We drove to the Citadelle de Sisteron, a landmark of Haute Provence. It has an underground stairway, carved into a rock, to connect this fortress to the city’s gate. We didn’t go inside the Citadel this time, so there’s not much more that I can share about it. But it was a hot day, luckily Kikou is small enough to seek some shade underneath a bush. We later went into Sisteron to cool off.
Our first road trip in France was to Provence.; known for their lavender fields in summer.
For the trip, Clément’s parents lent us their utilitaire or commercial vehicle as Google translates it as. We put a mattress, some pillows, sheets, blankets, clothes and Kikou into the back and started our trip on the evening of the 16th of July 2016. I can’t recall who thought of doing our roadtrip like this, but I’ll let you guys know now, it’s how we would continue doing our trips around Rhone-Alpes.
We drove for an hour, or two, maybe 3 maximum until we reached a lake for the night.
Lac De Corp
It’s been over a year since my update on our story. I have to admit, settling into a new country and culture really brings you back to focus on the reality of the real world.
I wanted to start blogging again because;
- Our adventures have not stopped, there’s so many stories and events to share that I hope will inspire other people to take the leap and adopt a change in lifestyle, even if it is momentary
- I miss writing in English! And I’m referring to long texts, essay-length writings. Over a year in France and though Clem and I speak English everyday, it’s not the same as fully diving into telling a story or experience. We experience everything together as it is!
- There’s a happy ending.
For my lovely followers and friends that started following my blog when Clément and I embarked on our adventure together. We hitchhiked from my home in Canberra towards Sydney, then Brisbane and finally Darwin to catch a plane to Bali (the cheapest flight we could find that goes out of Australia).
From Bali we hitchhiked onwards into Java and then Sumatra and into Malaysia, my home country. This took us about 30 days, including us resting for a week or so with a few hosts we connected with via Couchsurfing, or some lovely strangers who saw us hitchhiking and just decided to let us into their cars and their homes. It was an incredibly, eye-opening experience for me. It was my first sort of journey in this style, backpacking and hitchhiking. I did not expect to meet people that are so trusting to strangers, and not only that but strangers in their country! There were times where I was tired, scared and felt threatened, but I would do it all over again. I’m not an adrenaline junkie but those experiences were my preferred type of adrenaline rush.
In Malaysia, during our travels in towards the North, we found a puppy, read about it here Journey to France: Day 97. And his presence made us into a family. We continued travelling with him around Malaysia. While he was just the best travel companion anyone could ask for, it is not always welcoming in Malaysia to have a dogs in public areas. We weren’t allowed to take Public Transport with him, not even when he’s in a carrier. Sometimes people were afraid to give us a lift in their cars because they were afraid of our dog, but there were still people who helped us. And it was beautiful to watch. Our puppy became quite the star of our family. Sometimes people would stop us to take a picture with our puppy.
As Kikou got bigger and became more complicated to travel with in Malaysia we made a decision to change our plans and for straight to France so Kikou could grow up in a healthier and more welcoming environment. Clem assured me he would be loved and looked after and people in France will have more love and respect for dogs than they do in Malaysia. So that’s what we did.
We thought flying back would be a breeze, but we were either unlucky or very lucky. Airports have always seemed to me, to be highly coordinated with high security. So arriving for our transit in Istanbul was quite shock. At first there was no one around the plane’s exit corridors, and then we entered the Customs Hall to a mess of people, impatiently pushing and hardly any airport staff around to control them. There had been suicide bombing a few hours before we arrived. You can read about what I meant here Journey to France: Day 153 (A Change in Plans).
In the end all 3 of us arrived safely, in the beautiful, little city of Annecy, my fiancé’s hometown. We’ve spent the past year settling in, exploring more pretty places, and growing stronger as a little family. Clément was true to his word, Kikou has grown up to become a very loved dog in the best environment a dog could have, with green rolling hills and endless forests to run around in.
I want to continue sharing our story, because our story is a beautiful story, and I hope it will inspire some of my readers to travel and to adopt strays instead of buying breeds.
Thank you for reading this post and I hope you enjoy the next one.
When you’re in love, everyday you start to realise something pretty about them that you haven’t noticed before.
He opened his eyes that morning, rolled over and started softly kissing my ears.
“I never realised your ears were so cute.”
Tomorrow, he will tell me how much he loves the size of the nails on my little fingers.
Being present in life isn’t always like the daydreams we have. We don’t always end up where we hope to be. We don’t always end up who we want to be.
But when I look to the sky, and I can’t explain with valid reasoning why, I feel comfort oozing from the beating in core. And this comfort dissolves into the rest of my body. I feel it all the way to my fingertips! It’s as of the sky knows, it sees all, and with its constantly changing colours, shades and hues, it’s telling me “hey, it will always be okay.”
And with each passing day, like the clouds that travel the sky on the whim of the wind, we keep going until we fall like raindrops, to the ground.
I wonder if you know
that you are a lucky man?
To savour her in her most vulnerable state;
asleep and naked, in your bed.
I wonder if you realise your own good fortune,
to be able to watch her brush her damp hair,
that sticks to her moist skin.
Fresh from the shower!
Your towel is all that she has
wrapped around her.
It kills me inside, just a little bit and sadly not enough,
to know the sounds that she makes,
are all for you to hear.
From the noisy sips of her coffee,
to her laughter,
her muffled sobbing behind cupped palms,
her exasperated moans when she scrunches her face tightly, oh
and her explosions…
Yes, you get to hear them all.
I wonder if you have come to realised yet,
what a lucky man you are.