Staycation: Day 5

If you’re wondering why these pictures look familiar, it’s because I wrote about one of the villages that has ochre deposits earlier this year: Roussillon. The second one, Rustrel, is where we went for day five of our staycation. According to the map the man at the tourist center gave us, there were two trails that would take you 45 minutes or so to hike (each).

As it turned out, his estimate was off by 45 minutes. Either we are fast walkers, or he must assume people are going to spend a lot more time gazing with wonder and snapping photos than we did. And since we know from our previous vacations with Ed and Cindy that walking fast is not our problem… (Insert your own turtle joke here, Ed.)

It was beautiful, though, and served as reminder of how diverse Provence really is. One minute you’re at the seaside, lounging next to palm trees, the next you’re in a vineyard or strolling through a cedar forest atop a mountain. And then there are these fantastic red rock formations. Provence really has a little bit of everything.

On the way out, we passed a group of tourists who had clearly been oversold on Rustrel. They were decked out in serious sportswear, with hiking boots and backpacks and everything. They stared in wonder at Johann and I leaving the park; he in shorts and flip-flops, me in a summer dress and sandals. And we hadn’t brought any provisions to last us the 45 minutes it took to see the sights, just our camera and the map. From the looks on their faces, they couldn’t believe we had survived. But we did, and the quick visit just left us with more time left over to grill out that evening and to plan for day six.

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