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Caux to Perpignan: June 22

sunny 23 °C

We farewelled Mark the night before. He took a 9Euro flight to England to do some training.

We farewelled Michael and Alfie this morning after another filling breakfast of croissant, half a pain du chocolate, some baguette, some yoghurt and fresh local melon. Le Yum. Alfie gets excited when he sees guests coming down the stairs with their bags because he figures a car trip for him is on the cards. He coped.

We decided to travel down to Perpignan along the motorway as our check in was 12:30, we were travelling slower due to the tyre repair, we wanted time in Perpignan, and most importantly we worried about how long it would take to do the administrative stuff we are told the French do thoroughly when the car was returned.

When you next go to Europe, hire a car and experience some appropriate anxiety about driving, fear not. The French motorways are usually 3 lanes, right most for slowcoaches and trucks, middle lane for cruisers and left most lane for those that sit at the limit of 130 kph or beyond. Protocol is that when you overtake you immediately return to the slower lane. If you wish to go slow and take in some views or not be hassled by overtaking, just sit behind a slower truck. No one will hassle you.

So 2 hours later we arrived in Perpignan to have the usual trouble finding a park to unload the bags at the hotel before returning the car. Fortunately I went down the wrong way again (go figure) and a tiny toot from a blue helmeted man got my attention. He babbled in French and then I sheepishly said "je suis australie". He smiled it became clear with gestures I had goofed. He allowed me to complete a u-turn despite a bus driver looking put out and gesturing at me. Then in the middle of the u-turn we found the external return your Europcar rental car park that the French never think to advise you of. So, clever silly me and nice cop together solved the park and unload baggage problem. The hotel was 50 metres from the Europcar agency.

We had determined to purchase some cabin luggage for Karen 'cause we put on a few pounds of excess luggage. Les pretending he was having the best fun in the world shopped with Karen. She was merciful, stumbled into a shop within 10 minutes and bought an Aussie brand of luggage. Within the next 5 minutes we happened upon a bar for lunch known as the Australian Bar.

Australian Bar at Perpignan:
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Salade and beer was pretty reasonable. The bar was decked out with some aussie flags and some french waiters who spoke no English. We should a spoken oz-slang at 'em. Mighta worked. Don't get me wrong, they were bonza frogs all smiley and helpful. Almost as wide mouthed as Kermit too.

We also purchased some cakes and quiche for eating in the hotel. Didn't really want to go out again; so we sorted through our excess luggage, did some turfin' and repacked and went slow. Been moving pretty fast the last few weeks and I have been told Barcelona is faster again.

Oh, by the way, after queuing briefly to deal with the return of the car Mrs lovely French lady and we confirmed we had taken the pre-purchase a full tank option, then handed her the car keys and she was all a-smiling. That was it. Done. I reckon it took 30 seconds at the counter. Hey :-)

I took some time out to conduct a critical scientific experiment. How does water flow down the ole plughole in the norther Hemisphere. Is it different to the south? Well only one way to tackle it. Use French wine:

After you have done your experiment let me know the results.

Not much else to say so I have included some extra photos we had missed on Karen's iphone.

Ella and proud Alfred:
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Marcus and Les gadget shopping:
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Hong Kong market meat:
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Les in Paris, his first noisette:
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Sunday in the Marais and French families:
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Our proud cafe owners in the Marais:
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Wolf Man - be very afraid. I want one:
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Visiting butcher man at Goose Farm:
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Les Jeannine 'Illy' and guest at Goose Farm:
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Cathedral outside our window at Mirepoix:
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Supreme navigators trying to look competent:
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Ingrid at town of Chateauneuf du Papes:
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If you can't sleep because of the experiment, check out "Coriolis effect" on Wikipedia.com

Bonne nuit!

Posted by lesnkaren 14:41 Archived in France

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