25 Apr 2013

Anita's book club

The ‘girls’ have arrived – my friend Anita and 6 friends from her book club group in Perth. I picked them up at Narbonne train station and then the hire car. Well, not a car really – a 9-seater Mercedes van! Previous drivers have obviously not had a lot of luck with it, as there are lots of dents, scratches and bits missing, but it quite new and drives like a dream. The seventh member of the group arrives tomorrow.

Anita’s prepared a full-on itinerary and we have two days under our belt already. What a fun group and they’re loving everything so far. Especially yesterday when we had the first walk/picnic of the year with our walking group.

And what happens sometimes is that we have lunch at a hunter’s hut and for two euros, we can have sausages grilled over the open fire by the nominated ‘chef’ of the group.

Weather was gorgeous, the food was shared out and just kept coming, ditto the wine and all the home-made liqueurs (not for the “chauffeuse” unfortunately) and in no time at all we’d replaced all the calories we’d used us from our 2.5 hour walk, and then some. 

And then, to everyone’s amusement, we were off to the Cave Cooperative at St Jean de Minervois to taste muscat for which the area is famous. 

The grapes for the sweet variety – the most well known – are grown in fields of white stone which helps keep the heat in the ground and produces the best sweet grapes. Looks like a snow field … such a pretty area. And then because there were still some hours left in the day, a quick trip up the road to the Combabelle Goat Farm which produces some pretty special cheeses. 

Oh and because it was on the way back - a quick stop again at the caves "La Grande Grotte de Tournal a Bize".

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