Our journey was completely painless, thanks to Irish Ferries' ability to seamlessly absorb a load of extra vehicles, passengers and animals. I've never seen their kennels so full - up to now, Cookie & Cinny have had a double sized large kennel to share, but this time they were in a single. No matter, they were remarkably content. Cookie was even relaxed enough to "use the facilities" each time we took them out for a leg stretch, and Cinnamon eventually condescended to have a wee, too, about four hours before we docked.
|Driving off the Oscar Wilde in Cherbourg - note the Brittany Ferries ship tied up on the right|
We arrived at the hotel at 10.40pm and fell into bed. We still had another 650km to go, so we were up at 7am and on the road before 8.
It was a beautiful morning, crisp and fresh,
|The mountains of the Auvergne, with Puy-de-Dome shrouded in cloud just to left of centre|
|starting a long descent|
|What lay ahead of us, according to my brother|
Joining the Autoroute du Soleil at Lyon felt like we were nearly "home", but there was still a long way to go. We ran into some of that rain-belt just before Lyon and the skies remained very overcast for the rest of the journey, but temperatures were a toasty 18C - I think that's as warm as it got in Cork all summer!
Our old friend Mont Ventoux, who watched over the first 200km of Le Big Trek, peered over the horizon just after we passed Orange - now it really felt like we were close!
At last, we arrived in a rain-washed and deserted Apt - half an hour to go! The landscape became ever more familiar, this Cabanon selling fruit and veg was just being built while we were here last winter.
|La Gardette, which overlooks Céreste, on the left, with Le Grand Luberon on the right|
and before we knew it, we were at the roundabout in Céreste.
|La Belle Cour, our home for three months last winter!|
The house is lovely, here's a quick tour. This is the kitchen, looking towards the door pictured in the exterior shot.
There's a bedroom downstairs
|The packed up horsebox|
The other thing I really need to do is a big shopping, so tomorrow I'm off to Manosque.
And so, a new normality evolves!