Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Change of Plan

I wanted to go to the Alpujarras in Andalucia and had saved up A Parrot in the Pepper Tree, the last book in the Chris Stewart series that inspired this hankering. I had even found what looked like a lovely little white house with a pool and managed not to be too dismayed by the fact that all of the houses available for rent in the Alpujarras seemed to belong not to earthy Spaniards but to Brits offering massages and exotic cuisine.

As our departure approached, P. became less and less enthusiastic. "13 hours is a long time to spend in a car with two children. It's Easter week, the roads will be packed. The car's making a funny noise." "Don't be so negative", I said.

But when we looked at the weather forecast, even I had to agree that it was a very long way to drive for rain and mediocre temperatures. So we called the whole thing off and went to the Ile d'Oléron and the Dordogne instead.

And the car broke down on the way there.

Oh, and if you ever want to go to the Ile d'Oléron I have a recommendation for where not to stay.


deborah said...

and I have a recommendation of where NOT to get your visas if you take the trans siberian! place called actionvisa in Paris.
Made the discovery that my Russian visa was not a double entry on my way back to Moscow from Beijing ... only twelve hours under lock and key after being escorted off train by charming frontier guards with truncheons (long ones), but the 'comble' was the lack of apology on the part of action visa on my return (by plane) The best they could do was reimburse Half the visa and say 'Conscient de la gêne que cela a due occasionner, veuillez agréer etc'
So Lesley I do sympathise!
The plus side was meeting five South African blokes on the train going back to Ulaan Baator ...
isn't that your neck of the woods, Wendz?

Lesley said...

Deborah, Yes, they sound like a very unreliable bunch.
Ulaan Baator, the very name gives me wanderlust.

deborah said...

Well Ulaan Baator was the most depressing place I have ever wandered around! I got lost and a Mongolian girl walked me miles all the way back to hostal, and everyone else I met really charming and friendly. Ten minutes drive and you are out in the the most beautiful countryside imaginable.

I meant South Africa for Wendz by the way, not Mongolia!

Lesley said...

Sounds like a scene from that film Urga.