The Best Literature to Read Whilst Camping in France by:Lorraine Waddell
Backpacks, Boots and Baguettes - Simon Calder & Mick Webb
Best For: Camping in the Pyrnes
A hilarious look at what happens when two friends decide to go hiking together in the French Pyrnes. This book is a must for anyone taking a French camping holiday in this mountainous region. Aficionados of travel literature will recognise Simon Calder as the travel editor of The Independent, but until they read this book they won't know that he has a petrifying phobia of heights, as does his friend and travel-companion, Mike.
The story recounts the friends trying to overcome their phobia by climbing the precipitous Chemin de la Mar and how they decide to follow the French Ramblers Association G10 hike around the Pyrnes; definitely not for the faint-hearted. However, as this guide really illustrates the scenic and breathtaking landscapes of this region you may be tempted to try the hike yourself after reading it. Be warned!
The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barberry
Best For: Camping near Paris
This book is a heart-warming read for anyone on a camping holiday in France. In fact, so cockle-warming is this riveting read that one French doctor has been actively prescribing it to her patients with depression. The book tells the story of Rene, the concierge of a grand Parisian building which is home to members of the Great and the Good.
Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable and honest but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society's expectations of what an ideal concierge should be. But beneath this conventional faade lies the real Rene: passionate about culture and the arts, and in many ways more knowledgeable than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives.
Rene lives resigned to this life, living in her lodge with only her cat for company and looking forward to the weekly visits from her only friend, Manuela. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous, predictably bourgeois future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will bring dramatic change to number 7, Rue de Grenelle, altering the course of both their lives forever.
Travels with a Donkey in the Cvennes - Robert Louis Stevenson
Best For: Camping in Cvennes
This classic piece of travel literature is a must-read for anyone on a French camping holiday in the Cvennes region of Languedoc-Roussillon. Robert-Louis Stevenson's Gallic trek was undertaken in 1879 and as he describes the vast rolling hills and perfectly manicured vineyards, you can't help but notice that there has been little change in the landscape since then. Whilst Stevenson was in his early twenties and pining for a lost love, he brought a donkey, named Mondestine and set off camping in France.
His adventure is equally challenging and charming and in this book features the quote that continues to inspire all true travellers: 'I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move"
About the author
Lorraine Waddell is the brand and advertising manager of Canvas Holidays, one of the leading European camping and mobile home holiday operators in the UK. With over 40 years of experience, Canvas offer a superb range of offers for camping holidays France (http://www.canvasholidays.co.uk/Destinations/France-604-0.aspx). They also offer trips to Spain, Italy and a total of 9 other European countries.