Holidays Our little holiday diary

France Part Four

Day 5.


What will today bring? First things first, off to the shower block only to find it was shut. Had to have a wash and shave in the van. Had a quick breakfast and made our way out of the site. No one in reception so we couldn’t pay. Yippee. On the road, we IMGA0178programmed Nigella to get us to Nice. It took us through the French Alps. The weather was dreadful. Driving rain and high winds blew us about and the roads were very winding. I’m still not convinced about Nigella after it sent us into a lake and then a farmyard. Then, to top it all, Nigella suddenly just switched off. I switched it on again, but it turned off again. I had a slight panic attack before trying to work out what was wrong with it. I know my faith in it wasn’t very high but I felt a bit lost without it. I eventually realized that the cigarette lighter socket had no power to it. Fortunately there was another socket in the van which was live so Nigella was up and running again. Diane had picked three potential sites out of the book, but when we got into the Nice area the first site was boarded up, the second one didn’t exist and we never got to the third one because we stumbled across a different one en route and dived in. Success, it had electrics and water. Very civilized. This one is in Cagnes sur Mer (Campsite la Riviere).


Mileage 191 miles (319Km)Day 5


Day 6.


We got up fairly early by our standards and were out on the road by 9.00. The plan was to get into Monaco early to park up and visit the Grand Casino in Monte Carlo and the Princes Palace. A Big Di’saster!! There were plenty of spaces available in the car parks, but not for motor homes that are 2.9m high. Nor was there a single space by the road side that would fit us in, being over 6.2m long. We stopped and asked a policeman (gendarme) who just casually waved his hand as if pointing along the road. We drove round (more like crawled round) for two and a half hours, getting more and more frustrated before giving up and battled our way out of town heading east along the coast road, finally arriving in Menton. After a brief walk along the promenade, we decided to carry on into Italy, stopping in a place called Vertimiglia. Diane’s sister Lynne has a partner who is Italian, so we thought that we would buy and send them a postcard from Italy, which we did.  It was then time to consult the camping book to find a site near to Monaco, because we decided to try again tomorrow. The plan was to get up early and into Monte Carlo before the morning rush.

Diane found a couple of sites in a small town called Sospel which is approx. 30miles north of Monaco, it seemed convenient so we programmed Nigella in for the first of them headed for it. Sospel turned out to be in the foothills of the French Alps and it took us nearly three hours to get there only to arrive outside ANOTHER TOURIST OFFICE!! What is it with Nigella and tourist offices? We found a small car park and walked back towards the town centre. On the way, we stopped and watched a number of locals playing boules which was very interesting, never having seen the game played before. Onward into the town where we did a bit of food shopping before making our way back to the car park. We met some young people in the car park and we asked them where there were any camp sites. It was a little difficult because they spoke very little English and we were rubbish at French but the managed to explain to us where they thought a site was and gave us a local map showing the site. Of course it wasn’t there so we had to resort to programming Nigella again and would you believe it, we actually found it. Not very good, but anywhere will do tonight. At least there was electricity available but we had to borrow a continental plug adaptor from reception. After a quick snack, it was early to bed.Day 6


Mileage 54 miles (91 Km).


Day 7.


Grand Casino Monte Carlo

Grand Casino Monte Carlo


Got up at 4.30am, determined to get into Monaco/Monte Carlo early. Down treacherous, winding roads in the dark, it was slow going. We arrived in Monte Carlo at around 7.30am only to find it virtually gridlocked AGAIN!! We managed to drive around the harbour road in Monte Carlo along what I thought was the F1 Race Track Road, but I think in reality we were travelling on a different road. See link below.  We wasted over two and a half hours trying to park before giving up and making our way along the coast road aiming for St Tropez. Because of the time we had lost in Monaco, we had no time to stop in Nice. No time, nor space to stop in Cannes either, mainly because there was a Festival de la Plaisance (Festival of Sailing) being held there, so we just kept driving, looking forward to a brief stop in Frejus where we hoped to see some luxury yachts. Not a one in the harbour. Typical! We then programmed Nigella for a site in Port Grimaud just outside St Tropez. Would you believe it, we found it with no trouble. They showed us round the site in a golf buggy to choose our pitch. Very sophisticated. Set up our cooking gear for a B.B.Q. and had an enjoyable meal and a few drinks. Oh to be civilized again.Day 7a


Mileage 91 miles (153 Km)

Not the F1 track in Monaco


Day 8.


Because the site was so good, we took the decision to book in for a second night and go and spend the day in St Tropez. They had told us at reception we could catch a boat in the port which would take us directly into St Tropez so saving the problem of driving there and not being able to park. We spent the day there, wandering round the harbor and going up to the citadel up on the hill overlooking the town. Bought ourselves a cooked chicken for €12.92 (The most expensive chicken we have ever bought) and ate part of it in a small park in the town. We saved the rest of it to make a meal when we got back to the camp. Just our luck, when we got the rest of the chicken out back at the site, because of the heat of the day, it had gone off and we had to throw it all away. Never mind, we went to the site shop and bought food from there. Wrote all our postcards and went to bed.


Mileage 115 Miles (193 Km)


Part Five now on.

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