Amelie, it's a town, with hills and baths and older folk going up the hills to the baths, the under fifties steer well clear, you sit and watch the world go by and it doesn't. It's surrounded by green steepness and when it rains a nuclear klaxon goes off and everyone remains calm. I nearly dropped my sandwich in the river. Apparently it's for the emergency service, volunteers, it's cheaper than phoning them all.
The road to the farm is very up, very high, enough room for a car, plenty of things to ooh at, everywhere covered in trees dark green except for the ones sneaking into brown, rock poking out, water dropping down, bears rumoured, clouds being swept down the gorge.
They picked me up in an orange van and I met everyone and the animals and the building. It's three hundred years old and was a forge, then ruins, now a farm and some gites and a bit of camping. Spain is over the hill.
I went for walk on a Sunday. It's hunting season, time to start thinking bright orange thoughts and acting less four legged. Passing men with shotguns or rifles or blunderbusses. I was on a rock watching the cascades opposite and heard someone screaming in anger and the reverb rushing downriver, fading to silence and then he started again, gibbering bursts and long roaring notes. Something to do with the hunting, apparently. Letting you know they're there.
I ate the last of the amazing biscuits while sixty Citroens paraded past behind me, hooting and crunching, red and yellow striped flags, numbers, some kind of rally but not a race.
It was chicken week, for me. A short walk through the raspberry field and they put themselves to bed and when you put the lights on to count them they wince and grumble. In the morning they bustle behind the door and burst out like a magic trick. They try and swoop into the food bucket like chicken feed is incredible.
We saw slugs going at it. They form a squishy figure of eight and revolve very slowly. It's hypnotic, ideal for a tea break. Holes open in the hoops of the eight, then close, you can't tell where their heads are. Later there was no trace.