November / December 2009

November is a month of consolidation, followed by a drive to Skopje to sell the faithful Hyundai Galloper which has done so much sterling service. Because it is registered in Macedonia and does not conform to EU class 3 emission standards, we cannot import it into Montenegro. Seeing the decades-old rust-trap bangers which populate the roads here belching out smoke and fumes, there would seem to be one law for locals and one for foreigners. From Skopje, we fly to London to buy a replacement and spend a little time with family before a sun-seeking break to recuperate – probably our last proper holiday for a long time. On our return to London in mid December we spend a hectic weekend finding insurance for the new car and then trying to get out of UK. It was the week before Christmas when snow caused total travel chaos, including the closure of the Channel Tunnel, through which we had been due to take the Eurotunnel shuttle. No chance. We managed with what we can only think of as divine intervention to get the very last cabin on the Harwich-Hoek van Holland overnight ferry. On to München for Christmas with family, and back to Risan for a quiet New Year, taking in the Ikea store in Padova and Carrefour at Macon outside Venice en route.