Memories Tour/18 ~ Day 9

Whoops! I got a bit behind on sharing posts about our September south of France tour here. I was sidetracked for the past two weeks with copyedits and cover details for my new Christmas book releasing on November 15. I’ll share that info with you in my next post.

The cover art was created through two of the women on our tour! How’s that for exciting? Major thanks to talented artists ~ Clare Strohman and Donna Fedele.

Now back to our unforgettable South of France Memories Tour with an amazing group of women! I’m having so much fun reliving those days as I sift through the photos.

Our day in the Camargue got off to an exciting start. We were ready to explore the world of the fictional Jacques de Villeneuve, from Drawing Lessons, and eager to see the legendary horses, bulls, and flamingos of this unique region.

A welcoming committee was waiting for us. The famous white horses are brown or grey when first born.


We began with a Jeep safari, chauffeured by three enthusiastic and well-informed guides. Great fun!

We drove past the ancient walled town of Aigues-Mortes and into the countryside of the Camargue, passing the classic manade dwelling of the Camargue gardiens (cowboys who work with the bulls and horses) as well as black bulls, flamingos, horses and ending with a tailgate wine tasting!

After an adventure-filled morning, we returned to the 11thC town of Aigues-Mortes for a short tour and time to browse and eat lunch.

The Matafère Tower in the background was ordered built by Charlemagne in 795. King Louis IX twice departed for the Crusades from this town, first for the Seventh Crusade in 1248 and again for the Eighth Crusade in 1270 for Tunis from which he never returned.

The last stop for the day was a visit to the famous salt marshes.

Dinner was a few minutes’ walk from our hotel, in yet another stunning setting.

Now this is the part that is hard to write about. As Deborah, my co-leader and dear friend, and I were walking back to the bus after lunch, she tripped and fell. Without going into all the details here, we had to send her off to the hospital in Nimes by ambulance. It was an upsetting incident for all and we were fortunate that an old friend of Deborah’s was on the tour, who is also a nurse. She went along in the ambulance, for which we were most thankful.

Deborah has detailed her journey with her injuries on her blog ~ click right here to go to the Barefoot Blogger page. and it is best to read about it in her words. We missed her for the last three days of the tour and everyone has stayed in touch with her as she continues in rehab therapy. The good news is that she is doing well and has maintained her amazing spirit and good humour … and she is keen to do the tour again in 2019. <3

Have you ever visited the Camargue? Please share your story if you have. And by the way, contrary to popular lore, we didn’t see one mosquito!

Please visit co-leader and BFF, Deborah Bine’s Barefoot Blogger site for an excellent article on the Camargue as well as tons of other great info on her travels in France.

About Patricia Sands

Family, writing and travel are my passions ... okay, and chocolate ... and I'm seldom without a camera. I write women's fiction and keep in touch with readers by a monthly newsletter that also has giveaways and contests. Come and join us by signing up on the right. See you there!


  1. Well good times and not so good times. I love that that village is soooooo old. How cool is that? And tailgate wine tasting? Sign me up.

    That restaurant looks so lovely and cozy. I may have to save that picture to use as a setting in one of my books. I’m not going to tell anyone the inspiration came from France, I’ll just let that be our little secret.

    Thanks for sharing. I hope all is well with your friend.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Patricia Sands says

      Patricia, feel free to use any of my photos for inspiration! Deborah is coming along well … slow process though. I’m going to wrap her in bubble wrap for the next tour.

  2. Looks like a lovely tour! I had a second home in the area for many years, so love reading about people who enjoy the area as much as I do. Hopefully, you plan to return for another tour and Deborah is well healed by then. I follow her blog and could not believe what I was reading when I heard of her fall.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Hello Pam ~ Thanks for stopping by. I can understand why you loved living in the area.
      Deborah is doing well and all set to have another go with a tour. I’m going to wrap her
      in bubble wrap! She’s been an amazing patient throughout the entire ordeal. Bless her!

I love hearing from you ~ thanks for stopping by


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