1 week in the Gorges du Verdon= 2 campsites to discover the richness of this incredible site
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1 week in the Gorges du Verdon= 2 campsites to discover the richness of this incredible site
Find out more
Major projects for the Verdon
Major projects plannedInterruption, even temporary, of the construction of the tunnels in the riverbed, in 1908 or 1909, did however not an end to projects of hydraulic works in the Verdon. Riparian villagers of the gorges who expressed, in their petition of 1902 addressed to the Ministry of Agriculture, the great hope in the realization of the hydraulic works were yet not to get discouraged. In those years, peasants crossed sometimes on the banks of the River, the bridge of Carejuan, between Rougon and Trigance, but also much more downstream, Quinson and Gréoux, small groups of individuals in black frock coat, cane and hat, fitted with their devices, occupied to measure the flow of the River, to probe the resistance of the Rocky wallsto take snapshots. Reproductions of these photographs were sometimes included in books of this era, notably in that of Ivan Wilhelm appeared in 1913, the Durance. This engineer of the Ponts et chaussées, stationed in the Department of Hautes-Alpes, was the author of the project of the dam of Serre-Ponçon on the Durance. When these were for long deferred, he was given the study of those of the Verdon. Between 1902 and 1908, he undertook, in coordination with his colleague in the Basses-Alpes, investigations on the three sites selected for reservoirs dams, Castillon, Carejuan, and Gréoux. Its investigations, such as those of Martel in Fontaine-l ' Evêque, were conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Work of national interestAt the same time, the departments of Var and Bouches were interested again in water of the Lake of Allos and the powerful resurgence of Fontaine-l ' Evêque. But more than previously, the development of the Verdon was now thought, under the aegis of the Ministry of agriculture, as a coherent for use in priority to irrigation of extensive soils of the surrounding departments, especially Var, Bouches to a lesser extent, the Basses-Alpes more incidentally. The drinking water supply of cities like Marseille and Toulon, by diversion of a portion of the flow of the resurgence of Fontaine-l ' Evêque, was still being considered. But during the period that interests us now, it quickly became aware of a new reality: that the regularization of the flows of rivers, by the creation of falls, would use the water for industrial purposes, driving force for large institutions of mechanics and electricity. On the various aspects of the benefits of these major works on the Verdon, in his book La Durance, Ivan Wilhem shows lyric. He talks about 'the invigorating water"which will"transform the uncultivated land, partly real deserts, in beautiful gardens". Whereas industrial uses, he qualified dams 'wonderful white coal tanks. He sees to create "powerful plants, of various industries", and praises the convenience "to distance the light and strength".
Big promises for the surrounding villagesIf some villagers from the edge of the Gorge have read those sentences, they had, like their author, rejoice of the benefits provided by these works. But they probably have not understood that these plants would not located in their territory of tormented, lacking mountains of good roads, railway or waterways. They have not become aware that energy from their River would not be used on site, for their own use, but, as noted by Wilhem, that she would be transported far from their homes, in the wide valleys and Plains of Basse Provence, up to the outskirts of cities. They were not sensitive to the risks of transformation of their landscapes, their terroir, by the construction of large dams such as provided for in Carejuan, seventy metres high wide of thirty-five. They were dangling the influx of tourists attracted by huge lakes that embelliraient their region.
They are promised new roads (that which existed between Castellane and Rougon would be swallowed up, in several places, under the waters of the dam). They were given some subsidies to compensate them, one might say buy. It is as well that it was to obtain the rights of Commons on their territory. In 1901, the municipality of Allos was willing to sacrifice for the benefit of the Department of Var, a beautiful mountain lake against a sum of 15 000 francs and the promise to build a road leading from the village to the Lake.
Voices of protestThere were a few voices to speak out against these grabs. Can be read in the Journal of the Basses - Alpes as of March 8, 1908, in an article entitled the question of Fontaine-l ' Evêque, the Basses-Alpes to bottom-Alpine: "should, in fact, know if we ourselves voluntarily stripping to the benefit of our neighbours, of all the natural beauties which make the charm of our country. Every day now give birth to a new lust: yesterday, the Durance and Gréoux dam; tomorrow Fontaine-l ' Evêque; day after tomorrow, it will probably be Allos Lake, and so on. "The long-standing competition between the departments of the Var, Bouches and the Basses-Alpes, for the use of the waters of the Verdon, became even more bitter. These rivalries were known in Paris, not only of the Ministry of Agriculture, but the Chamber of Deputies. A parliamentary commission was established, charged with running undermine the draft law on the development of Lake of Allos and its surroundings.
The rapporteur, chosen for his expertise in the matter, was a young member of Parliament, Albert Lebrun, polytechnician and mining engineer, who will become president of the Republic from 1933 to 1940. The draft law on Allos Lake development was introduced in the House on March 31, 1908. The issues of the distribution of the waters diverted from the Verdon between the Provencal departments were important. The parliamentarians representing each of the departments concerned, in particular those of the Var, defended the cause of their respective constituents. On behalf of the public utility, and in the presence of also strong rivalries, the president of the Council took the decision in the fall of 1908 to go on-site.
The visit of Georges ClemenceauThe president of the Council was other than Georges Clemenceau. A long time member of the Var, he was still Senator of this Department. It is easy to think that his journey in Haute-Provence was decided on instances of the other elected officials of the Var, MPs and Councillors who were to prevail on the neighbouring departments of Bouches and the Basses-Alpes in the control of the waters of fountain - Bishop and Allos Lake. Georges Clemenceau was accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture, Joseph Ruau. The latter was interested closely, and for a long time, to the work of the Verdon, as evidenced by the missions he had already entrusted in 1905 to Édouard - Alfred Martel for the study of the waters of Fontaine-l ' Evêque. On the four days of this official trip, Thursday, October 8 to Sunday, October 11, 1908, a day and a half only was passed to visit sites of Verdon, primarily Lake Allos and Fontaine-l ' Evêque. The rest of the time, the president of the Council has dedicated it to his elected départemental du Var role: the first day, inauguration of the primary school of Bandol, followed at noon of a banquet, another banquet evening in solliès-Pont; the second day, at noon, new banquet at Brignoles and inauguration of the primary school of Lorgues, still followed by a banquet. The program of the third day was of a different mind. The president of the Council had nothing to inaugurate in the Basses-Alpes. In this Department, his tour had no purpose other than to inform themselves. Clemenceau, Senator for the Var, did not need closer ties with low-Alpine populations that weren't his constituents. No Banquet, no openings, not even official speeches, as he did specify the prefect of Basses-Alpes in letters that he had sent him before his departure. Requested to make this trip on the sites of the Verdon by his elect from the Var, he led the no load his inspection to Allos Lake and in Fontaine-l ' Evêque.
Inspection of Fontaine - l ' Evêque and Allos LakeThe official Caravan had yet to slow the pace for the visit of the Lac d'Allos. In very good morning of Draguignan, she came to automobile about nine thirty in Allos. It took then riding mules to climb, for three hours, the path from the village to the Lake, at 2250 metres. It retains a photographic snapshot that shows Georges Clemenceau on his Mule, at the end of the village, at the top of the long caravan Mule, but also pedestrian, which takes the departure under the gaze of a few women and girls rows on the side of the road. Cooks, with victuals, were mounted to the Lake earlier so that these gentlemen lunch is ready upon their arrival. There was the beautiful world around the president of the Council and the Minister of Agriculture: Léon Dabat, Director general of water and forests, Mr. Rau, prefect of Var, M. Cottalardk., Chief Engineer of the Ponts et chaussées of Var. The discoverer of the grand canyon, the Explorer Fontaine - l ' Evêque and the Canjuers avens was part of the official travel. Defender sites advocating their classification, in France, as it already did in the United States, the lyric admirer of the wild waters of the Verdon, took part at the same time to projects that would inevitably alter the beauties.
After this long day, Georges Clemenceau and his entourage went to dinner and overnight in Castellane. They left early the next day to be in Fontaine - Bishop at nine thirty, as official visit program kept in the departmental archives of the Basses-Alpes. They arrived an hour late, as mentioned by the newspaper which reported the visit. A unexpected, stop at the entrance of the grand canyon under Rougon is the cause. It was probably decided at the instigation of Martel, who recounts, in La France ignored, that he was the Clemenceau in the Verdon and in Fontaine-l ' Evêque guide. Are reported, according to oral tradition, the president of the Council, arrived at the edge of the cliff, lay down to watch the abyss and exclaimed: ' what great sabre kick! Yet once, contemplation of the entrance to the Gorge is the image of a cut.
RivalriesArrived in Fontaine-l ' Evêque main object of lust of this whitewater, the president of the Council and his Minister of Agriculture witnessed rivalries between neighbouring departments. Awaited them there, as we learn from the Journal of Basses - Alpes as of October 18, delegates from these various departments which are in connection with the representatives of the General Council of the Var. A member of the departmental Committee of the Var 'exposes first before Ministers legal and administrative reasons militating in favour of the varois projects, including the transformation of Allos Lake reservoir, the construction of dams in the Verdon and the use of the waters of fountain - Bishop". Then, delegates from the Vauduse expressed their interest in the waters of Gréoux. Finally, a delegate of the Bouches du Rhone asked water for his Department and Marseille. The president of the Council contented himself to listen to and be kept well not to take any decision. It ' came to realize by himself, eager to safeguard all the interests by giving the utmost satisfaction to all needs ", according to a formula vague and cautious reported in the same article in the journal (the Basses-Alpes. It had already been delayed and he had yet to lay the first stone for the hospice de Salernes and attend a banquet in Draguignan, before returning to Paris.
On the morning of the third day of his trip leading from Draguignan to Allos Lake, Clemenceau stopped a small time comps for the Mayor, who introduced him to his City Council, but also to have an interview with Mr. Dalloyau. This southern engineer was the author of a project for the supply of the waters of fountain - Bishop he had at heart to submit to the president of the Council. These details are yet revealed by the previously cited article in the journal of the Basses-Alpes. When, in the autumn of 1908, it was exposed by its author to the president of the Council, this new management plan Verdon was offered on the personal initiative of this engineer who are not part of the corps des Ponts et chaussées, had no responsibility in the public service. Ongoing studies, Allos, Carejuan, or Gréoux Lake were, already seen, directed for many years by Ivan Wilhem, engineer of the Ponts et chaussées des Hautes-Alpes. Their conclusions were examined by the service of the hydraulics of the Ministry of Agriculture. Legal, and undoubtedly financial aspects were the subject of debates in the Chamber of Deputies. The first work, between Carejuan and Moustiers, had been made by the electrical company of coastal Mediterranean, a subsidiary of the company of the great works of Marseille. This company was not confined to the construction of tunnels in the bed of the grand canyon and the foundations of the factory of the Garret. It had also already proceeded to compensation for local residents owners land located upstream from the bridge of Carejuan and which would be submerged by the impoundment of the dam.
Dalloyau projectDalloyau engineer had not been invited to participate in the inspection visit of the president of the Council to Allos Lake and in Fontaine-l ' Evêque. If he nevertheless managed to meet Georges Clemenceau on his route, it is no doubt thanks to support of a var elected. His plan for the Verdon, had what the Department of Var. very quickly seduce her, personal proposals of this engineer hoisted at the forefront of the envisaged projects. The meeting of December 16, 1908, of the society of scientific studies of Draguignan, one of its members, Dr. Joseph Girard exhibited draft available of the Verdon and of Fontaine-l ' Evêque diversion. After a history of the issue, it summarizes first placements geological and hydrological made on this source by the engineers of the Var (report Perrier, 1896), and Martel, (mission of the Ministry of Agriculture 1905), Finally comes the analysis of proposals Dalloyau, including storage of the waters of the Verdon and also of the Artuby, in two huge Marten and Comps tanks, with a capacity of more than 900 million cubic metres. "This grandiose work will allow distribution of 70000 horse industry and irrigation of 15 000 hectares."
Dalloyau project proved even more ambitious that one who had been put in place by Wilhem el des Ponts et chaussées services. He kept all of the work contemplated by the latter (Lake of Allos, Carejuan, Fontaine - L'EVEQUE and Gréoux). It replaced the project of Castillon dam by an intake of water Saint-André conduct in Castellane line, with a fall in the last place. But he added to the study of Wilhem two important works of art in the Haut Var: a huge reservoir on the town of Comps, which would be powered by a derivation of the Verdon and a second, much less extensive, the territory of La Martre, village situated on the upper course of the Artuby, a 20 km southeast of Castellane. These basins required the construction of dams more than fifty meters in height. These gigantic structures would not alter the beauties of the landscape, not only to Lake Allos and in the Valley of the Verdon, as did already projects Perrier and Wilhelm, but also in the wilds of the Jabron and L'artuby. These deductions would then give rise to several complex networks of pipes intended to lead water to the coastal cities of the Var and Bouches.
... Provisional GMT displacementAll these works were costly. Dalloyau ensured the contest of a financier, Mr. Rouland. They constituted both the civil society of hydraulic and electrical of Provence. In 1909, they print, under the title project Rouland-Dalloyau, a luxurious pad with maps, drawings and photographs to raise awareness its technicalities. The following year, another wafer bearing the same title was technical considerations and developed the financial aspects of the work. These documents were widely distributed as well in Paris, the ministries concerned and the Chamber of Deputies, in Provence, in the offices of prefectures and those of the Ponts et chaussées. The company founded by Rouland and Dalloyau stood in the Marseilles company of electrical energy of the Mediterranean coast. In the financial project Rouland-Dalloyau include redemption fees to the Marseilles company of very large sums that had been disbursed for compensation for residents. Around 1908-1909, there are thus, disengagement, at least provisional, GTM in the Verdon. This is who can explain the judgment on that date of the construction of tunnels in the canyon.
The visit of the Minister of AgricultureDuring the following years, Rouland-Dalloyau project was examined by engineers of the Ponts et chaussées des Basses-Alpes who found it too ambitious. Those in the Var, on the other hand, grew to adopt, because he favoured their Department by enabling irrigation of very large areas of land. The Ministry of Agriculture as the committees of the Chamber of Deputies, also worked on this project. It gave rise to discussions, passionate in the Provencal, dubitative departments in Paris, experts are admitting perplexed on the very important cost of works and their hypothetical financing by taxes levied on the use of water. In the years that followed the visit of Clemenceau, no construction was open, Allos nor Carejuan, nor in Fontaine - L'EVEQUE or Gréoux. An attempt to identify all these problems and take decisions, in 1912, a new official visit of members of the Government was decided.
By letter of 8 August 1912, Jules breads, who last year succeeded Joseph Ruau as Minister of Agriculture, was inform the prefects of the Provencal departments concerned that he was going to do a tour in the valleys of the Durance and the Verdon to study the issue of dams of Gréoux and Carejuan, as well as the Lake of Allos and the diversion of Fontaine-l ' Evêque. He would be accompanied by delegates of the commission of the Chamber of deputies to examine draft laws relating to such work. The journey of the Agriculture Minister was held from Tuesday, August 20 to August 22 Thursday. The route chosen was in the opposite direction from that of his predecessor in 1908. He began by Gréoux where one slept. The next morning, a first stop was conducted at Quinson, where it visited the intake of the canal of Aix. Then, the Minister went to Fontaine-l ' Evêque, before going to lunch at Moustiers. The afternoon was devoted to a visit to the location of the dam projected between Rougon and Trigance, near Carejuan bridge. The Minister was then dinner and sunset at Digne, passing through Castellane and Saint-André, probably to take the train, more secure and faster than the automobile.
Long debates...For the last day of his trip, the Minister of Agriculture had organized a public meeting at the prefecture of Digne. The deputies and Senators of the Basses-Alpes, and doubtless those of neighbouring provinces, there were invited. Des Basses - Alpes on August 25, 1912 Journal mentions also the presence of Mr. Rouland, came with one of the engineers of his company, Mr. Rebuffel, defend his project, and Pierre de Courtois, general counsel of Allos. The meeting was chaired by the Minister. The text of the debates was printed in 10,000 copies. There were lively discussions, including on the calendar for the work. "People of Allos" asked "the construction of a road to go to the Lake, in order to develop tourism. It had been, in 1904, one of the condition of the sale of their Lake in the Department of the Var, for an amount of 15 000 francs. They had not yet understood that if their Lake was transformed into a reservoir, the attractiveness of the site would not remain. Several points of the Dalloyau Rouland were criticisms or reservations, including construction of the canal from Saint-André.
...And few resultsOne thing is certain: the elected representatives of the Basses-Alpes eagerly the beginning of major works, "considering that the use of the hydraulic resources of the Lakes, streams and rivers of the Department is the surest way to remedy the country's largest depletion and also curb the exodus of populations from their mountains". This statement of General Councillors of the Basses-Alpes, real petition, entered in the register of their deliberations on the date of September 18, 1912, one month after the visit of the Minister of Agriculture, was addressed to the latter. But administrative delays helping, nothing was done in the months, or even in the years that followed. The Department examined at length, slowly, Rouland-Dalloyau project. It was found, quite rightly, too ambitious, too expensive. It was thought that we needed in the emergency order, implement first of Fontaine-l ' Evêque and Allos Lake sites. No decision was yet taken when, in the summer of 1914, the outbreak of the war. All the projects of the Verdon were then left in their boxes for many years. Southern tourists would have leisure, yet for a long time, to cool the source of Fontaine - L'EVEQUE or to go admire the site of Allos Lake, even in the absence of cart path, on foot or by mule.
The tourism action in sleepThe hatchet House, each new release of the blue Guides, reserved a special edition to the members of the TCF. These copies, in the years following the end of World War II, included a record written by the Touring Club. All quivering activity and bubbling new ideas and diverse projects, the TCF was preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary when the war broke out, can be read in the instructions included in the edition of the blue Guide of Provence was issued just after the war. "More beautiful roads to make more trips to organize, more hospitality to beautify, more tourism." The TCF shares resumed gradually in the 1920s. But the tourist development of the site of the gorges of the Verdon by this powerful organization, did not start before the year 1928. It did no mention is made of the gorges in the monthly review of TCF between 1908 and 1928. This wonder was probably still part of the ignored France, as liked to say Martel, who published under this title, at this last date, the first volume of his book of synthesis on his explorations in France. A review of this book was published in the issue of January 1928 of the monthly review, written by its dedicatee, Léon Auscher, then vice-president of the Tuff. The gorges du Verdon, which take one
great place in the France ignored are extensively mentioned in the Léon Auscher article who took this opportunity to announce to his readers that the development of the great wonder of Provence, the most beautiful gorge of Europe, comes to be decided by the Board of Directors of the TCF.
Between 1920 and 1928, without waiting for the action of the Touring Dub, curious travelers of the beauties of nature have however visited the gorges du Verdon. If they were equipped with a recent blue Guide, they could read the enthusiastic pages inviting them to make excursion by the "big c. of Verdon" (sic) "a wonder which did not reply in Europe. The guide also offered the reader a detailed map of the gorges indicating both roads, Mule trails and finally, tunnels constructed in the riverbed. Were encouraged visitors to leave their vehicle for exploring the bottom of the Gorge. Taking into account the progressive development of the automobile between these two dates, it is plausible to think that they were each year a few more.
The journey of a Parisian writerOne of these travelers, man of letters Parisian famous, has left a description of her tour in the gorges du Verdon, in August 1923. It's the novelist Jean-Louis Vaudoyer, great lover of Provence, that includes the pages that he devoted to the Verdon in the last chapter of his book beauties of Provence, whose first edition appeared in 1926. He arrived by train in Trans, near Draguignan, and continued his journey by car, probably a car hire with driver. He lay down a first night in what was still the prefecture of the Department of the Var. "I would prefer not to speak ill of the hotel. I is take what a meal", to the table d'hote, and"is spent only one night. In the summer of 1923, it was delivered to the masons to painters. "The servant does hid him me not: on the touringisail. Curious expression, alluding to Touring Dub action in the field of hotel equipment. Is the Provençal servant or the Parisian writer? The second night, Jean-Louis Vaudoyer fit step in Aups in the only hotel in the village, after the meal on the terrace, "we arrived our room. Double bed, lean chest, summary toilet... Despite the ups and downs of the bed, we we endormîmes quickly. The next day, 'by a nobly wild landscape", the road leads the traveller to Fontaine-l ' Evêque. «The guide said to it: one of the most beautiful and the most abundant of France.» ' Add the vicinity of this source are not spoiled, like those of Vauduse, by of aggressive plants by a continuous coming and going of tourists. Jean-Louis Vaudoyer went on, passing through the village of Sainte-Croix, visit Riez. So far, it has followed exactly, more than a century later, the way had borrowed this another Parisian traveler, Aubin-Louis Millin. The latter had done the same steps in Draguignan and Aups. But, after his visit in Fontaine-l ' Evêque Jean-Louis Vaudoyer did not have to cross the Verdon River by ferry. He was able to cross the bridge of Garrouby. Prevailed, as he says, by ten horses of his car, traveling faster, he has time, after seeing the Roman ruins of Riez, go step at Moustiers, in "la petite auberge suspended, where jasmine and nasturtiums terrace houses tables well placed at the edge of the panorama".
The next day, both anxious and worried, Jean-Louis Vaudoyer discusses the visit of the grand canyon, along the road which goes from Moustiers to Castellane. Writer reads the Guide Joanne since the second expedition of Martel, Janet and white, in 1906, person has renewed the feat. He added this thought: "the human being is not the normal inhabitant of this gigantic and terrible landscape." He limited his visit to the glance of the panorama of the Sublime Point before winning Castellane.
Journey's end and memories of the gorges du VerdonAs can happen at the end of a beautiful journey, Jean-Louis Vaudoyer was then invaded by feelings of sadness. "It moves away from these gorges. Soon, everything seems morose, shabby, poor. "He describes Castellane as"a small town that burns softly and deadly boredom. Like so many others, he lamented the lack of railway. Because of this deficiency, «she died as a member the blood feeds more» Moreover, adds the novelist, "the Department of Basses-Alpes becomes little by little a dry tomb". He cites in this connection an article by Charles Geniaux entitled "A Department at risk", appeared in the Revue de Paris September 15, 1923, where the economic and demographic situation is exposed catastrophic Basses-Alpes. Its author offers as a remedy "to create villages Kabyle in the Basses-Alpes, where the Government owns a large part of the soil", probably because of the expropriations related to reforestation. Pending the benefits, always expected, tourism and major works, the riparian villages gorges are affected, too, by the demographic decline. Between the beginning of the century and the 1930s, La Palud and Aiguines lost more than half of their inhabitants, and Rougon, two-thirds.
If travellers who visit the gorges in automobile become more numerous, the increased speed of travel (they are such a hurry today, this theme is often developed), carries a risk for the villages bordering the grand canyon: that tourists do that go to admire the views, without stopping in the villages, between their stages of DraguignanRiez. Moustiers or Castellane. The hotel Turrel in La Palud, mentioned in guides from before 1911 as a good hostel, is noted after the war as poor.
and excursionists Toulon
Apart from these automobile over the years more and more travellers, which merely road from Castellane to Moustiers in stopping only at the Sublime Point to contemplate the cliff top the spectacle of the dii entry grand canyon, other visitors, much more rare, are interested, at the same time, excursions to the bottom of the canyon. Sports and enlightened tourists who take their time, they do not care comfort hotels, because most often they camped. Trained walking in the mountains, these hikers are almost all part of the cultured classes, lawyers, doctors,
92 <>. • If - rioN Tot rus.niene in sleep
teachers. As botanists we met already in the Gorge, they come in small groups, in caravans, almost all Provencal, resident Thulon, Aix-Marseille. These walking and nature lovers know - feels almost all. They belong to these already mentioned, excursionists Marseille and Toulon excursionists.
The details that we have sui the conduct of these excursions in the bed of the canyon, we owe one of the most passionate fans of this sport acti-vite, Louis Henseling. Director of the municipal library of lbulon, regional delegate of the Ta', is passionate about for a long time for the high country varois, in particular for the gorges of the Verdon. He was part of the retinue that accompanied Clemenceau during the official visit of 1908. He had met Martel on this trip, had read the spelunker exploring relations, already knew the teacher of Rougon, Isidore Blanc. It burned for a long time to renew the feat of Marteljanet and white. But because of the war, he could not carry it out in 1922. Led by Isidore Blanc, with the help of two or three carriers of Rougon (always the same, the brothers Audibert and Alfred Aycard), Louis Henseling, one of his friends, A. Bez, and their helpers went down across the grand canyon of the bridge of Carejuan up to the Garret. The whole route of twenty-one kilometres had more been done since 190 (i.
Every summer, Henseling returned to the Verdon, at least until 1937.11 told her tour this last year in one of his writings on the region of the haut Var, meeting under the title of Zigzags in the Var. In this text which bears the title of "Great raninn (sir) 1937", the Toulon librarian does not merely describe the last trip made with a group of ten people. 11 shells over the pages the memories that he kept uninterrupted suite of annual expeditions in the Verdon. Once introduced to the difficulties of the course by Isidore Blanc, it no longer needs guidance. He recruits only every summer, and directed their steps, a group of hikers Toulonnais, or tecefistes from other regions. In 1934, he had found a portion of his companions by means of the press, by passing an announcement in the excursions of the monthly magazine of the TCF topic. Ten tecefistes had responded to the call. If three participants to hike came from the North of the France (Le Mans, Clichy, Nancy), the other seven were residence in the South, mainly in the Department of Var. long still, tourism in the gorges du Verdon will remain at large regional predominance.
Among the memories of Henseling shipments, between 1922 and 1937, here are those which seem to us, one way or another, interesting to report. In 1922, in the company of white and Bez, after having crossed the Mescla, he witnessed a fight between more than two hundred crows and three pairs of Eagles
TOURIST SLEEP •O• ACTION
what they tried to dislodge from their areas. They eventually put routed their attackers. The Eagles were still frequent in the region. Isidore Blanc had managed to photograph one, the chaos of Trescdire well before this fight. He had published this photograph in postcard, accompanied by this quatrain:
"At a time where the Sun descends the harsh slopes,
The Eagle comes out of its range and plane in the sky, while as the aiglon in sou asylum course
Stiffened on its my, quivering wings. »
Very recently, at the initiative of the regional park, it succeeded to enter the Gorge several pairs of vultures.
In 1923, hikers headed by Henseling, still accompanied by white, discovered a human skull near chaos baptized by Martel, in 1905, the river Styx. He was identified as being that of a young shepherd victim, two years more early, a fatal fall in cliff.
In 1926, the group led by Henseling, comprised of five women and five men, camps for eight days in the balm of the oxen. The faithful Rougonais, white, Audibert and Aycard, until the Mayor of the village, bring them supplies. During these eight days, a nude lives pass as a single tutu iste, a traveler Marseille, he also one familiar, well known to the troupe. The channels were still little congested.
The equipment of these hikers, in the 1920-1930s, has much simpli-trusted. More need for guides or porters. Each or each is responsible for its Tyrolean bag. Cameras are lightened. The dress also: snapshots taken in 1931 show the walkers in shorts or swimsuit. It has left out, since many years, pants, cloth or canvas, the jacket, the tie, the Boater II still must be strings, for certain difficult or to place bags over deep Fords wise step. Kapok belts were gradually abandoned.
ilACHON ' 101.11USTIE EN SI. ) 1■11\1E11. <>95
first during the execution of the planning of the Verdon, a source of substantial profits and which, subsequently, thanks to huge lakes that embellish it can become a wonderful tourist resort. »
This optimistic confidence in the speed of Government decisions was well careless. No decision was taken in the following years. Only in 1927, Henri Queuille, Minister of Agriculture, finally gave a favourable opinion, in conjunction with the Minister of public works, development of the falls of the Verdon, Castellane, Castillon and Chaudanne. The ambitious project of front, war, ranging from Allos in Greoux Lake, it had kept that two dams upstream Castellane, Castillon and Chaudanne. The Decree of public utility on these sites skies was published in May 1928. Development works were granted to Hydro du Verdon, liliale GTM society. Because of various misadventures, the construction will remain outstanding for many years. With a very reduced in strength, sixty workers only, it will be open again much later, during the second world war, in 1941.
Still interested in a very old project, the hydroelectric company of the Verdon, in 1931, resumed talks on the development of Allos Lake. But she clashed with a refusal of the municipality of Allos. Twenty years earlier, the negotiation was struggling with the cost of construction of a road leading to the Lake. The negative response of the municipality did more now to monetary matters. In this long period of time, people had come to realise that the transformation of their mountain industrial tank Lake would irreparably destroy "their wonderful body of water. A hospital site, where now flocking tourists, will give way to an uninhabitable solitude", wrote their spokesman, Jacques Stem, general counsel.
Well, talked in the 1930s, somewhat vague way, the construction of a dam below the village of Sainte-Croix, which into fountain-PEveque under twenty meters of water. As the monstrous Carejuan dam, it was no longer question. For a long time yet, more and more tourists have leisure to admire the grand canyon, from the top of the lookouts built by the TCF, or at the bottom, using the newly trails.
- Discovery of the Gorges du Verdon
- The beginning of tourism in the Verdon
- Verdon Canyon by the bottom
- Villages around the Gorges du Verdon
- Development of the Verdon gorges and epilogue
- Around the Verdon
- History of Verdon
- Memoirs of Verdon Gorge
- Once upon a time the Verdon
- Verdon Natural Regional Park
- Visit the Verdon Gorge