Back to the continent with Pinot…..


We arrived back into Edinburgh from Milan where Pinot was found safe and sound among hundreds of cars complete with a huge sign asking us to contact Edinburgh Airport control centre upon returning to vehicle .. oh no with dread we called the number to ask what the problem was, a very friendly scotslady replied no bother you have parked too close to the airport fence. Realising we were not people smugglers she wished us a lovely evening. Power on, engine started we were on our way again ….well until we got to the barrier …ticket inserted (we had paid 82 pounds in full before we left UK) your outstanding balance is 368 pounds please !!! Getting a bit flustered well I was, Al was quite chilled surprisingly…called for assistance gave our booking number … no bother came the reply, boom gate up and off we went.

Time to start to make our way down to the ferry in Hull for an overnight crossing to Zeebruger in Belgium. Stopped the night at the linwater the campsite close to the airport. First stop the following morning was Newcastle for lunch and say goodbye to Mum and Dad Powell. It’s a joy to see Dad now up and walking, be it slowly and with the aid of a stick. They had just found out they get the keys to their new assisted living apartment soon, so cause for celebration 😊 Had a lovely lunch with them before a teary good bye …this maybe the last time we see them so very sad.That gorgeous little smile ….From Newcastle then down to Huddersfield, stayed on a lovely farm on the moors in Holmfirth. A big day followed, lunch with another cousin David (Diana’s brother )and his lovely family, another who I had not seen for over 40 years. We had a fab lunch at Harvey’s Kitchen Bar …lots of laughs and interesting stories from our days as young children.Next stop for dinner was with our lovely friends Liz and Bob who we met the day we picked up the motorhome months ago  in Spain …Holmfirth food and wine festival was on so we popped in but way too noisy for us to chat so we found a great Tapas bar, (Punch) in Honley where we had a very very good night, great food & the best company. We Love this part of Yorkshire.Pinots home for the night …with a fellow mo ho in Liz and Bob’s driveway.Next day it was time to catch the ferry, as it was an overnight crossing we had booked a cabin.Drove straight through Belgium into the Champagne region in France .. just stayed one night here as some Important shopping had to be done at the local Vin …over 500 Euros later … we had a wonderful stash of various vintages and colours for our gathering 😊😊😊in a couple of weeks time … I can feel the headaches already . Thank goodness we have a large garage.The weather wasn’t the best and we had planned on staying in the loivre valley for a while, so just a night on the outskirts, a chateau fix and a gentle ride while the sun shone …Al has been fighting a cold and can’t seem to shake it so not getting as much riding as we would like to do …. but he never complains and soldiers on.A Birthday a long the way :Al Pal .. the best tour guide … driver extraordinaire!! Thank you a zillion times over for this wonderful adventure !! Patience of a saint with me as a navigator 😊😊🤣 he loves me really.The most pathetic birthday cake ever … but it’s the thought that counts :A lovely dinner awaits when he is feeling better.

Had a hairy day while making our way to Mt Ventoux … lucifer ( Fondly known as Lucy on good days ) our sat Nav decided to take us  on a unnecessary 2 and a half hour detour across a mountain rain studded with pine forests, river crossing and beautiful autumnal scenery .. well what we could see of it (pic below) poor Al never got to see any of it as he negotiated hair pin bends and the like. It rained solidly for the entire 5 hour trip. That was before a near crash with a car (his fault not Al’s ) witnessing a man fall from his motorbike, almost running out of diesel because every station we tried would not accept our card for some reason … I asked a lovely Frenchman in the end if we could pay him cash and use his card … all through the google ap translator 🤣 all while Al Pal held the wad of cash in his hand in case he thought we were con men….we were desperate. Al Slept very soundly that night.

Al would have dearly loved to tackle Mt Ventoux or part of it anyway, but there was wasn’t a chance to even cycle the low lands as he was just too sick , poor love. So we enjoyed the wine and a gentle walk instead .. he couldn’t bring himself to buy a Mt Ventoux kit when he hadn’t ridding it …maybe a return visit and some decent training.Beidon village at the foot on Mt Ventoux 

A brief stop at Roanne overnight on an aire next to the marina … love these .. 7 euros 50 a night if you please.Next stop the Gordes de l’Ardeche and the lovely little village of  Aigueze where we stayed 2 nights to explore this beautiful area. It is all but deserted as the season is over .. lots of restaurants closed etc we felt like we had the place to ourselves.would have loved to try one of these pomegranates … but they were in someone’s garden.The drive through the gorges was stunning and as usual the pictures do not do it justice !sure the walking around here is amazing too.

Next stop ..Avignon

Take Care & love to all xx

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