Orleans to Baule

Leaving Orleans – why is she looking at me like that?

Well we now have one day of walking under our belts, along with a delicious home cooked dinner offered by our Airbnb host in Baule tonight. Most of the vegetables came straight from their garden and the beef tomatoes were something else.

Today’s walk from Orleans to the village of Baule, a few miles east of Beaugency, was a rather lengthy 19 or 20 miles, mostly on the south side of the river. This is partly because of having to cross tributaries such as the Loiret, which flow into the Loire at quite an acute angle, but also because GR655, which the Camino follows along the Loire, takes a long detour up to the village of Clery-Saint-Andre, for no apparent reason. This turned out to be no bad thing as we found what seemed to be the only open Boulangerie in this part of France in the village, just when we were getting desperate about lunch. The basilica also had some beautiful, modern stained glass.

Stained glass, Basilica of Notre Dame

I was reluctant to deviate from the path at this stage, after an earlier ‘short cut’ landed us on the E9 motorway verge… Otherwise the path was well marked and generally easy to follow – mostly the red and white mark of the Grande Route but with just enough Camino clam shells thrown in for reassurance. 

Patches of woodland shade were very welcome by late afternoon though we were puzzled by the highly regulated plantations of birch trees with lots of parasitic mistletoe. The sprinkler irrigating a maize field which we had to run past to try and avoid a soaking was a little less welcome.

We saw no other walkers all day, despite this being part of the ‘Chemin Paris’ leg of the Camino, maybe because of the time of year? Anyone serious about walking all the way to Santiago from here (maybe a 10 week walk) would have set off much earlier in the season. There are plenty of cyclists making use of the quiet roads though, some heavily laden with camping kit like when I cycled from Tours to Angers as an 18 year old, others clearly touring in more comfort. I still like the idea of carrying all our stuff from place to place but am very much enjoying the home comforts of our Airbnb this evening – our own room and bathroom as well as the home cooking; all particularly welcome after a longer than expected pull up the hill from our stop for cold drinks at Meung-sur-Loire!
Not much time to stop and look at flowers today but suffice it to say that a late – summer limestone flora of small scabious, field bindweed, vetches, St John’s wort. chicory and wild carrot is supporting almost as much butterfly diversity as the tropical butterfly house we visited at the Parc Floral in Orleans yesterday!


  1. Lovely descriptions and photos, Heather! Really inspires me to do a part of the Camino at some point. We have also seen lots of wild carrot here in Mallorca. Enjoy the rest of your walk 🙂

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