We Have Dates for Provence 2022!

May 21 – May 28, 2022     

SAVE THE DATE! From the Papal Palace in Avignon to the pink flamingos of the Carmargue (and a little Van Gogh in between), this promises to be a spectacular journey. And we’ve timed it to avoid the intense heat and crowds of summer and still enjoy some fine spring weather. Days of scenic cycling will be followed by afternoons and evenings of ukulele instruction and fun. (Don’t let the 15-35 miles per day dissuade you, electric bikes are available for a nominal fee.) And if cycling is not your thing, you can stay on board and simply enjoy the world passing by. Most importantly, if you’re traveling alone, this is a great way to make new friends from around the world. It also makes a great rendezvous for long, lost friends or relatives. (“Sister acts”, in particular, have been a recurring theme on our Uke-Bike-Barge Adventures.)

Most importantly, we will have the entire barge L’Estelle to ourselves, the key to ‘ukulele happiness. So, if you’re looking for an active vacation you can take with your ‘ukulele through an exquisite part of the world, and make some new friends at the same time, this could be the trip for you.

A little something for everyone. . . .

We will begin in the lovely, ancient walled city of Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  (For those wanting to explore the area around Avignon, we’ll be offering optional day trips before our uke/bike/barge trip begins. This will give us a chance to visit some note-worthy villages, do a little additional wine-tasting, and perhaps take a cooking lesson or two.

Our journey ends in Aigues Mortes, another walled town that has changed little since its glory during the Middle Ages. Among other things, today it is famous for its Fougasse. (Here’s a recipe, in case you can’t wait!)

In between, our route will take us along quiet, country roads with lush, breath-taking scenery, delightful hilltop villages, medieval fortresses, orchards, endless vineyards, and stunning vistas. Not only is this an ideal adventure for anyone looking to add a little physical activity to their vacation, it offers an opportunity to experience France in ways most visitors never get to enjoy.

History buffs will appreciate the Roman aqueducts and the Papal Palace, where the 14th-century Popes lived in magnificent style. Art aficionados will love seeing the scenes so lovingly depicted by Van Gogh and Cézanne. Food and wine enthusiasts will appreciate Provencal cuisine and the wines of the Rhone River Valley. Budding naturalists will go nuts in the wild Camargue region, the dramatic river delta where our journey ends, that is home to wild horses, flamingos, and an abundance of bird species. And ‘ukulele players will revel in all the ukulele fun and mischief and opportunities to hone their skill.

We would love to have you join us!

This will be our fourth ukulele/bike/barge adventure. And I must say my favorite part of every day is the lovely welcome we get from the crew when we arrive back at the our barge. (The barge, incidentally has miraculously appeared in a new location.) That is followed by the camaraderie enjoyed over a delicious meal before settling in for an evening of ‘ukulele merriment. And then, I get to retire to my own, familiar cabin. . . . .same bed, different part of the country. It’s no wonder we have people coming back for more.

We still have a few details to work out including before we can start finalizing things for our first, scheduled, post-COVID ukulele adventure. Never-the-less I wanted to make sure you got a heads up as these trips tend to fill quickly. So, if you are seriously interested in this, please let me know via the Contact Us page and you will be the first to know as we fill in more of the details. And rest assured, well be answering questions as answers become available.

Meet our ‘Ukulele Facilitator: Gary Peare

Ta dah!

Meet Gary Peare, the ‘ukulele pro for our upcoming Ukulele, Bike & Barge Adventure in Provence. 

Gary first picked up the ukulele while traveling and performing as a professional clown with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. After nearly 20 years of playing the same three songs, he stumbled upon a workshop led by the renowned musician and underground comic book artist, Robert Armstrong, and his world has never been the same.

In 2001, Gary also began editing the influential blog, Ukulelia.com, which chronicled the early days of the ukulele’s “Third Wave.”

A few years back, Gary decided to up his ‘ukulele game even more and now holds a Level 3 Certification from the James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI). Last year, he was tapped by James to serve as a JHUI instructor for the Vancouver, BC program and later as a featured instructor at the Ukulele Hot Springs Retreat in British Columbia. 

When he is not teaching ukulele, Gary is also the Managing Director of Bay Area Children’s Theatre, in Oakland, California.

We worked with Gary last year at Camp Oo-Koo-Lay-Lay and could see that his talent and generosity as an ‘ukulele teacher, his experience herding cats, and his proclivity for fun, would make him a great addition to this next ‘Ukulele Adventure, from Avignon to the Carmargue, April 25 – May 2.

Hope you can join us!

Please, contact us if you have any questions.

Looking for the perfect gift for the Ukulele Player in your life?

April 25 – May 2, 2020

We’ve had a few cancellations on our Ukin’, Bike, & Barge Adventure in Provence , April 25 – May 2, 2020, which means there’s room for you (and your loved one!)

Here’s a little teaser:

From Papal Palaces to Pink Flamingos and a little Van Gogh in between, this is a spectacular journey in mystical Provence, from Avignon to Aigues Mortes, through some of the most beautiful countryside in all of France. Days of scenic and leisurely cycling will be followed by afternoons and evenings of ukulele instruction and fun, with a professional and renowned ‘ukulele “facilitator.”

And if cycling is not your thing, or you want to take a day off, the wonderful crew of the Caprice is ready and able to accommodate most every contingency. Should it be too warm, for example, we can get an earlier start and stop a little sooner. If the day’s ride seems a tad too long, we can knock off a few kilometers to shorten the ride, without missing the best part. And if you or your companion decide not to ride at all one day…or even more days…you can stay on board and see the sights from the deck as the barge moves along the river while strumming your ‘ukulele. (You might even convince our ‘ukulele maestro to stay on board and give you a private lesson!) And depending on where we are, the crew might also be able to organize a special shore-based excursion for you.

Most importantly, we will have the entire barge Caprice to ourselves, which is absolutely the key to ‘ukulele happiness since we really are “all in the same boat.” So, if you’re looking for an active vacation you can take with your ukulele in an exquisite part of the world, eat some wonderful food, and make some new friends at the same time, this could be the trip for you. Or, if you just want to float down a beautiful river and watch the world go by.

Here’s a little sprinkling of what’s in store:

We’ll be starting in the ancient walled town of Avignon, a thriving, busy town that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  (I scouted this area last year and will, most likely, organize a few optional extra days here to make sure we don’t miss a thing!)

Then after daily bike rides  through delightful Provençal villages, vineyards,  fields of sunflowers, and the landscapes that were so dear to Vincent Van Gogh, we end our tour in Aigues Mortes, a completely walled town that has changed little in appearance since its glory during the Middle Ages…but not without a visit first to the Carmargue and its black bulls, white horses, and pink flamingos. And after each day of busy riding (or just enjoying the journey on the barge), we can retire to the lovely sundeck, ukes in hand, for a lesson with our ‘ukulele facilitator, a sing-along, or both. (You can view the full itinerary here.)

The total cost is $3,998US per couple in a double cabin;  $2050US per person in a shared twin cabin; and $2549US for a single. The price includes seven nights aboard the barge and most meals, a bicycle guide, one ukulele facilitator, and a multitude of opportunities for formal and informal ukulele instructions and loads of play-a-longs. (we’ll be announcing who our ukulele “facilitator” is in the coming weeks.)

Registration begins with a 50% deposit. which is subject to these Terms and Conditions.

If you are ready to sign-up, you can Register Here.

If you still have questions, you might find some of the answers here. If you have any other questions, please Contact Us.