Last Sting in the Tail

Our homebound second stay at the B&B Hotel at Orléans was much smoother our first in that the access code for our room actually worked this time. Not only that but, having connected to B&B’s free Wi-Fi about 18 months ago near Blois, Carol’s laptop and B&B were still acquainted and connected immediately once again. (Seems like we have a back-up to McWiFi.) We’d also managed to survive last night’s moules, frîtes and French karaoke without too much mental damage. Great stuff!

Fanjeaux seen from the farm A neighbouring farm Driving in France on a Sunday is usually pretty easy. Calais should have been about 5 hours away and our ferry was booked for 3:00 PM. Nonetheless, we’d finished our B&B breakfast by 7:45 AM so we hit the road just after 8:00 AM. The journey was a breeze and we pulled into the ferry port at Calais just before 1:00 PM, hopefully in time for the earlier ferry at 1:30 PM. Surprise, surprise! Having been disrupted by bad weather delays on our outbound journey, Dover had been disrupted earlier this morning by bad weather delays once again. Ain’t winter wonderful? We were eventually booked onto a ferry running late but leaving at 2:40 PM.

Looking south from the farm towards the Pyrenees After rain at Fanjeaux, the Pyrenees were covered in snow The crossing was a little rougher than our outbound trip. The ship’s stabilizers do a great job but after almost 90 minutes Carol was feeling a little queasy. Then on came the captain to tell us that there was no berth ready for his vessel and we’d have to wait outside port being tossed around for another 30 minutes. Blast (or words to that effect)! Actually the delay was shorter than anticipated (how many times is that the case?) and we docked at 4:30 PM, the time we should have docked had we been on our originally planned ferry sans disruption.

The traffic in England is always a shock compared to France. Even having suffered a couple of French rush hours this time, the jaM25 always amazes me. At 4:30 PM on a winter Sunday afternoon we get stuck in four lanes of stationary traffic. Just where the hell are all those people coming from and going to at that time of day on a naff winter weather Sunday? Nonetheless, we fought our way through it and were home by 6:30PM. Not a bad journey, really.

Early morning from the bergerie (sheep-fold)In the blog for this trip I’ve been concentrating on the ewes and lambs and have overlooked the place we were actually staying. I’ve covered it during our summer trips but seeing this part of the French countryside in winter was also new to us so scattered around in this entry are a few photos of it at this time of year.

Luc and Nadine were wonderful hosts and they both have lovely families. Everyone we met was very friendly and welcoming. Helping with the ewes and lambs was a terrific experience and we had a great time. We didn’t really want to come back home though the rest will do us good. 🙂

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