Les GirlsLeaving Toulouse
Not the 1957 Gene Kelly musical but three ladies who provided us with lots of entertainment (and eggs) while we were in Aurignac. Maybe this should be titles Lay, Girls?
Back to the train station to rent the car. The staff was very friendly and helpful giving us directions on how to get out of town. We only made one small mistake which was amazing considering the road works at the station and the narrow, winding streets. Luckily, the drive out of town went along streets we had walked the day before. This was helpful because there were a couple of unusual intersections and I am glad I didn’t have to drive through them unprepared. The drive was only just over an hour and we were heading towards the Pyrenees which made for great views. Aurignac
The couple we were house sitting for were a lot of fun. They introduced us to Caramelle, the cat, and the three chickens. Wait a minute, I thought there were four. Apparently, the fourth one had been sick and went to the vet the day before to be put down. These chickens aren’t exactly pets but pretty close.
After breakfast each day, we got down to business, making sure Caramelle had food and water in the appropriate places. She is an outdoor cat with a mind of her own
A beautiful outdoor cat who deemed to grace us with her presence from time to time. Mainly when she wanted food.
(what cat doesn’t?). Then it’s out to the chicken coop to attend to the girls. Dump the water system and replace it with fresh water. Check for eggs. Clean up any droppings. Take a head of lettuce and tie it to the roof of the coop (they go through one head a day and would likely eat more if you provided it). But the highlight of the visit came every other day when you thawed a bag of the mash that is left over in beer making and put it in their coop in a sauce pan. They go nuts. Don’t get in their way. Joan wanted to compensate us for the lettuce we bought. I said the entertainment value was worth every euro. We usually let them out in the yard to scratch around for juicy bugs while we did the daily chores. Getting them back in the coop was sometimes fun. We learned to hold the mash until the end. That got them back in a flash.
Once the work was done we could visit the surrounding area. The town of Aurignac has about 1,200 people making it the smallest place we stayed. We learned that cappuccinos
Lettuce be friends
I couldn't believe how fast they could demolish a head of lettuce. In fact, I was amazed they would even like it.
are more of a tourist thing but the pâtisseries and boulangeries still made fabulous croissants, pain au raisin et baguettes
. Even though the town was small, it had churches, ramparts, museums, and good signs on the attractions (even in English for us foreigners); everything you could ask for and in a small space.
But one of the nicest aspects of the area was that it wasn’t in a city. We had spent a lot of time in some fairly large, old cities. This gave us a chance to be out in some pretty spectacular open country with rolling hills, crops, fallow fields and great vistas. Our greatest adventure was driving to L’Isle-en-Didon for a walkabout.
This town is about 25 kilometers away and, of course, we went there on a Saturday. The problem was not the Gilets Jaune protests but that it was Market Day. Streets were blocked off and parking was tricky. But we found a place not too far from the centre of town and hit the Tourist Office. They provided us with detailed maps of the 14 kilometer trip we thought we would take (after café crème).
The hardest part of the
Caramelle occasionally joined us for meals in the sun room overlooking the Pyrenees.
trip was knowing where to start. While I nipped back to the car, Dianne poured over the map. A chap walking by stopped to help her, explaining in great detail (all in French). Another example of some really nice people in France. His instructions were spot on and we found the start of the trail. The map helped but the trail markers (see pictures) were all one needed to do this large looping trail that wound up and down through fields and forests and, in places, along roads. The half way point was a small town that was setting up for an Easter feast the next day. When we stopped outside the mairie to eat our sandwiches in the shade, a chap came over to chat (in French) and took Dianne into the city hall to refill her water bottle. Very chatty and very pleasant.
The only problem with this trip was the “easy” description of it in the guide book. It was a “1” when the range was “1” to “5”. The hill leading up to this little village was a killer as was another hill on the return leg. Strenuous but doable for us but
Beautiful view from the sun room but in April, this was the only day they were visible. Luckily Dianne took some pictures.
others relying on the “easy” description could be less fortunate. Walking through the open countryside was indeed a beautiful experience. At the end there was a discrepancy between the map and the trail markers. We choose to follow the wrong one and were very pleased to realize that the road we were on took us right to our car. Quite a day.
The rest of the time in Aurignac went very quickly. Another town, another walk. Another museum. Just a very relaxing way to spend the second last week of our trip. The last stop of our trip
Back to Toulouse to turn in the rental car. The return to the airport was a lot easier than getting out of Toulouse. Buying gas was a bit of an adventure due to more road closures in the town near the airport. Au revoir, France. Off to Brussels! ToBeContinued!
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