12 September 2011

OK – so it had to happen – a bad day. . .

Posted in Talking about . . .

We woke up to drizzle and set off for L’Isle sur la Sorge, expecting to spend a happy morning at the famous antiques market there. We happily programmed our destination into the GPS and set off - Kirsten’s cheerful voice gave no indication of the drama that was about to unfold. . .

I was a little alarmed initially by the incredibly narrow, steep, and torturously twisting road down our mountain. However, the drizzle then turned to bucketing rain, and our hearts were in our mouths for the better part of an hour. The windscreen wipers couldn’t cope with the deluge and we could only see a little way in front of us.

Remember that this was only my second outing driving on the RHS of the road, and the drop away from the road on the right was horrific! The road continued to twist and turn up and down hills, and I had to stop every time a car came towards us for fear of an accident or tumbling down the cliff-face.

We finally got into L’Isle sur la Sorge (autonomic nervous systems screaming) and started looking for the market – couldn’t find it, of course. Came to a shopping centre and stopped there to ask the way. Hung around the mall like beggars – approaching people to ask for directions to the market in excrutiatingly stilted French – what a nightmare! Bought the only English magazine in town to try and feel normal, and had a coffee in a café to try and calm the nerves and get our s*!# together.

People were very kind and tried to be helpful, and we came out with directions – but it was no use – we got lost again. Eventually we decided to call it quits and go home. We programmed Kirsten to return to Venasque, and imagine our surprise when the route we took lasted half the time, and went along roads with white lines in the middle! I was ropeable - what on earth had we done to Kirsten that she would treat us this way – take us to L’Isle sur la Sorge by the most difficult route there is – and in the pouring rain!

We finally got home, and the rest of the day was spent in a kind of acute stress daze – I don’t even remember much of it. Except – oh, yes – poor Dave came and invited us for a drink, and they got my tale of woe at about 50 decibels (Brian kept gesturing to me to lower my voice). I was so wound up, it took me about 500mls of rosé to begin to calm down . . .

So – it’s happened, and it’s good to have it out of the way. There had to be a bad day in amongst the gloriousness that has been our experience ‘til now. In particular, there had to be a counterbalance for the intoxicating enchantment of our first day in Venasque. We’re still working out why we were taken that terrible route to L’Isle sur la Sorge when there was clearly a much easier route – I assume that it was all our own doing, but Kirsten still has much to answer for . . .

Note – no pictures – too horrible to look at!

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