The Only Gay in the Village??
Trip Start May 04, 2010
16Trip End Aug 05, 2010
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Despite this I was excited to be back 'home' and some of my dutch family (Marjoke and Hans) arrived the day after, they also stayed with Inge and Robert so it was great to have all 6 of us together.
Before Kegs' tummy bug kicked in, he and I managed a drive through the tourist route along the gorge. As per usual it was stunning and this time it was sunny so it really got me keen to head out for an overnight canoe trip. Kerren had his first drive in Europe in my trusty Citroen (minus hubcap) and although I had a few hairy moments where I thought I was going to be driven into the side of the cliff, he soon got used to driving from the left side of the car and it was great to hand over the reigns and sit back and enjoy the view
On Friday I went with Inge/Robert and Marjoke/Hans to Barjac for the markets - I love those markets, they are really colourful and Barjac is a gorgeous village with lots of big shady trees so its very pretty. We had a drink in one of the brasseries before heading a restaurant which is owned by a friend of Inges (everyone is a friend of Inge!). The set menu was really yummy and I had forgotten how cheap it is to eat out in France if you order the menu du jour. I had salad for a starter, chicken with mushroom sauce, rice and vegetables for main and coconut and mango icecream for dessert.... delicious!! We also stopped by Marjoke and Hans' block in Brujas as building is starting next week.
On Saturday Kerren and I took the scenic drive to Les Vans which he really enjoyed, when we got there it was market day so we wandered through the village looking at all the stores and again buying a few bits and pieces. I couldnt resist buying the pickled garlic cloves as I had tried them 2 years ago and fell in love! Even with his dodgy tummy Kerren tried one and really enjoyed it so we bought a small container to snack on - I can hear you all saying "snack on garlic cloves!?!?" but really they taste so good and arent that stinky at all
The following morning I drove out to Labastide De Virac as they have a flea market on Sundays. Unfortunately the mistral had set in so it was super windy and not that enjoyable but I liked the wander through the village as per usual. One afternoon we walked into the Centre Ville of Vallon so I could show Kerren around. We had an espresso at Tom Pouce (cafe) and then walked across to the patisserie. I got a Tarte Citron which was divine (the french do GREAT desserts) and Kerren got a chocolate eclair, I I was walking in front of him and I asked how it was, when I didnt get a reply I turned around to see him taking another bite with this big grin on his face - apparently it was amazing!
Since then Kerrens stomach has gradually gotten better and so we have done a few drives out to various villages in the vicinity of Vallon. Aigueze is my favourite village in the ardeche region, it is very small but very picturesque and overlooks the river from a high wall. We stopped there to buy a cigale for home as houses in this area typically have one out the front and we also rested at the coffee shop overlooking the square for a while - so peaceful. Marjoke and Hans had moved to Vagnas to stay in Margots house for the next few weeks so we dropped past so I could show Kerren the house
Yesterday Kerren was feeling much better so we drove to Barjac for lunch 'menu de jour' for both of us included salad and cold meat for entree, steak and vegetable or steak and chips and creme brulee and coffee for dessert.... so very full! From Barjac we drove out through Uzes to the Pont Du Gard which is an enormous bridge/aqueduct built in 50AD. It was quite amazing and very picturesque. Kerren was disappointed as we couldnt walk along the aqueduct on the top because it was too windy though we crossed the bridge and sat in the most beautiful cafe/restaurant I have ever been in. We both thought it would make the perfect place for a wedding but Im not sure how many guests we would get if we chose to marry in France!
That evening was a music festival in Vallon where the streets are closed to traffic and local musicians set up on various corners and outside all the cafes/restaurants and bars to play
We stopped at Tom Pouce for a scotch on the way home - for me it was mostly to warm up as it was a really cold evening and then wandered home after encountering a very drunk french man in the street outside a cafe/bar who wanted to introduce us to his 'lesbian and gay' friends!!
We have decided to forgo Spain, not because we dont want to go but we are running short of time and the expense to get there and the daunting thought of cross country train travel again has helped make our decision. Also, Kerren has only just recovered home his bug so we havent had the opportunity yet to do the canoe trip or several of the other things we had hoped to do in Vallon. Plus, its really very comfy here and nice to feel at home and be around family so here we will be staying!!