It was our first (and probably last) nature day. And I think it might’ve been one of my absolutely favorite days on the entire trip. There’s just something about the simple beauty of nature that can’t be beaten by any city or tourist attraction, no matter how extraordinary. And it might also have something to do with it being spent with Zuzanna and Madeleine. We slept in until 9 am, and ate a lovely breakfast with Madeleine, who had been very thoughtful and bought almond milk for me. And on our way downstairs a little while later I got to say hi to Phillipe, my uncle, whom I haven’t seen since the brain hemorrhage four-five years ago. It was really great seeing him again and he seemed in great spirit. We talked for a little while before Zuzanna, Madeleine and I prepared sandwiches and drove to a market in Lamalou-les-Bains, a neighboring town. Here we walked around between the colourful stalls for a little while, buying some grapes and cheese, but otherwise just looking.
We drove further to Gorges de Colombieres, where we hiked up through wonderful surroundings until we reached the beautiful little lake and waterfall, where we sat enjoying the sun and peace and eating our sandwiches.
It was like a little oasis and we could’ve easily stayed there all day with our toes dipped in the icy water enjoying our picnic. But eventually we did descent, driving to our next stop: the church Notre Dame de Capimant. The scenery on the drive was beautiful with mountains and fields and old ruins in between. We walked up a hill to reach the stunning little chapel, where we spend some time enjoying the view and the peaceful atmosphere that seemed to reach beyond religion.
We drove home, on the way passing through the charming little town, Villemagne-l’Argentière, where we took a quick look around. Every town we came through seemed cozy with its old buildings and tiny streets, while the landscape that passed by outside the car window was ever changing.
At home we found some fitting bikes, gave the tiers a quick pump of air and cycled with Phillipe to his physiotherapist - well, he actually speeded away from us in his awesome wheelchair with an electric attachment that could make it go 25 km/h, and we didn’t catch up to him until we were nearly there.
While Phillipe was at his one-hour session we cycled to a small waterfall, la Barque, taking a charming route there, where we passed by cute buildings and beautiful scenery. At the waterfall we walked down a little trail by the lake before turning around and cycling back, where we met up with Phillipe and went home.
We once again opted for the car for a longer drive to a beautiful little town, Mourèze, from where we hiked up a rocky trail and enjoyed our beautiful surroundings.
We continued to a giant lake, Lac du Salagou, where I longed to put up a tent and camp out, as the lakeside area was both stunning and incredibly peaceful.
From all these trips to different old towns and beautiful natural areas I quickly fell in love with Bédarieux and the surrounding area, and I could definitely understand why Madeleine and Phillipe had decided to live here.
When we got home we made an amazing upside down vegetable tarte for dinner, and we sat outside, first drinking wine and eating chips with guacamole, and then eating dinner, Phillipe joining us to chat the whole time, which was a lovely added bonus for the evening. We said goodnight (and goodbye) to Phillipe after dinner and went upstairs where we drank tea and talked in the living room. Madeleine introduced me to Alexandra David Néel, the coolest woman ever, I for some reason had never heard about, and we sat for a while before heading off to bed, preparing ourselves for getting up early in the morning. It had been a wonderful evening in Montpellier and magical day in Bédarieux and I couldn’t wait to come back soon.
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