As the enjoyable 3 months in Europe finally ends at Toulouse airport, it is a pleasant time to reflect on the highlight of our trip, the week with the Lyon family at La Nique and a week on the Canal Garonne.
The weather for La Nique was the best of our trip, long sunny days and drawn out twilights, excellent for country walks, tennis, lazy lunches and dinners. The Lyon family, Ian, Lynne, Sophie, Kate and Sam easy to get along with, great conversationalists and drinkers! Melissa and I renewed our wedding vows after 12 years, hard to think life could get any better than the last 12! Ian, as master of ceremonies spoke eloquently while I played the fool – something never change. Daily 8 – 10 km walks ensured room for extra pastry and sausage, I suspect we all put on weight.
Ben and Huon were in 7th heaven – Sophie, Kate and Sam all ensuring they did not have a spare moment, Huon usually lost for words while in the embrace of Sophie or Kate. A visit to Duras Castle and a local vineyard all added to the cultural experience.
While the canal boat was fairly spacious, it was ‘close quarters’ for all, again the compatibility of the two families shone through. Each day brought new vistas and culinary experiences, with at least one meal out (hard to contemplate more). The canal was a delight of quaint French villages, magic tree lined tranquility, the daily walks again providing time to contemplate and work off the growing kilos. We could thoroughly recommend this method of transport and accommodation – the locks easy to navigate.
Our final week in Biarritz was cool, windy and wet, so different to Mexico. A days trip to San Sebastian and the excellent Aquarium and Ocean Village made a pleasant change from window shopping and body watching at the busy beaches.
We now look forward to returning to Sonrisa and Mexico. A few weeks in Puerto Vallarta provisioning for the summer back up into the Sea of Cortez. Hopefully we have not left our run too late in the season, cyclones already been reported. A short stop in La Paz to organize a berth next year and some school arrangements before several months of tranquility (and relief for the wallet) amongst our favourite cruising area.