Maggie and Le Puy

Maggie was in France!¬† That could only mean one thing… we had to go and find a camino adventure together ūüôā¬†¬†She flew in from Spain last week and we collected her from Bordeaux airport.¬† After a few days showing her the sights in my corner of the Dordogne (and my corner of the Vezeley camino) we set off in search of the Le Puy route.

We drove to Conques, spent the night and meandered our way around this fabulous old village.¬† We found the GR65 and followed the markers for a wee while before heading off to Figeac.¬† Again we meandered around the town and picked up the GR markers… and spent an hour or two pilgrim spotting over a plat du jour.

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And then we walked…

So many times since I started this journey I’ve been told I should do more with my walking.¬† “You should write a book” is a common refrain (watch this space on that one!) “You should offer escorted camino trips” is another.¬† My usual response is to laugh and brush it off but I guess if something is said often enough then it plants a seed… the shadow of an idea… a whisper that sits with you and slowly takes form.

Over the last few months I’ve been thinking.¬† I live in a beautiful corner of South West France.¬† I’ve lived here for over a decade, I speak French,¬† I’ve raised a family here and gone from being a stranger on foreign shores to thinking that this is my home.¬† So I thought, why not use my love of France, my knowledge of this region and my passion for walking and merge them all together…¬† And Then We Walked was born.

logoMy plan is to find a beautiful French holiday home to rent for a week.¬† I’ll plan daily walks and visits to some of the many iconic sites in this region, maybe we’ll spend a few hours at the local market, maybe we’ll visit a boutique vineyard for a private wine tasting?¬† Or maybe we’ll visit one of the 1001 chateaux that adorn the Perigord?¬† And of course there will be food and wine and fresh croissants and french coffee… well… you get the idea!

For a week I’ll show you my France.¬† Beautiful. Surprising. Enchanting… and after all of this we’ll also walk!

Watch this space… I’m only going to offer a maximum of 6 places each trip.

There and Back Again

I’m going home. We’re safe and sound and without any incidents. (Well one or two but more on that later). We walked 500km (ish) from Burgos to Santiago and whilst I had a great time I suspect it will be a while before I walk the Frances again.

I never blogged. Truth be told I just didn’t feel inspired to blog. Or maybe truth be told my new smaller phone frustrated me with fat fingers missing the keys‚Ķ spending my time with endless edits. Continue reading

Blog… Wot Blog?

Ok so I have to admit I’ve been a bit remise on the blog front. I could make a list of excuses… But…well there are none really. I’ve just not felt that I had much to say ūüėÄ

The first few days from Burgos were a bit frantic… Lots and lots of pilgrims and albergues full to bursting with pilgrims sleeping on mattresses on the floor. The weather has changed for the better and with our mini bed race and the hot spring sun we both had a few blisters… and sun burn. Nothing terrible and we’ve been dealing with them without issue… But the first few days were not quite as expected. Continue reading

You know I said…

The communal meal last night was a bit of a damp squib. Not because the food was bad… But sadly no-one wanted to be very sociable.

There were a dozen pilgrims around the table but only three would chat. The French at either end just wouldn’t engage… So it was a muted affair. The German lady beside me was very nice… She is retired and has walked all over Europe. Opposite was a very smiley Croatian chap and a nice but shy German girl. So it was a pleasant meal but nothing exciting. Continue reading

A Different Perspective

Day 1 Burgos to Hornillos del Camino

Yesterday we arrived in Santo Domingo, dropped Jaqui at her albergue and we went in search of our parador… we parked the car… after getting stuck on the pedestrian entrance (don’t ask) and having decided to skip a wine tasting, Mr Sims partook of a little afternoon snooze.

After 40 winks and a cup of tea we went in search of the bus station and Jaqui… We found both. Continue reading

If You Insist

I love planning my next walk!¬† There is such joy in poring over maps and other planning websites (I regularly use https://www.gronze.com/ and http://www.mundicamino.com/los-caminos¬†and https://godesalco.com/plan) and I love reading other camino blogs and finding slideshows on youtube; it’s a wonderful part of the process.¬† It can though also be a little stressful as I get so tied up trying to decide which route.¬† Will I have time?¬† Can I get there and back?¬† What will the weather be like?¬† Will there be open albergues?¬† Questions, Questions, Questions!

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Bitter Sweet

It’s winter in the Dordogne and time to head south for a tiny bit of winter sun.¬† A few years ago Gerry decided that we should escape the cold and the grey and head to Portugal; we do love Portugal but this year decided that we would wander elsewhere¬† and try Estepona in the south of Spain.

We left home in the rain and drove down to the Spanish border under a very grey sky.¬† As we crossed the border at Irun we had sleet that stayed with us as we drove on towards Burgos; which didn’t make for a pleasant drive.¬† I sent the Gazelles a photo as we passed Belorado and my thoughts wandered back to the warm sunny days 10 months ago when me, Jaqui and Sarah had giggled our way across that path.¬† However, my navigation duties forced me back to the motorway, the sleet and today’s destination.

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