Provencal Village 2, nearly 3 and 4 – Lumières, Provence, France

We arrived back from a stroll around Fontaine-de-Vaucluse last night to find a U.K. plated Sprinter van conversion at the barrier to the campsite. The young couple had just driven straight from Calais (over 1000km) for their 1 week holiday in their self-converted (during lockdown) van. We warned them that though the display said one space remaining there may not be room to park. Anyway after a walk round with Kev, we got them parked up in front of us as no other spaces were left and they obviously did not want to tour further. We offered them a beer to celebrate their arrival but even more impressively they jumped on their bikes for a cycle round. After a chat, we realised we had planned the same villages for our tours though so would see them on the way.

We were up early for our dog walk a nice lap around the village going further upstream to walk back on the opposing bank of the Sorgue river. The water is so clear you can see to the bottom all the way across the river and Kevin soon spotted some trout swimming against the stream. We thought it was too fast paced a river to let the dogs swim but we found a couple of pools at the side formed by tree roots etc and they went in for a paddle. Lola seemed more intent in trying to chase some ducks so her off lead freedom was curtailed.

Swimming in the Sorgue river

Back through the village for a fresh baguette for breakfast from the boulangerie, still warm. We got an extra baguette for the late arrivals. When we got back, our next door neighbour, not actually converted, effectively a van with a mattress and a duvet on the back (which would not be allowed on a U.K. campsite), part of the family staying behind us with awnings out etc, tried to start his van. Several attempts did not appear to turn over the starter. Luckily the family were soon on hand for a push / bump start. After several pushes it eventually burst into life. Our young neighbours did not manage to sleep through the efforts, so we handed them a fresh warm baguette. We wished them a good day but then headed off via the aire services to Gordes.

Gordes clinging to the hillside

We travelled down the “route touristique de Gordes” which included some lovely views across the countryside of Provence, a huge 14km trip to our next stop. When we turned the corner to Gordes, we saw the village clinging to a cliff side across the gauge. A true picture perfect sight. We managed to missed the turning to the viewpoint but carried on to the carpark and managed to get a double spot on the fairly empty carpark. It was about 10:45am when we arrived. Soon after pulling up, Beth and boyfriend in the U.K. van turned up. They barely slowed down and said they had their photos from the viewpoint and were headed to Roussillon.

We decided we’re happy to have a walk around and headed off with the dogs across the valley to get the iconic picture of Gordes clinging to the cliff. We then headed into the village and had a wander round the narrow cobbled streets. There are now high-class hotels and estate agents on the main street. The castle in the main square and the church opposite show this was a place of more historic importance than it is now reduced to. However, we enjoyed a meander through the streets down to the viewpoint across the Luberon.

We decided like our other U.K. travellers to carry on to Roussillon. It was only another 15mins to visit this ocre mining centre, another beautiful ancient hilltop village. We were very conscious to approach the village from the south to avoid an initiation to the narrow medieval streets of the town. This did result in a stretch of single track approach roads to negotiate instead. With our Cornish experience though we passed through without impact despite the fast and rather impatient French drivers approach to narrow roads.

We got to Roussillon and the carpark suitable for motorhomes just before lunch to find it full. This was no surprise as cars had been circulating to take our spot in Gordes when we left. We ended up reversing out from the barrier and decided to carry on to a night time spot at Lumière next to Goult.

After a little navigational confirmation we found the campsite. I got out the compass to check where south and west were to avoid the sun. We got parked up only to find the compass randomly switched direction when we stopped to show north where south had been. We moved our location only to find in the afternoon that we were right the first time 🙄

The afternoon was again very hot. So we mostly hung out in the van with the aircon. It is a lovely little site in the countryside and across a main road to Lumiere. For some reason there has been lots of motorbike groups driving around and we could hear them passing all afternoon

We emerged at 7pm when the temperature had reduce to below “melting”. We grabbed a beer in the local tabac, which despite the popular appeal of Provence property has clearly not changed its decor or locals in 1-2 decades. Definitely a good thing.

We went to for the evening. We had the best intentions to walk to Goult but discovered we would have to walk past one of the best local restaurants to do so. We were the first to get a table in their covered courtyard as they opened. We took the last available table. They had a tapas type menu which was very different mixture but just perfect mixture. The service was great. The owner even had parents that had Border Terrier ❤️ A perfect evening.

Le Garage Lumières

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