He was now as perky as a cricket but I was not, and needed brekky of some sort. We rode out of town and headed north and eventually came across another tiny spot which had a 'biker friendly' bar-restaurant.
The inside was gaily decorated with the St George's Cross flag, the NZ flag, the Dutch flag and the Italian flag for no rhyme or reason apparently, and nothing to do with rugby. The patron just likes flags... It was not busy, so we asked if we could have coffee and croissant and although the bar had none, as luck would have it, the young local boulanger was there quaffing a quick one and said he thought he had two left.
Off he went to pick them up and he arrived back while the coffee was still steaming. I've had some bad croissants in my time, the last in living memory being the one I had on the TGV this summer. It was particularly disgusting in comparison to the delicious true croissant I had bought on my way to the station from the proper boulangerie down the road. Unfortunately I didn't buy enough and was still hungry. Serve me right!
Anyway, what was set down without ceremony onto the table in the little bar was even worse than the TGV croissant. I don't know what it was made of - donkey fat and old shoe leather perhaps - but it tasted nothing like a croissant. I can't imagine the local lad made them by hand, he probably got them as a job lot for the freezer from the nearest industrial estate. They were fuel however...
Off we set again, onto the chilly high plateaux of Ardeche where it was 13.5°C. While they were still cavorting in little more than leather thongs and whips in Cap d'Agde, here they were wrapped up snugly in woollies and wellies.
It was Sunday morning and in the arrière pays, they close up at noon sharp. If we wanted a picnic lunch, we had to act, fast. We came to a village which had a tiny Proxy market whose owner was sweeping up outside - not a good sign. We jumped off the bike and asked if she was still open. A canny peasant, she was not one to shun a potential sale, she gave us two minutes in which time we found crisps, local cheese and Vals water. She had no bread however... neither did the boulangerie, nor the organic shack, nor anyone else. The entire village was clean out of bread and the bells were ringing out -
|Thatched barn across the way from Proxy|
That afternoon we drove along the Gorges de l'Ardeche where it was a much hotter 31°C! It's a very wiggly river, perfect for canoeing, 32km long I think, and with absolutely stunning views:
|There were back to back camp-sites on the banks|
I've got my eye on some of the caves in the cliff sides... just in case one needs a spot to hide away!
You take such interesting trips and the photos are great - fab views!ReplyDelete
We're lucky to have it all so near to hand, it would be a shame not to take advantage!Delete
They've improved the viewing places along the road now. It's all much easier to see the lovely views, with proper parking and easy access paths. At one point, there's a view every 100m!
I hope the views made up for the leathery croissant. What a huge change in temperature too.ReplyDelete
Oh yes, the croissant were instantly forgotten (well, not enough not to write about them...). This is the time of year for big temperature differences. Even here in Montpellier it's 17°C at 8am and 31°C at 1pm. Rain is forecast for the weekend though with a drop in temperature. Timing...Delete
I haven't been there for years...your photographs brought it back wonderfully.ReplyDelete
And yes, the croissant....our local man specialised in ones made with something resembling axle grease...but they still sold!
Must be the morning Ricard which kills the taste-buds so you don't notice what the hell sort of croissant you're eating... (or care!) :)Delete
Donkey fat? Hilarious! Pictures are amazing. Gosh, I need to buy a bike and take off into the country side.ReplyDelete
It's quite hilly so you'd need your mountain legs! The best way to see the gorges is in a canoe. :)Delete
This made me laugh! I had completely forgotten that France was closed on Sundays. Os for food, well, you can't have everything, right? You had fantastic views !ReplyDelete
Yes, the shops are shut although many would like to see them open. For the moment though, it's Sunday morning or nothing! Our lunch was actually pretty tasty, the cheese was amazing, but the croissant had to be tasted to be believed. The boulanger was a right jolly chap though so that made up for it a bit. :)Delete