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17-30 September 1990


On Monday, 17th September 1990 my friend Corinna and I took a night train to Arles in the south of France. From there we went to Saint-Maries-de-la Mer, a place of pilgrimage for the gypsies at the coast of the Camarque region. The Camarque is famous for its black bulls and white horses. We stayed at the youth hostel in Pioch Badet for a week and visited the area (the church, the beach, the Parc Ornithologique du Pont de Gau). On Saturday, 22nd September we went to Arles and walked around this beautiful Roman city. In the evening we got picked up at Arles station by Yves, owner of the riding centre "Ferme Equestre de Bressieux" of St. Romain de Lerps. With the other tour participants we spent the night in a dormitory at a typical "mas" near Saint-Maries. The group consisted of seven French people and seven Americans.

The following day we started on our trail ride. We were allocated our horses and crossed the river by ferry. Then we spent the day riding along the beach before we returned to our accommodation. On 24th September we made our way through the Camarque until we reached the vicinity of Arles where we spent the night at another "mas". The following morning we rode through the city, which was pretty exciting with the traffic and all. Then we entered the Provence region and in the afternoon we reached Fontvieille with its windmill. We spent the night at a hotel in Fontvieille, sharing a room between three. The day afterwards we passed by the famous Les-Baux-de-Provence, nestling on a hill, and St. Remy-de-Provence. For the night we stayed at an old stable in Eygalières. On Thursday the 27th we followed the mountain range Chaîne des Alpilles. Finally we reached a riding center with adjoining camp ground at Mallemort, where (instead of the promised castle) we slept out in the open in our sleeping bags with nothing but a roof over our heads. That night it got pretty cold. The following day we crossed the Lubéron, passed by Bonnieux, and  finished the day at an "auberge". On Saturday morning the 29th we rode to Roussillon which is famous for its ocre-coloured landscape ("pays des ocres"). Then we had to bid everyone farewell and that afternoon we were driven to Avignon where Corinna and I took the night train back to Düsseldorf.

We rode for seven days between 3 and 5 1/2 hours per day. Dinner always consisted of a 3-course meal at a restaurant. For lunch we had a picnic. We had sunshine every day.


 At the beach near Saintes-Maries
In Arles with the horses
 Mountain Lake
Across the Lubéron
Through the Provence
On horseback

With Yves's stallion
Pays des Ocres
Avignon at night

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