With just one full day for exploring, the plan was to stock up on fromage, go to Banon to buy fixings for a picnique, and pay a visit to the rose garden at l’Abbaye de Valsaintes. Located in Boulinette (southeast of Simiane-La-Rotonde), the 45-minute drive should’ve been a piece of cake. But when you’re oohing and aahing over every little view in the french countryside, that number tends to draw out. It didn’t help that we came across signs like this.
And again further on, with an arrow that shows 3.2 km to go. My fondness for the horned beasts goes way back to when I was a kid (pun intended!) at my grandpa’s goat farm on Kauai, so this brought up a lot of memories. When we arrived at Le Petit Tourtouil, a sign on the gate said that the farm was open when the owner was in, or… after 6:30pm. Flies everywhere, which is one aspect that I had totally forgotten about, being around goats n’ all. I only remember poop!
Eventually we make it out to the garden of Valsaintes abbey, but not before chasing more cheese signs. A note about the weather: we were lucky to have pleasant conditions – 20°-23°C daytime – during the whole time. We’ve never had it so good on any of our previous trips to Provence. Forecasts report a sizzling 30°-34°C in Cruis this weekend, and as strange as this is gonna sound, coming from a Hawaii person like myself, I would’ve been one hot mess if our plans were off by a week! Next up…part 2 of les Goats N’Roses