Aujourd'hui nous sommes le mercredi 15 novembre 2017. C’est la fête de Saint Albert.


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Wallets lost & other Stories

From Cushla & John

We have had another lost wallet episode…..#!##*!!!

My fault - We had left the boat for friends for a week and in our rush to get to the tram to catch the train, which we missed anyway, we had to run practically all the way to the train station.  It was hot so we had stripped off our coats and consequently were carrying armloads of stuff.  Anyway, I must have put down John’s camera bag which had his wallet inside!!! 

After a stressful 48 hours cancelling cards, making phone calls, calling into various banks and police stations, and feeling so terrible!!!, we got a call out of the blue saying his camera and wallet had been handed in!  How lucky is that !? 

Of course we couldn't 'un-cancel' the credit cards but at least he has been saved the re-issue of drivers license, and the various club and loyalty cards etc.

That’s the third time now that we have lost wallets, and the third time we have been lucky and got them back.  Love France!   I only wish I could have met the person who handed it in to give him/her a BIG HUG !!!

After recovering from the lost wallet episode we restarted our planned visit to Annecy, on the Lake of the same name.  It was School holidays and hectically crowded.  We likened it to Mount Maunganui on Near Year’s eve, so we didn’t stop, but travelled further on down the lake and spent a night and the next day at a little 2star hotel in a quiet little treasure spot of a beach (found for us with the help of the Office du Tourisme). 

The following night  we stopped on the other side of Lake Annecy below the mountains.  Here we had a pool with lovely views of the hang gliders hanging around the land mark cragggie knoll above, and that night a band was performing across the park who emulated the pop group ‘Queen’ pretty well, followed by yet another spectacular light show fireworks display - performing almost in front of us sitting on our balcony.

One of the highlights of our second trip away from Waitui, was at the Spa resort-La Parenthese- just out of Lons le Saunier in the Haut Jura region.  We hadn’t booked ahead and had underestimated how busy father’s day weekend would be.  We spent most of the day calling in and asking at various places to stay - all very interesting but finally and a bit desperate we tried lastminute.com on line and found this perfect spot.  The restaurant was fully booked out but they agreed to supply us a light salad as room service which, after a swim, a sunbake and a beer or two in the pool area, suited us very well. 

The Haut Jura area is glaciated so has many spectacular ravines and lakes,... and also good wine.   All quite different from the canal scenery we enjoy.

The little village of Baume les Messieurs houses a monastery going back to the year 860.  A month or so ago we sailed through Baume les Dames, 50 km away, which boasted a nunnery of about the same era. Obviously the Archbishop of the time was using distance to prevent any ’slippage’ in the Vows of Celibacy. 

 

As we sailed into the port of Gray, the Le Boat Staff recognised Waitui as one of their own, a favourite apparently, and came rushing to greet us.  With comments such as “WOW - Bow Thruster!” and "new paint” ,  "Tres Bien” etc. they then checked her registered number to see that it really was their “Millau 327”.   We were treated like royalty.   327 had come home in grand style!  With all this attention we are hoping we can winterise Waitui at Gray in the future but we have to wait to speak to the Manager whom we hope to meet this coming Wednesday.

Some towns have a day that all except one restaurant, one bakery etc. are all closed  The trick is in finding them.  We walked all around Gray and finally found the only restaurant open and very busy.  On the menu was 'la souris’  (mouse)  and after a fun discussion with the waiter who assured me that there was no mouse content in the dish, I ordered this.  It came as a lamb shank propped up on the plate to look like a mouse sitting up complete with rosemary whiskers.   John insisted on ordering the conchon although I warned him that it was pig guts - sure enough, when it arrived it was a sausage of pigs offal - truely awful!!!(I had remembered us being caught out last year with this ‘dish of the day’ delicacy….NOT !  -  )  …… We shared the lamb shank - it was delicious. (Click here for a recipe) :-)  More entertainment was the dinner guest beside us wearing a Roger Hargraves T shirt with a happy face on the front and the caption saying ‘M.Heureux' (Mr Happy). John wants one!  

The best story reported from our five friends on Waitui was about them managing to put her (and themselves) through a 'deluxe boat wash' at Thoraise.  

Thoraise is a special feature Tunnel designed jointly by an architect and an artist which has a fabulous light show along it's length and a waterfall across the tunnel mouth at each which is designed to magically switch off - sometimes! - as you sail through it.   The trick is to sail slowly enough to time the switch off mechanism.   HeHeHe !    Thanks for sharing that with us “Famous Five”.

The lock system we are on currently is operated by a remote box which we are given to carry with us on board.  The Remote opens the lock and once inside we activate a blue lever which starts the water flowing.  Right alongside this blue lever is a red one - the emergency stop - which at Lock No 65 John accidentally bumped when reaching for the blue one!

It’s good to know that it’s super sensitive - the red light started flashing immediately, and everything certainly stopped!   We had to call the VNF people in charge of the locks to come and reset things.  That was a 1/2 hour wait sitting in the lock feeling a bit silly - but it’s so quiet here, there were no witnesses or anyone who came along to catch us out. ;-)  The VNF lady took it all in her stride indicating it must happen a lot :-)

We have returned to Dole and I’ve had an amazing shopping day after finding a very trendy salon for a much needed hair cut.  Up until now I have done very little shopping - it’s mostly markets anyway, so today was a real treat.

Today we travelled up a very remote side river and came across another kiwi boat - Ted Blomfield’s ‘Renaissance’  - a lovely 100plus year old, 24m steel cruiser. We rafted up alongside Ted and his two friends Rosemary and Dennis Whittle.   He had his washing out, so did we, so we sat amongst the flapping laundry and shared a ‘laundry day lunch’ on board Waitui.   Just another excuse for a party!  

We’ll be home in about a week!   Where has the time gone?

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