A week in rural France with an old friend in a new home
Story and photos by Garrett Palm
We rushed to get to the waterfall before the sun completely set. We had intended to get there much earlier, but our day in the rural Midi-Pyrénées region of France had been more enjoyable than efficient. The last few minutes of dusk and the dense forest around the little village of La Terrisse already made it hard to see. I stumbled on wet stones as the trail and the creek occasionally converged.
The trail passed through a small hut partly hanging over the creek, where I stopped for a second to admire the carvings in the untreated wood and benches above the water. It looked like a nice place to spend some time, but the dog and two kittens that joined us on our hike played in the creek upstream as they waited for us to catch up. The little patches of sky visible through the trees grew darker.
The pets lived with my host’s friends, Gwladys and Fred, a name combination I sometimes feel I made up, and their two young daughters, Tchenrezie and Isis, 4 and 2 years old, respectively. This whole family lives in a mud structure they built themselves in a clearing on a nearby hillside.