France 44 - the seaside well at least that was the plan

Published: September 18th 2012
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France sign France sign France sign

On our way back
Getting used to getting up early. With the hour difference between here and home we find ourselves waking early, eating breakfast early and moving on early in the day. We had been reading a lot about over wintering in Spain or Portugal but with working that isn’t a possibility at the moment. Perhaps in 2014 when I get my state pension. We wonder what it would be like staying in the same place. After few days we get wanderlust and want to move on and see pastures new. Would you get fed up of the same sites, the same people, the same scenery or would it be a blessing to be in one place, pitch up and stay? I guess it would be nice for a while to get to know people and make friends something we find hard to do moving on all the time and it would be nice to socialise, not so much play bingo but perhaps go to social evenings and events. Not sure about the fish and chip suppers but they would be nice once in while.

Today was moving out of Italy day and was destined to be a long and not very pleasant
Menton Menton Menton

From the motorway
journey. We travelled north on the motorway out of Tuscany and past Pisa and Pistoia. We stopped for petrol which was hellishly expensive. At least in France it would be marginally cheaper. We heard today that petrol had gone up another 3p a litre back home. Not a pleasant thought to come home to.

Ever onwards the road seemed to be half a mile of open road before entering a tunnel. Around Genoa which was horrendous. Not a pretty port and hellishly busy. There was no scenery to speak of to lighten the journey. Endless tunnel after tunnel. I wonder who gets the job of naming the tunnels , the galleries and the bridges. It was a very repetitive journey and after some stop/starting we were grateful to leave Genoa behind us.

And so it was we entered France. Our Sanef little box was much slower picking up and opening the barriers at the peage than our Italian job. Sometimes we wondered if she had woken up as we sat hoping that the green light would come on and we could pass through. We hugged the coast and I could see the sea in the distance. The enduring
Cagnes sur Mer Cagnes sur Mer Cagnes sur Mer

Early morning rushhour
memory of the journey will be of winds which blew us all over the road as we drove along what seemed like the viaduct in the sky close to Menton. Menton when I had the chance of looking and was not hanging on for dear life looked lovely. The sky blue and the houses shades of pink and cream. I would have liked to have visited but like Monaco and most of the towns along this coast are decidedly motorhome unfriendly.

We were getting short on food and it was getting late in the afternoon as we reached our campsite for the night. Just through Cagnes lay our first choice campsite an ACSI site advertised as being close to the beach and within walking distance of the town. We pulled up behind another motorhome who had stopped in the middle of the road unable to get onto the site as the gate was barred shut. It appeared that there was no room at that particular inn. Plan B Camping la Val Fleuri a small bucolic site further out of the town. This time not close to the beach nor the town itself. Our plot was tiny and apparently the last available. Being grateful just to get a pitch we squeezed Suzy into our tiny, awkward plot. Was this where we scraped our decal on the side of the van? Perhaps our mark across the entire side of the van was caused by a tree in the way as we squeezed in. When we get home a good wash and a touch of T –Cut might get the red ark of Suzy’s side. We were grateful for the ear muffs we purchased to cover Suzy’s mirrors. At least these saved us breaking the glass which would have been costly. The owner was friendly and showed us the swimming pool which would have been welcome but the weather had dulled over and a bit of wind had got up. She explained the snack bar was closed but that there was one in the next campsite. She didn’t have a shop but again there was small one just up the road. And there was cheap WiFi. I walked up to the snack bar and to the shop. Did they have bread? Non. Did they have fresh milk? Non . Did they have anything for tea? Non....... so I gave up and walked home. The next nearest shop was 4k away and I didn’t relish either the walk or moving Suzy out of her tight plot again. So it was soup from our emergency supplies.

We didn’t have a quiet night. Cars roared by all night and as it seemed a no through road could not work out where they were going to. The shower block was used in the morning before we left. For the size of the site there didn’t seem enough facilities just 3 toilets, 3 wash hand basins and 3 showers.

We paid up the night before so that we could leave early and were given a code for the gate. However much trying of the code failed to lift the barrier. I was met by a lady with a barrier key and she tried it but it failed to open the gate. In the end she had to go out and try the key pad on the opposite side of the gate which luckily worked and we set off and joined early morning rushhour in Cagnes.

The roads were chock a block with cars nose to tail. Traffic lights and roundabouts held up the traffic and it was an unpleasant ride trying to get back onto the motorway to get out of town. Perhaps later in the morning would have been better. I would have liked to have seen Cagnes. It looked worthy of a visit and there were buses to various destinations along the Cote D’Azur and a train station. I guess if we had been closer to the town we might have seen more of it and the area. Cannot recommend anything as camping for motorhomes seemed difficult at times. What must it be like in high season? Will have to leave Monaco and Nice for another day. We moved on to Port Grimaud and hoped for better. The thoughts went through our heads that perhaps we should have stayed longer in Italy.


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