Thursday, August 8, 2013

Down by the riverbed



Hendrik asked if there was anything that was missing at the safari tent. Now admittedly, as a travel writer (I usually say "former travel writer" but I must be feeling hopeful today), this is a question that usually has me rubbing my hands together with Snidley Whiplash glee. Having worked in the luxury hotel industry, I know the ins and outs of the details and can find the faults of "an experience" within roughly seven seconds or so. And yet, I came up blank. I love that tent! And the chapel! And walking through the surrounding forest and cavorting on the mountains towering above!

Ah, but old habits die hard. "Well, there is one thing..." Despite that this recluded spot was far cooler than sizzling Arles, there was still a mighty spike in temperature just at the most essential moment of the day...la sieste. I couldn't escape the sun's glare on the patio and felt like a slow-roasted hen inside. "Would it be possible to have a little seating section down by the riverbed? A hammock maybe?" (admittedly, this was Remi's idea but I handily passed it off as my own). Hendrik thought that a perfectly splendid suggestion.

So perhaps on our next visit--and yes, I am ready when you are--I will nap under a leafy canvas and coax the dogs into the ice-cream thrill of plunging into a mountain stream, for normally there is an actual river and not just a riverbed. There will be so many delicate details to discover, if only I can keep my eyes open long enough to see them...






The best light can be slightly ticklish, don't you agree? 


Oh! And I am also guest-posting for beautiful Clare at Looking Glass in Australia while she is off wandering through Peru...

37 comments:

  1. What a beautiful forest to spend time in, Heather. There is something exhilarating and also peaceful about a river. I've been hiking in mountain forests this Summer and know just what you mean about the light, always magical!

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    1. Lucky you, Laura!!! I am really tired of being city bound. This break did us so much good. And yes the light...in French there is a beautiful word for it, "tamisé"...I like it more than dappled!

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  2. Heather so beautiful ! I adore the second image of the river stones,amazing!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Designer Barry Dixon Feature

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    1. Thank you Karena! It was so very beautiful there and the morning light was perfect. :)

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  3. Love the two tree trunks with hairy green feet!

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    1. Of course that made me laugh! Blogger liked it so much that it published the comment twice!!!

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  5. Slightly ticklish light--magnificent!

    I remember siestas in Mexico. Those leafy photos are truly amazing, H. Lush.

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    1. Thanks Snoozle. hehehe. Siestas are not only for Mexico!

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  6. I can almost imagine the quiet of your forest hide-away down by the river bed.

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    1. I would have loved to have heard the little trickle of the creek though--next time!

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    1. Wyn, there were about one hundred paintings to be done there...

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  8. Looks beautiful by the river. But are there no nasties, like mosquitoes, sandflies, flies, midges or annoyances that would annoy if you were in a hammock? Gallivanta

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    1. What about a mosquito net to hang canopy-like over the hammock?

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    2. What about a Balinese day bed? :) No nasties that I could see G but why not?

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  9. Hi! Found your blog today through Sharon's blog, my french country home. I am a new follower and I'm excited to be transported to Arles every now and then. I visited France last year and left my heart there and have been trying to find my way back ever since(didn't make it to Arles but did visit Avignon). Have a good evening!
    -Khammany

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    1. Thanks so much Khammany and welcome! I am delighted to have you here. Like chez Sharon, I have very, very wonderful readers and friends. :) And oh, I know that feeling about losing your heart over a place--that is why we left Paris for Arles. Hopefully next time you will swing down further into Provence--it is worth it!

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  10. What a great idea! And if there is enough water, maybe you will decide to cool off in the river with Ben and Ripley before you retire to the bliss of the hammock... :>) XOXOXO, Leslie in Portland, Oregon (sunny and 82 degrees, and we have a hammock in the trees of our garden with your name on it!)

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    1. Whoohoo!!! Lucky you, Leslie--82 sounds divine. But I had to smile--it is Kipling! Not Ripley. But wow if we had thought of Ripley, that would probably have been a better name because he is one handsome devil--and I do mean devil--!

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  14. When you look through your soul (like you) you will always see the little
    wonders in our world. Looking the pictures I attain childhood and in my fantasy I expect the fairies come out from behind the trees and ask me if I have a wish. I also love the
    silent in the forest which you, figuratively speaking,can hear in that place.

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    1. I always love your comments, Mumbai. Fairies!! Why not? Maybe the dogs scared them off??? :)

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    2. Yes, why not...I think your lovely dogs can not scared fairies off they rather will get mesmerised

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    3. Kipling would try to eat them! I promise you that...

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  15. Dear Heather, I smiled at your comment about being able to enter a place and, within 7 seconds (and consequent upon your former work), find youself able to cite Everything Wrong with the arrangements, etcetera.

    Just last night (having turned down, for about the fifth time, an invitation to some local, fashionable, new restaurant), I finally confessed to some new friends (the old ones all know this about me and don't bother inviting me anywhere) that, while I'm sure it's a PERFECTLY WONDERFUL JOINT, WITH ABSOLUTELY MARVELOUS FOOD....I don't want to go there....and that I've eaten in an American restaurant exactly twice in ten years.

    Throughout ten years of gradskool, I worked the front for a high-end catering company (the sort that "does" the Governor's daughter's wedding, blahblah)...and, then, for a swishy restaurant (yes....consistently named "One of America's Fifty Best").

    It was all considerably more perfection-driven and demanding, actually, than the Duke English Department. I should emphasize that I enjoyed the work and still miss it sometimes (odd...since I never miss teaching).

    Nonetheless (And this is entirely my problem, I know), I can't sit in a restaurant without my attention drifting away from my friends, as I suddenly notice "They're down at least two busboys in the front of the room"..."First courses are coming out too slowly; someone's screwing up on the prep-line"..."She's taking folks to table 14, and it's missing a salad fork"...."The folks at table 23 have been waiting over ten minutes for their check"....etcetera. It's just dreadful (or maybe I'm just dreadful, since I always find myself MENTIONING these lapses; friends have had to say "Please promise me you're not going to get up and go bus that neighboring table....??".

    It's like going on a date with a dentist who won't stop staring at your teeth (this happened to me once...but never again)

    Oh well, I'm glad to read that I'm not the only person burdened with vocational-memory.

    And your photographs are particularly fine this go-round, Heather; you must be enjoying yourself.
    ----david terry
    www.davidterryart.com

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    1. That compliment means quite, quite a lot coming from you. Thank you. The second down is my favorite that I have taken in a really long time. Just got lucky with the light.

      And all too sadly, as an ex-waitress at a high-power Italian restaurant just across from Lincoln Center, I know EXACTLY what you mean. Yep. But somehow I don't play that tape at all in my head in France. It is rare we go out and when we do, I just focus on the food. Lord knows it isn't about SERVICE anyway here.

      But anywho, I would just add that I agree it is not a bad gig. Actually, I think that every American should be required to work at least one week in any service job (retail, dining, hotels and the lot). Would do them a lot of good. If it weren't so physically exhausting, I would go back to waiting tables (and who knows, I might have to one of these days) for how much I learned about the human condition and also for the money--although I did have a tendency to spend that 500 a night cash, not save it...hmmm...

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  16. Agree with David re: your photographs. Isn't it amazing how you can find almost every shade of green in nature and they all work beautifully together?

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    1. That is so true. And blues too. :) And thank you but like I said, I just got lucky with the light.
      Bisous!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Bruce! Looks like I am not the only one who thinks so... :)

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  18. Hey Bruce Barone? So, you follow Heather's blog? Well...I follow yours. Just for the record?..... your blog, Heather's, Sharon Santoni's, and Dominique Browing's are the only ones I "follow".....so that I can start every morning with at least one beautiful or (at the very least) interesting posting by one or several of you.

    It's always a good way to start the day.

    Admiringly (I do like your work, of course),

    David Terry

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  19. A lovely, quiet party, Heather's blog today, followed by the after party conversation in the kitchen or front porch, the comments and replies.

    Hard to say goodnight.

    Joan, Florida

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    1. What a truly lovely compliment, Joan. Merci!!!

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  20. Thanks for your guest post, Heather! It was amazing but I expected nothing less from you ;-)

    Clare x

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