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Wednesday 9 to Thursday 17 April 2014, Holland

Once again our plane arrived late in Singapore. We made the connecting flight to Amsterdam but our luggage didn’t. Unfortunately my warm top was in the luggage. Singapore Airlines were very good though. They allowed us to buy something warm for the journey to Groningen which we could then claim back.

Harjet's Birthday PartyTulips in the polders

Harjet’s birthday is in April and we were able to attend her party. All the family were gathered. They are a very happy crowd. It is great to see them all and catch up on their various doings.

Finally we fetched the car, checked it out, loaded it and were on our way.

Friday 18 to Thursday 24 April 2014, To Livorno

We had planned to spend some time in Eastern Europe but looking at the map I suggested that we go to Corsica instead, somewhere new.

Knowing we had to drive through either Austria or Switzerland, we chose Switzerland even though it meant buying a vignette for a year. This allowed us to also go through Liechenstein, another new country. It was a Sunday, nothing was open and the streets were almost deserted. As expected the landscape was the same as the surrounding countries.

There was snow on the Swiss Alps so we drove quickly through to Como hoping to have decent weather. It rained for the two nights we stayed! Our journey now took us through to Moderna then across the spine of Italy to Pisa. The mountains, hills and valleys were very picturesque and we found a lovely place beside a river to spend the night.

Pisa was full of tourists taking the typical photo of holding up the tower. Still we enjoyed watching, looking at the tourist tat and having a cup of coffee. It is such a pleasure to always get a decent cup of coffee. In Australia we had to ask for an extra shot of espresso.

Naturally we headed straight to the port when we reached Livorno expecting to get straight on to the ferry to Bastia in Corsica. Imagine our surprise when there was no room on the next ferry!. It was for the best though. The ferry left around 13:30 and arrived in Bastia 4 hours later. That would have made it late to start looking for a camp for the night. Lidl came in handy once again for a place to spend the night. We were told to be at the port by 8:30 so we didn’t  hurry. Of course what they meant was that the ferry LEFT at 8:30! Ooops! We made it though. We were the last car on along with some motor bikes and 2 trucks.

Friday 25 April to Wednesday 28 May 2014, L’Ille de Rousse

Corsica is a fabulous holiday destination. The landscape is superb. There are dramatic rocky mountains, scenic valleys, cliffs and beaches. The more active can do every type of water sport, or cycle and hike in the mountains. It is the land of the open topped sports car or motor bike roaring around the numerous bends in the road.

We headed aCleaning the beach at Marine D'Albacross the island to St Florent and a campground with many trees and a beach. After a few days we decided it was time to move. Amoung the many beaches and cliffs of the north cape is a hamlet called Marine D’Alba. The residents were busy cleaning the beach of all the driftwood and burning it. This takes about a day. The beach itself has been made out of the leavings from the nearby asbestos mine which has been closed for many years. Small quantities of asbestos can still be found in the pebbles.

The best scenic road is between Ponte Leccia and Porto. The road follows a river down from the mountains to a rugged coast. It is a very popular route with cars stopping at every available place to take photos. The rest of Corsica is much the same. It is dotted with small villages where coffee and croissant can be had on a terrace with a beautiful view.

Our Recamo car seats have needed repair for some time. The material which goes underneath the seat and holds it up had torn. Pieter’s seat had been fixed with wood some time ago.  My seat lasted a bit longer but when it also went we couldn’t find any wood to prop it up. Now was the time to sort it out. There are many specialists in large towns but they can be difficult to find. In smaller places it is much easier to find someone who knows where a specialist is as there is so little choice. This is how we found an Atelier who could fix the chairs. They are now strong and should last many more years.

The rest of our time was spent at a campground in l’Ille Rousse. The wifi allowed us to advertise the Toyota and start the wait for a buyer.

Liechenstein Italian village in the middle of Italy Another Italian village in the middle of Italy Camping place near Livorno Pieter holding up the tower Common wild flower Coast near Porto Houses on the coast Lunch at the coast The river from Ponte Leccia to Porto Back to NW Australia

Ellie and MiL'Ille Rousse from the campgroundkMike and Elliee invited us to have a braai with them. They also invited another German, Gerhard, whom they had befriended at the campground. The braai was magnificent. Actually I should call it a bar-b-que because the meat was cooked on gas. A braai traditionally uses a wood fire. It consisted of shrimps, chicken pieces, sausages and a monster salad. The camp cat enjoyed the shrimp tails.

The most wonderful part of the camp ground is the blackbirds. It is a haven for them and they sing morning, noon and night. I have rarely heard these birds before. They have a large variety of notes which they use in many different sequences. Amazingly musical.

Thursday 29 May to   June, France

We took a few diversions before heading north. First to Avignon to see the famous Roman bridge. Next to say goodbye to Cadaquez in Spain and last to Carcasonne back in France.

Cadaquez was so expensive that we didn’t do more than drive to the campground only to find out the cost of a night’s stay (over 42) and the cost of overnight parking (over 22) before heading back. OK, it is small, hemmed in by a national Park and very popular, so I understand the high prices. Unfortunately it is out of our league. At least this little side trip enabled me to buy over a year’s supply of my chronic medication. Everywhere else in Europe you need a doctor’s prescription. I have been taking these tablets for almost 20 years. I think by now I know all about them.

Carcasonne was full of memories. Mainly of Pieter Frank and David running around the walls of the castle almost 26 years ago. We had our usual coffee but with crepes instead of croissant. Crepes seem to be the local speciality.

Second Instalment Second Instalment There was plenty of wood for a braai Our lovely place in the forest House of Henry IV in Cahors Entrance to the Cathederal (Cahors) Another small village Small village in France Carcasonne Castle North Eastern Spanish Coast Roman Bridge at Avignon. It no longer goes right across the river

InternationaOrange and green dragonfly (Pieter took this)l air fares, a ferry to and from Corsica and staying in a campground for 3 weeks depleted our financial resources to such an extent that we had very little money until the next monthly intake. We found a magnificent place in a forest not far from Cahors. Lots of trees for shade, brilliantly blue or gold dragonflies, blackbirds among other birds and extremely peaceful surroundings kept us content. On average one car a day passed slowly by as the road is not conducive to fast driving. Except the day 6 cars drove past in 2 hours! Every few days we would visit McDonalds to check our mail. Otherwise we read, watched movies, did puzzles (me of course) or worked on the computer. Our new inverter is a marvel. We can charge both PC’s and a battery at the same time. Needless to say, the inverter will be going with us to Australia. Since we have to wait for money this is an excellent place to do it.

Blue dragonfly (Pieter took this)



Cost of diesel per litre

Cost of Camping per night

Cost of Hotels per night

Daily expenditure


Kilometers travelled

Days in country


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