11 Dec 2006

Last day in France 2006

Sunday, we decided to take a bit of time out from the unpacking and house things. The weather is gorgeous and we decide to head up through to the Black Mountains and visit the Sunday market in Saint Chinian. Today’s is apparently a special one – the Christmas market. 
 I decide to take a back road out of Bize and visit a few villages on the way that I’ve not been to before. The countryside is beautiful – there are big ridges of limestone and craggy hills just on the outskirts of the village that I didn’t know existed. Some of the grape vines still have yellow leaves on them, and have yet to be pruned. Lots of forest. 
And we come across a group of men at the side of the road in bright yellow safety jackets – carrying rifles. Yes it’s hunting season and there’s a few dogs in a big cage on the back of a trailer. I believe they’re used if a wild boar is found.
Saint Chinian is a lovely village – well, small town really – and the market is lovely. We have a coffee and a snack, and decide to come back to get fresh oysters for lunch (for Janice, not me) and go exploring further afield in the meantime. 
We end up on a fairly narrow mountain road, climbing higher and higher, and the views over the countryside are amazing. In the distance the sea near Narbonne can be seen. Mild weather and clear blue skies.
Lunch back at the house, the rest of the afternoon sorting more rubbish and trips to the recycling bins around the village. Janice has taken that task upon herself and knows where everything goes. I think my newspaper contribution alone has probably filled up the whole bin and I’m not sure when it’s collected.
A last check of all the windows and shutters (interestingly, every set of shutters on each of the eight windows has a different closing/locking mechanism), and an early night. 
Alarms set for 3am for the drive through to Toulouse for a 7.25am flight to Gatwick, bus to Heathrow, then a flight to Vancouver. And Christmas with the family.

Moving sideways

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