Jan 29th – Travel Memories

Whilst travelling down through France today, we were close to a beautiful village called Lagrasse. We spent a lovely weekend there in 2009, to help my crazy brother-in-law celebrate his 50th birthday, but the main reason of this post is to highlight why it was so memorable

It started 2 weeks before in July 2009, and we had booked ferries to take the human kids on that occasion to a Euro-camp, but 2 days prior I was unexpectedly taken into hospital with kidney stone issues, and a stent was fitted. We missed our original crossing but finally managed to get away and have a nice time with the kids, and returned on a Thursday evening, as the kids were back to our ex’s so that we could fly and meet the Brother in law on the Friday

“Mum, is it too late to have a bath?” was a question from our eldest on the 2nd floor. “No problems” was the reply.

Well 15 minutes later there was a problem when the bath water was let go. The waste pipe had blocked and water was gushing back up through the toilets on the first floor, flooding the first floor and then the black water started coming through the ceiling. After a call into our dear friend (who happened to be a plumber), the problem was fixed and we got to bed at 4am after a massive clean-up operation.

We said goodbye to the kids and headed off to the airport, nothing else could possibly go wrong surely?????

Our flight was on-time and we arrived at Perpignan airport just as dusk was falling to collect our hire car. We collected the car and plugged in the sat nav but realised that the car’s cig lighter wasn’t working so went through the process of changing cars. By this time is was dark.

We set off in the 2nd car and soon realised that the sat nav was playing up which made trying to find our hotel somewhat challenging. We finally made it to the hotel, after many stops in cafe’s and bars asking for directions, and then discovered it had a key-pad entry system and we didn’t have the code. (It was now 1am). “I’ll call them”, I said calmly but then realised that I had left my phone in my car in the UK.

We finally managed to get into the hotel and retrieve the key from a safe box, and went up to our room. We hadn’t had a drink since leaving the UK and so I went to find my wallet. You guessed it – No wallet!! Heck, I knew I had it as my licence was in it which was required to hire the car. It also had our money for the trip in it. I frantically ran to a few places that were still open, which we had called into to ask directions. No one had it, so I decided to find the police station and report it missing. I made it back to the hotel at 3am. Tomorrow has to be better surely!!!

We woke, bleary eyed and headed for the car. The ******* Sat Nav was still playing up but we knew the name of the village we were heading for and I also knew it was Carcassonne way. using the motorway we headed off and I saw an electronics shop. I went in and bought a cheap mobile, but alas it wasn’t charged.

But progress on the road was good and sat nav seemed to start behaving better, and she told us our turning was 800, then 600 then 400m ahead when to our dismay we shot past the turning and she re-routed up to Carcassonne and the south again.

We stopped in the services, phone the brother in law and told him we’d be there for lunch – not breakfast, bought a map and relaxed.

Whilst recalling the various issues once we had arrived, it struck me that maybe my lost wallet maybe in the first car (with the broken cig lighter). We called the hire company and they found the wallet on the dash – Yipee, at least some good news.

We had a lovely weekend and then headed back to the airport early to sort out retrieving the wallet from the hire car desk before they closed for the evening. We planned to have a nice meal before getting on the flight home.

I stopped at the airport, left Denise (wife) in the car, and ran across to collect my wallet. With the wallet safe in my hand, and smiling like a Cheshire cat, and came out of the airport terminal just in time to see someone reverse into the hire car………

Well – we sorted it, had a quick bite and made our flight back home…..

Sitting outside and having lunch in a lovely restaurant we had used over 10 years ago in Lagrasse today, we smiled about that trip. Yes, it was stressful at the time, but we now laugh whilst recalling the story.

life can through up it’s moments when you despair, but many folk aren’t lucky enough to have the opportunities we have. We are blessed with a good sense of humour, and reflecting back now smile at the events. Everything was sorted out, no one died, and we now really appreciate a trip with no incidents.

The beautiful village of Lagrasse…..

Published by taumataman

Slightly mad, with a love of nature and photography.

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