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River Picnics in Provence

After a few days of wandering Provence by ourselves, my parents came out to join us.

Something of a double date holiday and a chance to play furiously competitive card games and pool sports far away from prying eyes.

Keen to give them a warm welcome we set up a picnic beside what had become our favourite stretch of river.

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The river runs along side the spa town of Greoux les Bains.

If you drive just outside, towards the lake you’ll find this perfectly clear stretch of fresh water. (I’ll tag the exact location on the map in the Travel section.)

The banks are made of undulating, hot, white stone. Perfect for stretching out on and setting up a picnic.

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Sand coloured dress

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If you can stand the baked stones you can hot foot it down to the inexplicably cold water and use one of the natural buckets to ice your rosé.

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Once set up you’ll be desperate to leap in and cool off.

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But honestly, this water is cold.

Colder than anything I’ve ever experienced outside of winter.

Fed by a glacier the water is as pure as you’ll ever find, but quite the shock to the system!

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I leapt in and could’t help the gasp of shock that filled my lungs with river water.

Coughing and spluttering I returned to the surface, complete with brain freeze!

I clambered out of the water and hugged the sun warmed rocks, resting my head on the hot stone to warm up.

Once my senses returned (and I could move my limbs again) I felt incredible. Tingling all over and wide awake. Naturally I went straight back in, fully prepared this time!

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Emerging occasionally to defrost in the sun.

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Striped bikini (sold out, similar below) // Stacked bangles

With some very careful manouvering Mum found her own way to enjoy the river, without the brain freeze.

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Matthew Williamson swimwear // Frosted doughnut 

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We lunched on French cheeses, crusty baguette, leftovers and local fruit.

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With dips.

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With temperatures climbing up to the 40s, the cold water seemed more appealing than ever.

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Straw hat 

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We spent the rest of the afternoon snoozing on the rocks, sipping on rosé and swimming in the river.

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Before disappearing into the rapids…

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Never to be seen again.

 

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