Slept on train thru cities along the southern coast of France ⇒ Perpignan ⇒ Narbonne ⇒ Béziers Ancestral home of Rick Béziat. May he visit there someday. ⇒ Montpellier ⇒ Nimes ⇒ Arles ⇒ Aix-en-Provence ⇒ Marseille — snoozing through Van Gogh's wheat fields and Cezanne's Mont Sainte-Victoire. I prefer to worship at the results of the crime rather than at the scene of the crime. Does that relegate me to corpses in morgues, rather than to blood work in open fields? Most likely.


Took a quick glimpse of the Marseille boat dock and moved on, hitching thru Toulon to Hyères about 50 miles up the coastline — not very far for a day of thumbing — probably hiked a lot of it. This was the Côte d'Azur, the blue coast of the French Riviera, playground of the rich and famous, and I was its vagabond ruffian with no means to enjoy its finer accoutrements. Consequently, I do not remember much about it, nor who carried me through it, but the texture of the terrain reminded me of the coast of southern California — rough and dry like sandpaper. And the heat did not make it any more comfy. Pictures of such places tempt us, but photos only distance us from the actuality. Wait till you feel the place on your skin. Then you know what it really is. Of course, most of you like the sun nuking you in and out. OK — just leave me the cool and the damp, thank you. Little did I realize this was only day one of the rest of my Mediterranean month.


At sunset, I hid away somewhere on a hill overlooking Hyères. Hope it was as pretty as the picture above, but I have no memory of it.