To read from the beginning use this link – Barging in Burgundy
Day Fifty-Two – 18th August 2017
Lyon to London
We thought we had seen most of Lyon and weren’t trying to do too much. It seemed a good idea to go back to the marina and make sure we hadn’t missed out. Lyon have really missed a trick not making more of their marina. It’s modern and clean but unfortunately can only accomodate 20 boats. A few of those spaces are occulpied by local hire boats. Then we thought we would walk to to the confluence of the Rhone and the Saone. It’s actually an amazing walk with boards giving information. Along the way are quirky buildings, all manor of boats including boat offices. At the meeting point of the two rivers the view of Lyon goes on forever. Lyon and Marseille rival each other for the second largest city in France at somewhere between 2 and 3 million inhabitants.
The other vegan spot we hoped to visit – Against the Grain – was closed. So back to YAAFA it was. Not that we were unhappy. I love the fun, modern, repurposed furnishings and interior. Each time we visited there was at least one person who spoke perfect English. And they always checked if we were happy.
The big trek was about to commence. We collected our bags and made our way to Lyon Part Dieu. I was coerced into buying a cheap suitcase by someone who shall remain nameless. Two paces in and the one wheel was flattened, bent backwards and dragging underneath. This nameless person offered to schlep my cheap suitcase and I’m mean, I let him.
Next was the Rhone Express bus to Lyon Aeroport. It’s a fair distance from Lyon city centre. And busy being upgraded. The tram dropped us quite a distance from where we needed to be. By the time we arrived at the right place I was shattered, hot and not very happy. Then our BA flight was delayed due to the weather. Great opportunity to finish the book I picked up en route about Madame Pompadour. Found that book most interesting. Much insight into the French Revolution.
We finally boarded our flight. The minute I entered the shute I was struck by how loud the people were. We arrived at the London apartment and to be honest crashed. Everything needed to be switched back on and started again. That would all wait for the next day.
Day Fifty-Three – 19th August 2017
It was difficult adjusting to the hustle and bustle of a big city like London. It seemed so noisy. So in your face. Meandering at a snails pace through villages is hardly stressful. I was startled by the sirens and people shouting on their mobile phones or how loud they were talking while sitting right next to each other. Certain nationalities are renownded for being loud. What I can say is the French, certainly where we were, are discreet and polite. At no point whether on the street or on public transport or even interacting with them, did I ever think someone was loud or brash.
My husband and I had a long and difficult conversation about our beloved boat Shangri La. We love her. We love being on her. But there are some issues owning a boat so far from where we live. An obvious one is our proximity to her. We live in South Africa and can’t just pop across. We take 6 to 12 weeks out of our year to enjoy time on her, but truthfully, that isn’t enough to justify the investment. As a South African, I’m limited by visa restrictions in terms of how many days I can spend in France. Shangri La – plain and simply isn’t getting enough attention.
My other half unfortunately broke his back two decades back and although he’s in good health – he has to be very careful. Certain moves can set him into spasm causing extreme pain. The maintenance and cleaning of Shangri La was not doing him any good at all. In fact he was constantly hurting his back twisting and turning trying to mop and brush the boat. Or contort his body getting to the engine.
He had also retired in the last few months and we were trying to get a new business off the ground back in South Africa. My other half has family committments in the UK as well. All this time away from home wasn’t helping us one bit. We decided to squeeze the most out of two last summers on the boat, but to put her on the market in the meantime. It was a horrible decision to make. I felt pangs of deep sadness, but also relief. Who knows, if our business did really well, we could go back to hiring boats again? Could I enjoy a hire boat like I enjoy our special boat? Or go somewhere different for a change. Like India or China maybe?
Time will tell.