------ Molly WOOD
Molly Wood (near Uzes, France) is a translator, writer, website manager and botanist.
Hilary Macaskill (London) is a journalist and travel writer
Downhill all the Way
On September 22nd 1878 Robert Louis Stevenson, the famous Scottish writer, set off on a 252 km journey through the Cévennes with his donkey Modestine. You may wonder why someone would be driven to tackle these inhospitable mountains.
Well, two charming English ladies who live in our region did wonder why, however they went one step further. They put it to the test! And so Molly Wood, Hilary Macaskill and Whiskey the dog followed the Stevenson Trail. It took them nearly five years whereas R.L.Stevenson did it in twelve days. It’s not just that they lost their way, although they did. They tackled the challenge in stages, and with a number of donkeys.
And yet this whole adventure almost never took place. There were bad omens. Molly visited her friend Hilary at her holiday home in the Gard and they decided to go for a walk around the area to discuss their project and… lost their way through the neighbourhood!
The first attempt at following the Stevenson Trail did not quite work out and after a miserable day of losing their way, suffering from the wrong size boots and fighting the strong will of an indomitable donkey our two ladies decided to give it a rest.
However they did get back on the trail and have now collected all their experiences and tons of good advice in a book entitled: “Downhill all the way” (Frances Lincoln, London).
Whether you are planning to follow the Stevenson Trail or any other trail or, like me, just like to read about these things you will enjoy this little pearl of a book. What makes their recounting of the adventure even more charming is that Molly and Hilary have illustrated the book with their own drawings and maps.
This adventure inspired by the crazy undertakings of Stevenson 120 years ago has in turn inspired other people to follow. A friend of Hilary’s, Astrid, followed the same trail with her friend and a donkey but she added a baby for good measure.
If you are tempted to follow the Stevenson Trail (GR70 footpath) in addition to “Downhill all the way” you can check several websites such as www.gr70-stevenson.com
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Languedoc & Provence Sun N°52 (July-August-September 2014)
You may have noticed that this issue covers the months of July, August and September. After much debate, discussions and sleepless nights, we have decided that the best way forward for Languedoc & Provence SUN would be to become a quarterly publication. In practice, this means that the magazine will now be published four times a year instead of six, each issue covering 3 months.
The main objective of the magazine has always been to provide quality articles and content about our region and its many attributes. Going quarterly will give us more time to research potential articles, interview interesting people, meet new contributors and gather topical and useful information for you our readers.
This new version will have more pages than the previous one, allowing us to increase the content of each issue, giving you more reading material in one piece.
You may have become familiar with our regular contributors, who do a fantastic job. I take this opportunity to thank them warmly for their valuable input and great imagination, whatever the topic. If you have a little bit of spare time occasionally and share our love of writing, I’m always on the lookout for good quality articles about our area: it could just be your own story, or the portrait of someone you know, a beautiful place, an interesting festival. Whatever the idea, let
me know about it, our next contributor could be you!
If you have any comments or suggestions, you can always email me. In the meantime, I hope you keep on reading the magazine; the kind comments we receive always make all the hard work worthwhile. Have a nice holiday!
Carole Rommene, Editor