Sunday, June 13, 2010
Day 5: Soaked
Today began with a grueling uphill climb on the bike. We were headed a few towns over, to a big flea market. The ride was gorgeous--straight up and down, through fields of grape vines, poppy flowers, and bright yellow broom, and along the river Aude, and through little towns. We spent a good deal of time at the market, looking through old books, playing with old cameras, and leafing through postcards dated between 1914 and 1960. We then explored the town, a fortified city with beautiful medieval architecture, amazing stone work, and the impressive ruins of a cathedral dating between the 9th and 13th centuries.
We then began our bike ride back, taking a detour to go the Sunday market in another town. As soon as we remounted our bikes, it began to drizzle. We continued on, and soon it was pouring. We decided to take shelter under some trees, but soaked through our clothes in a matter of minutes anyway. After the rain slowed just a little bit, we remounted, and biked the rest of the way in the downpour. We got to the market dripping wet and cold, and bought incredible pastries and bread, sat down outside a café, and drank hot cocoa and ate our pastries. Almond croissants are delicious.
After warming up a little, and buying goat's cheese, passion fruits, and licorice root, we got back on the bikes, and began our ascent to the top of the hill. The rain had subsided, and warm air lifted the amazing smells up to us, and bathed us in warm, wet, welcome air. The last bit of the hill was real tough, and when I had only about 59 pedals left to go, I heard my tire leaking. I made it to the top, took a few breaths, and then headed down for the long freewheel back home.
We prepared lunch and ate it outside, still in our wet clothes, but comfortably warm. After lunch I got out of my soaked clothing, and took a walk around the village to look around and take some pictures. When I got back, I got to work. I first sanded and painted a metal headboard that will be used as a railing outside a window. I then did the same thing, on one that is already in place on the second floor. When that was done, I helped Garth buff the floor he had just waxed. Doing this involves kneeling and scrubbing the floor with wool. It's hard work. When that was done, Garth prepared dinner while I talked with my parents and then tried to get the paint off my hands, and arm, and armpit in the shower, only about 50% successfully. Dinner was delicious, and then we watched more "So You Think You Can Dance" while I worked on the computer, and then massaged Garth's knees, and then it was bed time.