I've been delayed with this next episode.  I'm back home now, as you have probably realised, and actually was back home before I sent out the first of my summer 2010 episodes.  

Here is the reason it's all late. My French ISP has around 2 million hotspots in France - I'll say that again, 2 million hotspots in France - which means that just about every time you stop in a populated area, or a town centre, you get an automatic connection, all you need is username and password and bingo, you're in.  These are the hotspots adjacent to my daughters apartment in central Paris.  Although they are no help to her, she already has a connection at home, and she is not with SFR.  T
he blue spots, and also the brown and the red spots, are the hotspots. But they are pretty frequent, as you can see.

Unfortunately this hotspot connection is a touch quirky insofar as it will give full internet connection and download emails from all addresses, but it will only allow sending from addresses specific to my ISP.   That wouldn't matter except those addresses have a limit of 50 recipients for each email and I send this email to about 100 people.  So I normally send through gmail, which allows up to 100 recipients, and which I have set up to work through my email program, currently ThunderBird, similar to Outlook Express. But I can't do this through a hotspot.  But having so easily found a connection to receive my emails when travelling I can't be bothered to look for one where I can send through gmail.  Lowell will no doubt tell me that I could split the list in two and send the email twice.  Yes, I know that Lowell.

Right, so now I've lost another great swathe of readers after that discourse, I'll continue.  Or maybe you skipped it all and you are still with me?

For the last four days I have been almost glued to my computer watching the progress of the Gordon Bennett balloon race http://www.gordonbennett2010.com/tracking.  Two people on my mailing list were entrants, Janet Folkes and Colin Butter.  Having taken off from Bristol, UK on Saturday last about midnight, both landed in southern France just before the Mediterranean, Colin flying a little under 1000 km in 33 hours - I think it's his longest duration flight to date  - and Janet a little over 1000km in 36 hours.    Great job, Janet and Colin! 
Last year in the same race Janet flew a little over 70 hours to break the women's World endurance record.

An Austrian entrant flew over my house at 7,200 ft.

Unfortunately the race was marred by the probable loss of two Americans after their balloon was caught in a thunderstorm over the Adriatic sea.  As I write they have been missing for almost 2 days.  I hope they will be found alive but as time goes on the chances are getting slimmer.  My thoughts go to their families.

Just as I write, it's raining here, it's cold, and it's nearly October.  I've just written the subject line Summer 2010/3.  Well, it WAS summer when I started on the trip!

This is Estaing in the Gorges of the Lot

Here a view I caught on the route.

Note the vertical drop below the house.

And another view.

This is 3 photos stitched together.

Here is the same photo bigger in size and much better.  But you need to scroll over to the right to see it all.

We had lunch just near here, there was a good clear place for Kitten to have a run around.

Continue to Summer 4

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