Today started slowly. We’re getting up later and later. We can sleep with the windows open and hear nothing but birds and crickets. Wednesday is market day in Carnac. To be honest, French markets, like British markets, mainly sell a load of crap. The French specialise in really tacky and really expensive crap. The food is good. Local producers selling direct, and merchandisers who tour from market to market. The sausages (a kind of French version of salami) are wonderful but stink like three week old cadavers. The fish and shell fish are running around the stall and the pig butchers had whole pigs in bits, that you could use as a jig saw and reconstruct the pig. The cheese is amazing, and I love it, but on mass, in truck loads smells like teenage boy feet times one million! It was also very very hot and very crowded but always worth a browse. We bought some melon and ‘squeaky beans’. Then wobbled home on our bikes with a basket full of lunch.
Here is just a tiny example of the utter shite you can buy in French markets. It will cost you a fortune and will fall to bits in a matter of days. Nice colours though!
After cycling the long way round, we made it back to the campsite to get on with the sunbathing. It’s hot one minute and breezy the next. I’ve spent hours on this patio, just reading and enjoying the sunshine.
By two o’clock, it had cooled down considerably and we decided to cycle back to the old town of Carnac. We’ve been coming here since 2005 and have never actually been there. It’s picture postcard perfect, with a real sense of civic pride, pristine cleanliness and flowers in every available space. It has charming little side streets, with shuttered windows. Unlike the neighbouring tourist resort of Carnac Plage, Carnac Ville is full of life, people who live there all year, have veggie gardens, chickens in their back gardens and it feels like a real community. I’ll move here if I win the lottery!!!
There are flowers everywhere, a real sense of local pride in the place.
Some of the houses are tiny – this two up, two down will set you back 112,000 euros, with no garden and no parking………..any takers?
Another thing that France gets really right, is that cycling is common place. I love the cycle racks that are every where. There are ranks of them outside shops, cafes, bars and even in shopping precincts. Years ago, on my first trip to France, the amount of bikes genuinely shocked me and I even had nightmares about them. I’ve now given in. I get here. I lock up the car for the week and go every where by bike. I even bought the ‘Missmarplemobile’ especially for my trips to France. On the road, cars all seem to give you the priority; they wait at junctions, they wave you one and they patiently wait for you to make it through a narrow section of road before they try and pass you.
And, as Columbo would say, just one more thing. Not being a catholic, I’m unaware of saints. Here, there are saints for everything and I look for the statues of them. Here is Saint Cornely on the wall of the parish church in Carnac ville. I particulary like the saints that adorn the walls of homes, they sit in an especially made niches on the walls.
Well, it’s six thirty in the evening, we’re still sitting outside and all is quiet. I’m sitting here with a glass of wine, which leads me on to tell you about wine. In the UK, most of the cost of a bottle of wine goes to the tax man so we pay around £5.50 for a very average bottle of Chilean Merlot. Here a reasonable ‘appellation controlee’ can be bought for under two euros. We don’t drink much at all and will have drunk a total of two bottles between us over the week, but I still enjoy a bargain.
We’re off for our evening walk along the beach,
Until tomorrow/ a bientot xxxx