Sunday, October 31, 2010

In which the rain does not stay on the plain in Spain

The rain was still coming down in wave after wave over the socked-in mountains, and the forecast offeres no hope of a break until maybe tomorrow afternoon! We holed up in the house with photos and quilting, books and knitting, blogging and chatting to occupy the time. Alan has been in a cooking mood as he made us yummy lentil-rice patties last night, a bean soup for lunch, and curried potato crepes and sweet crepes for supper!

Speaking of food, our only real venture out was in the afternoon to try and go to the grocery store. Mom also wanted to try and get the few things in Apt that we had missed on Thursday, but a rainy Sunday afternoon was even deader than a Thursday lunch! Not a single shop was open except one café, and we didn’t see a single person. We fared no better as all the grocery stores were closed. We even drove to Coustellet to try the store there, but struck out again. The French take time off seriously! But it was very pretty driving around, as the fall colors are really lovely and cloudy weather actually shows them off better than sunny days.

The whole valley
Our neighbors say that this year is unusually colorful.
We lucked out!
Unwilling to let the outing be a total waste, we came up with an un-store related mini-excursion on the way home. Where we turn off of the D900 (the main road just to our north that runs east to west, which is still only two lanes and half the time you are on it you get stuck behind a tractor. The roads back home are going to feel enormous!) onto the little D106 (the one and a half lane road that is the norm for most roads – no center stripe, lots of curves, and thankfully not much traffic) to come to Lacoste, there is also a sign for Chapelle St-Verrran. It is not listed in any of our guidebooks, and we had finally spotted the little sign indicating where to turn off onto an even smaller road (yep, it may only look like it is one car wide but it is still a two-way street!) that presumable led to the chapel. In search of a little adventure to add to our rainy day, we turned off and wiggled our way past a few houses and on to a dirt track leading past vineyards and woods. Everything way soggy and running with water, and we were about to turn back except Alan didn’t want to pull onto the grass to turn around because the ground was so soft we might get stuck. Just ahead we saw a small pull-off with some gravel that he could use to maneuver, but when we reached it we realized that that was the parking spot for the chapel!

At first Alan was going to stay in the car as the rain had picked up again, but the woods sheltered the chapel some, and really while he is sweet he decided he wouldn’t melt. Mom and I were already walking around the small building, which was simple but beautiful in the way only small chapels stuck in out-of-the-way spots can be. We didn’t stay long, but continued on home satisfied with having discovered another hidden gem of Provence.

Our trusty little car in with the colorful vines

Mom reading the chapel's sign (in French, of course!)

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