John & Brenda's Excellent European Adventure - Part Deux travel blog

The View From Our Castelnau Bedroom Window

Our New Home

Brenda And Glen Relax Before Dinner

Dinner With Lynn, Brenda, Yvonne, Rob And Glen


July 25, 2011

My first order of the day on Monday morning was to get the found keys back to Europcar at the TGV station. Our hope was that should they be able to get the car and the keys together somewhere, it might mitigate our ultimate bill. After another good breakfast, we packed our bags into the new Duster and hit the road for the 460 km drive to Castelnau-de-Montmiral.

Just past Nimes the sky turned threatening and by the time we neared Toulouse, it was raining in earnest. We came upon a LeClerc superstore on a roundabout in Gaillac, the last sizeable town before our destination, where we picked up some supplies (always bring wine and toilet paper). Our faithful GPS took us right into the medieval hilltop village and onto the street where we would live for the next few days with our new friends, Lynn Woods and Glen Watt. It was still raining heavily and we had a slight wait for Glen and Lynn to get back from nearby Albi.

We had a damp reunion on the narrow Rue de la Porte Neuve and hurried our luggage up to our third floor bedroom (actually, by the time I had the car parked down below, Glen had the heavy stuff already in our room). Lynn is a professor in the School of nursing, specializing in Alzheimer’s causes and treatments while Glen is a retired United Church minister who was the chaplain at Riverview prior to retiring. They have a house in East Vancouver just off Fraser Street but live in Marina Del Ray in LA for Lynn’s job. Over a glass of the local wine, we caught up on the 2 weeks since we last saw each other. They filled us in on the characteristics of the local Tarn Valley region and its Gaillacois and Bastide wine regions. It was obvious that we had happened upon an open secret of the paradise that is collectively known as “Le Tarn”.

They had invited transplanted West Vancouverites, Yvonne and Rob, over for a dinner of market broiled chicken, fingerling potatoes and vegetables to which Rob added a tasty petit-pain squash dish…yum!!! Over our dinner conversation, we discovered that Rob had retired from the movie business in Vancouver as a sound specialist. Small world…he knows Penny’s family, Matt and Andrea and says Matt is one of the best caterers in the business while he knew of Andrea’s casting work as well.

Yvonne acts as the local contact for the house we’re staying in and conducts writing workshops in the region. They have been coming to Castelnau for many years and for the last two years have lived here year-round. We had lots of fun chatting with our widening circle of new friends and, as always, we find so many “six degrees of separation” connections wherever we seem to go.



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