Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day ten Provence

We woke to the sound of thunder as it approached from the north east. Looking out of the window we could see a line where the heavy rain was advancing across the countryside. Curious pink lightning flashed across the sky and the thunder crashed as the storm drew closer to Caromb.

Rain came down very heavily, we decided to postpone our plans to go to Orange again to see the sights - it was rain that sent us packing from Orange last time we tried to visit. We lounged and read for most of the day as the storm passed slowly over the house and the sunshine returned. In the afternoon we made a move to the car to pick up some bits and pieces for dinner in Carpentras, just down the road.

Submarine terrace

As we cleared Caromb we could see another thunderstorm heading our way from the same direction as the first. As we pulled into the car park at the supermarket in Carpentras the rain came down. The supermarket is like a Kmart, Coles, hardware store, deli, greengrocer, butcher, fishmonger and bottle shop all rolled into one. The rain belting onto the roof was so loud we had trouble hearing each other speak!

We picked up a rabbit, some pigeons, savoy cabbage and other vegetables and then found ourselves in the alcohol section... We selected about eight different beers, some that we hadn't heard of and some favourite European imports. At the checkout we were told by a series of confused looks and sign language that we needed to weigh our loose vegetables back in the vegetable section and had to dash back into the store to the sounds of good-hearted laughter from the checkout girls.

The rabbit before it went into the pot.

The rain had had the same effect on the drivers that it has back home: everyone went crazy. Instead of it being a negative crazy the French drivers are very aware of their surroundings and the movements of other cars. If you need to change lane, you put on your indicator and someone will let you in. If you need to make a turn at the last second they don't get upset, very different from little old Hobart. In saying that, you wouldn't know that there were any speed limits, road markings or the need to stay a safe distance from the car in front. It seems to work as long as everyone is vigilant.

In between thunder storms.

Driving back to Caromb on the narrow roads was not quite as easy. The old asphalt is cracked and broken, causing vast quantities of water to sit on the road. For most of the trip back there was a plume of water as high as the car bursting out from the side onto the grass.

By the time we got home the rain had stopped so we could get back to the house still dry. The town fete is on at the moment. Today is the first day and because of the rain we decided not to go and see what was going on, expecting the locals to stay at home until the sky was clear. They have closed off the main street which is full of vans, trucks and the usual sideshows.

The rundown for the fete.

The rabbit went into the oven covered with wine and herbs with some herbs from out on the terrace. We also filled the other heavy Le Creuset with a pommes boulangere, utilising the gelatinous chicken stock from yesterday's roast chook. We agreed that we will miss such good quality rabbit at such a good price when we get back to Tasmania. A vast cheese platter to finish.


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