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Published: August 17th 2013
We have lost count of the number of different accommodations we have stayed at on the BBA V2(we will count them up for the summary review of the adventure eventually)and the number of times we have used booking.com but today was going to be a real test of how low we would sink to get a bed for the night.More about that later.
The low cloud was still about this morning although the view we had from our balcony was more complete than we have seen since we got here.We would have loved to have been able to take in the full surrounds but you can't plan the weather to always be just right.
Our drive today would be through mountains down towards Grenoble and about half way to a 3 night stay we have planned in Aix-en-Provence.
The secondary roads up in the French Alps tend to be rather narrow and we guess were designed when there wasn't the traffic volumes of today.The D1212 snakes its way through several mountain villages for about 40km following a valley until it descended through a narrow valley to open out into a wider corridor between two mountain ranges.
took a late morning stop for a drink in one of the few pull off areas that we found on the road.French men have no thought about modesty when its time to relieve themselves and this morning was no different.We were sitting in the boot of the car having a drink and a biscuit when a car pulled in on the opposite side of the road,the driver got out,walkied to the side of the road.......and peed!He didn't even bother to walk down the small bank to some trees where he could have done what he needed to do out of the view of the passing traffic....and us!Mind you this is not the first time we have been around when males have been relieving themselves on the side of the road on the nearly 20,000km we have driven on the BBA V2.This guy was just a bit more blatant and had other options to be out of the view of the public.We know you do see this act happening in NZ but not as much as we have seen around Europe.Perhaps it is partially to do with the lack of public toilets in towns and villages that are obvious and easily
We took the D1006 and D520 emerging from the mountains into Voreppe,our destination and accommodation for the night.After initialling having some difficulty in finding the right street to go down to the hotel we eventually made it and pulled up in front of the hotel that was across a car park from the railway station.
Everything seemed very quiet with the hotel front door closed but the windows of the first floor and what seemed to be an add on to the original hotel to the right.We pushed the door thinking it was just closed because of the heat but found it was locked.There was no door bell so we knocked to try and gain attention of the reception staff but to no avail.
Although the upper windows were open and there was noise of children crying we couldn't actually see anyone from where we were in front of the hotel.
We decided to check the rear of the hotel for an entrance and got in the car and drove up a short drive at the rear of the hotel to a yard area.
There were people here but they weren't staff.Instead we saw
a group of unsavoury looking men sitting in a corner drinking and mothers trying to control children in rooms that had doors open to the yard.
By now we were wondering what we had come to,front door to hotel locked,no one answering our knocking and unsavoury, itinerants occupying the hotel rooms that we could see.
We went back to the front of the hotel and it was then that we noticed,well we could hardly have missed it,a rubbish skip spilling over with putrid smelling rubbish.We tried the front door again thinking that perhaps one of the people at the rear of the hotel might have alerted the reception that we were trying to get the notice of them.But to no avail.
We wondered whether the hotel was no longer open to other guests as all of the rooms we could see had people in them.We had read how the French government have had to locate 'immigrants'in temporary accommodations and had used hotels to do this.
Being unable to gain access and with less than desirable looking 'guests' being accommodated there, we headed for McDonalds to use their wifi and book another hotel close by and got
ourselves a deal 8km away in a Comfort Hotel.
We contacted booking.com by email to let them know we had not been able to get access and now we hope that we don't get charged the 'no show' charge.
The Comfort wasn't too bad,just the usual 12sq mtrs with a flat screen TV,comfy bed and free wi fi.
We took a walk around of St Egreve, the town we had found our selves in and watched a couple of guys climbing a large over hanging rock face.Seemed like a bit over the top to try and get to somewhere cooler!
Our walk took us past the Hotel De Ville which of course is not actually a hotel but the French equivalent of the Town Hall as we would know it.These buildings are usually very elegant looking and this one was no different.It seems only towns that have a stately building name them 'Hotel De Ville'.
Tomorrow its down towards the coast and Provence and after todays near miss with a less than desirable hotel we will be pleased to get ourselves an apartment for 3 nights where we are sure there will only be tourists
as guests of the hotel.
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