Once upon a time long ago in Caraybat, when times were hard, the men of this small village had to look far afield for work. And they went to Spain, for the hay-making season. Hawkers came to the village, and peddlers. They found a village with no men. They took advantage. So did the women.
When the hay-making season was over, the men returned, and the women spied them returning over the distant mountains. Suddenly ashamed and frightened, they fled to the hills. God, in vengeful and Old Testament mood, was displeased. As the women reached the summit, he turned each one of them to stone. And there they are to this day, les demoiselles de Caraybat, a petrified reminder of a summer of sin.
We remembered this legend yesterday when I took our Laroquais walking friends to Caraybat and the dolomies to discover those daffodils I’d been shown on Thursday. I was quite chuffed that not a single one of them had previously known this special spot, and we had a pleasant hour up on the rocks, picnicking and enjoying the last days of the daffodil season.
We followed the walk I’d learnt about on Thursday, and then we finished our day by going to the plateau above Roquefixade to see the gentians there.
Sadly, it was by then rather cold and windy, and most of the gentians had sensibly folded their indigo skirts about their faces and tucked themselves away to wait for a sunny day. We’ll wait too. And when the sun comes out properly, we’ll be back.