Subject: Re: Hiking in France
Dear Ann- We land in Toulouse (we go to France 2 - 3 times per year) and we're off - Will stay in the Ariège if the snow is no more... or drive further east toward the Cevennes. We have French friends that we met at a B&B last year in the Vallée d'Aspe in the Pyrénées and they might meet up with us for a weekend. We always travel w/o reservations, using the local SI's offices for B&B's or the Logis de France guides. (they are a series of family- -owned small hotels, where one partner cooks and the other runs the front desk. Book is usually free on the net, but I've had trouble getting it this year. We'll pick up a new one over there.) We have always stayed at 3-toque and above for a geat, not too expensive night's sleep (somewhere around $100 including dinner and break -- w/ superior food -- when we can't find a B&B - Also, we rely on Foder's Rivage books - Hotels and Country Inns of Character and Charm in France and B&B's of Character &Charm in Fr. (If you learn to interpret them well, they are always a winner) - great B&B in Provence last Feb that we can't wait to go back to! (la Bouquière in Bonnieux... fantastic!!!)

Hiking is somewhat of a guess - depending on the snow. I wish I could give you more of an idea of where we'll be but I will when we return. --If it's really bad, a couple we are in contact with (Spanish) said that we might consider the Navarra valley region (just south in the Basque area) as the mts are not too high. (We hike in the Pyrénées every fall and can't wait to return in Oct!!! If not, we may even showshoe. (We bring boots, backpacks, no formal wear - and can rent raquettes du neige) Crossing the mts is quite easy and the weather is always the opposite of what is happening in France - or almost the opposite. It seems to break at the mts.

Oh, by the way, we always rent cars from Europcar - check the net - they always have specials and we have had no problems with them for years. They have many stations all over Europe so if there IS a problem, one is not left too stranded... (they are atleast 40% or more cheaper than either Avis or Hertz - plus they're all over)

Bye. Susie