Just logged in as a new member and will try make it short. Did the St. Jean - Santiago path last May-June and want more of the same this year. Was guided by a very useful book "camino de Santiago" by John Brierly and was looking for a guide book on the Arles route for my upcoming trip planned for mid April 07. No luck so far, but I found this web site and also the " via Tolosana" web site on one of the links. unfortunately for me the latter only in French, but I understand a petit peu so it is still useful with good maps and pictures.
Have decided to walk the Arles route this year to see more of southern France and enjoy my walk for twice the time as last year. Your site looks very promising and I will be back. Met so many wonderful people from all over the world last year and expect to do so again through physical pain and friendly smiles. As stated elsewhere in this forum. The best is to have no time limit. The road decides what will happen and... listen to it. Started out with long walks last year racing out early in the morning. Slowed down after awhile and enjoyed walking the last days into Santiago also using evenings, resting during the warm afternoon. This is not a race even if you are capable. That is one experience I will bring along this time. Met a lot of French speaking people and a good dinner at night seemed to improve my French. Could go on, but will stop for now. I have experiences to share and will come back with questions on the Arles route. Is there a good light guide book with maps ? Are YOU thinking of doing this ? Just do it or it might not be possible one day.
I was pretty much interested by your message. It seems you learned "something" during your camino and I would like to know more about that. Looking forward to your coming back with some highlights on your personal experience.
As far as I know, there is only one guide for hikers on the Arles route (a second one is rather dedicated to cyclists). This guide is 200 pages long and is written in French. The name is 'Le chemin d'Arles vers St-Jacques de Compostelle' by L. Laborde-Balen and J.P. Siréjol, published by Rando Editions / ACIR Compostelle in 09/2005. It describes the route by stage between Arles and Puente-la-Reina, provides information on kms, time, accomodation, shopping, culture, religion and traditions, but no maps. Instead there are sketch-plans by stage. You can make it without any problem together with 1:100,000 maps if you really want to know where you are. I used it when I walked along the route and it proved useful.
I'm sure that you can find it on Internet (official price 19.50 Euros).
Thank you for the book hint. Will look into it. There are some maps on the "Via Tolosana" web site that I can use. One second question. Is the path well marked.... as in Spain? If it is, the map is not so important. As far as my previous experience goes I will have to write about that on subject "statements". The one thing I can say is that The Camino has changed me. I think I have become more patient and learned not to use so much time on things that are not important in life.
If you want to pick up additional information on the Net, here are some useful links:
the split into stages from Arles to Puente la Reinaby ACIR, an excerpt of the guide,
description + sketches of a few stages before the Pyrenées(Maubourguet to Somport pass) by 'au coeur du chemin'.
description + sketches + practical info relating to the camino aragones(Somport pass to Puente la Reina) by Mundicamino.
As far as marks are concerned, you don't have to worry, you'll find the red and white marks (click here for a sample) all along the path in lieu of the well-known flechas amarillas of the camino frances. My experience is that these marks were good enough to find my way so that, except in a few occasions, I just used my guide for overall planning and for an overview of the current day.
Hi Terje, if you can read German, I recommend 'Via Tolosana' Outdoor Conrad Stein Verlag
ISBN 3-89392-562-7 for the French part of the walk. I used the aquivalent guides for the Camino Frances and the walk from Le Puy and had the impression that these guides were better than others. They are small size. I will test the Via Tolosana guide, when I start end of March from Arles. Good luck for your walk. Joe
Hi Santiago Joe,
Have not been on these pages for some time, and I will look into your hint. I can understand German so I will be fine with that. Have a son getting married Apr 14 and after that ready to hit the road. Started a Spanish course last week. It will once again be a big melting pot of many languages, but that is only fun and a big part of The Camino. Good luck on your walk. I doubt I wil catch up. A lot more visitors on this page now. Getting close to takeoff !? Just do it !
try to get the new, extremely useful "Miam-miam-dodo" for the Arles path. This guide contains complete informations about the "infrastructure" for each village along the Arles path from Arles to the Col de Somport (where to sleep, where to eat, where to shop, etc.). May be that you can buy it in a book shop in Arles. Otherwise try here: www.amazon.fr . I just bought it through amazon. It is in French but you do not need knowledge in this language to understand it.