France's heatwave has broken... and we're back

For those of you who might not have noticed, we took a brief hiatus from our blog. We've been publishing a blog in one form or another for more than a decade now, and it’s unusual for us to take a break. It's not that we've lost interest and it's certainly not because we couldn't find anything to write about (that never stopped us before). It's because of the darn heat.

France, as well as much of Europe, has been suffering through a record setting heatwave. One small town, Villevieille, saw 113 degrees F (45C), the hottest temperature ever recorded in all of France. The temperature at Montpellier, a city in southern France, reached 110.3 degrees F (43.5C), surpassing the previous all-time record by 10.4 degrees F. That's hot!

Being from Las Vegas, we're used to triple digit temps - 113 degrees F would only be a moderately hot day in the summer. But LV has low humidity and ubiquitous air conditioning... France has neither.

We haven't seen it hit 100 degrees F in the areas we've been, but it has been in the high 90's (36C or so), with the humidity in the 80%-90% range, resulting in a heat index of as much as 103 degrees F. In addition, we've yet to stay in a hotel, hostel, or pilgrim accommodation that had air conditioning... even a fan is a rarity.

We've been trying to cope by starting our daily trek at sunrise, taking lots of breaks whenever we found shade, and drinking gallons of water. Even so, the heat was taking its toll by mid morning, and by the time we checked into our room in mid afternoon, we were exhausted. We'd do our best to rehydrate, then crash for a few hours in a stifling room. We'd manage to get up for dinner (or sometimes skip dinner altogether), rehydrate some more and maybe read for a few minutes before going back to bed. Spending a few hours each night writing our blog just wasn't in the cards.

But, at last, France's heatwave has broken. Temps are now in the 70's-80's, and we're back in the groove. We still start walking at sunrise while it's cool, and try to check into our room by 1:00 or so, before it gets too hot. Then we eat lunch, clean up, wash our skivvies and socks, and take a short nap, leaving us with the time and energy to see the sights of the town and still write our blogs.

So, look for Marcie's blogs to resume on Monday, and I'll be back on schedule with the Blue Views next Saturday... barring another heatwave.