Fly Houston to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Lyon, France. Arrive in Lyon afternoon of the following day. No sleep on the plane.
Train from Lyon Airport to Lyon’s Part Dieu Train Station. Train was the Rhonexpress. Purchased tickets online, ahead of time. Train stops right in front of train station. A lot of hotels near and around the train station, all of which I skipped; electing to head straight to Le Puy. Other than a chocolate bar, skip lunch.
Train from Lyon Part Dieu to St. Etienne.
With trains in St. Etienne to Firminy, France.
Because of track upgrades, switch to bus in Firminy to Le Puy.
Arrive in Le Puy around 8 pm. Head towards the Notre Dame Cathedral, searching for the St. Francois gite. Uphill. Damn, my pack is heavy. Takes a while to find the gite. Evidently, signs are considered superfluous. I was expecting signs directing you to the cathedral and various gites. Saw none. Doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. Just didn’t see any. For a tourist town, streets are surprisingly empty.
Finally, find the gite. It is full. Get directions to another gite – St Jacques. Directions in French so do a couple of loops before I find this one. It is a donativo and they have beds available. I am exhausted. I buy the blank pilgrim credential and get my first stamp. I skip dinner, take a shower and head to bed. Must be about a dozen people in the room. Seemingly, all of them snoring. Very little sleep.