In crowded Britain, villages like this would be overrun by city dwellers seeking pretty weekend cottages. But France is littered with beautiful villages â€“ what to do with them all?
The blurb would have us believe that as Benedict Allen and his team of huskies plunge over a precipice, the author asks himself: 'why do explorers put themselves in such dangerous situations? And â€“ once the worst possible situation occurs â€“ how do they find the resources to survive?â€™
Through my aircraft window, the river resembled a snaking green lava flow. A couple of days later Iâ€™m swimming in it, a wetsuit protecting me from the 13C chill.
It has been raining for two weeks in Harare, with only an occasional respite for the city's graceful avenues to drip dry. For a country that has gone without heavy rain for several years, this is a turnaround.
The sleek, cramped Eurostar glides out of St Pancras at lunchtime; a couple of hours, a nip across Paris and weâ€™re at Bercy, boarding the Palatino. The name conjures up in my mind an age of glamorous European sleepers but the train doesnâ€™t live up to its heritage.
Britain's equivalent of Oktoberfest comes far closer to being a real beerfest, although it, too, is built on a glaring contradiction.
It may look like a sewage works on a choppy day but in the glorious jargon of London 2012 this is an "early legacy".
In a pretentious moment, one might call Hardy a writer of terroir. Far From the Madding Crowd, while lacking the tragic grandeur of Tess, Jude or The Woodlanders, is the first novel to refer to Wessex by name.
Two new books with almost identical titles illustrate the rise of a new literary phenomenon - the wild swimming tome.
Four days - that was how long it took. When the Queen Mary launched on the River Clyde in Scotland in 1934, an ocean liner was the only way for most people to get across the Atlantic.