Sunday for rugged Lozere, whitewater thrills
This is a very strange business. I'm now deep into my planning for a September voyage off the coast of Croatia and thinking hard about the story I soon need to write about a spa in Mexico.
But I'm really psyched that Sunday's Travel section with my Lozere, France story soon will soon be in readers' hands. It's a very remote and rugged destination, easily reached these days but pretty inaccessible until the 1950s when a road was put in next to the Tarn River gorge.
To this day it's a sparsely populated region in the south of France with a dozen or more villages having fewer than 250 people. Communal bread ovens are still at the edges of some villages, where the townswomen gather to bake their bread.
I visited there on a four-day trip in June with the national tourist office which arranged lodging and meals and provided us writers with transportation and translation. I want to go back and explore at a slower pace it on foot with a donkey, just like Robert Louis Stevenson did in the 1870s. Maybe when I retire.
Inns in the area, all in tiny towns, provide lodging for hikers and their donkeys which people can rent to carry their gear.
There wasn't space enough to use them with the hardcopy version of the story, so here are some of my France photos. The Travel section is now monthly and space was needed for the other stories, written by my colleagues. Two of them had a life-changing experience white water rafting on the New River in W. Va. and another spent quality family time with her family at Kings Island and the Cincinnati zoo. All of them shared their experiences in this upcoming travel section, which will be with your paper on Sunday. Others will have to read it online.