What a year! But we and our close family and friends are all in good health so we have very little to complain about. Certain doors closed which resulted in disappointment and a lot of other doors opened resulting in new friendships and new experiences.
It feels like a lifetime ago that life as we knew it came to a stop when Cayman went into lockdown. For a while (and while we were allowed to) we went for a snorkel or beach walk daily. Amelia’s cycling improved as we would cycle between 2 and 5 kms daily. Yes, our trip to Colombia was cancelled and the start of our travels were delayed but, as a family, we were doing things and spending time together.
Thankfully Cayman was able to test all frontline workers which enabled the islands to eliminate local transmission of the virus. We were able to take a trip to Little Cayman with friends followed by a trip to Cayman Brac with family before the start of our European travels.
With a mix of sadness, excitement and trepidation, we boarded the flight to Heathrow. Our adventure was about to begin.
A delay with obtaining the licence plates for the motorhome (ended up being a 3-month delay!) resulted in us spending more time in France. When the French President was scheduled to address the country in late October, we (well, Gary) thought there would be more restrictions but not a lockdown. Luckily, I’m not a betting man. We had 30 hours to figure out a plan for the lockdown. Ideas bandied around included staying in a campsite, driving to Italy, being parked in a stranger’s driveway, driving to the UK and, the option we chose, staying in a friend’s vacant cottage. An 8-hour, 600km/375mile drive and we were in the Dordogne.
Friendly neighbours helped us settle in and in the last 2 months we’ve learnt some basic French, figured out how to use a wood burner and been for walks in woods where the trees are covered in thick layers of moss and lichen. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Les Eyzies. We had expected to slow travel (rent an apartment for a month or so) but not after such a short time living in the motorhome!
We are planning to drive to the Algarve (Portugal) in early January for some warmer weather. When the weather warms, we hope to return to the Dordogne to visit the various prehistoric, troglodyte and medieval attractions (which are presently closed) before heading to Germany and other European countries. What we have learnt is not to plan too far ahead!
Despite the various setbacks, we are truly grateful for the opportunities and experiences we’ve enjoyed in 2020 (we’re working on a blog post of what we learnt and enjoyed during our 2 months in Les Eyzies). We are looking forward to see what 2021 brings.
Wishing you a bonne année! Gary, Janice and Amelia