I’ve reached the stage of the trip where I’m hanging out for a beer and English TV. This must mean that it’s time start thinking of England, even though we have travelled to the south and now enjoy shirt-sleeve sunshine while snow hides in shadows and under trees. In ten days we will be back at work and two years of planning and this crazy four week trip will be only memories and video-editing.

So what did we do on January 11? Some might say nothing, but we are discovering that some days where we do nothing but a gentle reconnaisance have their own memories and charms.

We left the Lyon Hotel and used the tram, thus saving les Lyonnais my grunts and Paula’s swearing on the two kilometres to the station. Paula has declared war on what she calls my “underzaggeration” – it’s only a few minutes, only a short way – so from now on everythin is going take hours and go for miles. Promise!

The TGV is great and puts the NSW system to shame. Essentially, we are governed by the gutless and unimaginative in this state, and things are not much better federally. $2.40 for a tram ticket? Better than the airport train – and the metro’s $3.20 for a trip that can take you to any part of town.

Our great laugh – once we had fought our way onto the train, sat down and made our way into the south – was to realize that the TGV station was several kilometres out of town. No matter: a shuttle bus waited. Finally, we found our hotel: the cheapest of the trip, maybe not as mod con as the Mercure, so close to the station that we will never miss a train – we hear every announcement – but spacious and with a proprietor who is a bit of a character.

The town is quite beautiful and, with some advice from our host, we should be able to explore a lot of the town tomorrow, leaving time for Nimes or Orange on Tuesday. It is a simply beautiful town and we will need to have our roller skates on to appreciate it, but this afternoon’s walk was a good introduction.

We have completed our last load of washing: from now on it’s Sydney or smell.