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Pôt Pourri

The very first holiday home in France, in the wilds of The Cevennes

A typical holiday cottage in The Cevennes

They certainly don't make them quite like this any more! This was the very first holiday home that we ever rented in France. I doubt that such basic accommodation would be acceptable now, but we loved it. It's a typical old Cevenol farmer's cottage; the family lived upstairs and their animals lived in the single room downstairs in the harsh winter.

We'd decided to drive to the cottage by smaller roads so we could enjoy the scenery, all the close-spaced contour lines on the map teased us. Because we'd stopped so many times to admire the landscape we arrived hours late and we couldn't find the village, let alone the cottage. We'd driven through the village and not noticed, it was so small, and we didn't see the tree where the hand painted village sign was clinging on by a rusty nail. We got there eventually.

When we arrived we noticed the channel running from the fireplace, down the side of the room and out through a hole in the wall by the door, and assumed it was a traditional part of the local building style. About a week later we discovered the reason for it when we had a traditional Cevennes thunderstorm. Water poured down the chimney, crashed into the channel and ran out through the hole in the wall, down a channel under the path and cascaded into the stream opposite the front of the cottage, which was the source of the Herault River.

Outside view of the hidden cottage

I loved it here, in summer the temperature is in the high 80ºs F, or higher, and the cottage was always an even temperature, not that I spent much time inside.

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