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Tahiti, LA, France and the cheese fairy!

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3rd May – 15th May 2013

We spent our next few days in Bora Bora enjoying the serenity of Paradise. Canoeing around the lagoon, snorkelling under our bungalow and drinking a cocktail or two in the sand. The Intercontinental Thalasso Spa and resort really is just heaven on Earth.Sad to say goodbye!

We had arranged a stop over in LA on our way back to France and as we waved goodbye to Bora Bora and landed back in Moorea we began to look forward to seeing Megan, Aaron and their (canine) kids for a day or two before hitting the road again!

We were packed and ready and just before we left for our flight we had a call in our room, our flight had been cancelled, we were ‘stuck’ in Tahiti for another day! Catherine had plans, pick ups and all kinds of commitments and thankfully Air Tahiti Nui managed to get her on another flight. We said sad farewells and waved as she was whisked away into the night for her flight home.

Noooooo, we NEVER want to leave!

We went to bed and looked forward to another day in Paradise. Our last day in Tahiti was a lazy one. We pottered around, had a little time by the pool but were still disappointed we had lost a day in LA. Wherever you are in the world if you are ready to go ‘home’ you are ready to go!

Our Air Tahiti Nui flight was at midnight so we were collected at 9.40 and relaxed in the premium lounge until it was time to go. It is so easy flying first class! We slept all the way to LA and we were well and truly ready for our typical first night in LA when we landed.

Megan collected us from the airport and we settled swiftly into LA life. Shopping for food and wine, cooking lunch whilst drinking said wine, and then getting ready to go out for dinner with Megan and Aaron and Peter and Zach and their wives.

Sad farewells!

We drank too much wine, made too much noise in the quaint little Italian restaurant and ribbed each other until we could take or give no more. A typical great first night in LA leading to a great hangover day on the BEST hangover couch anywhere on this planet! (Thank you as always Lala for having great taste AND for letting us use your home as our own! There is a little thank you there for you next time you visit!)

Sandra popped over to see us during our hangover day and we caught up with her and then all of a sudden it was time to go again! It was a whirlwind weekend as always but as much fun as always. We really feel at home there and are always sad to say goodbye until next time!

Bye bye! :-(

We jumped on our last first class flight with Air Tahiti Nui and revelled in the fact that we didn’t have to queue or wait or anything and before we knew it we were back in Paris. Back to worrying whether Peggy would still be there in the hotel car park or if she had been clamped or towed away or broken into…but as we got off our free hotel shuttle and saw her there completely intact we breathed a huge sigh of relief and felt good to be home!

Air Tahiti Nui

We had a good long schlep to get to our next wedding destination and set off immediately. We landed at 10am Paris time but had been through so many time zones in the last week that we were just too tired to go far. We drove out of Paris in the traffic but got nowhere. We typed camp-site into the GPS and it took us all the way back to Versaille so we had in essence not gotten anywhere even after driving for several hours! We managed to stay awake until 4pm and slept like babies right through until 5am when we were well and truly ready to hit the road again.

Home sweet home!

We drove 520km that day with some serious jet-lag but by taking it in turns we got there eventually, we stopped in Bordeaux and were excited about buying some nice wine but got there and found that EVERYTHING was closed! It was like Christmas day! We decided to continue on with our mission and drove through the gorgeous city, all sandstone brick and stunning opulent buildings. We picked up some gas tanks (for the fridge and cooking) and parked up to fit one. As Alex fitted the gas I watched the local prostitutes come and go and wondered at their lives.

Gorgeous France

Still a little jet-lagged we carried on to the main wine region hoping to find something open but still nothing. We drove through stunning little villages and dreamed of living there one day. We wild camped for the night and ate tinned spaghetti on toast for dinner as we still had no food shopping due to everything being closed! ( sacrilege, eating such rubbish in France!)


We were up again at 5am and hit the road to Spain, we decided there was no point hanging around in France if we couldn’t eat or drink anything! We hit the back roads and enjoyed the amazing blend of Spanish and French villages. We stopped at a boulangerie (one of MANY) to buy French bread (do I need to state that the bread is French if in France???) and asked in our dreadful French where we could buy cheese. The lady asked what we would like and we said maybe Brie or Camembert and she disappeared into the back and came back with a half a wheel of Camembert.

The cheese fairies shop!

We tried to pay and she just GAVE us the cheese for free! It absolutely made our day and we snacked on it as we drove the day away. We spent that night in a service station somewhere in the middle of Spain. We were almost on track, we were due on a ferry to Morocco, the North of Africa the next day and still had 600km to cover.

Up again at 5am (jet-lag isn’t ALWAYS bad) and on the road. I drove 200km and stopped to get fuel. As we stopped I could smell burning and we checked under the bonnet and steam / smoke poured out! The air conditioning compressor had broken and the belts had melted into the unit. We weren’t going anywhere until we had it looked at.

Great wine and great produce!

We crawled to a garage in a cute little town and asked the mechanic to have a look. He told us we’d be fine if we didn’t turn the AC on and we tried to set of again knowing how far we had yet to go. We made it all of 50 meters and Peggy spluttered to severe halt. We went over to a different mechanic and asked him to take a look. He shook his head severely and told us we weren’t going anywhere. We were opposite a pub car-park so the mechanics helped us push Peggy off the road and we resigned ourselves angrily to the fact that we were going to miss our expensive ferry to Africa.

This is where we broke down!

We managed to hijack the wifi and found that there was a campsite not far from where we were which would make life far easier and more comfortable while we waited for our new AC unit to arrive from America…where we had JUST come from…and could have brought one back if we had known…but alas we didn’t. Luckily Megan being the star that she is went out, picked up the part and put it into the post for us…of course this was on a Friday and the part would arrive on Tuesday! The biggest kick in the teeth was the cost. The part cost $160 and the postage $500!!!!! We were devastated but needed that part. We had arranged to meet Alex’s Mum in Morocco (on her 102faces adventure) and also had photographers Bohemian Weddings flying from London to meet us there to shoot our next wedding…we HAD to get a move on or let a lot of people down!

Peggy's insides...again!

We pulled into the campsite and our mouths fell open…it was PACKED! it turned out to be the weekend of a famous international music festival and everyone had come from far and wide! Sadly most of the music goers were young ravers with loud car stereos and a can of beer constantly attached to one hand and a cigarette to another. We sat and felt increasingly old and boring as we willed their car batteries to die so we could get some rest from the constant drone of happy hardcore and rave music!

We moved several times to escape the loud music and smoke cloud and settled in for a long weekend working. We caught up on blogging and looked at our computer screens until our eyes were bloodshot while we waited for our part. We considered going to visit the music festival but felt we had taken part enough just by being at the campsite!

The STUNNING fog as we drove to make up time!

As the weekend drew to a close the ravers disappeared one by one leaving behind a trail of beer can and cigarette butt destruction and finally our part arrived and we chugged back to our mechanic….who said ‘Mañana’.

Back to Campsite for one more night, 4 hours in the garage the next day and then 2 hours driving…we were back on the move…just 4 days behind schedule!

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