Grand éléphant

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I ressurected this article as the holidays are upon us and if you are heading to Loire River in the Upper Brittany region this is a must. Kids and adults will absolutely love the Galerie of the Machines de l'Ile and especially the Grand éléphant, known to it's creators as “Michelle!”. The Grand éléphant weighs in at
50 tons and can take (very slowly) 30 people on a voyage of.....well fantasy as you ride in oron an elephant made by craftsmen and women using an incredible mix of traditional crafts such as carpentry and modern techniques of hydraulics and electronics.

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Some 20 years ago this week I was working in my office in the Saudi Arabian capital

-- Al Riyadh

-- I was a F&CO "lifer" setting up security systems for the Saudi MOH hospitals

-- having been there in Riyadh for the previous 13 years !

-- when my boss the British Ambassador called me in.

I thought it was for the normal week end talk

-- "Hows work going?" etc.

But no it was something much more serious. The War... 

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Australian adventure Coming from the UK I should have been to used to driving in the rain. Still, I was more than a little dismayed when I pulled away from Lismore a small town south of Brisbane in NSW' I was setting off on the start of a 6 week tour of Cape York (that's the pointy bit on the top of Australia) and the Outback. It was coming down in sheets, the sort of rain that instantly soaks you through and leaves you in no doubt that you should have stayed at home. I was heading eventually for a small place called Karumba in the North of Queensland. To add to my amusement, I was in a strange vehicle, a massive Australian Holden 4 x 4 with a 4.5 litre engine, and towing an equally massive twin axle caravan, which was connected to the now greasy road by tyres designed for dirt and dust. It was said best to get a twin axle then if you had a puncture you always had a spare!!! OMG how naive was I

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Adelaide to Ballodonia Waving and Kangaroos!

 I started at - 6:00 am - getting ready for another day of serious driving. I was heading from Adelaide along the coast road to Port Augusta. I had decided that I would borrow from my cousin his VW Combi for my journey. This was a much more substantial vehicle than the one that I trekked across Africa in. I had been told to get an early start as the roads got very crowded. I had parked and lived in the Combi at a small vineyard in the Barossa area, which had just finished the harvest.

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Hello everybody First would like to say what a great time we had on the French Rally in the Loire. Me and geezer now wandering Aimlessly round France. We are now in the Dordogne at Sarlat la caneda. The town of SARLAT is wonderful and the campsite we got from the ACSI book is incredible. It has four swimming pools, restaurant, bar, takeaway and lovely weather so far, oh yes and WiFi and that is why you getting this bit of a journal. I did say I would bore you with our travels and thats exactly what I amgonna do. We arrived after 8 hours driving, halfwayalong TOMTOM packed up (blank screen only like it had beenswitched off) so we had a couple of wrong turnings halfway up a mountain and toyboy had to get us out. Of course that was after the screaming match we were having in the roadway while all the frogs were being directed past by yours truly.

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