19th June 2009, Thursday

I should have written these blog posts daily, but I have just not got around to it. So I have to try and write from memory.

Our first night was comfortable. Our hosts are very friendly. They have the cutest little girl of about 4. Pity there was such a language barrier.

We woke up quite early and I suggested we go for walk. I realised that I had forgotten to pack my toothbrush the night before, so we decided we would walk the 5kms into town to buy a toothbrush. My dad, Leon, decided to stay home, but Lorna, my mum, decided to come along. I had lent her a pair of walking shoes, so she was well equipped. We suggested that she set the pace, and how impressed we were when the pace was a very good one! In fact it might even have been a little quicker than we would normally set off when walking 10 kms.

The sun was very hot. I was glad I had remembered the sunscreen as we would otherwise had got quite burnt. We found that there was a big supermarket at the edge of the town, but continued into the old town. It was lovely and quaint. The shops weren’t touristy at all, but merely functional and perhaps even a bit old fashioned. We did pop into a winery that sold wine (of course), olive oil, honey and jam, but bought only two types of jam. Thereafter, we found out way back to the main road, and make a delicious discovery: mulberries on 3 trees outside the Lidl car park. They were the sweetest mulberries I have ever tasted in my life. It was as though they had been soaking in sugar for hours. As we stopped to eat them, we did invite a few disapproving looks from the locals. We wonder whether they might have thought we were poor and had to resort to wild food for our existence!

On our way back, we called in at the supermarket to buy the toothbrush and plasters, as Tim’s feet were hurting. But as we have an ‘ice cream a day’ rule on holiday, we were looking for ice creams too, and bought a whole box of 4 magnums for less than 2.5 euros. As it was cheaper than buying a box of 3, we decided we would buy the 4, then throw one away. But you know how these things work out, Tim couldn’t bear for us to throw away perfectly good food, so he ended up eating 2 and feeling rather sick afterwards!

When we arrived back at the gite, my dad had been a wonderful housekeeper: dishes washed and tidied away, beds made, and generally tidied up! Not something I was used to, but something I could get used to …

A mile away, there was a little restaurant next to the road. They had a set menu (le menu), which I understood to be a salad with some bits of goat’s cheese toast, followed by a dessert and coffee for 16 euros. Quite dear for a salad, we thought, but as we didn’t had a plan B, we stayed. When the magnificent salads arrived, we ate our words. The salad was served on a large bread board. There were 5 large slices of baguette with grilled goats cheese, a mountain of dressed lettuce and many slices of cured parma-type ham. In short, it was fantastic.

We headed back and spent the remainder of the day around the pool. One one activity remained for the afternoon – going to the wine farm on the other side of the main road. We ambled over and was met by a very charming Mauritian lady who had us taste a number of wines. The whites and roses were great – and as a result we bought 2 to drink that evening.

As it is both light and warm until about 9.30, the evenings are perfect for sitting outside, eating bread, cheese, pate etc. and drinking wine. By the time the sun is going down, so are your eyelids …