France Chasteuil 2002.10.10 - 10.20

Web Page version 3

Le Gîte de Chasteuil's web page was good before. A few corrections, additions, and use of some new techie stuff make it even better now. We stayed with Nancy and Pascal at their B&B for 10 days this season to help fix stuff up and finish version 3 of their web page. Please visit the updated web site

Our friend Tim flew from London to join us for the weekend. Together, we walked along the Grand Randonnée 4, dined at excellent restaurants, and caught up on life.

Pascal directed us to a quality restaurant in the area. 5 km south of Castellane in the tiny town of La Garde is Auberge du Teillon. Within this 2-star hotel is a surprisingly elegant and tasteful restaurant. Tel: +33 (0)4 9283-6088.

Our friend Tim joined us for a weekend in Chasteuil. From left to right are Pascal, Nancy, Tim, and Masami.
5 minutes walk from Pacal and Nancy's B&B along the Grand Randonnée 4 is a view of Mt. Etienne, behind which we went to pick wild mushrooms.

Past Journal Entries

France Chasteuil 2001.07.06 - 07.13

The Best B&B Web Site

In October 2000, we hastily created a web page for Le Gîte de Chasteuil. In 4 days, we had a functional page but it lacked a few professional touches. This year, we allocated 7 days to write version 2. In addition to easier page identification through page titles, more convenient navigation from the bottom of each web page, useful text below image enlargements, and assorted META TAGs for search engines, we added 3 new pages: Guest Comments, Soap, and Photo Gallery. Nancy and Masami demonstrated their creativity in photo shooting for the Soap page. Dirty people beware: after seeing this soap page, you'll feel the urge to shower with pleasure. Please visit to see how good this site looks!

During our weeklong stay in Chasteuil, Wes stayed indoors to recover from a cold (most likely caught on the Tre Cime hike in the Dolomites). Masami went on regular hikes in the area. One hike we both made to the rocks of Cadieres de Brandis overlooking Chasteuil was exceptionally beautiful. If you're ever in Chasteuil, ask Pascal to point the way.

As a token of appreciation, Nancy and Pascal took us to lunch at a 4-Michelin-star chef's restaurant in Moustiers, La Bastide de Moustiers (Tel: 04-9270-4747, reservations required to be admitted through the lower gate). The presentation of each dish was artistic, and the flavor of each ingredient was preserved in a melody of color. The 5-couse menu is under US$40 at lunch time. Oh, how we wish food in the US were as good...

Pascal is constructing Le Gîte de Chasteuil on his own. Left to complete is a remodeling of private quarters.
In the summer, flowers bloom all around Chasteuil. These flowers and birdbath are directly opposite the guest rooms.
Wild lavender sprouts through a crack in the rock at the top of Cadieres de Brandis. This is one of the prettier hikes near Chasteuil.
Nancy, Pascal and Masami pose on the grounds of La Bastide de Moustiers before an exquisite 3-hour lunch.

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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