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Collioure 18 May 2016

1135 : 806

Again this morning, the view out the window at sunrise, despite the clouds, was gorgeous. We both slept well, and are ready to face the day -- a little cooler, and expecting wind and a little rain this afternoon. Weather, in other words, just like Caspar's at this time of year.


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<p>Obligatory first...


Obligatory first stop (any time after 8am): the local bakery for our morning croissants. I make the bakery run while Rochelle makes the tea. Both take about the same amount of time. A beautiful croissant buerré plus pain au chocolat = 1€90.

1137 : 795

Today is market day in Collioure, and so that's where we start out. An interesting mix of tourist crap, useful durables, farmers' goods (beautiful!) and prepared food that looks gourmet to us (see the paella below).

We don't need anything, but can you go to a market and not buy? We can't! We could share an artichoke for dinner -- we have been on a "big meal at lunch" regimen since we got here, and then salad at night, and that's working well for us. Mushrooms too beautiful to pass up, ditto the strawberries. The man who grows the strawberries insists I buy some of this kind and some of that; when he sees I have already made that choice, he complements me on my perception.

The real treasures are the local melon and some mountain lavendar honey, but I know it will all be good. Two shopping bags full for 25€.

1138 : 787

1136 : 797

Today's task: six kilometers (and an unspeakably complicated maze of one-way streets, farmers tracks, and alleyways) to the next town north, the more commercial town of Argelès-sur-Mer, where our travelling internet system, called MyWebspot, is supposedly waiting for us. We sacrificed our perfect parking spot, and away we went.

We also needed a 220v USB charger, because the POS device purchased from Amazon was making dying noises, and we meant to rely on it for charging our tablets. We find our Tabac in Argelès, connect with our package, then find the USB transformer we need nearby. (We also find that the French plug on the converter fits my computer's 110-220v power supply, so at least that part is useful.)

The two towns, Collioure and Argelès, are as unlike as Mendocino and Fort Bragg.

1139 : 778
<p>Argelès (left) and Collioure: typical downtown streets</p>

Argelès (left) and Collioure: typical downtown streets

1140 : 776

We wend our way home. Finding our perfect parking spot occupied - quelle surprise! I drop Rochelle off close to home and drive back up the hill to shoehorn our little car into an amazingly small parking spot. 

A little time to catch our breath, and then off to the big event of the day (and possibly of the week!), dejeuner at Le 5ème Péché.  (the 5th Sin: gluttony)

1141 : 774
<p>Our server deluges Rochelle with...

Our server deluges Rochelle with French, and somehow she manages to look like she's understanding. The explanation is so quick and technical I get only part of it, but eventually the server takes me outside and we negotiate lunch from the menu board. Thereupon follows some très raffiné haut cuisine prepared by a French-born Japanese chef.

We start with a salad focused on Collioure's signature food: anchovies (not at all the salty things you've had from a can; more like smelt or night fish) with a petit pois gazpacho and tiny greens; next, tuna barely cooked with two sauces on a bed of meticulously prepared potatoes, leeks, and carrots. Finally, a fine gateaux with strawberries and chocolate ganache floating in dark chocolate sauce with a perfect little dollop of strawberry sorbet.   

We walk out two hours later well fed (but not stuffed at all) and Rochelle says, "That was a very special meal."

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