The Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson undertook a trip as a recluse through the Cevennes (GR70) to search for the heart of the camisards from Auvergne to Languedoc region.

 

The Stevenson trail in the Cevennes

Le Monastier sur Gazeille en Haute-LoireAt the end of the last century, the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson undertook a voyage as a recluse through the Cevennes to search for the heart of camisarde. On the basis of Monastier sur Gazeille with for his only partner an ass, it will end to Saint Jean of Gard after a high tour of and be recorded in the book " Travels with an ass through the Cevennes ". It is the lozerienne part of this tour that we invite you to follow. In car, on foot, horse, with an ass: whatever you wish according to the time you have. The stages suggested are of top-notch quality and will let you re-live the very footsteps of R.L. Stevenson.

1878... it seems a long way away. And yet, today, it is always 1878. All is similar. Nothing changed. Except (of course!) the quality of the inns... All the famous places are still here, waiting! The buildings, the streets, the paths... you will lack only the Modestine donkey Stevenson rode, and we can provide you with a suitable replacement.But the spirit has not left, even without Stevenson to document it is would still be here.

Langogne en LozèreIt is an extremely literary... though basically entertaining tour. That of a search for the impossible voyage. That of an accumulation, a stacking of very Scottish mishaps in our beautiful country of Gevaudan. You could not make this journey of ordinary pretenses.

In hills haunted with gods and knights, in the highest and most unforeseeable part of Lozere, at the time when it starts to undress its luminous autumnal ornament for the first bragged, its fogs and some pearls of rain, this is a discovery, ven for we who live here.

 It is during this time of the year in harsh climate that our hero takes the road which goes down from Monastier towards Langogne. The road? Rather let us say goat paths his donkey determines through obstinacy. Because Modestine, it is a fountainhead; a crossed head of poetic, emotional, gustatory projects.

 Thus the Cevennes, the winter, on foot, with an ass. And that one worthy of the English image of mischief. One which would have signed Prevert:

a frying pan to be fried
a whip with egg
a sleeping bag
cooked gigot
a spirit lamp
a bottle of Beaujolais wine
another of Brandy
and much, much ropes...

On the Stevenson Trail with a donkey in the CevennesBecause stowing and ropes are the two udders of the voyage.

On the Stevenson Trail with a donkey in the CevennesIt is even the center of this adventure. It is the Gordian knot. And like any Gordian knot, it will be necessary to slice to advance. Good-bye stove, gigot! Beaujolais wine and bread! Vicit Asinus!

Consequently,all is ready to go, the fog and the heart of the fog. Is it well, not well with the local inn? Is it all right to sleep there? In all manners, one either is chilled there, or the object of mockeries. Both sometimes at the same time when the chance finishes by you smiling !

Of all these misadventures, our glorious author had made only one mouthful if the quarrels metaphysics containing monks and of converted Irishman who had come somewhat to disturb it with Our Lady of Snows. But how can a Scottish convenantaire can imagine without shivering, to spend one night in a monastery papist?

It is to throw itself in the mouth of the Wolf. Dangerous with the Country of the Animal, meets always dreaded but can be always desired..."Wolves, alas! like the gangsters, seem to move back in front of the functioning of the travellers."

 Because, after all, the goal of this voyage, that acknowledged, isn't it the meeting of Cevenne camisarde, mysterious, and perhaps the still dangerous one ?
Buy the book: Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes and the amateur emigrant On the Stevenson Trail with a donkey in the Cevennes

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Christmas At Sea by Robert Louis Stevenson

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor’wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But ’twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops’l, and stood by to go about.
All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.
We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:
So’s we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.
The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every ‘longshore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.
The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it’s just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessed Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard’s was the house where I was born.
O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother’s silver spectacles, my father’s silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china-plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessed Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
“All hands to loose topgallant sails,” I heard the captain call.
“By the Lord, she’ll never stand it,” our first mate, Jackson, cried.
. . . “It’s the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson,” he replied.
She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter’s day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.
 
And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

 

 

L'Etoile Guesthouse between Cevennes, Ardeche and Lozere in the South of France

Old romantic Hotel, L'Etoile Guest-House is a mountain retreat in the South of France. With a beautiful park along the Allier River, L'Etoile Guesthouse is located in La Bastide-Puylaurent between Lozere, Ardeche and Cevennes. Many hiking trails like GR7, GR70 Stevenson trail, GR72, GR700 Regordane way, Cevenol, GR470 Allier river trail, Roujanel, Margeride, Gevaudan, Ardechoise. Many hiking loops around L'Etoile Guesthouse. The right place to relax.

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