundays). I never went hungry but I always had food in my rucksack.
 

AdrianoConnie

New Member
VF in 2021. Your view confirms mine. I accepted that I will need to carry a tent though perhaps not a sleeping bag. I am tempted to prototype a cart somewhat like the one that Efren used (made by Radical Designs?) this summer and see how I like it.

Have you considered how you will carry a tent and a dozen liters of water like he did?

My best to all,

Jack
Hi Jack,

We will both carry 3L each. We have great reusable containers that keep water cool. Never failed us walking in the Portuguese summer for 7 weeks so we are sticking to a proven test.

We only ever take a sleeping bag liner but in a tent it always warms up. Our tent weighs 2.3kg so we are training with weight now.

We have done a few long distance walks now so we are working ourselves out based on our personal experiences.

Kind regards,
Adriano and Connie
 
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