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trish & pat’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 18 Aug 2007

Location: Buis les Baronnies, France

MapWe have had a great week in the Provence region with our English friends, Peter and Simone Guest. The countryside consists of small villages, vineyards and Rocky Mountains. The small town we stayed in called Buis les Baronnies is very typically French with virtually no tourists it proved a good test for our French skills as there were very few that could speak or understand English. Thank goodness Trish and Simone brushed up on their school girl French and managed to get us through apart from one dinner where they ended up with turkey instead of veal!

We visited a number of the local wine cellars a.k.a. caves and tested the local wines. One night we ended up in a local village which had a wine and food festival which the locals say attracts 10,000 people not sure where they all came from but everyone had a good time, without a drunk, fight or copper in sight.

We also drove up to the highest mountain peak in the area, Mont Ventoux which sits just under 2000 metres above sea level. It provided spectacular views across the region and surrounding mountains. It is very popular with cyclists probably because the Tour de France (farce some are calling it after the drug scandals) has passed through here before. However, none of us felt the urge to try having seen a few of the faces of those cycling up, along with a few who decided to lay on the ground trying to recover after making it up just part of the way.

The local markets in the villages are quite a cultural experience and we visited a couple, stocking up on the gourmet food and local produce which provided us with quite a few lunches and a gourmet dinner. This ended at 2am one night and resulted in a very slow start for a few the following day.

We certainly enjoyed the company of Simone and Peter for the week and they are already talking of a return visit to France.

We have decided to stay on in France to visit the Alps before heading to Switzerland next week.