Imagine fields and fields of bright purple under a deep blue sky. With every breath you experience the true scent of Provence. We arrived in Provence just as the lavender is at its peak, which happens sometime between late June and mid-July. The large bushes of little purple and mauve flowers are springing with color.
On this leg of my expedition, I must leave all the main roads, and take the roads less traveled. It's along the narrow (really narrow) curvey dirt roads that I will find the vantage points that will really show Provence as it was meant to be seen.
I've learned a thing or two
The thing about traveling and getting to know new places is there is so much to learn about the local culture and customs, and just way of life.
Lavender is a primary driver for the economy in much of this area of France. From Valensole to Gorde to Sault, lavender production, the sale of lavender products, and the welcoming of tourists to see the lavendar fields are a way of life.
The area is also active in beekeeping. It is a win-win. The bees pollinate the lavendar, increasing the essential oils it can produce. The sweet nectar from the lavender produces some of the best honey. The loud buzzing (like a freight train!) as you enter the fields is a reminder that I'm just a visitor, and I do my best not to disrupt the natural give and take of the plants and bees.
But lavendar isn't the only sweet treat to find. As you move closer to Gorde, you'll find cherries, grapes, olives, tyme, and so many other sweet spices. I enjoy seeing the local food production and partaking in its yumminess.
I'll post photos for purchase from this region soon. Check back!