Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Our 2012 Review

Here we are again at the end of yet another eventful year, one which has seen the most awful weather, and has restricted the use of our own boat. The early months were spent abroad, cruising again in a much different way, while at home I had left the boat in capable hands, rectifying multiple electrical problems left over by the previous boatyard when we had new heating fitted during 2011. Towards the end of the year in November, saw me in hospital after suffering a TIA, which left Margaret a little worried over the three days I spent there undergoing tests. Here is how it all panned out in pictures...........

Oriana berthed at Port Said
Immediately after the new year started we were in Southampton to meet up with our friends from Brisbane, who had flown in to join us aboard MV Oriana for our world cruise. They would leave us once back in Brisbane, but we then carried on for the full 97 nights aboard, visiting dozens of countries and exotic locations. We arrived back in Southampton on 10th. April.

The early Spring then saw us back in London, visiting our daughter. Preparations for the Summer Olympics were well under way.

Tower Bridge dressed for the Olympics
Then, back in London again for my birthday in July, where I was treated to afternoon tea at 'The Wolseley'. A highly recommended indulgence! It is named as such due to the building's first use as an early showroom for Wolseley cars.

The Wolseley, Piccadilly, London

Interior of the Wolseley
Then, it was time for what has now become an annual event. My brother uses our narrowboat ownership to his advantage and organizes a cruise for four of his friends, which is hosted by us. We usually put on a buffet lunch on the boat, before casting off and heading for Wrenbury, where we enjoy a dinner together at the Dusty Miller. We provide lunch and the drinks for the cruise, they club together and buy dinner for us. It works well, and this year was no exception, we all had a great time. It was another first for Margaret - she plucked up the courage to take the tiller for the first time in over 30 years of boating!

Moored at Wrenbury
A very unusual event!
Before we knew it, it was time for our own late Summer cruise on K-L. This year we decided to take her for a visit to the Montgomery Canal. The Monty is not yet fully re-opened, but the 10 or so miles that are navigable from Frankton Locks on the Llangollen Canal are well worth the effort. Entrance to the canal is strictly limited, and has to be booked, but you are then rewarded by very peaceful cruising amongst beautiful scenery. We were then further rewarded by a lovely meal at the Navigation Inn, built into a converted canal warehouse, just before Gronwyn Wharf and the current limit of navigation. After an overnight stay we headed back towards Ellesmere again.

As we headed towards the Autumn, an unexpected opportunity came up for another cruise courtesy of P&O Cruises. This time it was a two week Mediterranean cruise on one of their larger ships - MV Ventura. The itinerary included places such as Monte Carlo, Rome, and the Isle of Elba. Another fantastic time was enjoyed, and it was a very welcome break to the generally atrocious UK weather.

Ventura berthed at Monte Carlo
In the area of the casino at Monte Carlo
As we then headed towards Winter proper, after settling back in at home, we decided we would again visit K-L for weekends during the run up to Christmas. Nantwich is a great place to be at this time of year, with many activities taking place in the town square on Saturday mornings. Unfortunately our plan was cut short on our first weekend there when I had the TIA event, resulting in a short stay in the Leighton Hospital, Crewe. I am now fully recovered, and while in hospital had many tests, which all proved to be negative, so I will probably never know what the cause of this was. One thing that has come out of the event has been - always know your location. We were on our home mooring when this happened, but when I became disabled, and couldn't speak or move, Margaret was left to contact the emergency services. Imagine what it would be like if she hadn't a clue where we were.

K-L's home mooring
A cosy night in.....
....ended in a short stay here!
I have now received the all clear for further travel, and have managed to secure another annual travel insurance package at a reasonable price, so it is next stop India and UAE for three weeks or so come March. Been there, done that before, and the locals are expecting me...........!

The Grand Mosque at Abu Dhabi

We hope your 2013 cruising year proves to be everything you wished for.

Happy New Year!

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