To Buoux

Buoux Travel Blog

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Friday, June 18

I made another map reading mistake this morning, not seeing a small hatch across our route. It turned out to be a gate with a sign that said ferocious dogs. A woman came by in an SUV and reinforced the warning. We had to go all the way back to Fondons in order to go a different way. We met Brigitte at the end of her driveway as the same time as the SUV swung down the road. The conversation that followed was too hard to follow but we got the idea that Brigitte wasn't too pleased with her. But we are not too sure. The day continued in the same mode. Many of my shortcuts, or the shortcuts on the map, did not exist, so we took long pleasant detours. We decided not to go to Sivergues, leaving it for another time and instead had our lunch at the edge of a meadow at the beginning of the gorge that we would be traveling in after lunch.

The stream in the gorge was running, the first water we had seen for a number of days. We spent an hour surrounded by mossy banks and gurgling sounds. A trail blaze signaled the end our dark, cool interlude and we headed up the embankment back into the Provençal summer. Eventually, we felt that the trail was headed off in a direction that didn't feel right to us. A fellow hiker came along and we had a long discussion filled with turnings of the map and pointings to distant landmarks and then back to the map. Finally, we decided to ignore the map and take his advice that we could there from here by going that a way.

And it was true. We walked among those tantalizing lavender fields that refused to bloom, following blazes and signs and soon were descending, I repeat descending in to Bouux. We could see our place from the ridge and in fifteen minutes were walking down the cart path that led to their back door


La Grande Bastide was an 16th century building that we figured must be the place. However, there was no sign, and there didn't appear to be anyone around. So I sat under a tree in the field and Stephen did a bit of exploring. After about twenty minutes, a Japanese couple drove up in a car, parked next to the building and headed into the back yard. It was they who led me to la patronne, Veronique, I believe was her name. At 50 Euros, we had a large, comfortable room with a very nice, modern, attractive bathroom that was supposed to be "shared." However, since the Japanese couple had their own bath, and there was no one else staying there, it became a private bathroom. We spent the late afternoon hours lounging about on lawn chairs, drinking tea that we were invited to make in the little kitchenette, reading, and talking in English, French, and a drop of Japanese to the other couple.


When we were back in Lou Caleu, we had the luxury of a phone in our room and local calls were free. This fact took awhile to establish, not because we didn't understand them, but because we didn't really believe it. So we spent time trying to figure out how these words could mean the opposite of what they meant until we just decided that it was probably true. We took advantage by calling a couple of nights ahead and making a reservation in Buoux for our lodging and for dinner. Here is what we read about the restaurant, again, on the Internet.

You can eventually lunch in the Auberge de la Loube, where the hors d’oeuvre are famous. Served on an enormous plateau is composed by 17 different items. Quality changes with seasons. Best is off-season late fall or in the winter. Also: Fresh cuisine with copious dishes with Provençal hors d’oeuvres, lapin sauté, fromage, desserts.

But first we wanted to have a drink, so we stopped at a terrace road side place half way from our B&B to the restaurant. Another quiet pleasure in the south of France. Almost all the beers were unfamiliar and Dawn worked out with the waiter the various taste possibilities. Next to us was a father and young daughter having supper. A bird in a cage whistling away rounded out the entertainment. For us, a quiet drink, near the end of our trip just to smile and touch fingers. After a while, we took a short summer evening walk down the road to Auberge de la Loube.

Dinner did not disappoint. Once again, I wish I had brought my camera and taken a picture of the "plateau" with its eighteen tapas. Le patron came by and chatted with us, so we had the chance to compliment him on the meal. We noticed across the terrace that the Japanese couple were dining with some others. Small town. - Dawn

We also saw a large family group that we would see again the next day in Apt. But for tonight all that remained was to walk back and fall asleep.

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