The Howling Wind

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As we gratefully watched the clouds roll out, we had high hopes for improved weather tomorrow. Instead, I laid awake most of the night listening to the wind howl through town and across our little campground. With everything making so much noise, I just wanted it to be morning so that I could get up and hopefully do something interesting.

As dawn finally began to break, Ben woke up as well and we began the day using the wifi from our tent, which is the first time we’ve had the option so far this trip. While Ben attempted to write a program to crunch our GPS data and figure out how many meters we have climbed on our bikes so far, I crawled back in my sleeping bag and managed to sleep another hour or so as the day warmed up.

We had hoped that once daylight was in full swing, the wind would have abated but it showed no signs of doing anything of the sort, so we packed up our day bags and headed into town for some provisions since we’d eaten through most of our groceries last night. The gusts, similar to our day in Rome, blew bits of stuff everywhere, and before we’d rolled the 3 minute ride into town, our eyes were already swollen and red from the dust.

A bit put out, we stopped for some breakfast pastries which I had no patience to snap a photo of, and sat down on the curb between a couple of buildings to eat them. The shelter of the walls helped a bit, but not much, and we were not in great spirits as we at our amazing apple pastries. I don’t even like apple filling, and seriously, these things were amazing. With at least a little food in our stomachs, we headed toward the old bit of town to explore, but the wind and the dust was so maddening we only went a few blocks before we took shelter in some narrow cobble streets and decided it was time to find a cafe and some hot chocolate. We quickly located some decent hot chocolate, and more importantly, four walls and a table from which to enjoy it. The cafe was filled with French men, all drinking their coffee and reading the paper and we laughed and wished we would have brought a paper too so we would blend in. Unfortunately our poor French and the necessity of miming may have given us away.

With a little break from the weather and our spirits lifted a bit, we decided to find some groceries and head back to camp where perhaps a nap was in order. I didn’t see the sense in forcing ourselves to walk around a town and explore if we weren’t going to enjoy ourselves.

Our trips to the grocery store have once again become a bit of a game since we switched countries and have had to find new “staples” to provide us with the inordinate amount of calories we seem to require these days. Today, Ben scored some pine flavored bon bons which might be more accurately described as Christmas tree flavored hard candies. One taste was enough for me, but he swears they are growing on him!

We picked up some pear juice and fresh strawberries and we sat outside our tent in the gale and snacked until both of us were ready for a nap. It was a bit toasty inside the tent, but I was so glad just to be out of the dust and the weather, I could hardly have cared. It is funny how little things that never would have bothered us at home can make a day so trying out here! This wind might drive us mad!

Gratefully, this campground makes a great place to hole up for the day and we found a nice little wind-free corner near the reception office to catch up on our internet browsing and hang out for the afternoon.

By the time evening rolled around, Ben was starving and took shelter behind the tent to try to fix some dinner. It was kind of a crazy affair with stuff blowing everywhere, but little by little the winds subsided and we eventually decided to go check out the fair that the town was hosting and that we could hear from probably at least a couple of kilometers away.

At that point the wind was still going strong, but at least had let up enough that it didn’t feel like a hurricane was moving in. We spent some time rolling the cobbled streets and taking a few pictures in the evening light. It was a nice change since we are usually making dinner and winding down for the evening around that time an often miss the beautiful light.

The fair was kind of a funny gathering of dessert shops and fair games with almost no one in attendance probably due to the wind. We decided on sharing a crepe before we went back to camp and we sat on a park bench to eat, observing the huge amount of leaves and debris strewn everywhere through the square.

We headed back to camp at dusk, glad to have braved the storm even for a bit and relieved that the wind seemed to be letting up a bit. We prayed for quieter wind tomorrow for our ride to the Grand Canyon of France.

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