Thursday, November 26, 2009

On to Provence

So it was just Rory and I on our way to our next rental in the tiny town of Saignon, near Apt, which is due north of Aix-en-Provence. The train ride from Nice to Aix was expensive and quite boring, scenery-wise. I was wondering if I had made the correct choice in coming to Provence. It is so famous, but....

Things improved on the bus ride from Aix to Apt: The bus was to leave Aix at 6:30 pm and we were told that the bus would take one hour to get to Apt. This was also another case of a guy with 'tude, but we had no reason not to believe him. A kind young lady at the bus stop allowed us to use her mobile to make the call to our rental contact, telling her of our expected arrival time of 7:30.  

We had traveled about two blocks and there was an constant high-pitched sound on the bus. Suddenly the driver stopped in the middle of a roundabout and asked a passenger to go out into the traffic, to the exit door and push on it. Success! The horrible sound went away.

On the bus I had picked up a schedule and read that the arrival time in Apt was 8:20pm, not 7:30. So we needed to find another kind-hearted soul who would lend us their cell phone. Naturally I delegated the job to Rory. I guess the word mobile is the same in French and English, so that when I spoke loud enough for Rory to hear me, the bus driver heard the word. She was a little agitated and seemed to be indicating that a mobile could not be used on the bus. Rory was proceeding to make inquiries when the driver once again stopped traffic while she got up and walked to where Rory was sitting.

I was worried that Rory was going to get into trouble. She walked up to him and said "Mobile" and reached her hand under his butt. Needless to say he was a little shocked!! It turns out he was unknowingly sitting on the cover of her mobile phone!

The next while went without incident. There was a gorgeous sunset and the road was very narrow and wound through a pass. Rory noted that the bus driver "owned the road" and I made a mental note to not drive during the times the bus makes it way on the road.

Did you note that I mentioned that the road was a winding one? Less that 5 km from our destination a passenger came running up from the back of the bus and asked/demanded that the driver stop. Then she got out and proceeded to up-chuck on the side of the road.

Never sit at the back of the bus on a winding road. I learned that one in Costa Rica.

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