Europe 2012 travel blog

a lovingly preserved veteran

back wheel up. More impressive when just one wheel

THE bike of the day and the rider of the day too.

Volkswagons/combi vans

Mike by combi with pine fitted interior

After a leisurely start to the day we headed for the hills. First stop Lambsec we came across a expo/? of antique American cars,

as well as Volkswagen's and motorbikes. The most interesting cars were those with jointed axles.(?) as one drove into the square it was really performing. Front up, Back down. then one wheel up others down. Very entertaining. By the time I thought to take a photo, there was just a 'back in the air' happeneing!

The combi vans and Volkswagen's looked very familiar.

The kombi in this photo had been beautifully done out with pine furniture with brass fittings.

Many of the bike riders were sporting their club membership names; one was the Desperadoes from Marseilles. The bike that got the most attention was ridden by a lady of indeterminate age. knees looked a bit wrinkly. so did her face but this might have been a lot of sun and wind exposure. But we figured possibly over 60. The bike was fitted out with lots of fur and she had a fox tail hanging from her helmet as well as what we assumed was fox fur on her jacket.

Next stop Rognes, wasn't actually a stop in terms of getting out, except for Pete to yell 'all clear'. The centre of town was closed so we drove around it. This meant going down a narrow one way street with the car beeping its warning 'too close' noises on all sides. When we reached the barrier at town centre, intending to turn right, a woman drove out of that street, in front of us. That was also a one way street so she needed us to back up or she needed to do so. She offered in french and gesture that we needed to back up the street we had just squeaked down! We thought it would be better to do a ten point turn and go up the street SHE had come down. But she would need to get out of the way first (there was room). However our idea was kaputted when another car came down her little street and wanted to go up ours. There was now no maneuvering room so back we went, (with the other car following front-wards). Mikes backing was up to the task but the car backing beeper indicating how clse we were to obstacles, in this case the side walls, must have been exhausted. It beeped non-stop. Mike got a thumbs up from the French driver.

Off to the next place; past olive groves and vineyards and some crops that may have been tobacco. No animals and no fences again. The scenery was more Mediterranean; Grey green foliage, yellow Broom and as always, red poppies. Here they were in such profusion some fields were red.

By 2pm we were in Lourmarin and here the market was antiques. Fortunately this one in a square that didn't need the traffic to be blocked. We had an amazing lunch. Again much on the menu was gone. We could have a 'taster' salad plate and our choice of about 4 quiches. (We've had some fantastic meals here mostly salads, but this has been the top of the best) After lunch we again did our wandering of narrow streets. Here much steeper than in Salon, but still easily manageable,(we're not quite mountain goats yet, but improving) Narrow winding streets mean you keep coming across surprises. Round a corner and there is a house with flowers cascading from window boxes, or walls covered with greenery, or teeny shops with interesting products. Or little art galleries. Well worth a visit.

Off again, no more stops. This time we drove past a large lake that had been formed by damming the river. Up into the hills on more winding roads. We had fantastic views of towns cascading down hill sides. All a bit of sensory overload.

One of the towns we went through was Coudoux, which reminded us of Cadoux. Given the oux is hardly an English name ending, we decided that the name must have come from France after World War 1 (when farms in that area would have been opened up.) That reminded us of story of a farmer East of Konno (Konnongorring; where our farm was) where an ex soldier had come home after WW1 with a French wife from a fairly rich background. His new farm had very bare basics. She had commented "I can live with the dirt floor, and the brush roof and even the snakes in the roof, but I cant stand the flies." SO that was onbe French wife. Maybe Cadoux had come from another??

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