Thursday, October 23, 2008

France Day 6,7,8 Travel to Bedoin, Visit Bedoin, Bedoin Market, Tour Area

Click to Subscribe to Life Of DUG

Some of the following is based on fact, and some is not.
(Scroll Down for Pictures)

DAY 6,7 and 8

I got up at 6:15am I had to get my 13 mile run in get packed and ready to leave by noon. Off on my run, I headed toward the Seine. Once at the banks of the river I headed east toward Notre Dame. It was the strangest thing every metro station I passed had hundreds if not thousands of people exiting, what was up, it was 6:45am on a Saturday morning. Everybody was heading in the opposite direction as me, I felt like a salmon swimming up stream. At one point I noticed I was on one side of temporary barriers and all the people were on the other side. The running got much easier when I noticed there were police officers about every 15 meters and they were yelling at me in French. As I had mentioned before I speak almost all languages situationally and in this situation it was clear they wanted me on the other side of the barrier. Finally I found a break in the barrier and got to the correct side and was back swimming up stream. All of a sudden my heart sank I realized what was going on. I was running on the route the Pope would be taking, he was in Paris and giving an open air mass this morning. The reason my heart sunk was a wacky thought passed through my mind was “The Rock” involved in a plot against the Pope. At this point there was nothing I could do except finish my run and check the news when I returned. Once passed Notre Dame the volume of people died down I continued another half mile then crossed the Seine heading west toward the Louvre I entered the Louvre Gardens then straight out to the Arch de Triumph running the full length of the avenue Champs-Élysées, I ran directly under the arch and continued straight out another mile then headed back toward the river and directly under the Eiffel Tower. From there it was a fairly straight shot back to the hotel. In two hours I had hit almost all the sites we had seen in the last few days.

Today we are heading to Bédoin to meet the rest of the crew. We have all chipped in and rented a Villa in Bédoin. I have not met any of these folks, they connected with me through the website, but now I think they might be connected to “The Rock”. We are taking the TGV (high speed train) to Avignon. From there we will have a rental car to get around. The train was very smooth and very fast, nothing like the rough and undependable train rides I have taken in Africa. We traveled 400 miles in just over 2 hours.

Once we arrived in Avignon, we got the rental car and attempted to leave the train station (30 min) at one point we were in area that looked like Beirut, Lebanon, very scary, I made a U-turn and found another exit. The directions we were given from the train station to the villa were awful I need to give Bebe and Margarite credit on navigating. This area of France is known as Provence, as we left the train station the area was very industrial and commercial as we got closer to the villa (45 minutes) it was more farms and vineyards clearly wine country.

The first thing we noticed while approaching Bédoin is the huge, imposing church of Saint-Antonin, with its Spanish-looking style so different from any other in the Provence region. In fact, the style is Jesuit built in 1702 and restored in the 19th century. In spite of the strangely different style the church does have a wrought-iron belfry (campanile) so typical of the region.

The houses of this compact old village look small compared to the church, and are clustered up against the hill. At the top of the village hill, above the houses and church alike, the tombstones from an abandoned and vandalized graveyard are scattered about in the tall grass.

The ruined graves evoke a bit of sadness that tempers the incredible view from this high spot. The hilltop village of Crillon-le-Brave is visible across the fields to the southwest, while the 1900m-high Mont Ventoux towers high above Bédoin to the northeast.

Once at the villa “The Rock” introduced us to the rest of the crew. I could not tell how he knew these people or how well
he knew them.

G d'B - is a great guy, always having fun has never found an activity he does not like golf, disc golf, softball, cards, music, biking, rafting, skiing, hiking, camping, etc. He always wants to hang with family and friends. G d'B lives in New England and has been married to
An Unknown Women for 25 years they have 2 adult children.

Unknown Women - G d'B's wife her whole focus in life is family and keeping everybody happy. The Unknown Women is a level 3 reike healer. She has had somewhere around 186 jobs the longest lasting 7 months.

Testa Rossa - is from England another animal lover maybe even a fanatic about animals. Testa Rossa is married to Mobe. They have one son, Bentley. Testa Rossa claims she trains animals but she really trains the owners of the animals to spoil them. It is all about the love of animals.

Mobe - is a professional bicyclists, his focus is on climbing. He was on Lance Armstrong’s team 3 years in a row and won the polka dot jersey 2 times. When Mobe is not biking he is either spoiling Bentley or talking about biking. Mobe has a huge sweet tooth, it is rumored that the small village in England he grew up in had a pastry shop at the top of a very steep hill and every day Mobe would bike to the top of this hill to get a sweet. The rumor attributes this training at an early age to Mobe's great success as a climber.

Matalin - is the CEO of a small pharmaceutical company. She is known as one of the strongest women CEO's in the world, her company continues to set record profits, year after year. She lives in southern Florida and commutes to northern New Jersey via her company jet that she pilots. In her spare time she travels the world looking for new business opportunities. When not working she hangs out with friends looking for great adventures. She is currently dating Remy who lives in Switzerland, and could not join Matalin on this trip.

When we arrived at the villa the group had already gone shopping and was preparing dinner of chicken and salad. This was a perfect way to be welcomed to the villa. After dinner we had caught up on our trips. The other group had been to Monte Carlo and Niece.


In the morning we all woke up about 10:00am except Margarite. She was up at 7:30am and went on a 13 mile run and a short swim after the run, which was impressive since the air temp was 60 and the water temp 55.
She was only able to get a few laps in before hyperthermia started setting in.

Mobe made awesome eggs for breakfast. At 11:00am most of the group went into town, a 15 minute walk. I stayed back, after Margarite did her run and swim she went back to sleep. I figured this was my chance for some alone time so I hung back and waited for Margarite to wake.

It was a gorgeous day sunny low 70's but very windy, the wind made it feel cold. When Margarite woke she wanted to walk into town and find the others, so much for alone time.

Off to town we went. This town is very popular with bicyclist both road and mountain. The town is situated at the bottom of Mont Ventoux which is a famous mountain often featured in the Tour d’ France. With the town so small we quickly found the others much to my disappointment so much for alone time. The group was having lunch at a sidewalk cafe. We joined them and Matalin offered us her appetizer Goat cheese and honey on toast. I accepted, it was very good but I would later learn this was a big mistake. Margarite declined as she is allergic to dairy. We went to order some food and found out the café was finished serving lunch for the day so Margarite and I left and found a nice little sandwich shop. After lunch Margarite and I walked up to the church (alone time). This was clearly the older part of town the streets barely wide enough for a car to fit. At the church you could look down on the whole town. The church was locked so we could not get inside. As we got back to the main part of town we re-met up with the group (end of alone time). We all started heading back to the villa. We passed by a cemetery and a few of us decided to take a stroll through. It was much like the cemetery in Paris where it appears the bodies are in tombs above ground. There was one tomb of an 18 year old that must have been a bicyclist as the head stone was shaped like Mont Ventoux and had a bike rider on it.

It was at this point I started feeling ill unaware of why. Once we got back to the villa everybody was hanging out. I’ve been keeping my eye on “The Rock”. Everything was fine with the Pope, according to the news he was safely back in Rome so I was still curious as to what “The Rock” was up to. I noticed “The Rock” and the Unknown Women had spent unusual amount of time talking quietly to each other. It was clear most of the folks on the trip knew “The Rock” I could not tell if “The Rock” had planted any of his under world associates on this trip and they are using my travels as part of their cover. As the day went on I felt more and more ill. At first just chills, then nausea and lastly my hair started falling out. When my hair started falling out I knew what was going on. “The Rock” must have suspected I was on to him and he wants to get rid of me. So at lunch he must have sprinkled some radioactive isotopes on Matalin’s appetizer knowing Margarite was allergic to dairy and would not have any. The question; Is Matalin in on the plot to get rid of me? If I live through the night I will need to figure this out. What do I do about the radiation poisoning? Luck was with me, the week before this trip I was camping in the Grand Teton Mountains and needed water purification tablets I was fairly sure these tablets were loaded with iodine a cure to radiation poisoning. I took the whole bottle of tablets and then went to bed not indicating to anybody I knew what had been done to me and not knowing if I would ever wake up again.


I made it through the night. My cure worked! In the morning I was feeling just a little sick to my stomach I was sure that was caused by the high level of iodine in my system. When I went down stairs, no one was around I am sure they did not want to be around when my body was found. When they return I will be able to tell who is in on the plot to kill me by who is surprised to see I am alive.

Slowly members of the group would drift in. Every Monday morning from eight to noon there is a market in Bédoin. It is a combination flea market with things like leather goods and knickknacks, and farmers market with fresh meats, fish, fruits and vegetables.

As each person came back I would say, "Look in to my eyes and tell me what you see" not one person from the group had any look of surprise on their face, most just looked at me like I was a nut. At this point I concluded “The Rock” must be working alone.

At 1:00pm the group announced they were going to visit some other villages. I choose to stay back and hang out as I was not fully recovered yet my stomach was still doing flip flops. I also needed to do some laundry.

I was told Matalin also hung back but I never saw her. Maybe Remy showed up and they disappeared for a little romp in the hay. It was very cold in the morning but warmed up nicely and I was able to lie in the sun for a few hours and got in a short swim.

The group got back at 5:15pm. They had toured the country side (driving) visiting towns in the area. It sounded almost like the Paris tours switching driving for walking. A lot of driving and little sight seeing.

We had reserved bicycles for Tuesday and Wednesday. As I had mentioned this is an area that is used in the Tour d’ France so biking is very popular. “The Rock” drove us to the bike shop to pick up the bikes. Only G d’B, Margarite, Mobe, and I are renting bikes. The bike shop was well equipped with high quality equipment.

Once back at the villa Mobe made a fantastic tilapia dinner with green beans, Matalin made an awesome salad with a home made salad dressing that was out of this world. Clean up was done by the Unknown Women. I was still recovering from the radiation poising and I had a big challenge for the next day, "beat Mobe up the mountain" so off to bed I went.

No comments: