South of France – a weekend in paradise!

Three days ago I returned from a wonderful getaway weekend in the south of France. On the whole, the trip was far better than I had expected and it will definitely go down as one of my highlights of the year.

I arrived in Marseille on Saturday evening, and from the airport I headed straight to my friend’s house; he had just finished work so my arrival time was convenient for the both of us. When I got to his place we didn’t stay for long; we quickly packed our camping gear, enough water for the evening and soon headed off. However, before leaving Marseille we went to a bakery to get some delicious food for the evening and for breakfast the next morning. We bought loads of fresh, organic fruits like cherries and blueberries, and from the bakery we got some delicious pastries and a freshly-made baguette. With all the food packed in the car we were ready to set off on our 2 hour journey.

The plan was to camp for one night in Roussillon – so that the following day we could explore the town and all that it had to offer. We pitched our tent in Camping Arc en Ciel which was a quiet, simple camping site with good facilities and helpful staff. The last time I went camping was probably about 3 years ago – and that was for a festival so not sure if that really counts – thus it was great to reconnect with the simplicity of camping and being so close to nature. I was very happy to spent that evening catching up with my friend as we hadn’t seen each other since last year; we had dinner, chatted and laughed for the rest of the evening.

mine tour – Roussillon

The next morning, after a fantastic breakfast, we packed up our belongings and set off for the ochres in Roussillon. It was awesome to wander around Le Sentier des orces de Roussillon and see such beauty in the town and on the conservation site. It’s such a wonderful town to visit so naturally I’d recommend it to anyone who is in the area. Because we were also low on food we passed by the local supermarket to stock up. Following our visit to the ochre sites, my friend and I went to Les orces des Mines de Bruoux for a tour. Given that it was guided tour we learned so much about the ochre industry in France and its mines including some surprising facts. For example, during the second world war the mine wasn’t in operation, for obvious reasons. However, after the war it took 5 years to remove all the water that had collected in the mines during its closure. 5 whole years! Fascinating, ay?

After this educational morning we had a picnic in the sunshine in the afternoon and took a nap because we were quite stuffed from all the food and it was also pretty warm – 27 degrees to be exact! I remember feeling so intensely grateful because at the moment in time we had no worries, no stress whatsoever, and it was such a blessing to be able to completely relax knowing that we had all the time in the world to do so. Amazing! Moreover, I love lying on grass on a hot summer’s day and feeling the sunshine on my skin; it’s super comforting and strangely empowering. When we woke up we decided to go on another walk so we drove to Colorado Provencal in Rustrel where we went on a 90 minute walk. Again, the views were spectacular and the walk was mostly uphill so it served as a good workout for the thighs too.

To end the evening we found a great waterfall about 30 minutes drive away. Though we got lost a few times en route, once we get to our location it was more than worth the effort. The waterfall was extremely peaceful and, moreover, we were the only people there so it was very picturesque and an ideal spot of camping. We pitched up our tent and quickly made ourselves at home!

Cascade

Before the cascade there were small pools which resembled tiny bathtubs, and as the  surrounding rock was very smooth we could walk around barefooted. And given that the water was fresh and clean we were able to wash our fruits and vegetables, and ourselves too, with no problem. This waterfall was such a lucky find and a great way to bring that day of activities to a close. In retrospect, I only wish I had taken more photos!

The next morning we had a lie-in and a late breakfast. We did a bit of chilling in the pools since the sun was already up and was warming up the water. After a few hours of lounging around we packed up our things and headed to the airport which was about a 2 hour drive.

Overall I had a spectacular weekend in the south of France and I’m eager to explore more of it. I’m blessed that everything fell into place perfectly and that my friend and I were able to have a fantastic trip.

Of course I am so looking forward to the next adventure life will bring my way!

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