In the meantime we are sharing the laptop, which is challenging as we both need the computer to work, as a result my blog has suffered, I have been going through withdrawal symptoms and can only blog when MG is occupied, dashing on when he is in the shower, or has nipped out for wine, at the moment I think he is cooking Spaghetti Carbonara so I am finally able to do a post.
The View, From C&G's Chalet
We have also had a brief interlude, we swapped one mountain range for another and went to visit some good friends of ours who have a ski chalet in the French Alps, of course we did not go skiing, in the Summer season the Alps have a short season for outdoor pursuits. What a fabulous time we had, there were nine adults, one child, one small smooth haired fox terrier and one giant poodle. We drank an awful lot I think from lunchtime till very late at night there was always a bottle of wine on the go, I woke up with a hangover every morning. Claire and Giles were always busy in the kitchen, rustling up wonderful food.
Claire And Giles Working Hard In The Kitchen
There were a bunch of other people there who also own chalets we met them in one of the local bars, what a great group, most of them are very sporty and we are talking extreme! They are all great skiers who play hard and work hard. Giles organised a white water rafting trip, for twenty of us, somewhere in between glasses of wine I found myself agreeing to go! I have never done it before, but my motto in life is try everything once.
Very early in the morning we set off, I was nursing one hell of a hangover, I was not the only one, we got to base camp where we had to change into full body wet suits, including life jackets and helmets, little wet suit socks and horror of horrors little jelly shoes! I was starting to get nervous but seeing everyone looking like strange frogman caused much hilarity, we were divided into three boats, when we got into the boats a quick safety lesson (My adrenalin was starting to pump) and off we went, at first I was quite tense but soon started to relax as the guide (a complete nutter) filled us with confidence and made us laugh and when I was splashed with the cold water and we are talking cold (thank God for the wetsuits) an amazing thing happened my hangover started to dissipate.
Our Guide, a complete nutter but loads of fun!
Claire and I could not stop giggling, we went in tons of times but by that time we felt like seasoned pro's thanks to our wonderful guides confidence building exercises. (the trip lasted for two hours). the only thing I had not counted on was a brief stop in a beautiful gorge we all scrambled up a steep bank and people started to jump off a high rock six meters to be precise into the gorge in a spot where the water was very deep, what option did I have? I could not cop out I had to jump....hangover completely cured, (normally I swear by lots of water and a BLT sandwich washed down with a large Bloody Mary, but this was much more effective, a miracle cure!) I floated upriver in extremely cold water, thank God for the wetsuit my uncovered hands were freezing. The only injury sustained, two broken nails. A great time was had by all and here's the thing, I would do it again.
The next day we trundled back home but the party was not over two friends and one giant poodle followed us, they stopped off In Arles overnight, whilst we continued homeward bound, they were going to join us the next day.
The Arena, Nimes
Sculpture Of A Bullfighter, Nimes
The Arena, Close Up's
On route back we stopped of in Nimes for lunch, Nimes is one of my favourite places I love the vibe in Nimes slightly rough round the edges but with a huge amount of character, narrow streets with a mix of run down properties sitting next to imposing done up properties. Nimes is an old Roman town and has an arena which is used for concerts, events and the odd bullfight. Nimes had an ancient industry for dying cloth indigo and is the birthplace of denim which literally means 'Of Nimes'.
It is now very up and coming and they are spending a fortune doing it up, so the traffic system is a bit difficult to negotiate at present. Some fabulous restaurants are springing up we always stop off at 'Le Cheval Blanc' an excellent winebar with a fine menu it has a wonderful interior with vaulted ceilings and some fabulous artwork hanging on it's walls and it is situated just opposite the Arena.
Wine Bar, Le Cheval Blanc
I read an article in the Sunday Times about another restaurant called 'Le Lisita' also overlooking the Arena (article here). I will definitely be checking this out, next time we are passing through.
We returned home safe and sound, managed to get a few jobs done before our friends and their giant poodle arrived, once they arrived, we had more fun and more drinking. Pepo is the name of our friends giant poodle he is only eleven months old, he is an entire male as is Crusoe, at first they did not get on, in The Alps it was a bit touch and go, lot's of snarling and gnashing of teeth but by the the end of their visit Crusoe and Pepo were the best of friends.
Our friends have now gone, we are slowly getting back to normal, drying out is high on the agenda, until the next time....