This is the view from Auberge U Vallone. There was a seating area at the back overlooking this valley, which is the route from Calasima. I liked it here. The guardian was a rough looking chap whom I thought wouldn’t be sympathetic to vegetarian requests. People can be ridiculous, with irrational and volatile reactions. Pride, honour, whatever it is, has nothing to do with asking for beans if you don’t eat meat.

There’s the further problem too when people don’t understand vegetarianism and give you a dish which is anything but. Given the importance of sustenance, and with a possible culture or language clash, these situations are very uncomfortable. A chap at the table seemed better at French than I was and offered to ask (again) if I was getting vegetarian food. When the guardian appeared I said parce que mon Français n’ est pas bon. My French is the problem, not you.

He provided a good meal of red peppers, green beans and pasta cooked, he explained further, in olive oil. He’d understood perfectly and joked that he accommodated everyone for this, that, whatever, turning and twisting as if it were a bodily response. It was a pleasant dinner with the British party and the new chap, an army doctor from Portsmouth. He said he was getting away to avoid putting up shelves at home.

The following day I heard that the guardian was a shepherd who had diversified into providing the refuge service, and he was described in a book. His wife was there too, and pretty daughter of about fifteen years whom I’d asked, earlier, parlez vous Anglais. A little, she said, and I asked about food and what time it was served. I get by in French and like to use it if possible. English is commonly used however, and Corsicans are better at it than my rudimentary French.


Auberge U Vallone Panorama

Saturday October 10, 2015