Made it to France!

I set out of Tremoli at 8 am, excited to head to France. According to my map it was going to take about eleven hours to drive all the way to Arles France, just outside the national park I wanted to get a look at. 11 hours on the map, I figured I’d do it in 10 and have plenty of time to set up my tent and find a good spot to eat dinner. Well, I don’t know who was driving for google maps that day but it took me 14 hours to make the distance! While I was going pretty quick I had a few setbacks that slowed me down.

It turns out that tolls in Italy are pretty significant, especially when traveling across most of the country racking up distance on your toll pass. I took a wrong turn (only one of the day) near Genoa and had to get off and back on the tollway to reverse directions when I was surprised by a €51 euro toll fare! Luckily I had the cash but after paying for my hotel that morning also with cash I was almost out of money with 2 hours left in italy and a couple of hours of driving still to do on French tollways! I was seriously worried about running out of money so I stopped at the next 7 rest stops looking for an ATM. The only reason I was so persistent was that I’d seen one earlier and knew “the next one” would be the one.

With no luck finding more cash I warily approached the final tollbooth at the border only to discover that the “fast lane” also has credit card readers. So, much to my relief, I paid the rest of the tolls with the card.

The rest of the trip was smooth. I saw a fleet of Ferraries waiting at a gas station being driven somewhere for a show I suspect, all of the drivers looked like employees. They would have made it to France in 10 hours!

Much of the scenery was absolutely beautiful, especially between Genoa and Nice. I can’t wait to drive that stretch again in two days! I wish I could have taken pictures to do it justice. Occasionally I set my phone to video mode and held it up to the window but without being able to watch the camera and the road I chose the road at the expense of the videos. I’ll see what I can do, but pics might have to wait until I have a copilot next year.

Anyway, even though the suggested speed limit was 78 mph for much of France (and unposted in Italy) I was still really late getting to Arles and the campground had closed by the time I rolled in. I found another campground just driving around randomly but it was also closed, so I, completely exhausted from the drive, opted for the first hotel I was able to find, a best western. I know, not a lot of local flavor but it was extremely comfortable last night! Boy did I sleep well!

More soon about Arles itself!

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