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Thursday, 20 June 2013

AWOL Returns

I've been away, which you may have guessed by the prolonged lack of activity in the blog. Apologies, a long planned holiday crept up on me when I was distracted by other things and suddenly we were in our overstuffed car, whizzing through some jolly attractive parts of France.
We saw something odd whilst we were over there: sunshine! I have a tan, and my hair is a shade or two lighter, and I have peculiar stripes on my feet from my sandals. I have a vague memory of experiencing this stuff before, but it was so long ago I had begun to think I'd imagined it.
We spent most of the time in the Alps, both in France and Switzerland. In the latter I was persuaded, much against my judgement, to brave several cable cars and ski lifts. I have absolutely no head for heights and have a track record of coming over all peculiar on the bottom rung of a step ladder, so this was quite a challenge. I did it. Okay, so I had an iron grip on whatever bar or rail happened to be available, and kept a close watch on the cable, studiously ignoring he who fixes the computer's excited exclamations about the ant-like size of those, more sensible, folk on the ground, but I made it. The views were awesome, and I do believe the stress burned off excess holiday calories.
We had a slight blip with the car: we inadvertently drove over a rock on one of the mountain passes. We stopped to check the underside for any obvious damage, but all we could see was a scrape on the protective undertray. We drove on, congratulating ourselves on a lucky escape, but over the next couple of days a worrying squeak developed. I was convinced the suspension had packed up in despair at the narrow, steep, switchbacky passes, but repeated bouncing of all four corners of the car failed to reproduce the sound. Eventually, driven I suspect my constant harping on, he who fixes the computer rigged up a ramp and crawled underneath, discovering that all the noise stemmed from one tiny piece of metal that had been bent out of shape (well, that and an over-anxious wife). He bent it back into shape and stopped the noise, from both the car and the wife.
So, a couple of thousand miles, about six thousand photos, five loads of washing and more switchbacks than I can count later, here we are, back to normal. I have to say, I don't like it much, but at least we have a few photos to look back on.


The Rhone Valley


The Aletsch Glacier - reward for braving the cable car





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