This blog is posted mostly everyday when we take a break from our usual retired Life as former full-time RVer's and travel overseas.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Caves, Art and Rain–Oct. 7, 2018


You don’t have our itinerary, but if you did and know what this is you would wonder if I had the days mixed up. As is often the case, our itinerary has been changed around. Plus this is another day of few words. Time is a very fleeting thing, and it just flies by. It’s 9 pm before the evening meal ends and as Linda so aptly puts it, there needs to be me time, i.e., relaxation time also. So if some days pass with no posts, know that it was for a good reason, and at some point down the road each day will be covered.


Our first stop of the day, Musee National de Prehistoire. We had visited this museum during our trip to the area some years ago, and had been very impressed by it. It was just as good this morning.


Following in the footsteps of early man.


It can be a little crowded in the museums, but we had “whisperers”. It’s what they call the personal sound system we each wear. Unfortunately it didn’t work, so we all had to crowd close to hear. My thought was, that as much as this tour costs there is absolutely no excuse for a non-functioning sound system, which my review of the trip we are always asked to fill out will reflect.


As close a depiction of Neanderthals as current research indicates.


The art of these early peoples was more than paintings on cave walls.


Not everyday is perfect weather wise.


Flint knapper, expedition specialist and Linda’s glass of walnut wine.


What he started with.


What the finished piece looks like.


What the piece of bread with pate Linda started with looked like.


What the piece of bread with pate looked like when Linda finished with it.


He is very good at what he does, so a piece of his work is coming home with  Linda, but in my bag of course.


Our meal included salmon encased in clay and roasted in coals.


The way it has always been done in this area.


Another local specialty, walnut wine. Very Happy Linda.


Hunter-Gatherer Linda practicing with the atlatl . Correction, Gatherer Linda. Bad Bob. Actually Very, Very good Bob.


Hunter Bob demonstrating how to hit the target with the atlatl. Bob, who couldn’t believe it himself. The first time was luck, the second time was skill. Now I know what the extra Neanderthal genes I have were used for.

Afterwards we traveled to our first rock art viewing experience. The selection of places we visit on this “expedition” are quite varied, each offering something different from the others. Our beginning was a small family owned rock shelter.


The great granddaughter of the discoverer of the cave. The overhang had collapsed since the time of the ice age when it was used. She is holding a photo of her great grandfather showing the sieving technique he developed. He was the first person to realize there were small objects in the caves that could only be recovered by using a sieve. To say she was proud of her heritage came through loud and clear as she talked in French, something even the translation showed.


The type of art found in the shelter. It was etched in the rock with a flint tool. Because the shelter was open to the air after the rubble covering the opening was removed, calcite has covered many of the surfaces, see the white calcite on the rock behind this one.


Holes drilled into the rock. They connect and were used by the Neanderthal to hold animal skin tarps across the front of the shelter. Contrary to previous opinion, Neanderthals were intelligent people who lived with the land, and as we now know, they heavily interbred with homo sapiens.

Important point. This is the only site we will visit where photos are allowed. The reason for no photos is to prevent the degradation of the art and so a tour doesn’t last forever as people jockey for position to take photos. As most women use iPhones, Linda and several others excepted, while men use cameras. And as is the case, there needs to be a very basic course in how to use the iPhone to take photos. There can be 30 seconds of swiping to get the scene correct in some cases.

By the way, Linda solves the no photos allowed problem by taking photos of postcards in the gift shop. That may not be what some people would do, but growing up in Appalachia you did what you needed to do to survive, and Linda is a survivor. She’s also a beautiful, intelligent, vivacious woman I’m lucky to call my wife.


French countryside view from the bus.


The trees are turning, the scenery is awesome as pass through the land.


Every city, town, village and hamlet in France has a memorial those from it who died in the Great War, 1914-1918. France suffered some 1.7 million deaths, or nearly 4.5% of its population.


Next cave, no photos allowed.




Post card photos by Linda. At least you have an idea of what we saw in the cave.


Dinner appetizer. I’ll just say there was something on this plate that had a certain organ of the goose/duck, and Linda chose to give it to me. Factoid. Most Foie Gras is actually duck liver rather than goose liver. The goose liver is extremely strong and most people don’t like it so duck liver is used instead. I have had both and can agree with what they are saying. If it is goose liver, you will know it.


Linda’s dessert. I could only watch her eat it. I guess that only what is good for the goose is good enough for the Bob.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy to see that you are again on vacation, traveling together! Happy for you, both. I have enjoyed seeing where you've been and what you've done. Blessings, Lynn