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Carole Newton on the Camargue, France

Where to start? there is so much to tell… I had the most amazing adventure! Was picked up from the airport by my very own cowboy Laurent! Who was my companion every day of my holiday and he was charming and great fun. Dropped me at the house and gardens are beautiful and my room had absolutely everything I could want. The staff were all very friendly and couldn’t do enough for me. And the food !!!! The kitchen was closed on the first evening but they had made me a very tasty casserole accompanied by the locally grown rice. After that in the restaurant every evening and I can only say it was fabulous I can honestly say I have never had anything like it and dinner each night was absolutely delicious.

Now the riding, so it turned out I was the only one that was there riding which was the luckiest thing for me! Laurent picked me up on the first day and I was meant to have 2 hours but we went slightly over that as he showed me all over the manade! Then he said now I see you ride tomorrow you have a working horse! True to his word I had a beautiful and very well trained horse the next morning and we were out 3 1/2 hours with the gardians rounding up bulls for a show that evening. He then asked if I would like to go, of course I said yes and he picked me up and we drove to Arles I think? and watched the bulls in the ring. Frederick Bon came over and introduced himself and explained what was going on. On the way back we took the scenic route so I could see a bit more of the beautiful Camargue. The next day was an early start 7am as manade Jacques Bon was putting on a demonstration by the gardians with a lunch included. So again we rounded up more bulls and late morning crowds arrived and we watched bulls being lassoed and branded. I said to Laurent shall I go back to the hotel he said no you are a gardian now you stay eat with us so I had a lovely lunch with a fair bit of wine a jazz band was playing and the atmosphere was great. Laurent then said stay and ride I have clients this afternoon. So I had an afternoon of riding too and he let me ride his quarter horse!!!. It really was the experience of a lifetime and I can’t thank you enough. Got to say I didn’t really want to go home. I really want to go back but doubt I can better my first experience. Once again thank you so much!

Carole Newton UK 20/01/2018

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