and so here i am again.  obviously i didn’t have this finished by last thursday, per my wildly optimistic estimate (nothing new there, then…)  but i shall press on regardless.  think of it as prolonging the ag…er…enjoyment…

Wednesday, 15th June ~~~ Millau to Narbonne Plage

we arose at 5am (yes, yes…  we do odd things like this whilst on holiday.  somehow it’s easier to rise early if you know you don’t have to…)  we were hoping to see this…

but we saw this instead….

still lovely, but the mist would have been that extra little bit special.  *shrug*  tant pis.  M. Petit le Reynard enjoyed the warmth of the sunlight pouring over and around the mountains…

Small in the sun (with bridge)

since we were already up, and so was the sun, we decided not to dilly-dally, but to head for the coast.  over the bridge we went…

and across the plateau on the other side.  remember i said that we spent most of the previous day’s journey going up?  well when we reached the edge of the plateau, it was time for a rapid descent.  but not before some enthusiastic Germans in another camper had taken lots of pictures of Talulah as we were both travelling along.  they kept slowing down, allowing us to overtake, and then overtaking us again.  they were clearly very happy to see our beautiful old girl! 🙂

the ascent had taken us all the previous day.  the descent back to something like normal terrain took…oooh…  an hour, maybe?  it was the steepest major road i have ever seen, sinking rapidly down the side of a spectacular and beautiful gorge.

actually, this photo doesn't give you a proper idea of just how steep this damn road was but, trust me - it was steeeep!

the road was lined with broom, too, and the sun shone fully on it, releasing the most gorgeous, sweet, golden, delicious smell.

towards midday, we did it.  we made it to the edge of the mediterranean sea!

She did it!!!

we were so very, very proud of Talulah, and of ourselves.  sometime at the beginning of the year, when the weather was shitty, work was shittier, and France seemed a distant dream that may never come true, hubby texted me a text.  he described our arrival in this beautiful heat, and the dipping of our toes in this bluer-than-blue water.  the image had sustained me many a time since and now, here we were in Narbonne Plage and, Oh. My. God!  the heat!!  arid, desert heat, the sun beating our brains out!  it was splendid and wonderful!  😀  the sand was painfully hot, especially near the top of the beach.  we held hands, and we walked into the sea together.  it made me so very, very, happy.  to be in that place, at that time, with that particular person filled me with excited joy.  and i may or may not have had to swallow past the lump in my throat.

some time later, after another minor miracle (i.e. my husband cannot swim and yet, here he was, swimming – albeit clumsily, but swimming, nontheless – in the sea!), we went and got some lunch.

handsome devil, ain't he? 😉

apologies. i had to include this for the sake of balance. therapy is available. 😉

my french was improving all the time, i’m happy to report that i understood at least half of what the staff in the restaurant said to me. 🙂

since we were both in desperate need of a shower, we bought some supplies and headed off to the nearest campsite.  we nearly got wiped out on the way, since we had a momentary lapse, and both looked completeley the wrong way at a traffic island.  thank all the gods that the other guy had good brakes! \’o’/ *horrified face*  The campsite was right next to the beach.  and when i say right next to it, there was a wire fence seperating our plot from the sand… the fox....

and there were lizards, too! *still excited*

we spent the afternoon in the bar on the campste, and then headed for the beach again.  this time, we stumbled upon what appeared to be the “au natural” section, and i will never forget the adorable sight of a couple of delightfully wrinkled septugenareans walking through the surf, hand in hand….

when we returned, we realised just how sunburned we were, and hotfooted it to a nearby supermarket, arriving just as they were about to close, in pursuit of aftersun lotion.  i am happy to report that we juuuuust made it, thankfully.  phew!

later that evening, after the sun had gone down, i was sitting in Talulah with the side door open, a deliciously warm breeze caressing my slightly prickly coupe de soleil, my ears full of the sound of the sea, drinking tea, and thinking how lucky i was, when i noticed how strange the moon looked.  i stared at it for a while, thinking what an odd cloud it was that made the moon look so faint and red, yet didn’t seem to move.  and then i realised: total eclipse of the moon! 😀  needless to say, we spent quite some time taking photos, and playing with exposure times in an attempt to photograph this phenomenon that had clearly been laid on just for us.

total eclipse, by Squeaky

third quarter reflection, by Hubby

all in all, one of the most perfect days i have ever been blessed with.