Day 1: Le-Puy-En-Velay to Montbonnet

Day 1: Le-Puy-En-Velay to Montbonnet

September 1: The first day of this Camino was idyllic in every way – the people we met from USA, Germany, and France, the weather, the scenery, tonight’s decadent dessert …and it goes on from there. It started at 7 a.m. with the pilgrim mass in the cathedral. We’re not sure how Dave and I were selected, but we were given the special honour of presenting the priest with the wafers and wine for communion. After mass everyone received a little silver medallion with a scallop shell – the symbol of St. Jacque. Then to everyone’s amazement (imagine a collective intake of breath!) the grating on the floor opened revealing the long stairway that was the start of the Camino.

The landscape between Le Puy-En-Velay and Montbonnet, a distance of 15 kilometres, was pastoral and peaceful. The volcanic origin of this area has produced very fertile soil so agriculture is important. Green and gold rolling hills were dotted with grazing cows and sheep, bales of hay (imagine the sweet smell), and the occasional field of corn. Low dry stone walls mark the boundaries between field plots and the winding paths we followed. Farm houses are the centre of rural farming life and are grouped together in pretty little hamlets. 

The elevation gain we had been warned about was hardly noticeable because we were so absorbed in admiring the scenery. What a surprise it was to learn we had climbed almost 500 metres!  Tomorrow we will walk another 15 kilometres and it’s all downhill. Hopefully it will be as easy as it was today. 🤔

A friendly lady made us foot-long sandwiches and let us sit in her garden to enjoy them. Boots off and a chance to wiggle the toes was great! 😃 👣

17 thoughts on “Day 1: Le-Puy-En-Velay to Montbonnet

  1. I am so glad that you had a good start to your Camino and I am really looking forward to both that delicious dessert and following in your footsteps in a week or so

  2. Hi Judy and Dave
    Thanks for the post. I’m really looking forward to your journey as I’m considering the Podiensis next year. I’m tossing up whether to hike the Le Puy route or Leave from Leon on the San Salvador to Oviedo, then across to Aviles and finish the Norte to Santiago and finally to Finesterre. Your posts might help me to decide. I would love to know some of the costing involved, such as Gite and food costs, as I always travel on a budget.
    Thanks again
    Ken

    1. We hiked the San Salvador followed by the del Norte from Salinas. It was wonderful and cost less than what we think the Via Podiensis will cost. The cost of food makes a difference but pilgrim meals in Spain are less expensive than the meals in France but maybe not as good. Time will tell!

  3. Such a good start Judy. A decadent dessert and a sandwich! It doesn’t get any better! 😎
    Love following you along. Take good care.
    M

  4. Hi Judy & Dave. So far it sounds exciting and the beginnings of another memorable
    adventure. The photos are a story in itself and especially enjoyed the closeup of you and Dave eating the ‘foot longs’! Such a different landscape and environment from the one back at home……enjoy to the max!

    Hugs,
    Maggie & Gary

  5. What a lovely first day! Your description of the idyllic countryside was so enjoyable to read. All the best to you and Dave.

    Sue

  6. Your detailed description is so inviting. What a fantastic beginning to your ‘Camino walk’ . May the adventure continue along the ‘way’.

  7. Loved seeing the staircase open. Heaven on earth, for sure! Ultreia, both of you and watch all those rich French desserts! Carolyn

    1. Someone said that decadent chocolate dessert was very easy to make. It was like a cross between fudge and mousse and tasted better than either of them. 😋

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