We awoke to the appalling heat that would hold the entire Occitan in an iron grip till the day we left France at the end of August. It would be a factor when we got to the Pyrenees. We took the highway to Arles in spite of the heavy tolls. French roads are heavily tolled, to the tune of about a Euro every ten miles, or about sixteen kilometers. There are automated speed traps in abundance everywhere the speed limit is not a hundred and twenty kilometers an hour, or more. Frequently you will have only the sign to warn you that it just dropped from a hundred and sixty to ninety kilometers an hour. In rural areas, the French take great delight in spray painting over the cameras with black paint. We stopped to get drinks at some podunk little town on the side of a mountain, and as we came out of the store, I was waylaid by a very strange little man with a wooden leg. Originally from Italy, he claimed to recognize me as a paisano and proceeded to tell me his whole life story in French, as Orage haltingly translated. He stood in the hot […]

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