Reconnaissance Mission One, Day Two

Day two dawned bright and early as I had another conversation scheduled with Philippe. I was feeling a little delicate having drunk perhaps a glass too much of wine but managed to soldier on through an hour and a half of conversation, this time about work. Not the easiest thing to do with a headache!

Valbonne church

By a strange coincidence, I know someone who lives in the area and so Helen and I arranged to meet for lunch in the main square in Valbonne. It was market day and the place was packed with people, locals and tourists alike. We grabbed a table and chatted for a couple of hours exchanging surprisingly similar life stories (she lived in LA for eighteen years before moving to France) and generally getting to know each other.

In the square, Valbonne

After lunch it was time for me to face my next challenge and brave the roads as I was yet to drive in the south of France. Letad trustingly lent me his car and I was off. Brrrmmm!

It’s important to drive in order to get one’s bearings and as Letad had driven me around so far, I was determined to find my own way.

I headed back to Juan Les Pins, put 20 euros of petrol in the car without a mishap and drove around the coast to Antibes. It was surprisingly easy as I recognized a lot of the route and the signs were incredibly easy to follow. It appears I haven’t forgotten how to drive in the last five months and so mission accomplished!

I headed back to Valbonne, by some miracle managed to find a parking spot which are like hen’s teeth and headed down to watch the boules.

Watching the boules

For a Friday afternoon there was a lot of activity and it seems to be the hub of the village. Dozens of people stood watching and with very little talking, it’s a serious sport and quite tactical. It’s a bit like croquet without the hoops or mallets and with completely different rules… so in fact, nothing like it at all!

I can certainly see the appeal of the game and am tempted to have a crack at it. Perhaps my lack of French will be an advantage as I won’t be able to argue!

Fountain, Valbonne

At 6 o’clock I strolled back to the little house above the boulangerie to meet Letad after work. We’d arranged to meet Helen and her husband for a drink as it seemed we just had too much in common not to!

The Boulangerie

The evening was spent having a drink and a bite to eat in the square and then hurray, it was the weekend and we were off on another adventure in Provence!

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