Saturday, June 25, 2011

where the river meets the sea

The last full day in Sorede.

The eleven o’clock breakfast at the cafĂ©-bar. With pain au chocolat from the best bakery. Watching, reading, writing too.

Twelve. Twelve thirty. The lunch crowd is moving in. The place is large and so there is room for the diners and coffee or wine or Orangina drinkers too, but the waiters are now focusing on getting the food out. We should head back. And again we pause at the sign with the specials. Mmm, pasta with seafood. They don’t have many foods here beyond pizza and moulles frites, but when they do, it’s homey stuff. Good stuff. I saw the cook run down to the market to get some more parsley. Must be for the special today.

I ask – you’ll have this tonight, right? No, sorry. Just lunchtime. Ed and I look at each other. Breakfast was a long time ago. A good half hour at least. Time for lunch?

We sit back down again. We’ll split a pasta dish. With a small carafe of white wine.

Ed takes out his book again, I go back to my notes.


The food comes. Good! Filling, too. Maybe a nap now at home?

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We walk the quiet streets. Last afternoon stroll through Sorede...


At our home, soon not to be home, the pace changes. Too much to do to get ready. The apartment to clean, bags to pack, think about where to put all that wine for the farmhouse home...

It’s after four now. The sun is good and warm today. Beach. Let there be one more trip to the sea.

Ed suggests we go to the north of Argeles sur Mer again. Just shy of where the men walked naked the other day. The River Tech  -- the one we followed to Ceret for the market, to Prats de Mollo la Preste for our hike -- runs into the sea here. Ed thinks there might be some good swimming where the river meets the sea.

A dirt road leads from the highway into a thicket of reeds along the river. A mile later it emerges at the beach.

A lovely place of sandbars and fast currents merging with the cooler waters of the sea.


I stand in the water, feeling the draw of the current, at the same time bracing myself against the mild waves that are picking up slightly with the wind.


Ed stays in the water longer than I do. On the beach, I look around me. Yes, you could call it a mixed use beach. Plenty of naked men -- perhaps the most smile provoking are the two who take their orange tubes, and bob next to each other in the sea... A handful of naked couples too... Some clothed ones, some families -- it's a nice place for the kids as the drop isn't significant.  A spacious place. Unmarked, hard to find, lovely to finish with.


And now it's time to turn our back to the sea. We drive west toward Sorede and notice that Le Canigou, that peek that has spend the better part of two weeks under cloud cover, has emerged, though faintly, with a hint of contours, nothing more...


Mountains and sea. That's Sorede. Rivers -- that's tomorrow's focus.

We end with a pizza at the big square. And so you could say we ate breakfast lunch and dinner at the same place. Here. Where swallows dart in fine arcs and children play and most everyone is in no hurry to leave.

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