I must say I loved reading that article . Yes, I am completely biased! It covers many of the characteristics of the region that I grew up in, situated at the intersection of les Landes, Pays-Basque, Béarn in the southwest of France. This is the region that I specialize in for my work. It does not happen very often that a high-profile North American newspaper covers a region that the French cherish ( and an increasing number of Europeans, now with more direct low cost flights becoming available within Europe). This is a region that has not gone main stream yet for North American travellers. You do not access this corner of France as fast as you do the south east ( Provence & Riviera) but trust me, it is worth it when you get there.
This corner of France has few industries, therefore tranditionally not a lot of jobs unless you worked in the tourism industry or in agriculture. Things are bound to change, but hopefully without a deterioriation in the physical environment or its quality of life, which are so dear to me. I named my company Expérience Authentique because the region has retained its authenticity. I hope that its authenticity will prevail as the region’s popularity expands internationally.
Going back to the article: four brothers plan to bike from place to place in the south west, the “land of foie gras” and of having a good table of food and drink at night. They end up renting a van to carry their bikes to destination and from there do some local exploration on their bike. Fun to read an article when you know all the reviewed restaurants, not just by name, but for having tried them with family or friends. Yes this research aspect of my job is very hard…
Enjoy for now this TOUR de SOUTHWEST France!
Blog update: The Globe & Mail has also published this article on August 4 under the title Crossing the foie gras heartland.