Our Family’s (2nd) Year in the South of France
Kids and Castles - Our year with kids in the South of France

A Different Kind of Traffic Jam

It is the October school break and we are taking advantage of two weeks off to head east to visit the Basque region of France and Spain. As we drive through the French Pyrenees, we spot signs for the “Route de Fromage”. This cheese loving family had no choice but to check it out.

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The Cheese Road

There are over 80 producers on the Cheese Road, and the nearest fromagerie is only a mile away. When we get there the entrance is blocked, but we keep driving and soon see a sign for the next stop. We turn onto a narrow road that twists and turns. We have no idea what we’ll do if we meet a vehicle coming the other way, but we seem to be the only ones driving so we continue up the hill until we encounter two cows crossing the road! Fortunately they are scared by us, so I didn’t even have time to get my camera before they moved into the ditch.

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We continue up the hill and see several buildings so we think we might have arrived. But as we pull around the hairpin turn we encounter the next road hazard – this time two huge free-roaming pigs. No cheese here, so we continue.

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Pigs on the road

We get past the pigs and keep winding uphill. But this time we run into a real traffic jam – sheep are all over the road. and there is simply no way to get around them. It takes a while, but eventually a teenage girl shows up and chases them down the road. We follow at sheep speed for about 10 minutes until the road forks. The sheep go left and we are very happy to see the fromage sign pointing right.

Sheep Traffic Jam

Sheep Traffic Jam

It is worth it. The cheese is exceptionally good. And we learn an interesting sheep fact: the shepherds are moving the sheep up the mountains today. Fall is the season that sheep breed and these kind of sheep prefer high altitudes for their amorous activities.

The Cheese

The Cheese

5 Responses to “A Different Kind of Traffic Jam”

  1. Val says:

    Did not know that about sheep. Is that a sheep milk cheese? Would love to sample it with you 🙂

    • Diane H. says:

      Yes. It’s sheep milk cheese. Come and try it – it will take a while for even our family to make it through this wheel.

      • Diane H. says:

        Oops. I was wrong. We put the sheep cheese out for a apero we hosted for a few people from the village and it is now gone. Apparently it was VERY good.

  2. Bob M says:

    Your sheep traffic jam actually reminds me of my childhood. Family time was spent driving through rural Victoria (a southern state of Australia). Occasionally we would come across dairy herds being driven along the road. If we tried to drive along at a slow pace behind the herd the car would overheat. Teenaged girls never seemed to appear out of nowhere. Nothing to do but sit and wait. Did I tell you my Grandfather was a dairy farmer? And my uncles and aunts.