Saint Panteleon, Luberon

 

 

 

With temperatures soaring into the mid-30s, many visitors wonder why the locals are busy stocking up with fire wood and the wood vendors are piling logs into their yards for cutting up.Ah! Now is the time to stockpile. Wood is a precious commodity during the winter and stacking your wood shed now will allow the wood to dry out during the long, hot summer. Wood is also cheaper now – try and get a good load during January! You can get, but you pay…

Being good Boy Scouts, we got prepared..

The wood cutter’s yard near Coustellet in the Luberon

 

All prepared for delivery – in ‘sters’, or ‘cubic metres.

 

Our shed all packed – thanks Will!

 

The famous Church door near the Hotel de Ville. After the arena it must be the most photographed door in Arles.

Jen and Casey rang through and suggested a trip to Arles to see the Gypsy Kings perform in the Arles Arena (a Roman artefact of some significance and beauty). It was apparently the first time that the Gypsy Kings were performing in their home town – strange but true.

Arles was a-buzz, with the various small squares and plazas thronging with happy people and various buskers throughout the city.

We had arrived early to get good parking. Here one of the city squares is buzzing with a jazz band in the background.

 

Part of the outside of the arena Sunset beckons. The Gypsy Kings (the sole act) were slated for 21h30.

 

Part of the arena starts to fill up. Seating was on the old stone benches with some rudimentary metal structures and netting to keep everything semi-safe. OH&S was a low priority.

 

Here they are! Amazing hand co-ordination and rhythm. We were in the presence of masters of their art.

 

Staging was magnificent even though sometimes swamped by smoke.

 

 

As we left on our summer travels, the lavender started to ‘pop’. It was starting to look superb and you can always tell where there is a great display – by te hundreds of people crawling over the fields with cameras, and busses pulled up on the side of the road. This patch is near Roussillon, but the other place to see a great spread in the Luberon is near Coustellet, the iconic Abbaye de Senanque and , of course, the best of the lot, near to Sault.

 

 

 

We were worried that in such a wet spring, there would be no cherrie. However, as you can see, the trees are laden.

 

Nearly ready for eating, canning, liquor-making or glace-ing.

We’ve written before on Winter Truffle tours, hunting the Black Truffle (tuber melanosporum). Out intrepid truffle farmer friends, Lisa and Johan invited us for a Summer Truffle hunt. All  bit different: it’s the white ruffle the little dogs, Pupuce and Mirabelle hunt, this time Jean-Marc the main hunter is in shorts and singlet, and the dogs have to stop often for a sip of water and rest from the heat. Altogether a more relaxed morning out. The tree leaves, prolific olive trees and vineyards make it a different experience.

We hunted and we found!

 

Pupuce and Mirabelle at work

 

It’s cooling off time for the dogs

 

Our swag

 

Will and Sam were with us and Madame decided to show how to make a truffle omelette.

Here it is – leave the whole shelled raw eggs overnight in a bowl with some truffles. The next morning, prepare your omelette the normal way and then when folded, shave some truffle over the omelette. Delicious! The truffle aroma permeates the egg through the shells.

If you’re interested in doing a Summer Truffle Tour, click here.

 

Here the truffles are alongside the eggs

 

The finished article

The Eglise St Luc in Menerbes framed against an imminent summer thunderstorm

Not as friendly as she looks – this pooch guards our wood supplier’s yard.

Spotted in Arles, Camargue region

In Provence, and all along the Cote d’Azur. Come and play!!

 

Parasailing in Nice

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