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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Monday, 22 Oct 2007

Location: Toronto, Canada

MapIt was time to bid “farewell” to this chapter of our lives, and head for home. It has been an amazing two months. We are so grateful to everyone who has visited our travel blog. We really had no idea how it would go, but the number of people who bothered to visit did astound us. We had over 600 visits to the blog website – that’s ten visits every day for the entire two months. By the way, I was able to keep the blog updated because I took my laptop with me. I wrote a journal every few days and regularly downloaded digital pictures from the camera. The laptop may have been a pain to carry around the world, but I think it was worth the inconvenience.

Asking ourselves the question “What was the best part of the holiday?” … too hard to give just one place. Honestly, everywhere we went had something interesting to look at, lovely people to meet, fascinating history to learn and culture to experience. No one place stood out, but for us Mirepoix in the south of France was special. It was our choice for Anne’s birthday, but being able to share such a gorgeous French village with such special friends from home made Mirepoix the most memorable. (Who’s idea was that? – they’re a genius!) If you’re interested in experiencing Mirepoix for yourself, contact Suzanne and Ralph Norton at suzanne@pubtek.com.au, or 0417 595 018. Also, thanks for all the birthday good wishes and gifts from our friends on Anne’s birthday.

Our holiday was full of coincidences, incredible strokes of luck that a Travel Agent could have never organised. But then again, you make your own luck, and we think we did this by driving ourselves through France and Ireland, and British Columbia with Mike and Denise (see www.ferriswheels.com.au for their adventure safaris). Some awkward moments, getting lost, language difficulties, airline problems … it all adds to the adventure.

We will never forget the people we stayed with … Jean and Andy’s family near Toulouse; Claudine and Serge in Mirepoix; our B&B hosts Armand in St Emillion and Ros and Chris near Amiens; Stijn, Gaia and Lauran in Belgium; Vince and Niamh’s family in Cork; Aunty Rose and Aunty Annie in Northern Ireland; and of course our ever-reliable Toronto “home-away-from-home” hosts Jill and Walter. These people have been so kind to us, and opened their homes with warmth and hospitality. Hopefully, one day, we will be able to return the favour.

They say that two things broaden the mind – education and travel. We’ve had a good dose of both on this holiday. Bring on the next one….