“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Day 87 – 30th July – Thursday

I woke about 5:30am and was too cold to get back to sleep. The sun was about to come up, so I got my camera gear together and spent a couple of hours wading around in the river shooting damselflies and frogs. I wandered into town to get fresh bread and on the way back over the bridge, spotted a heron fishing downstream looking stunning in the first morning rays. So I left the bread and my flip-flops on the riverbank and waded in… I stalked that bloody bird for about half a mile up the river before he flew off leaving me with nothing but soggy jeans and a long barefoot walk on pebbles back to my flip-flops.
We got going again after a couple more hours of me trying desperately to get a shot of the blue/green damselfly with its wings open (unsuccessfully I might add). We headed for the Verdon Gorge which Erik had told us was Europe’s answer to the Grand Canyon and not to be missed; how right he was. The valley was breathtaking. We stopped for lunch in the bottom of the valley and swam again in the river before heading out of Provence on the eastern side towards the Alps. We found a very cheap campsite on the same river at the foot of the mountains and parked just passed a 1975, canary yellow, bay camper – the only one we had seen for weeks. Ant disappeared to do some washing and I started preparing dinner. I then noticed an oldish man dressed as Jesus approaching the van – slightly panic-stricken I pretended not to see him thinking he was going to start preaching at me. Hoping that he would walk past, I waited inside the van, but he had stopped outside the door and coughed loudly. I knew I had to be polite… I bent my head down to look out towards him and wished I had videoed the event, because Ant would have loved it…
I saw an oldish, round man with white beard, wearing a cream cotton bib with doily-like edging and plenty of beads, a long maroon decorated skirt, leather sandals and one of those small round Jewish hats. He was carrying a white bible and wooden walking stick and standing feet from the river bed. I nervously smiled at him and he lifted his hand and gave me the internationally recognised V-dubbers hand sign!!
He turned out to be the wonderful and very hospitable MacLouf; the owner of the canary yellow combi. He had a look around the van and marvelled at how clean and tidy it was, he said we must go over to see his when he returned and he disappeared off into the woods with his bible.
He took us over to his van a little later and we drank strong lemon liquor and listened as he told us about his van, his family, his religion and the current Jewish fast… he couldn’t eat or drink anything until the next morning.

1 comment:

  1. hahaha!! now that sounds like it was one of those very bizarre but awesome experiences that will stick with you forever !! ...bit like the chicken lorry !! LOL !!