Rest Day: Étang de la Bonde

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Lunch beside the étang

In the morning we opened our eyes on a lovely sunny scene and the sky blue from one horizon to the other.

It seemed just the right day to have a rest, so we booked ourselves in for another night and hastened down to the café in search of breakfast. To our disgust it was closed, and our Dutch neighbours said it would not open until 9 o’clock.

In the event it was more like 10 when the shutters came up, whereupon we ordered large coffees and drank them with the bread and cheese that we had salvaged from breakfast at the hotel the previous day.

While we were doing this, our Dutch (female) neighbour appeared in a swimsuit and rubber cap, waded into the water and struck out, seemingly for the opposite shore, but turned back after a while and hauled herself out near where we were sitting. She declared it was delightful but we were not tempted.

Moitié-moitié pizza

I felt rather cold even then, in the sun, and my warm red jacket was still getting a lot of wear.

For lunch we ordered a single pizza – so-called “moitié-moitié” (half and half), with cheese on one side and anchovies in tomato on the other.

We saved a slice of each to have for breakfast tomorrow, before we set off to our next destination of Lourmarin. After we finished eating, we thought about walking the circuit of the étang, but in the end we did not do it.

Freezing

Keith was not keen, as he was having a lot of trouble with lack of stamina.

Instead we had another pleasant round of showers, washed all our remaining dirty clothes and hung them between two nearby posts, so we would have everything ready for the morning. Then we had a rest in the comfort of our tent.

As evening came on, we went down to the café, but there was a freezing wind blowing and the tables were deserted. Luckily they were still serving food so we got our dinner “à emporter”, i.e. to take away, in a large plastic tub.

Keith had an entrecôte, chips and salad, and I had a demi-poulet, vegetables and salad.

We had forgotten that the meals here were gargantuan, so there was a lot of left-over food, but that was all to the good, we assured ourselves, for tomorrow’s walk, which was likely to be fairly long.

Dinner beside our tent

At the tent there was much less wind so we sat outside the tent, on one of our mattresses. However, as we sat on our mattress with not a soul in sight, it was remarkable how much we missed the ambience of other people eating around us.

People-watching is a thing that we do a lot of in France, and we always pick up a new phrase or some interesting behaviour, such as the different number of kisses that it is required to give in different villages.

Admittedly in this place there seemed to be very few French people at this time of year – we had the Dutch couple on one side of us, and three youngish German women, one of them pregnant, in a huge caravan on the other. The German women did not speak to us, so we were free to fantasise about an elaborate lesbian ménage à trois (plus a sperm donor).

During the night we heard thunder rumbling around the hills, which was not surprising after the sudden drop in temperature during the afternoon.

Previous day: Pertuis to Étang de la Bonde

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