France Chasteuil 2000.10.23 - 10.27

Web and Walking

Having chosen the Gorges du Verdon for our next walk, we telephoned several nearby places that offered a room with cooking facilities. The logical choice was a Gîte Rural, a rental house in the country. We found one listing, but the owner was leaving for vacation and wouldn't rent it for the time period we wanted. Looking through the Chambre d'Hôte (Bed and Breakfast) guide, we found 2 possibilities. The owner of the first place was away. The second B&B had a room with kitchenette. Perfect! We reserved it for 4 nights.

Nancy, a California native living with her French husband Pascal in the tiny 25 person village of Chasteuil, showed us our room. Wes asked about business at her Chasteuil Chambre d'Hôte. Nancy said that having an email address alone generated additional business, but she wished she had a web page. A web page? - no problem, I could whip up a simple web page in a few hours, Wes thought. The offer was made. We'd spend an hour together deciding the layout and content. Wes would spend 3-5 hours putting the page together, and then teach enough HTML for Nancy to make updates on her own. We'd start in 2 days.

Our first day in Chasteuil was marvelous. The morning fog lifted as the temperature rose revealing the autumn colored leaves covering the mountain side. The GR4 hiking trail runs directly past the Chasteuil Chambre d'Hôte. We departed for a leisurely 2 hour walk up the trail to Rougon. Lunch at a Rougon café next to the post office was good, and a climb to the top of an ancient chateau provided a lookout to the Gorges du Verdon.

Our 2nd day began with web page design. Nancy wanted 7 pages in English and French. Most of the text was prepared. Images were needed. Oh là là! After 3 hours of planning, Wes realized that this was more than a few hours of work. Chasteuil being Wes' first web page from scratch (Masami designed the layout of this World Travel page and our Singapore page), he seriously miscalculated the amount of work. Wes and Masami worked in shifts through day and night, and even managed to find the time and energy for the 6 hour hike through the Gorges du Verdon (of which photos were needed for the web page).

Miraculously, the pages were proofed, tested, and uploaded to a web server by the end of our 4 day stay. It's a web site that Nancy, Pascal, Masami, and Wes are all proud of. Come see for yourself.

We hope to return to the Chasteuil Chambre d'Hôte again next summer during lavender season. Hopefully Nancy will be ready for some lessons in File Transfer Protocol (ftp) by then.

Chasteuil is 2.5 km up a narrow mountain road from the "main thoroughfare", D952, that winds along the Gorges du Verdon. This peaceful setting is perfect for anyone needing a break from the stresses of life.
The Chasteuil Chambre d'Hôte. Masami took the photo at this angle to show the B&B with the mountains in the background. An image of the exterior stone wall (Pascal's masonry) is used as the background of the menu on the B&B's web page.
Looking down at the town of Rougon from the GR4 hiking trail. An ancient, collapsed chateau sits atop the large rock to the right of the town.
The Gorges du Verdon is the major attraction. The Lonely Planet Walking in France guide recommends a lengthy 2-day hike. A 6-hour day hike through a portion of the gorge, however, seems to be more common.

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