Day 5: Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole to Aumont-Aubrac (14 kilometres, 8.8 miles)
The last day of walking along this section of the Chemin de Saint-Jacques is an easy stroll of 14 kilometres (8.8 miles) and will have you arriving in Aumont-Aubrac in time for lunch.
There’s plenty of time to explore Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole before you leave if you didn’t do so yesterday afternoon or to take a closer look at the Romanesque arches which mark the origins of the twelfth century church.
From Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole, the Chemin de Saint-Jacques climbs steadily for half an hour or so, passing farms and tiny hamlets along quiet country lanes until it reaches the shade of the forest.
I spotted this shelter deep in the forest and assumed it had been used by shepherds or others looking for a little protection from the rain or the hot sun. Later that day, a French walker told me it would have been used by hunters who would crouch behind the cover and shoot anything they saw moving outside. Mmm… Hopefully, that was just poor translating on my part. (Another walker, a few days later, agreed it would have been used by shepherds.)
Five kilometres (3.1 miles) before Aumont-Aubrac, the GR 65 reaches the hamlet of Bigose. The gîte here serves cold drinks all day and offers a most appreciated opportunity to relax and reminisce over the last four days of walking.
Pinned to a tree at the entrance to Aumont-Aubrac, the Pilgrims’ Prayer asks God to provide shelter and protection for pilgrims—from danger, from the sun, the rain and the cold, from injury, and asks that having reached their goal, they might return home safe and sound.
Aumont-Aubrac marks the end of this stage of the walk. It’s a popular overnight stop on the pilgrims’ trail with many hotels, chambre-d’hôtes and gîtes, a pharmacy, ATMs and a supply store which sells poles, rain jackets and anything else you may have left at home.
If you are breaking your walk along the Chemin de Saint-Jacques du-Puy over several visits to France, daily train or bus links into Aumont-Aubrac make it a perfect place to finish or restart your journey.
Ninety kilometres (56 miles) of walking deserve a reward and here in Aumont-Aubrac you’ll find a Michelin-starred restaurant where you can celebrate your efforts. Cyril Attrazic is attached to Hôtel Chez Camillou (where I have stayed on both my visits to Aumont-Aubrac). You can check the menu and make a reservation on their website. (Prices range from €48 to €118. In 2012, our 5-course dinner, including wine was €65 and worth every penny.)
In Aumont-Aubrac, you’ll find accommodation at –
Enjoy a walk from Le Puy-en-Velay to Aumont-Aubrac along the Chemin de Saint-Jacques du-Puy from the comfort of your armchair 🙂
Day 5: Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole to Aumont-Aubrac
Where to next on the Chemin de Saint-Jacques du-Puy?