Let’s see where were we, oh yes we are at Pelakas, Corfu where the sky is blue, the sea is gloriously clear and the color of sea green, and the food is comparable to ambrosia of the gods. The husband and wife duo in the small restaurant that we frequented every single day never disappointed and our little waitress was a delight. But, as with all good things, our delightful sojourn was over and we were going separate ways. The boys, John, Greg and Bill, were going eastward off to Istanbul, Turkey and we were invited to share the ride. I was so tempted because I really, really liked John; but my sister was longing for France and her friend at Istres, France. So we said our good-byes, exchanged addresses and kissed each other fond farewells. Indeed, parting is such sweet sorrow. Now to get down to the business at hand, the return home and quickly. I don’t really remember much of the journey back to France, it was the return ferry to Brindisi, Italy and then a very long train ride to Monaco where we stopped for the night.We stayed at a nice little hotel and treated ourselves to a very comfortable bed and bathroom. We were so excited about civilization that we took pictures of ourselves jumping on the bed and pictures of the beautiful shower stall and private toilet. We then went back and stopped in Cannes, I have to recommend Cannes in the beginning of September because the weather is equally magnificent as in August and July but minus the tourists. It is paradise. We then took the local train from Cannes to Istres or so we thought. I didn’t check the guide very well and the train passed right through Istres and stopped at the next town over. We got off the train and I thought no big deal we’ll wait for the next train but the ticket operator said that the next train wasn’t for another 6 or 7 hours and I didn’t feel like waiting. So I asked “well how about if we walked to Istres, it doesn’t seem that far away on the map?” The ticket operator said “all you need to do is just walk straight down that road”. I asked my sister if she was up for it, she said o.k. and we were off.

The road was nice and straight; a fine country road, beautifully paved and not too much car traffic. We came to an overpass after a while and there was no other way to go except up the side of the overpass which we did. When we got to the top, it was an overpass for the train, the one that we weren’t waiting for so we looked both ways and ran across. That was easy enough, on the other side of the train tracks however were a huge patch of briar bushes all the way down the path and we couldn’t get around those briar prickers. I did have a trusty Swiss army knife and boy did it come in handy though my sister, since she was behind me as I was cutting us a path through the briar bushes, got pricked every time a branch would slap back from being cut. She wasn’t too happy about that one. We were finally free of those horrible bushes, when we got our breath back and started walking again after a while we came across a river. That river was separating us from the road we needed to follow to get to Istres. The river was running fairly swiftly and I couldn’t see how deep it was, so I looked around for a stick and the first one I put in the river got swept away so I looked for a sturdier stick. Found one, measured the depth of the river without letting it go this time and found that I could walk across without too much trouble, I thought. I figured I’d take the backpacks over first, one at a time to make sure they didn’t fall in and get wet. That done, I came back for my sister, who at this point didn’t want to get wet so I told her to get on my back and I carried her over. She’s smaller than I am so it wasn’t to difficult.

There, we are back on the road and walking and walking and still walking. It must have been a good 12 to 15 miles that we walked until we finally got to the center of town. I must say that I was happy because even though I’m a fan of walking, I was scared that my sister was going to pull a mutiny because she was not happy with me, to say the least. We passed in front of a cute hotel and without saying a word to me, she went in and at the desk asked for a room. I followed and said” but we are so close, we can call and stay with them (the brothers) and save money” to which she replied “call them and tell them that I’ll be staying in room 300 if you want to see me”. There was no changing her mind so I called them, they came and picked me up, she stayed at the room, slept and showered and after that we spent a peaceful week with the two bothers and their family in Istres, and finally we went back home to Bordeaux where we spent the last two weeks with our family before flying home to the States and school and work.

The best vacation of adventures, sightseeing, freedom and just fun.