Driving from Marseilles to Gemenos for the first time Brad and I got lost. Guided by a poorly photocopied map, taken from a fax the client had sent us, we missed a sign and took the wrong turn off the autoroute.
Suddenly we found ourselves driving up over a mountain, on twisty narrow roads, through maquis scrub, in a battered little Peugeot, that was the only car the hire car company had when the late flight from Gatwick arrived (late). The brakes were iffy, and the accelerator shot, and we were on unfamiliar roads after a long journey.
Somewhere on one side of us was a steep drop down limestone slopes to the valley floor. The dim car lights just about showed us where the road twisted and turned up the mountainside. It was a hot summer night, and we wound opened the car windows. Around us the crickets chirped, and above us, clear mountain skies were full of Mediterranean stars.
As we came over the summit there was a gust of warm breeze, blown up from the distant coast, carrying the distinct scent of wild lavender and pine.
A strange summer in Provence was about to begin...