Blogs from Cévennes National Park, Languedoc-Roussillon, France, Europe


September 4, 2009 - Rocamadore, France We are off to Sarlet today our base for The Dordogne, a place we have been collecting brochures for since 1999. The countryside was winding, filled with forests and cliffs and green valleys dotted with farms, chateaus and castles. The sky was very dark and if looked like the rain could start any minute. we rounded a tree-lined cliff and saw the most incredible medieval village jetting out of the side of the jagged mountain. The buildings had no back walls to worry about, just cliff.  As we were about to get out of the van and hike up to the village of Rocamadore when the skies opened up. Cool, I can finally use my new raincoat and umbrella (exciting for someone from Southern Cal.). There was a little ... read more
Pilgram stairs

(The names of the people and places are disguised in this post...) Some forty years ago I left the East Coast to visit my friends "Robert" and "Angela." I was on my way to France to become a novelist. Robert and Angela were hippies, working in the leather trade. We lived together for a while in their two room cabin near City College in San Francisco. We "dumpster dived" in the Safeway bins for day -old bread and other delicacies just past their expiration date, but nonetheless edible. Robert went on to become an executive, then a CEO at a well known clothing firm. Angela's unique form of genius was applied to interior design for very upscale homes. Now, they own an extraordinary place somewhere in southern France, where Kate and I were recently guests. The ... read more
Le Mas
Le Mas
Le Mas

Where the Waters Fall This past week has been full of hard work and dirt under my finger nails. It has been wonderful to get so much done in a matter of days. The first terrace is finally clear of all weeds and is currently being sowed with a number of new sees. It took me two days to clear the land and I turned the soil three times. At moments I was on my hands in knees in the dirt pulling out roots and weeds I had missed on my initial attempts. Now we are ready to go to the second terrace and fill it with tomatoes, potatoes, and onions. Paul in me finished our work in the chestnut orchard as well. This has been an ongoing task, checking the trees for disease, keeping dry ... read more
Wildlands 005
Wildlands 014
Wildlands 021

Food Fables and the Fortunate Farmer Cultivation is more than sinking your hands or spade into the dirt to make room for things yet sprung from their hard casings. When I go to the garden I am not just pulling weeds, lying irrigation lines, and planting seeds. This is not a matter of completing a “job” because that implies (as jobs often do) that it is an obligation to complete, almost a burden to do. On the contrary I am not completing a job I am tending the land, I am working the earth, I am communing so to speak. I have often heard that there is nothing more satisfying than working with plants and growing your own food. This, I have found in my month stay thus far, is completely true. You get into the ... read more

A Day on the Farm It has been a slow, uneventful past week for me here in Lasalle. That is not to say that things did not get done or that action was not been taken in regards to life and living. In fact I breathed very well every day that in itself is an action that functions directly in respect to life and living. Sometimes breathing is all you really need to do, it brings you back from your thoughts and day dreaming and makes you focus on the here and now. The present moment is often forgotten when we are living it because our minds will wander here or there. So yes, I have been breathing very well. Work on the farm has not stopped in the mean time either. I have been going ... read more

We've been living in the organic farm for about 2 weeks now. I'm sure everybody wants to know how two IT programmers cope with the day to day activities. Well, the good news is that we're doing fine and our hosts (Cherif, Djahida and the children) are very nice. Daily activities can be a bit random. Here is a list of things we did in no specific order: Picking up tomatoes (red, yellow and black) Chopping wood in the forest Helping with the usual house tasks Applying some oil to an old wooden furniture Jullietta went to help selling products at the market (she loved it) Pick up chesnuts (Jullietta must be the equivalent of a black belt by now) Picking up Tetragone (my vertebrae are still sore) Spead (organic) products to kill slugs and other ... read more
Big poo
Peeling chestnuts

I think I have spent most of my time inFrance kissing people. The hardest part of the whole kissing culture in France is that it changes with each region. 2 in Paris, 4 in Angers and 3 in Lasalle (south of France). I meet the fastest kisser in Angers, Francois' 89 year old grandfather who can exchange 4 kisses with someone (that's on alternating cheeks) in the same time it takes a Parisian to light a cigarette. ... read more
St Jean du Gard
No mail

IT’S TUESDAY ! I had to think really hard about that one. Without the routine of work it’s so easy to lose track of the day. It’s actually Tuesday the 14th October. Had to look on the computer taskbar for that one....come on!... the day was hard enough. Woo Hoo Way Hay! Alton Towers’ Nemesis has nothing on the last week or so. I don’t like this ride though. Sunday the 5th was up on a high. Martin competed in the Rando-Silex 2008 25 Km mountain bike race. He loved it! Monday was his birthday, another good day . We went to Montignac and the Lascaux 2 museum. A faithful reproduction of 2 chambers of the famous Lascaux caves. The celebrated cave paintings were surprisingly stunning , breathtakingly lifelike and arranged in the caves with striking ... read more
Autumn colours Tarn gorge
Castelbouc Tarn Gorge
A "Cirque" in the Gorge

Dit zijn onze (Ruud, Marjon en Julian) foto's... read more

Wir sind am Samstagabend, 28. Juli Richtung Burgund abgefahren. In ca. 3 Stunden haben wir das Örtchen Pierre-de-Bresse erreicht, genauer gesagt Aloise...Dort wohnt Dorle und Mafra Marty, bei denen wir zu Gast waren. Sie wohnen in einem wunderschönen Landhaus mit Riesenumschwung, wo wir von Anfang an begeistert waren. Gleichzeitig mit uns waren eine Familie aus Österreich dort. Die drei Jungs Elias, Leon und Sämi hatten grossen Plausch daran, mit uns Fussball zu spielen...Klein Sämi ist ein süsser Fratz (siehe Foto ;-) Am Sonntag haben wir eine Velotour entlang des Doubs bis nach Verdon-sur-le-Doubs unternommen. Da es am Doubs entlang aber keine richtigen Wege gab, fuhren wir durch viele kleine Dörfer und Wiesen, was sehr schön war. Und alles flach :-) Nach einem Nickerchen am Ufer der Saone und einem Käfeli in Verdon fuhren wir gemütlich retour...'Zuhause' ... read more
Maison MADOR
Beim Abendessen
Klein Sämi

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