We had a busy few days planned out, with trips to Aigues Mortes and Uzes, two of our favorite places, both a bit more than an hour’s drive from the mas. Unfortunately, the Mistral – the icy cold wind that sweeps down from the north and blows nonstop – arrived unexpectedly and dictated a change.
On Tuesday, the drive to and from dialysis was made more exciting by gusts of wind of up to 90 kpm (about 50 mph) sweeping across the long stretches of road on either side of Senas. While I was pretty sure that David had our BMW under control, the huge trucks that ply these routes were another matter. Sitting high and exposed, they were blown around pretty severely, always putting some doubt in your mind that they might end up in our lane.
Fortunately, we were cautious and made it to and from Salon without incident other than my clutching the hand hold on the door until the color leached out of it.
One positive in switching plans was that we were able to get a table for lunch at Mas du Capoun, a small hotel/restaurant in Molleges owned by a delightful Belgian family that we have gotten to know. Michelle, the wife, recognized us as we arrived, and greeted us with the traditional three-kiss welcome reserved for friends. Lunch here is always sold out due to the incredible three-course menu they offer for 24 Euro, including two glasses of wine per person.
Kirs arrived while we made our selections from the menu. I went with a focaccia and asparagus starter and farm chicken plat, while David went all fish – tuna appetizer with a salmon main course. As always, everything was wonderful – manageable perfect portion size, and perfect preparation and presentation. I had ice cream for dessert, while David opted for a cheese plate, the first time he’s had cheese since we’ve arrived.
Michelle filled us in on the trip they took to the states last year, saying how much she had enjoyed their week in New York. This year they are going again, with stops in New York and San Francisco. After café noir and a few sweets, we left, promising to return next week.
Then, it was back to the mas, some laundry time, and a trip to Café du Centre, as always, at the end of the day.
The next morning, we still had hopes of a trip to Uzes or Aigues Mortes, but the wind was even stronger, so we decided the drive would be too much and set our sites closer.
As the Mistral had blown out all the clouds and haze, it was a perfect day for photography, so we decided to head out and around looking for new material for the blog. I shot some nice scenes in and around Eygalieres, then we headed up into the Alpilles taking the mountain road to Mausanne. While I’ve shot much of this before, the vibrant spring greenery and crisp blue skies promised some nice scenes. We drove at a leisurely pace, stopping whenever there was a promise of a good scene.
After an hour or so, we arrived on the other side of the Alpilles in Mausanne. As it was lunchtime, we pulled into a restaurant for a light bite. The welcome was warm and genuine, and the menu appealing and reasonable. I had a cut of beef much like a U.S. filet, that was the best beef I have had to date. A home-made Bernaise was absolutely perfect, with just the right amount of tarragon, and the frites that came with it were the best I have had in a long time. David started with petits farcis, vegetables stuffed with a spiced veal, that he pronounced wonderful. His thon (tuna) was perfectly done and served with more vegetables. Our wine was from the nearby Luberon, fresh and crisp, and just 19 Euros for a bottle. I had a tiramisu for dessert, which was okay as I had no starter, then it was café noirs and on our way.
We headed to St. Remy in hopes of finding a store with table linens for a dinner at the mas, and I was able to find a small store with nice ones. David found a convenient parking spot near Lisbon, and walked across the village to meet me on the Boulevard Mirabeau, which somehow was sheltered from the wind. We relaxed for a bit with a glass of rosé, then headed back to home in Eygalieres. We stopped in town so David could buy some Vittel and Badoit, and had a café noir at the Café du Centre before heading home to the mas.
Still full from lunch, we nibbled on some Comté, listened to some music on Jango (the free Internet radio station), and then turned in early, as tomorrow is dialysis and another drive through the Mistral to Salon.