the first post

This post was a bookmark – a test of the application, so with only a few days until “Day Zero” I figured it was time to post an update – in the form of resources and shout-outs to the sites and blogs that have got us this far.

Via Francigena Organisations

Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome – pilgrimstorome.org
A great resource for planning, general information, and the all-too-important accommodation lists. As they are a charity reliant on volunteers, a membership is a great way to support their work.

Association Internationale Via Francigena (AIVF) – francigena-international.org
Another charitable organisation instrumental in reviving the traditional route of the VF, particularly the French & Swiss sections. Again, membership is a great way to support their activities. Accommodation lists and apps also part of the resources they provide.

European Association of the Vie Francigene (EAVF) – viefrancigene.org
The alphabet soup of abbreviations takes a while to get used to, particularly as this organisation lists itself as the “official” site and their app as the “official” app. Loads of great info for the Italian half of the VF.

Blogs

In planning our saunter, I read these two blogs end-to-end.
kymwilson.com.au/my-via-francigena-journal
Kym kindly included accommodations and daily leg information, which was really helpful for planning our trip
timgreig.co.uk
Tim’s blog is a both a great resource and a great read. Any armchair peregrinos could do worse than read all of Tim’s journeys to date – they are entertaining and informative. Personally, I am looking forward to his future blog of the Shikoku (88 Temple) Pilgrimage in Japan.

Other

Gear: we became familiar with Decathlon by necessity during our first walk – the Camino Frances – and we made a bee-line to their store in downtown Porto both before and after our Camino Portuguese. They are all over Europe, and have great, affordable gear. Happily, they are now expanding into Canada, but have yet to reach the West Coast and currently do not do online delivery 😦

Navigation: the official French mapping service, IGN, have a great app – iPphiGeNie – which I have loaded up with gpx tracks, markers etc. It’s a tad challenging to use given my rudimentary French, but the quality and information in the maps is excellent.

Phone Plan: We plan to actually get this when we arrive in France, so a final update will be required once we have handed over the stash of Euros, but based on online research, it looks like bouyguestelecom.fr have the plan for us – 20gb of data, plus credits for calls & texts for 40 Euro, with a 60 day expiry from the day of first use.

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