When I first arrived in Provence I asked “where is the countryside?” The garrigue can be a harsh, inhospitable environment, dry and mineral. Only with time and the experience of the seasons have I come to appreciate its hidden and delicate beauty. The spring storms, spectacular in themselves, bring the rain that causes an incredible floral diversity to burst into life.
In much of the Mediterranean region of France, the natural vegetation is low growing, dense and prickly. During the summer months, the shade of tall trees and the cool proximity of water offer welcome respite from the aggressive heat of the sun.
Coming from Ireland to Provence, one of the things that I really missed was water in the landscape. I desperately wanted to find a place where one could walk alongside a river in cool green shade, admire the changing reflections and the play of light on the water’s surface. I finally discovered what I was looking for in the Caramy gorges, at the foot of the Sainte-Baume mountain range.
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