We enjoyed swimming, long massages, good facial treatments, and spent the day de stressing, by dinner time we all glowed. The hotel was superb, with a huge log fire to enjoy a drink by at the end of each day, which was great because we had three days solid rain. Louise & Michael stayed a little longer in the Lake District and enjoyed a good walk, while John & I drove Teresa back to Manchester.
We headed back to Leeds for a very busy 10 days of seeing family and friends, spent more time catching up and had some great evenings out. Special thanks to Mick, Pam & family who made our Christmas very special this year with their wonderful hospitality & gift. Louise & I also managed to see the new Harry Potter film at the cinema with my nephew Joe... just magic. We didn't get to see everyone as we ran out of time, sorry if we missed you, but we will see you next time round. I enjoyed another visit to Liverpool and John had a boys nights out. We packed all our luggage and presents into our new Honda Civic and were thrilled we managed to squeeze everything in.
Mike made us a Cd each full of our favourite music for the car journey. The drive to Dover for the ferry was long & hard due to traffic hold up's and accidents. We had to re- book the ferry for the following day and we arrived at our hotel very tired. We enjoyed staying in different hotel's on our journey, including a very creepy & spooky hotel, we wont forget in a hurry. We were up & off at day break, on our way again.
We visited friends along the way in France and took time to say hello to as many of you as we could. We arrived back just in time for the Christmas dinner with the other boaters from the marina and the staff. We enjoyed a great night out organized by Sheila and couldn't wait to get in our own bed at last.
We also needed to do some food shopping on our return, we were thankful for the wonderful markets, and goodie shops, Louise loved food shopping as you can see, food for the soul we said.
Michael arrived in one piece after a 14 hour journey to get here... he drove from Leeds to Liverpool, flight to Nimes, train from Nimes to Carcassonne ( his train was cancelled), several train changes and he finally arrived 10pm. We had been entertained on Pat & Chris's boat next door, with four other couples, so we all awaited news of Mike's journey and we were a little merry when he finally arrived. Michael had a few glasses of wine to catch up and we were up till the early hours chatting. The following morning we were up and off for a good long walk to the old city, a cold wind blew, but it was worth it for the views such a clear blue day.
What a Xmas day we had, much champagne drank, good food and lots of it, a nice long walk to help the digestion, and then a wonderful time opening up gifts, cards, letter's all by the fire, we enjoyed a very festive day indeed.
Boxing day Michael returned to England... ready for work again, he enjoyed a smoother journey home. We enjoyed a week of reading, watching our new video's, listening to music and walking around Carcassonne. We also spent a day in Narbonne visiting the coast line & the beeches, it was cold that day, not a day for walking on the beech.
A sadness filled us all on 30th Dec as one of the boaters had a heart attack late at night on board his boat, due to the quick actions of his wife and the boat next door, all the right services were called and he was brought back to life. He was taken to intensive care and is under going tests to see how much damage to his heart and the treatment now needed, his family flew out from Ireland. The health service here in France is 4th best in the world, we all think so too.
We where celebrities, a story on front page of the local newspaper, "Mayor gives permission for party in Harbour"... the story was all about the boaters from England, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, Denmark, Spain, Australia all nations living together in Carcassonne Harbour. The article claimed we all speak Shakespeare's English!! We were all having a wonderful time here living in "wooden boats". Son's & daughters were also joining many of the boats for Xmas, it was a good write up.
We had a wonderful time New Years eve, celebrating well into the early hours. 4 BBQ's were set up outside the office for the men to cook on, each boater also brought a cooked dish along to add to the meal. Everyone worked so hard to make this a special night, we all feel lucky indeed to be here.
We look forward to starting our 3rd year of travel and more adventures hopefully in calmer waters. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Good Luck in 2006