The lifestyle here is very different to home. In many ways.
The most noticeable, are the hours everyone keeps. It’s not just a holiday thing. It’s life.
People get up later, break for siesta, everything closes and then opens again at 5, dinner is always late.
So the early mornings we seem to have in Australia, stop here and we enthusiastically join in. Up at the crack of 8, out for when things open at 10. Lunch when they close at 1pm. Siesta until 5. Out for passeggiata, shopping, aperitif until dinner after 8. And that’s considered early by restaurants that only open again at 8! Bed around 11.30.
But staying with John and Margaret and eating in most nights, we have slipped into our own earlier time frame. Bed earlier. So this morning that led to a walk at 6.30 am.
Even John was having a morning off his usual run or ride, so I was out the door, as quiet as one of the little cats that slink around the little streets of the village.
It was so quiet I could hear fans inside open windows whirling. And my footsteps until the cobbles gave way to pebble paths. Then I crunched a little!
Cotignac is a small village built into the rocky side of an outlook. It is famous for its troglodyte caves. So the streets wind up from the Marie, where the Brannock house sits tall, looking towards the sheer rock cliffs with caves built into its face.
I followed the small winding paths past houses with shutters mostly closed, keeping morning sun out. Behind all those closed shutters people are sleeping or reading or making coffee or perhaps doing something more exotic? There are always rumours in small villages about what people get up to!
I decided to keep as quiet as a cat and take pictures. Particularly of the fountains and taps spurting or trickling water into stone basins. Apparently there are 15 such water features around the village. How many would I spy?
The path wound up. I looked over little fences, I came to a lookout, back to the village, I wound up some more, I found a sign to a little appartment build into the rock wall. I walked on to the start of the route towards the cliff.
I made my way back to the village and saw the bakery. First signs of life. It was still quiet. People were standing in a line outside, in silence. Not an unfriendly silence. – more an ‘ I’m still waking up silence’.
Back to the house. I climbed the winding staircase to the kitchen.
We planned to arrive at 10 in time for cafe.