📷 More From the Le Puy Camino
You can see the familiar yellow shell marking for the Camino, as well as raw red & white marking seen throughout France. The "GR" stands for Grande Randonnée. Now my French isn't good (non-existent really) but I can tell you this roughly translates to "Big Hike." There are GR routes literally crisscrossing Europe. These routes then combine to make up even longer paths—enough to keep even the most ambitious walkers busy for a long, long time.
Click here for Wikipedia and your chance to go down that rabbit hole.
For this Camino walk I brought two hiking poles, compared to zero on the Camino Frances (with the exception of few days, it's largely flat and I did not miss them). I'm glad I brought them this time as the terrain is far rougher with significant, and rather constant, ups and downs.
However, I found using one pole was sufficient. The other one has stayed lashed to the side of my pack. Next time I do a walk like this I'll leave it at home and just bring this one. For full on backpacking or very steep mountainous terrain, two poles will still be my default.
On this particular day I accidentally took one of the alternate route on the GR. This was a bummer since it added about 3.5 hours to what would have been a pretty mellow day. Instead I walked until about 6:30pm, going off my map.
I ducked under barbed wire, walked across fields, dodged cows, elicited strange looks from farmers, & walked along a couple roads to finally regain the path. Thankfully I got the last bed in the gîte I was aiming for. A shower, dinner, and glass of wine felt especially nice.
The the extra walking wasn't especially appreciated, the view was quite nice.