Thursday, October 14, 2010

Au Revoir Le Camp

Time to leave Camp des Cimes…the Moores head out at 7:30 am for bus, trains and planes. I leave later in the afternoon, after some final photos of another beautiful fall day, and after lunch with the Guffeys, our colleagues of many years.

Hard to come down from the mountain!!! To leave such beauty, such good friends, with conversations too short, and the mountains speaking volumes in their grandeur and solidity. Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since my first trip to France, to this camp. Hard to end long final glances to soak in the beauty, to get in the car to leave. I could easily stay another week.

Allison drops me off in Bourg d’Oisans, to catch the bus to Grenoble, a lovely slow descent with the sunbeams, from the mountains into the valley that Grenoble sits in. Arriving at the bus station, I spot the Barrauds—all five children, and Catherine, smiling and waving. Bisous, bisous, bisous…followed by much jumping up and down of five children who either don’t know me, or barely remember me, greeting me as if I was their long lost best friend. Then off to find the toilets, and hit the road; this is a day of strikes, when public transportation strikes force many to take their cars, and we anticipate traffic jams getting out of the city.

An hour later, we arrive at Sillans, where the Barrauds live, a lovely pastoral village. I discover I have been sitting on a chocolate cookie in that hour…agh!!!! first order of duty is a quick change and laundry. A chaotic dinner follows, then bundling the kiddies off to bed. Catherine crashes too, to read, and I take a deep breath, and switch gears. I’ll be here for three days, renewing our friendship, getting to know the kids, and no doubt running interference for exhausted parents from time to time. I think I’ll turn in early myself…

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