Navarrenx - a town of fortresses, buttresses, soldiers, walls and Bearnaise Andouille, a 13th century border town of ancient Navarre but better known today as the site of the World Championship of Salmon Fishing. Forget the Kola at 1000$ a day, the Tweed at 2000$ and those ancient rivers of Scotland, Ireland and Norway. Not many people are aware that in Navarrenx you can come for free to fish on the Gave d'Oloron and become champion of salmon fishing. The only curious thing is that the only fishermen present at the world championship are from Navarrenx or the villages within the vicinity and nobody outside Navarrenx is aware that the competition exists.
So to say the least, Navarrenx is a very secretive and special town where little happens except the passage of pilgrims to and from the north of Europe towards Galicia by the route of Compostelle. Tucked behind the thick fortifications of ancient times is a village with a thriving artisanal cigar industry employing a number of fine looking Cuban cigar rolling ladies (which might just help the local gene pool), a renowned rugby team, and a weekly market of local produce.
On wednesday morning we are lucky to be able to buy homemade spelt bread, locally grown Mate and organic seasonal produce from the people at Twelve Tribes of Sus, a rather odd but friendly sect of aged wanderers who settled many years ago in a nearby chateau and have converted the gardens into food and their home into artisanal ateliers. They are not so welcome locally but I don't see them harming anyone and their bread is scrumptious.
We also have our roving fishmonger, Alice, who also sells her fisherman husbands and sons produce. Mr Ferman makes a delicious creamy sheeps cheese while lots of farmers wives sell their onions, chickens and honey from smaller stands.
The only problem is this rather odd scowling woman with a beehive haircut and fine Citroen Ami 6, selling honey pots and sweet things who doesn't like customers or maybe its just us.....