Today was not a normal day. Today was an exceptional day – the day to visit the Pont d'Arc in Ardeche and the Chauvet Cave replica.
Starting with an early morning hike up to the little village of Saint Vincent de Durfort, for the second day in a row – this time not with my friend and host, Veronique, but with my daughter who rose early with me. On the way, wild strawberries and red poppies, and vistas and river views and trickling streams. . . all before breakfast of fresh baguette and croissants and coffee upon our return on the patio in the sunshine with our hosts.
And then, off for the trip of a lifetime, to visit the Pont d'Arc in the French countryside of Ardeche and then to see the replica museum of the Chauvet Cave- the thirty thousand year old cave paintings discovered in 1994.
It's impossible to visit the cave where the paintings were found; and it's not possible to take pictures of the cave painting replicas, but it IS possible to watch the Werner Herzog movie about them, "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," which inspired my family to visit while being the guests of our dear and generous friends whose country home is here in Ardeche. They arranged our visit and we all drove there together today for an unforgettable day visiting this world cultural site, starting with a picnic at the ancient stone arc, Pont d'Arc, and a swim in the frigid river under the hot sun! It's so late now, after such a spectacular day, all I can say is that when I walked out into the sunshine after viewing the replica of the cave - and which I felt, very easily, the enchantment of this magnificent experience - it felt real. I felt I was in the cave. All I can say is, once again in the sunlight, I was overwhelmed. It was an arresting experience, a spiritual awakening. Awesome. I was awed. Stunned, wordlessly moved. What will I dream of tonight?
All photos and text copyright Kelly DuMar 2018 unless otherwise attributed