Saturday, August 04, 2007

Our Last Day on the Island

Dear Readers,

Today is our last day on Belle Ilse. This morning, we saw JF’s brother, Olivier and his partner Marc, and their two children, 4 and 7, off on the ferry. Already, the activity and noise level back at the cottage has dropped.

We are sitting around the dining room table planning the day. I have been uploading even more photos from the camera to the laptop for later transfer to the web.

All of the kids are going to go horseback riding this afternoon, which will provide either a little free time for the adults, or a period of time standing around in a dusty parking lot. I am not sure which.

Yesterday was spend mostly at the beach. We went to the same beach as where we harvested the mussels a couple of days ago. The whole family was there and we brought a picnic lunch – ham and cheese sandwiches, pate sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, some kind of rolled up swordfish sausage, chips, and bottles of water.

There was lots of laying around both in, and out of the sun. There was swimming and body surfing in the fairly cool ocean. The waves made the “getting in” a little easier because there was no “easing” into it. Once you were knee deep, the next large wave got you the rest of the way. It was kind of fun watching people try to jump higher than the wave to keep “sensitive” parts out of the cold water.

I climbed the path up one of the bluffs alongside the beach and took a couple of photos from on high. It would be fun sometime to come back and hike the perimeter of the island, an activity that would take about four days according to the published guides.

I am signing off for the moment. JF would like to go for a drive along the east coast of the island, a part that we have not yet seen much of. So, it’s off with the camera.


Back again (after a nap while the kids ponied).

There is another beach trip scheduled, but I think I will pass on that and try to get a little internet connection time to upload this and the more recent photos. Then it is time to get organized for the long journey home.

Tomorrow, we will rise early and take the first ferry off the island. Then it will be a short drive to Aurey where we will meet JF’s brother, Olivier (I hope) who will have picked up one of our three sets of train tickets. This journey tomorrow will involve three legs and three sets of train tickets – only one of which did I purchase directly and have in my hand.

JF and I were able to buy tickets from Aurey to Paris while at the ferry station here on the island, but we did not buy the Paris to Brussels leg because the ticket agent could not see the special promotional fare that JF and his brother saw while on-line. So we went back to the cottage and JF’s brother bought the Paris to Brussels tickets on-line, I reimbursed him with cash, and he was to pick the tickets up in Aurey today (we saw them off at the ferry this morning).

So, tomorrow, we will hook up with them as they are staying on with some friends in a nearby town, and receive the tickets before boarding the train.

For the final leg – Brussels to Amsterdam airport – JF called his son, Ben, and had him purchase tickets at the Brussels train station (I will reimburse with cash), and he will meet us at the station when we disembark from the Paris train. He will have our tickets and the suitcase I left in Brussels as an attempt to reduce our luggage volume so we could all fit in JF’s car for this very same journey.

Oh well, travel is nothing if not changes to plans. It is true that I get a little nervous about plans that require other people to perform functions and make rendezvous with a traveling party at each stage of the game, but I will enjoy the relaxed travel of the train over a nine-hour, nine hundred kilometer drive with no margin for error in order to make the last train out of Brussels to Amsterdam.

I will just have to trust that everyone will do their part and that we will arrive at our hotel at the Amsterdam airport a few hours earlier than if we had driven and we will be in better shape for it. We can perhaps check in for our flight yet that evening and simply queue up for security and customs the next morning for the flight home.

If all goes well, we will be arriving at MSP around 1:30 PM on Monday the 6th.

So, once again, adieu.


Blogger Sister Spikey Mace said...

Safe travels, P.

12:04 PM, August 04, 2007  
Blogger lime said...

ah but what wonderful adventures andmemories you all have. it sounds liek the way home will be long but perhaps less stressful than the way there. at least the destination is familiar if not the road there. have a safe trip home.

5:58 PM, August 04, 2007  

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