31 October ’05, Monday.
Halloween 2005…they do a little celebrating here in Europe as well as we do in the states, but in some of the countries it is more of a celebration of “The Dead”, “All Souls Day”, or “All Saint’s Day”. For instance in France and Italy, it is a day to visit the cemeteries and drape the graves of their loved ones with flowers, particularly chrysanthemums and candles. This is what we observed yesterday and this morning. This morning we drove to Midas Muffler here in Boit (next door to Antibes), to see if they could fix our exhaust problem. As always, going into a garage to have anything done is like going into a government office. They want every possible paper you have on the vehicle and then some. Then after all that, they find that what they are looking for just isn’t on any of the papers we have. Anyway, we wanted an estimate before any work was to be done, so after going through 4 different parts books and searching a little on the computer we got our estimate…$866.30 Euro or about $1000 US dollars. For this we were going to get a couple little pipes that would measure about 3 feet each and a little over 2 inches in diameter, new screws and bolts, 2 small gaskets, and $320 Euro labor….NO THANK YOU !!! Apparently they really didn’t want our little job. We’ll put up with the little additional noise for the next 21/2 months without a problem. Halloween is also a “Bankers Holiday”, so most of Europe is on a 4 day holiday. So far most of the roads are pretty free of traffic, so apparently most are staying home. Tonight we are planning a lazy night at the van, with popcorn and a movie. Tomorrow…we head for Spain, with our first overnight stop in Nimes, France, which we have stayed at twice before, and is about a 3 to4 hour ride away.