Arret et Aller (82€, dp)
The day is overcast. We make our own breakfast… this place is a self service operation. We are off at 7:45 AM. Up, down, up, down through cornfields plus giant oak trees. We climb up to a town that rambles along a ridge for 2 kilometers. When we reach the business section we enjoy coffee, croissants, Schweppes and espresso in a cheery bar and then stop at a boulongerie for a petite baguette, a boucherie for a sausage, and a Casino Market for chips, cheese and a tomato. Leaving this welcoming town, we pass a spring once reserved for outcast Cagots – related to the outcast Pedauques Nick is researching. We continue along the ridge and descend down to our place, Arret et Aller, an old chateau on the Rue de Pedauques. Lots of animals. The star is Rasher, a giant, somewhat mercurial pot-bellied pig. “He’s out sorts,” we’re told, “note his usual self today.” For company, he has three dogs, chickens and geese. We have a pleasant room with a balcony overlooking the grounds where we enjoy our lunch with a bottle of wine from our hostess. Bath in a bathtub! We read and nap all afternoon in our cozy space looking out at the overcast, drizzly day. The rain lets up and we dine outside with our host, Glin. The inn’s owners are English. They have been here for five years, a mother and son. We enjoy a tomato and apple salad, beef teriyaki with rice, pie and ice cream. We purchase wine for our meal. Entertained by thunder and lightning all night.