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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Friday 10th September – Saturday 11th September2010

At Melbourne Airport, I picked up a great little book “It’s Never Too Late....” by Patrick Lindsay and I will use some of his quotes along the way in this journal.
It’s never too late...To Make Plans,
Looking ahead takes you out of the daily grind.
Planning ahead brings hope.
Small plans first, with realistic goals.
Build confidence.
Then make bigger plans with bigger goals
Always have plans.

“You are young at any age if you’re planning for tomorrow” Anonymous

Leaving on a jet plane... well Cathay Pacific.
What a fantastic airline – from checking in luggage to everything else along the way. Comfortable seats, great food and entertainment in every shape and form.
Movies – Letters to Juliette then Love is (all in subtitles), Sex in the City 2
A very good start to a wonderful holiday.

We were greeted at Hong Kong International Airport with a fairly spectacular “light” show. Little did we know that the lightening would delay our flight a further 2 hours. Plenty of time to check the Footy Scores – Well Done Cats!!! We left HKIA at around 2am (Aussie Time) – 12 hours flying time to Paris. We managed about 7 hours sleep. Our arrival time in Paris therefore 8.30am instead of 6.30am (Local time)

After clearing immigration and collecting bags we found our way (with some help) to the free phone for the car pickup – TT Car lease. We were collected and taken to the depot. This was the part that scared me the most. However, I was prepared to follow the instructions of the GPS to the letter. The adrenaline kicked in big time and after signing the documents we were given the keys to our little silver Peugeot 207 .

Things to remember when driving in Europe
1. Sit in the driver’s seat and take a big breath!
2. Note the gear stick on the right and check out controls
3. Stay in the centre of the driving lane – don’t crab to the right.
4. Set up the GPS
5. Follow the car in front – hopefully there will be one!

Sadly our GPS didn’t kick in fast enough, so we decided to hire one from the car company @ 6 euros a day. I don’t think we would have made it out of Paris without it. I’ve never seen traffic like it. We crawled along in 1st gear most of the time and occasionally got into 2nd. What a scary start. 

We followed the directions very closely and after driving about 270 kms, arrived at Le Vinci Hotel in Ambois (The Loire Valley) around 3pm. This is indeed Chateau country- large signs seen along the roadway. The sun is shining and we are enjoying 26°C. After coffee for some revival we walked down to the main town area and using limited French and English purchased some basic food requirements to keep us going.

We’ve learned how the “paéage” system works on the motorway and observed speed limits from 30 – 130 kms/hour.
The adventure has well and truly begun.


  1. Amboise Chateau & Le Vinci Hotel

  2. Well done Jennie...a great start to a great

  3. Hi Jennie & Graham, I log on every couple of days to catch up witth your movements. Some great photos, weather looks great. Ray Leavy