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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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October Walnuts


October Walnuts– They’re all over the place. In October. As I mentioned in my last post. Along every country road. Or lane where a walnuter hangs over fence. Free for the gathering.

And, unlike cherries or other “found ” fruit, the walnuts of October, have a longer(non-shelf) life. Nestled under leaves and tall grass. Good news for dedicated walnut gatherers, as the non – dedicated simply scoop up the obvious.

Walnuts, and October have a special place in DA BG’s heart. And you’re about to learn why: (p.s. if you hate walnuts – leave this page now!)

Our(yes, I must say it) Nutty tale begins one especially cold French October, as I was considering my “escape to the Sun” options.

There were three choices: Spain, Morocco, or Greece.


Spain was the primary contender. Warmer(in the “deep south” closest to Morrocco) and closest. Sadly, at that time, I was not reading Lorca in the original text. My Spanish then being definitely “no bueno.”


Morrocco got the axe because of the limited availabilty of Wine. Yes, they do produce it. But not a lot. And not with many choices.


Greece, despite the distance was looking “pas trop mal” until I discovered that the boats I envisioned ferrying me to my Greek island of choice, were sleeping in their slips in winter.

Yes, I was between a rock and a hard place. And, yes, “the darkest hour is just before the dawn.”
The dawn in this case being a friend who piped up with: “Hey – why not New Zealand?”



While at first I poo-poohed this well meaning suggestion owing to the distance (not to mention the airfare) the more I listed the Kiwi features and benefits, the mo beddah it looked.

1. Climate similar to Spring in Hawaii(on the North island)
2. Speak English.
3. Produce many varities of excellent wines
4. the USD, at that time, was King. Not the wimpy court jester it is now.

Now that the “rock” had been removed, the “hard place” was the airfare. None I checked were remotely “cheap and cheerful.”

And that’s when luck appeared. (And of course i invited her in). Luck being an airline who, without prior fanfare had decided to offer, what they called a “circle Pacific” ticket.Which meant you could “circle the pacific” for six months So,I could visit New Zealand,Figi,Thailand, the Cook Islands, then zip back to Paris. As long as I did the deed within six months.

Best news – the airfare was hundreds lower than expected. So – destination done.
However, there was one “challenge” that remained. Transporting me, and my heavily laden bicycle in a box to the airport.

Happily, my guardian angel appeared in the form of my pal, and renowned French chef, Jean-Luc.
He offered to ferry me to “da plane” in his tiny compact(And yes, “tiny”was an understatement.)

So, at about 3am, after a short night in the bunk beds in the back of his restaurant, and, of course a smokin’ cuppa joe – we were airport bound.

Thats the good news. The bad was that owning to the fact that Jean-luc had to scurry back to Paris to prep the restaurant for opening, I had an abundance of Pre-flight time. 14 hours to be exact.

And it was during those 14 hours that water, and the Walnuts of October kept me from death’s door.

Now you understand why October Walnuts, and for that matter, walnuts of any season, have a place in my heart. And,bien sur, in my salad.



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