Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Motor Rambling III

Our car is too wide. All cars in France are too wide. There is just not enough space on the roads to allow one car to negotiate highways, bastide parking, or mountain pass rambling. Let me start at the beginning of yesterday's journey.

Pascal (from Chasteuil) bade us farewell with a suggestion that we visit a hill-top town called Mons on our way down to the coast. Great idea at the time, but after we left the main drag, the road got narrower and narrower and even narrower! This lack of width did not deter on-coming French drivers from rambling at break-neck speed towards us (remember that these dudes are driving on the wrong side of the road - see earlier blog). Millimetres separated
our vehicles at the point of passing. There is only so much room to move over (to the right) before the yawning cliff waits eagerly to swallow you and your wife (Dear Jude) AND your bottles of champagne from Champagne into its rocky, craggy and death-bound embrace. WHOOOSH!!!
JLR: Did you see how close that car came?!!!
GCR: No, I had my eyes closed!

We eventually made it up to Mons, where we took a well-earned toilet and coffee stop. Both were muc neede and much deserved. We also had half a scrummy, oozy cake each. Mons was gorgeous (as most of these towns are), but the road beckoned and we had to get cracking DOWN the mountain. Groombles chose the scenic route. Ooopsies! Here the road narrows down to the width of one car. Just one. NO space for passing. NONE! Toot when going around a bend. Loudly. If confronted with a car coming in the other direction, hope it is spotted before it splats you. Eeeeek!

Although we spied eager walkers heading off for their gorge walks with their walking/hiking sticks (which are very popliar with your French walker), we were never confronted with an on-coming Frenchy or international tourist coming our way, so we never had to stop and reverse into one of the tiny, slightly wider passing places. BUT WE MIGHT HAVE HAD TO!

We did make it to Grasse and then on to Juan Les Pins (or you wouldn't be reading this blog),
with only two off-side bruised tyre walls where I went too far off to the right to facilitate the passage of a hurtling brand-new white Mercedes Benz to go on his way (I could see the whites of his eyes) to his doubtless eagerly anticipated luncheon appointment. I had scraped the walls of the tyres on rocky road borders and fully expected to have to wait for hours by the roadside waiting for the French RACV to come to our rescue. But it didn't happen. Those crafty Renault car designers had cunningly set the tyre-wall-making machinery to "tough" the day our tyres went through the manufacturing process and the remain firmly inflated. Well done guys!

That's all for now. We pick up Susan Anderson tomorrow from the Nice International Airpor (hopefully, given the volcanic ash) and a new Rambling Adventure will begin. I'll be in touch.



No comments:

Post a Comment