My Travel Blog

Returning Home From Another Rabelo Adventure

It’s hard to believe, but our six months on Rabelo has flown by and come to an end.  Lisa and I are still asking, where did the time go?  We had so many wonderful adventures.  Of course the best part was sharing so many of those adventures with friends and family.  This past season we had twenty-six guests on Rabelo, which makes us kind of like a hotel barge except we don’t charge.

A flower from one of the many gardens we visited.

A California Redwood in Montargis, France.

Our friends Marty and Sara are ready to go pick apples.

Our trip home was not without incident.  We flew standby with our friends Scott and Lovita.  With better flight availability out of Amsterdam than Paris we decided to take the train to Holland. Wilco drove us to the train station in Paris with what we thought would be plenty of time to spare.  If there is one thing we should have learned by now, it’s never underestimate Paris traffic.  I don’t care how much extra time you allow it’s not going to be enough.  It got so bad near Gare de Nord that eventually we jumped out of the car in the middle of the street, unloaded all of our luggage, and walked to the train station.  Of course it really wasn’t all that difficult, as traffic was completely stopped.  We even had time to say goodbye to Wilco.  Next time we will probably take the metro, but I have to say that getting luggage on the metro can be a bit of a pain in the rear.

When we finally made it to our train we discovered that it was going to be at least an hour late departing.  Apparently the crew coming in from Amsterdam had been delayed due to a huge storm.  We were told that in the northern part of Holland they had hurricane force winds. When the train finally left they said it would take longer than usual because of the high winds.  Fortunately we were only going to Skipol Airport rather than Amsterdam Central, which was where the train was supposed to make its final stop.  They told everyone to get off at Skipol, as the track, due to weather, had been damaged just north of the airport.

Just a little bit of Paris traffic.

Rabelo on a clear day.

A Portuguese Rabelo transporting Port Wine.

Here’s a little piece of advice when buying tickets on the TGV, or high speed trains, at least if you are going between Paris and Amsterdam.  A second-class ticket will get you on the train, but it may not guarantee you a seat.  We purchased four tickets, and one of them had an assigned seat.  You have to look at your ticket, which we obviously didn’t.  The rest of us had to fend for ourselves.  While we managed to find seats in the car we had been assigned too that was only by shear luck.  We could have just as easily been in a different car.  As it was, we had to move a couple of times as people with reserved seats got on an off the train at each stop.

Going for a walk in France.

Lisa and I on our way home.

Even though we are headed home for a quick vacation, which does sound a little strange, that doesn’t mean Living Barge will be taking a vacation.  There are plenty of adventures that we haven’t been ale to share with you yet, so I’ve got plenty of content just waiting to be sent out. Besides, my next book When Stones Speak will be come out shortly, and you’ll want to hear all about it.

-Tom Miller Author of “The Wave” – a Chuck Palmer Adventure novel


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.