Bikes, Books & Boards in South West France

“What is your vocation? To be a good person.” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 11.5

fr3_bicyclelake.jpg

I once heard a professor in college say, “Travel somewhere new and it’s like reading ten books.” Yesterday, after a day of renovation work on the Lamothe Castle and Farm we’re turning into a yoga retreat center in French Sud-Ouest, I checked out some places on a bike ride. Maybe it wasn’t enough to qualify as a book or so, but it was interesting to read some of the local signage.

fr3_katmandu.jpg

One sign provided relevant directions, letting me know Katmandou rests 7,529 kilometers to the right. Good to know, I’m thinking of visiting there on the yoga tour. Not today however, especially on the mellow cruiser bike I’m riding.

IMG_2047.jpg

Another sign shows the type of fish in the lake I rode the bike to. Can you guess the five different poissons swimming there? Winner gets a gold star and a bottle of the superb local French wine (but it would be nice if you share the wine with me :-)).

fr3_bikeroad.jpg

On the roads around this rural part of France the cars are not many, but driven fast nonetheless. Yet I love the bike friendliness. Everyone coming up on me slowed and provided lots of room. It’s not always like that back home in the States.

fr3_bikevillagesky

There’s so much to see in the countryside and local villages – Lectoure, Fleurance, Condom, Sant Puy, Auch – we visit for our errands, primarily market and grocery store shopping.

fr3_statuemarket

IMG_1971.jpg

I’ve had requests to also show some of the projects we’ve been working at here at Lamothe Castle and Farm. Here are a few images:

fr3_mecutting.jpg

I cut a lot of lumber as our team works room to room.

fr3_beforeroom.jpg

It’s a huge castle with hidden areas still needing some love, but our team gets at it…

fr_workMid

And then, voila!

fr3_afterroom.jpg

Above, one room just renovated.

 

And, below, here’s another!

fr3_newroompano.jpg

But it’s not all work all the time here. The neighbors are lovely, dropping by with wonderful homemade treats and other gifts. Tremendous people!

IMG_2086.jpg

The castle also holds an impressive and massive number of books, several signed by the author:

fr3_books

Organizing all those books in the library will be a future job:

fr3_library

So what if you travel to new places and read books also? Extra credit? 🙂 Last month, while teaching at yoga retreats in Spain, I read a book about Stoic philosophy with writings by Marcus Aurelius, Seneca and others.   Their philosophy with an emphasis on doing the right thing, helping others impressed me with parallels to what we learn, practice and share in yoga. Every morning we gather together for yoga practice here. I believe it sets a great foundation for a day of renovation work together as a team, and I am grateful for the opportunity.

fr3_babyYoga

We also have Alice, Romain and Capucine’s beautiful daughter here. She is already practicing her yoga, performing an awesome Bhujangasana pose here.

IMG_2089.jpg

And at dusk, out in the back, dinner! Tonight the cooking was provided by Sandra and Viktor, representing a Hungarian wedding feast complete with music. Amazing!

IMG_2090.jpg

Finally, just now, sunset. The end of the day in French Sud-Ouest. S’il vous plaît venez visiter.

Love and Peace,

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Bikes, Books & Boards in South West France

  1. How fun…a challenge!
    My fish name guesses are:
    1) light flaky fish
    2) medium flaky fish
    3) rich meaty fish
    4) strong flavored fish
    5) stong smelly fish
    6) medium smelly fish

    Seriously, my real guesses are:
    1) la carpe (carp)
    2) la perche (perch)
    3) le gardon (gardon)
    4) le brochet (pike)
    5) le sandre (pike/perch)
    6) le black bass (black bass)
    Thanks for taking us on another enjoyable adventure! Best, patty

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay, merci, Dave! I completely enjoyed the challenge considering I don’t know French but recognized some of the fish..,..except for the gardon, which was most difficult because I never heard of it and I thought the first letter was a Q. My Dad taught me to fish and I used to love it.
        So…On this Memorial Day, I treasure my childhood fishing days with my Dad which I have memorialized in my head and heart. Thank you for bringing those memories forefront. Safe and joyous travels to you!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s