Vive la France!

Vive la France!

Welcome to my blog -- follow us as we travel around France.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Languedoc - Day 9: Cirque de Navacelles

The wind really howled all night and it rained a little.  Jan & I drove into the village for bread as it was too windy to walk.  The sky was really dark, but there was a tinge of light toward the east. 

After breakfast, we set out for the Cirque of Navacelles, which is a small village at the bottom of a bowl where the Vis river changed course eons ago.  There are only about 18-20 people living in the village.  We went today because there is a creperie there that is closed on Tuesdays; unfortunately, it was closed today -- must be because it is after October 1.  The road to get there goes up through a canyon with tall pines, and a twisty road.  At top there is a plateau with a relatively straight road for about 8.5 km, after which you begin the descent down into the cirque.  The road down is very narrow and twists and turns down the side of the cliff above the village.  Fortunately, we met only 2 cars coming up and were able to find a good spot to let them go by.  Once we got down to the bottom most everything was closed today.  There's a neat little shop there where we bought some things the last time we were there, but it too was closed.  We only saw 2 people and a dog, but there were several cars -- we were the only visitors. 

It was cloudy the entire trip up there, but when we got to the top of the plateau, we could see a hole in the clouds with blue sky, and so it was pretty sunny while we were down in the cirque.  On the way back to the main highway, though, we could see lightning off to the distance and it started to rain -- not just rain:  it poured.  It rained so hard that I had to pull off to the side of the road for a lttle bit.  We headed for home to have lunch, and it didn't look like it rained as much there.  It looks like the lightning & thunder was what was needed to clear out the clouds as there was some sun this afternoon, particularly to the east of us, over the Mediterranean, so we have high hopes for tomorrow.

After lunch, we went into Pezenas for groceries, and stopped at a pastry shop for some little "pates" -- they are a specialty in Pezenas and look like large spools of thread.  They have pate, or pastry on the outside, and inside they have a sweet/savory filling somewhat like minced meat.  We also stopped at the roadside market for some melons -- it is the end of the season, so we want to get as many as we can before they are all gone.

I haven't had much to say about Francine, our GPS.  Poor Francine has spent most of the trip in the cubby hole between the front seats.  She worked well from Burgundy to Provence & got us through Lyon, but since we've been down here, we haven't needed her much.  The maps are good, and the road signage is excellent.  If you know where you are going, all you need to do is follow the signs at the round-abouts.  It's is actually quite easy to get around here.  Perhaps it's because we've been here before, so I'm comfortable driving here.  We got Francine out to get us home from Minerve, but I couldn't remember how to spell the name of our street, and without a street address, Francine isn't much good.  I've since programmed in our address, so if we ever need her to find our way home, she can - I hope.

Tomorrow, we are hoping for good weather and will go to Carcassone -- regardless of the weather.

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