The Disappearing Lavender Field

The weather in Provence had been absolutely perfect with sunny days and just a few night storms, but as we got back from Gordes the sky turned dark. We opened up the house as soon as we got back to let it cool off. Most houses in this area of France don’t have AC and don’t have screens, so you leave the windows closed while away. You also close the big, heavy storm shutters so the thick stone walls (if you’ve got them) maintain the cool from the previous night.

Problems arise though when you’re home during the day and want some sunlight and maybe a breeze, cooking anytime and don’t want flies, or when it rains during the day like it was about to in Rustrel.

Forget about the lavender and wine: AC, screens and gutters would be my line of work if I really wanted to make some money here. There are already some pioneers, but I’m telling you, AC, screens and gutters is a growth market!

So we watched the rainfall and mopped the floors around the windows and doors, which were open for needed airflow, but let in water from the gutterless roof. We felt fortunate though that this was the only real weather we had to deal with all week.

On our final full day, Alex and I got up early to revisit the one lavender field we liked the best out of all we had seen– but first we had to find it. A few curse words, close calls and U-turns later (I still hadn’t gotten used to going all the way to the roundabout to turn around) and we found the dirt road that led us to a beautiful field of deep purple lavender climbing up a hilltop…. At least we thought we had.

“Where’s the lavender field?” I asked as I looked at a brown hill of dirt. “Right there” Alex said knowingly. “But it’s brown, it was purple just two days ago!” Alex just shook her head. “They harvested,” she said. “Already?” “Already.”

And that’s the beautiful unpredictability of travel: We were there at the exact right moment two days earlier. Two days later and the hill just blended in with the scenery.

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