Rachel and Gary left this morning for Toulouse, then Amsterdam, Detroit, and home to Phoenix, Arizona. They were busy, busy, busy for nine days. We took them to various markets and attractions throughout the Ariege. We attended market day in Mirepoix, as well as visits to Chalabre, Camon, Pamiers, Fanjeaux, l'eglise at Vals and vide greniers in Hounoux and Esclagne. We even had lunch in Puigcerda, Spain. We visited a winery, had a private tour, sampled nearly every bottle and bought more than a few. We had lunch in Mirepoix, dinners at the bar in Leran, and overindulged at the last Marche Noctune Leran of the season.
On their own, Gary and Rachel visited Limoux, Montsegur, Fontestorbes, the prehistory museum in Tarascon, and the walled cite of Carcassonne. They became familiar with all the rascals and rogues in our village as well as some of our friends. They met Ellie and her sidekick, Abby, two nine year old girls who run, bike and skate around Leran, and who seem to know everyone in the village
We had a few disappointments too. Nancy, Gary and Rachel got to take a short, but not so scenic ride on the Little Yellow Train. We had misread the schedule and didn't realize until we were at the ticket counter, that the train we wanted to ride out of La Tour de Carol was not running in September. I drove the gang over to a nearby town, they got on the train and I picked them up back in La Tour de Carol, a 40 minute ride. That gave us time to have lunch in Spain, and drive over the Col de Puymorens, high up in the Pyrenees. The ride on the scenic portion of the Little Yellow Train will have to wait till next year.
And one disaster, or near disaster. The outcome is still up in the air. Rachel was looking at her photographs on the computer. She removed the chip from the computer and set it in her lap. A little while later she was in the kitchen and she noticed Fergus chewing on something...............her photo chip was being enthusiastically mangled. When she stood up the chip had slipped off her lap and Fergus found it. She was able to retrieve the chip but was devastated. Rachel had some 700 photos on that chip and she was sure they were gone like smoke. Nancy googled "dog chewed digital memory photo card" and learned that the photos can most likely be restored. Apparently it's not the first time. We can hope.