Along the canals near Buzet Sur Baise in SW France cherry trees hang heavy with plump fruit. So many adorn the cycle paths that even the birds can’t keep up, and thousands of cherries fall to the ground to rot.
With our buddy, Lorna from MV Sunflower, we set off one Sunday morning armed with bags and boat hooks – blinkered on the task ahead.
‘Just around the corner,’ was the next best tree, which meant many kilometres later, but the sun was out, we had no appointment to keep, and the tree had to meet certain criteria:
- Big, large, ripe bunches of cherries
- Not in someone’s garden
She’s a tough chick, Lorna, and didn’t groan too much under my chunky boots, weight, and lack of elegance in using her as a ladder!
Up I went, higher and higher, the bucket was filling quickly, meanwhile, Lorna picked up what I dropped and snagged lots more via the boat hook.
After what felt like hours, I climbed down again, using my human ladder (thank you Lorna), and cycled off to find Noel. My head was full of images of finding him at the bottom of a tree with a broken leg, but I was still grinning after having so much fun.
Several kilometres later, as I was just about to turn back, I spied his bike; several ‘coooo eeeees’ later and finally I received a reply, from thirty feet up in the air.
Noel had found his ideal tree and was merrily playing monkey with a full bucket of cherries and a big grin.
Noel and I morphed back to our childhood; up in the arms of the tree you could almost hear the children’s squeals of summer fun that we both had in our youth.
We still reminisce about that day – it was unique, special and fun – and totally free; a moment in time when we remembered to feel alive.
What simple, fun, free things have you done on your travels?