Tuesday, June 11, 2013

the sea

Soredians would agree: today, summer swooped over the great Roussillian plain and took hold. I suppose they take it for granted that it will take hold. Me, I come from a place of violent weather extremes. Who knows what may come next. So I never assume. Except, this time, I am as sure as they all are -- there's no going back. We have entered a period of sunshine and warmth.

So why didn't the sea catch on?

Hold on, hold on, I'm getting ahead of myself. Morning --  let's deal with that first.

Well now, if it's Tuesday, it must be market day in Sorede. There's no debate as to the early day agenda: we head to town and eat whatever pain or croissant is still available because today isn't about the bread product, it's about the market!  I nudge Ed to wake up already. What? hum? The market!

We set out  for the village square (passing the usual, memorable, delightfully colorful, often times very ancient and with pets local folk).

DSC01634 - Version 2

Our habit is to go to the old bakery, pick up breakfast stuff, then settle in at the lower square cafe.

 DSC01647 - Version 2

There, I watch the market unfold, while Ed reads a book. I can't get enough of people watching here, whereas Ed's a little less fired up about taking note of, for example, the family in pink move from one stall to the next.

DSC01649 - Version 2

Or of the line that forms at the meat and sausage booth.

DSC01650 - Version 2

Or -- my favorite -- the maman with the Catalan (yellow and red!) baby sling.

DSC01657 - Version 2

Eventually, I get up to shop. Produce for the week. It's always cheap (compared to shopping at a market back home), fun, different. Produce is mostly from France, but not only. Spain figures prominently at the market (melons, tomatoes, etc etc). So does Kenya if you want yourself an avocado.

We have a sackful of veggies. Time to head home.

 My, but it's warm today. Scrap the planned hike, it's beach weather!

But first there must be lunch. (Which means that we must drive down to the cool bakery to retrieve our BEST BAGUETTE EVER, but so what -- it is such a pretty little drive!)


Okay, we have our bread. Lunch now. On the terrace.

DSC01679 - Version 2

And after -- Ed must nap.

Ed, wake up!

Eventually, very very late in the afternoon, he's ready to go. It's a no brainer -- we're off to tiny Le Racou.

Le Racou... It's not the closest beach. Maybe 10 kilometers from our village. But it is our beach. Small but wide. Hidden. With a hamlet hugging the road behind. All that, but what really makes us go back again and again (and again) is that it's got terrific swimming options. The sands slope rather steeply toward the sea and such a quick drop off means that the waters are instantly deep, so that you can stay close to the shore and swim to your heart's content.

I must admit it, I get a little choked about being back here again.

DSC02980 - Version 2

But why is the water so cold????

Ah yes... it is the first good day of summer... It had been a cold spring. The sea hasn't caught on that it's time to welcome the summer people.

But I take the plunge. And I swim and Ed does too and then we sit on the sand, huddled next to each other, allowing the warmth of the sun to run its magic on us again.

And because it's just a touch too early for supper, we take a walk along the coast and that's a new one for us, so it just goes to show that no day is a copy of another and no return puts you exactly where you once were.

the coast, south of Le Racou

DSC02995 - Version 2
the gentle end of the Pyrenee chain

DSC02996 - Version 2
le Racou, from up above

DSC03005 - Version 2
Ocean author, looking on

 We finish off the evening at the local oven baked pizza place. I include this photo of Ed because I think right now, his hair and beard length are at their most becoming. By the end of the trip, he'll again become the shaggy guy I met and grew to love almost eight years ago in Madison.


(My seafood pizza, by the way, cannot be improved upon.)


And after, Ed drives home and I lean back and put my feet on the dashboard and hum along to the music on the radio.