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Published: October 15th 2008
IT’S TUESDAY !
I had to think really hard about that one. Without the routine of work it’s so easy to lose track of the day. It’s actually Tuesday the 14th October. Had to look on the computer taskbar for that one....come on!... the day was hard enough. Woo Hoo Way Hay!
Alton Towers’ Nemesis has nothing on the last week or so. I don’t like this ride though.
Sunday the 5th was up on a high.
Martin competed in the Rando-Silex 2008 25 Km mountain bike race. He loved it!
Monday was his birthday, another good day . We went to Montignac and the Lascaux 2 museum. A faithful reproduction of 2 chambers of the famous Lascaux caves. The celebrated cave paintings were surprisingly stunning , breathtakingly lifelike and arranged in the caves with striking compositions. Most of all you are surprised by their sheer scale. Absolutely enormous and rendered with such care and artistic style. They have been carbon dated to 17,000 years ago and have such sophistication it is unbelievable. Couldn’t take photos tho’, not allowed. (If you are interested do a Google search on the Lascaux caves.)
everything crashed around us for a week.
Tuesday morning, the Icelandic banks went bust. In the morning we were straight on the ‘net to read further. As they day went on and the story unfolded, we felt sick . We could not access our Icesave accounts.
Half hearted reassurances came from Iceland that we would be compensated, but the lying ba***rd Icelandic Prime Minister never meant it and looked shifty in his press conference.
We stood to lose plenty of Martin’s pension lump sum if Iceland didn’t cough up as they were supposed to.
That day, we went on a tour of Les Eyzies, Beyrac Chateau and Domme in the Dordogne valley to try to take our minds off it but had lead in our feet and a knot in our stomachs. When we returned, the Icelandic situation had become worse. We hastily withdrew further savings in Kaupthing Edge, another Icelandic bank . We could not afford to have that frozen too.
On the same day we had trouble withdrawing cash at an ATM, from our UK current account. We had asked for 190 Euro and it didn’t give us any money ! We
spent several pounds in phone calls ringing our UK bank to report it.
Later that day we also had some upsetting news about a relative who was ill.
The next day Kaupthing Edge froze their accounts, our withdrawal never went through and is currently still lost in cyberspace (Despite ING taking over the bank.)
As the week went on, the story of the worst week in banking evolved. Up and down the rollercoaster went. We cheered when Gordon Brown froze Icelandic assets under the anti-terrorism laws! Up yours Mr Icelandic Prime Minister !
Thank goodness we have UK TV and internet. We currently don't know when any of our Icelandic money will be back in our control, although we have been guaranteed it all from one source or another.
So, each day we were up and down. At one point we had to question if our trip could continue. We have been drawing interest off the affected accounts to supplement Martin’s pension. Eventually we figured out that we could carry on so long as we carefully watched our spending.
Here we are in Ispagnac in the eastern end
of the Tarn Gorge. We got here a few days ago, don’t ask me the date...Thursday probably.
We seem to have the area all to ourselves. It’s crazy. Why don’t the French take their hols more flexibly? This area is infested with tourists in July and August when 3000 cars travel up and down the gorge each day but this week, we are only one of two campers on our site ( the only one open in the area) and the snaking roads are empty.
The Gorge is unbelievably beautiful, especially in its autumn colours. We have spent the week exploring the Tarn and Jonte gorges and the limestone uplands that surround them. You cannot capture their awe-inspiring scale with a photo. I tried, but it’s not the same.
Today we went down the Aven Armand . A cave , the size of Notre Dame Cathedral, that has the best display of stalactites and stalagmites that I have ever seen. The worlds tallest Towering “Jack and the beanstalk “ organic columns of unearthly shapes, immaculately lit.
Returning, we saw flocks of 50 + vultures circling the gorge .
Another very surreal experience.
We’re back on the upward swing. (Until we have to negotiate the gorge roads on Thursday as we tow on to Carcassonne..ooh err)
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