Tuesday, June 19, 2012


We’re back to slow mode for today. And worse – even the tiny pressure of getting up and out to arrive at the bakery in time for pain au chocolat is off. The large Fournil bakery, described in the previous post, has pains and as long as the sun will be rising and the stars brightly shining, they will continue to have pains and so who cares if it’s late, very late in morning before we guide the clunker out onto the road.

You might say – ah, we betrayed our local friends for the better bread. No no, not yet. That decision comes tomorrow. Our local best bakery (I wince as I write the word ‘best’) is closed on Mondays and so there isn’t the loyalty question to confront just yet. Besides, we do have a list of three items to tick off this morning – all clustered, wouldn’t you know it, around the area of Le Fournil des Alberes.

So first – the most tedious of all – time to fill the clunker. We’d gone 720 kilometers and the tank is down to one quarter full. And here’s the awful admission one must make – that tanker actually gets terrific mileage. Ed did the math – we’ve been getting 48.39 miles to the gallon. He grunts now – that’s better than my Geo. Good news for us though. Gas here costs a tad over $7 per gallon. We watched the guy in front fill his Peugeot and come up with a 94 Euro ($117) gas bill.

Okay, so we have good mileage. I still would prefer to be driving something like this:


Supermarket next. The best cheese values (and selections!) are here. Three new cheeses to add for the week. You’ll see them on our lunch table later.

Finally, the bakery. Waiting in line, you get to stare at the cacophony of color and imaginative interpretations in the pastry selection.


I’m happy I have no decisions to make. Our two little raspberry macaroons are set aside, the baguette we want is hot, just made minutes ago, the...Ed interrupts – I think I want an apple chausson, throwing me into a tizzy of indecision. I recover my wits: il voudrait une chausson (he would like a chausson). ‘Un’ chausson, both a shopper and the clerk correct me. The stress of bakery choices have caused me to mix up my French articles.


We do miss on this day the habit of walking to the café. Indeed, it’s good to be in the village again (even if we are driving up), away from supermarkets, gas stations, bakeries that offer too many choices. Here, at the café on the square, you can look out and contemplate the mountain you scaled the previous day...


...and you can watch the couple at the table not too far – he sips his beer, she drinks her wine and does the crossword puzzle.

Lunch will be late. We can’t just slide into the next meal when we get home, can we?

Not too hard. Here it is, with the star player displayed prominently.



In the late afternoon we’re in the clunker again, heading to the town along the coast right south of Argeles sur Mer. If you’re into Fauvist art or best anchovies ever, you’ll have heard of it – Collioure.

The town is always swarming with visitors and so it’s neither easy to navigate nor especially fun to stroll through. It’s definitely pretty from afar...

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...and there are some nice colors and sweet beach moments to admire (the town has a pebble beach and on a warm day, the clear water must tempt every little and big kid here)...


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...and it inspires some to sketch, many to use their camera...


...but it’s not the kind of place Ed and I would return to again and again. Windmill and decent Museum of Modern Art notwithstanding.


We’re here because we saw an add for the Collioure sailing school. Ed wanted to look at thir boats. And we do and they’re tiny and so we know not to come back for the short sail he had been considering for later in the week.

Clouds are coming in now and the air, though not cool, is certainly not toasty. And still, just before 8, we’re back at Le Racou beach. Our drive home is so close that we can’t imagine not stopping for a late swim.


And it is indeed a swim. The seas are finally calm. Once I get used to the cooler water, I can swim, back and forth, next to the shore, thinking about nothing more important than what to do about supper.

Our final meal for the day is again at home – we have the girolles (chanterelle mushrooms) and so I pan fry them in the local olive oil, along with Roussillon baby potatoes. It’s a good accompaniment to scrambled eggs, with a tomato and endive salad at the side.