Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Cantal to Rhóne
I got myself up at a reasonable hour, had some breakfast, including the obligatory cup of real coffee, & packed everything up, not something I enjoyed when I only unpacked it all the previous bloody night!
After one last look at the fantastic views I decided it was time to head for the stop I had planned the previous night. This is where I get the road atlas, sat-nav & “Le Guide” out on the roof or bonnet of the car & decide where is best to head for. I usually try to look for an area with a few sites, just in case the cheap municipal I happen to choose has closed down. This time it was a small town called Chavannes-Sur-Reyssouze in the Ain area of the Rhóne-Alpes region, pretty much in the Rhóne valley, about 30km north of Mácon. The cheapest looking site I could find in the area was a 2 star, & I figured it was only for one night, although I could possibly stay for two & have a days rest. Although this would mean driving like a mad man for all of Monday day & night in order to catch my early ferry Tuesday morning. Not a good idea, especially as I had no idea what kind of roads, weather or problems I was up against, & I was hoping to pop into Belgium to spend the last of my money on cheap tobacco.
So, off to the Rhóne valley. The weather, once again, was glorious. I asked the sat-nav to find me a petrol station, (I always choose one with a supermarket name attached, as I can get some supplies & get the best price on my fuel) which was promised to be only 25km away, any more & I think I would've been using the fuel reserved for my cooker, fortunately I had a full 5 litre can in the boot, as the cooker had finished the last lot off during its last refill. This was perhaps the most remote area I had been to & also the lowest I'd let the fuel get, but the warning light was yet to flash on, although that didn't take long to happen! I took a quick pic of where I was when this happened; enough to worry most sane people, just another part of the adventure for me.
I found the supermarket, got some petrol & the last of my supplies. I also managed to break the window winding mechanism on the passenger side window, but still had the opening quarterlight for ventilation, I was glad to be hot again anyway, after another cold night half way up a mountain, I think the hot weather over here has turned me into a bit of a softie after all.
The twisty turny roads soon ended & gave way to a few short lengths of motorway, another stretch of which was newly turned into a payage route, I think this one cost me about 80 cents, & soon enough I was passing through small towns once again, only now I was back on the long straight roads. Eventually, after passing through towns of varying quality, I found the town I was looking for, with no camping in sight! Eventually I found a sign, headed out into the wilderness, made a few lucky guesses at a few different junctions & stumbled on the site.
It was a nice site, obviously equipped more for Dutch & English campers, not like the municipals I'd become accustomed to. The facilities were no better, just a bit newer & a bit better trimmed, & at 10€50 per night I said one night would be enough, it wasn't worth looking for anything cheaper, it's hardly “expensive” & money wasn't that tight! Although when I found my pitch, I wasn't impressed. I was sited on a small pitch, number 16a, right in the corner with a hedge between me & the road & a nice long walk to the shower block, but it would do.
I set up camp, poured myself a glass & got all my navigation equipment out onto the bonnet once again. I decided tomorrow I would push all the way to the Champagne Ardenne region, right through the Bourgogne region. Another long drive, this is fast becoming a bit too much, I was certainly in no mood to cook, so I took myself into the nearest town for a cheap Plat-de-Jour, which I never found. All I got was a pizza, in the most French looking Italian restaurant I've ever known, & another hang-over for my troubles. I definitely wasn't making life easy for myself, & had even more trouble to come the following morning.......
Here's a few pics of the beautiful scenery, which surrounded me while my low fuel warning light was on!