Found a hotel on line to stay in Le Puy and the first challenge was to find as it’s not what you could call obvious. It’s an old house converted to rooms and the owner has a long story how the staircase is from 1670 when the house burnt down and not rebuilt until 1720. It’s the pinkish one on the left.
The first day of the walk according to Miam Miam Dodo maps is a medium challenge so didn’t go far just to Montbonnet only about 10 km. More on Montbonnet soon where it’s claim to fame is being the centre of the lentil growing area.
The Via Podiensis or the Le Puy Route is one of the four routes through France on the pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James the Great in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwest Spain. It leaves from Puy-en-Velay and crosses the countryside in stages to the basque village of Ostabat. Near there it merges with two of the other routes, the via Turonensis and the via Lemovicensis which merge a little earlier.
The three then become the Navarre Route, passing via the French town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and crossing the Pyrenees and the Spanish border by one path or another to Roncesvalles in the Spanish province of Basse-Navarre.
The tradition is the day after you finish you attend mass at the catherderal for the blessing of the pilgrims. They call out the nationalities of the pilgrims who finished the day before and if you are real fortunate they do the swinging of the incense burner.
i thinks it’s one of the few Catherdrals in the world where it it is filled every day of the year and you can’t find a seat for the 12:00 mass after 11;30.
I tried to upload the video but the gods are not aligned so stills will have to do today