23. May, 2016


SUNDAY 22-05-16

Today we woke to the sound of a cookoo on a lovely warm, bright, sunny morning. We had spent the night on a campsite 6km southeast of Castellane. I gave The Chef the option of either making for the Service Area on the A8 toll road near junction 43, and spend the night there or making for Camping Hippodrome at Villeneuve-Loubet and see if they could take us a day early. She opted for trying our luck, and I can't say I blame her, as there would have been nothing for us to do once we'd arrived at the Service Area.

We had crossed country and were now ready to head south on 4085, a 'red' road on the map, and should therefore have be a good, easy run. Unfortunately the road wasn't much better than yesterday. What was making Rosina uncomfortable was that firstly she's not keen on heights, and we were high, and secondly much of that journey was spent on twisting roads with no safety barrier, which meant our vehicle was on the edge and she was the one looking over that edge (we're left hand drive). I was having to concentrate quite hard because should there have been situations like yesterday where we had motorcyclists cutting corners, and cars coming straight at us trying to overtake two-abreast cyclists, then my natural reaction would have been to snatch the wheel to the right to try and avoid the oncoming vehicle. Unfortunately on this occasion that would have been entirely the wrong thing to do. It's coming to something when the safest course of action, if sharp braking doesn't work, is to have a head-on collision. On occasions we were so high up that if we'd gone over the edge there would have been time to sing a verse of 'The Day Thou Gaveth Lord Is Ended' before hitting the bottom of the gorge.

Understandably there were no photographs taken along the stretch of winding road with no crash barrier as The Chef was firmly grasping the armrest on her seat.

The Satnav continues to defy logic. On the outskirts of Grasse, rather than take us around the fairly large town it took us right through the middle of it. The air was blue, the only reason I paid through the nose for the Caravan Club's edition of the Snooper Satnav was because I could feed in the dimensions of the vehicle and what it is, and it should help me to avoid such situations. It has the added bonus of a large database of campsites and Aires etc. When new it worked just fine, but since having sent it away to be checked and the mapping upgraded it has been pants. We have now decided to run the Garmin spare we bought in America for use on the trips there, upgraded with European maps in 2009. We'll start off running them side by side and just see what happens. If the Snooper turns out to be rubbish then I'll have a Victor Meldrew moment with the company when we get back.

Fortunately Camping Hippodrome (GPS: N43.641882º E7.137931º)  could take us and we're now set up here for a couple of weeks without having to live like nomads. Tomorrow will be chores day followed by day trips etc thereafter.

When we passed through here last year on the way back from Istanbul we visited Monaco just eight days after the Grand Prix, and it was still like a building site, as they were dismantling everything. When I realised we'd be here for the Grand Prix next weekend I thought it would be nice to get a couple of tickets if possible. It was possible, with the cheapest tickets selling at about £450 each. Oh well it was just an idea.