To quote George Harrison “All things must pass, all things must pass away… so, I must be on my way and face another day”. After three weeks of vacation it’s back to work I go… but not before one final outing!
We rounded our holiday time off in the first week of August off with a trip some 200 Ks down south from Grenoble to a crocodile farm nestled near the nuclear power station “Tricastin” near a place called Pierrelatte, not far from Montélimar… another place where I used to live in a previous life…
Whatever. Yes folks, a farm that breeds crocodiles, caimans, tortoises and kinds of “Snapping” creatures, not to mention exotic plants and flowers lost in the south of France… and what better place than near a nuclear power station that rejects cooling water at ± 28c ( I learnt that fact one day while watching an episode of CSI: Miami) and believe me some of them were big. Actually it made me chuckle. There were hundreds of the blighters just lying there but what made me chuckle, perhaps shudder would be more appropriate, was you could almost see them licking their choppers at all that fresh meat walking past as parents lifted kids up and over the railing to get a better look, I’m not sure the parents remembered that these beasts can jump… As for me, shame there was the metal fencing… I could’ve got some better shots than I did, closer up… like within snapping distance!
If you are not particularly into crocos, the complex also has an exhibition of superb exotic plants, invariably from the same regions the crocos and caimans come from and if you think that the bubbles escaping from underneath the foot wide water lilies are artificially created just remember that if there are metal fences around the water basins its not to stop the children playing with the bubbles!
After an hour’s walk around the farm and a nice little picnic we crossed the road and stepped into a Perfumery, actually a production site creating, packing, marketing and selling local scents, herbs and perfumes to visitors from the crocodile farm. Actually that acute business sense, there’s nothing else for miles around, not even a Fast Food outlet!
We finally headed off down to Orange, to show my beloved the Roman arch at the entry to the city and the antique theatre where one summer’s evening, some 25 years earlier, I had the immense luck to see John Mclaughlin, Al di Meola & Paco Lucia play their legendary “Friday Night in San Francisco” concert live. What in fact we saw was something else and related elsewhere.