Les Iles de Lerins

I’m currently basking in the glow of getting two days off in a row. First time since joining Lucky Wave.

I booked myself an Airbnb for the two nights, intent on being able to starfish in a big bed. Alone. Without getting woken up during the night, either by inconsiderate crew or banging my knees and elbows on the bulkhead or deckhead! (Yes, my bed is that small!)

Blissful barely begins to describe going to bed at 8pm and sleeping till I want, taking coffee back to bed and reading till 10am! And being able to ring and chat to everyone without watching my language!

That’s really about all I’ve done. Lazy in the extreme. I have a small excuse I’m going to chuck out there! I think my nose is not right after my argument with the door in Cyprus. Its not healing up totally and I think I may have a bit of infection. Tossing up whether or not to use my antibiotics. You know, be a good nurse and self diagnose/treat instead of sensibly trotting to the GP!

Anyway, I digress. I’ve limited myself to one bottle of wine a day. Half on the beach and half in the evening. Such a struggle. I really hope my liver appreciates this effort. And healthy food.

Tapenade counts, right?!

I also decided to visit the islands that are here in the Bay of Cannes, which we takes guests to all the time but never set foot on. The two main ones are the Ile St. Marguerite and the Ile St Honorat. Both have incredible history, dating from before Christ. (There’s another debate! Why we date our centuries based on one bloke who may or may not have existed! Maybe I shouldn’t go there!) Anyway I got the ferry to the former and spent a few hours exploring. Along with half of Cannes! It’s a popular spot, because history aside, there’s a big pine forest and lots of picnic spots, so a very lovely place to go.

I got my ticket (€6) into the Fort and trotted off. As I said the earliest parts date to a few years BC and AC, there’s a strong Roman history, and then various arguments between France and Spain, until the most popularised history of the “man in the Iron mask” during the reign of Louis XIVth.

The museum was very interesting and well done. The cells where they kept high profile prisoners, including the elusive unnamed man, were surprisingly large but very secure! The bars on the windows were made of three offset sets, so you couldn’t throw anything through them. Never mind get out!

A lot of the art and depictions have been done by school students. They were thoughtfully portrayed and imaginative. The scientific part was good but did sneak into the subjective when covering theories of the identity of the Man in the iron mask!

All in all, it was a good experience and one I’d recommend. After doing the touristy thing in 30+ degrees of humid heat, I headed for the beach and a swim.

Later my French teacher/friend, Aly, joined me for a wee while before he went to work. We practised each others languages. I think he gets more laughs out of my attempts! But, hey, at least I try. Captain Paul’s been here donkeys years and has almost no French, plus the most excruciating accent. Doesn’t even try! Aly says my pronunciation is pretty good, so propos to my St Mag’s French teacher! What was her name? Mrs Scannell? Scary MF, she was!

So here I am, reflecting on my months in France this year. Pretty good really. Life’s not bad! Typical Kiwi understatement. Wish Matt and Danny could get here. Doesn’t look like I’ll get to Athens, sadly. Nature of the industry. But I reckon we might have to plan a sailing trip together. Round Corsica. Yep!

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