France, we meet again…

It had been 4 months since our last French workaway left a very sour taste in our mouths.  We were hopeful of a better experience this time as we headed to another mountainous location; the Midi Pyrénées.

On our way, the picturesque train ride from Rapallo, through both the Italian and French Riviera, saw us stopping in Nice overnight.  It was just the place to get our beach fix after the torrential rain in Rapallo.  We made the most of it, having both dinner and breakfast on the beach watching the glorious sunset and sunrise over the water.

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We seem to spend a lot of our time in new cities trying their brews (could you tell from Steve’s last post?)

For this workaway we were staying with another English family; Becky, Matt, Ed & Henri.  There always seem to be interesting events happening when we arrive at new work stays.  The annual organic market was happening in the nearby town of St Girons so we checked it out with Becky & the boys.

The human powered carousel was popular.


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There was an area with FREE circus activities for kids (and big kids) to have a go.

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We were incredibly surprised to run into Yohana who was our couchsurfing host in Avignon earlier this year.  Her family had a couple of stalls at the market and we were able to meet her new nephew.


Meet the furry, hairy and feathery members of the family (unfortunately we neglected to take photos of the feline members, Molly & Bobby).

Heidi (left) & Dusty (right)


Pinky & Perky

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The Brood


We loved walking the dogs every day and seeing the gorgeous fields and forests filled with flora and fauna.

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It was chestnut season, so we collected heaps only to leave them unused.  We did however make use of the vegetables from our hosts’ garden; only taking a few steps outside to find all the ingredients for this frittata.

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Of course we did a bit of work too. Digging up potatoes and carrots, plaiting onions (not as easy as you’d expect), sanding, painting, gardening and looking after the animals.

Meet the animals and see us feeding the chickens and pigs on this video.


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This is Contessa, the donkey who lived next door.

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Perky really liked Steve and sometimes chased him around the field.

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Some of the gorgeous scenery could only be reached by car, so Becky was kind enough to take us up the mountains for a look.

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Steve’s favourite thing to do in France – eat croissants.

After we left the lovely town of Argein, we spent a night in Toulouse before continuing on to Bordeaux.

Our night in Toulouse happened to be the night of Halloween.  We spent the day wandering around, checking out people’s costumes and ended up at an English pub for dinner.

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The main train stations in each French city have a piano which are open for anyone to play.  We didn’t hear much of them in our first few months here, but we were treated to some high quality music by several pianists in Toulouse, as well as some of the other southern stations we’ve been through.


When we arrived in Bordeaux we saw protesters for the first time in France.  Then when we were leaving we were affected by train strikes for the first time (unrelated to the protesters).  Fortunately we had advanced warning and it didn’t affect our plans too much.


Aside from the protest, there were heaps of people out and about in Bordeaux, enjoying the fair that was in town and the great weather on the public holiday.

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We checked out a few markets on the weekend and enjoyed the oysters and wine for which they’re renowned (even if it was a little early in the morning).

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Now we’re lucky enough to be back in Crozon sur Vauvre staying with Tim & Juliet.  If you haven’t already, make sure you take a look at what we got up to last time we were here.


9 thoughts on “France, we meet again…

  1. Once again a great read and beautiful photos. I particularly enjoyed the photos in the mountains where Becky took you.

    I liked the video and have told Celia about it so that she’ll show it to Luke.

  2. It’s never too early for wine and oysters. Gabrielle and Lucy loved the video. They watched it twice and asked lots of questions. Andrew couldn’t quite stay the course. He is a young lad with a short attention span!
    I see shades of The Good Life in you and Steve. How will you settle back into the Brisbane metropolis?

  3. Pingback: The Animalist | Musings of the Pengo Pair

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