A Travellerspoint blog

From Provence, South France to Cheroscan, West Italy

Waiting for post and getting away from this coast


Saturday 1st May

As the coast wasn’t very motorhome friendly, we decided to head inland up into the hills and have a look at the real Provence. We aimed for a village called Plan-de-Tour, as our motorhome book told us of some free parking, also this was allegedly the town in France where Johnny Depp lived. The countryside seemed typical Provence, with their lovely rustic houses. Also, there seemed to be a lot of money in the area, as we passed a private small runway containing a few private small jets. All the way to the village there were drives leading to large homes. You could look over the rolling landscape and just see the yellow rustic colour of homes dotted around. We parked up at the village and took a look around. It was a lovely little place and they seemed to be having a big boules tournament, Mr Depp wasn’t in sight though! We decided on driving out of the village and managed to find a little spot by a track off the road to park up for the rest of the day and night.

Sunday 2nd May

The rain put a stop to our plans of a bike ride! Instead we headed back to the coast and to St Tropez in search of a fast food chain, not for the food but for some free Internet. After this we had a drive around in search of somewhere to park for the night. Problem was, it was the same old story. All car parks had height barriers or signs saying no motorhomes! We eventually found a small free aire right next to a busy road, so didn’t get the best nights sleep.

Monday 3rd May

Headed up to Gassin, where I had organised for some mail to be sent. I had picked the town from the map as it was in the area we were heading. The town however, turned out to be a small village, but not just any village, apparently the prettiest in France! It was a lovely village sitting on top of the hill with views over the bay in the distance. The mail though hadn’t yet arrived and as it was raining we headed back down to get use the internet before going to take a look at the famous St Tropez! Parking was very expensive, but after a quick look around I’m sure for the clientele of the town it was nothing. The town was sickeningly rich, with millionaire yachts in the harbour and very expensive shops everywhere. Everyone walked around with an air of nonchalance and straight away we hated the place! How the other half live, what I need to survive on for the rest of the trip they would see as small change! Lorna also tried to pay our ADAC bill at HSBC bank, as she has a HSBC account, but this was unsuccessful. This self advertised global bank didn’t allow Lorna to pay her bill, as she didn’t have a French account! Mmmmm really global there HSBC! Then again it could just be a French thing as they are very anal about things! We’d had enough of the area at this point and didn’t really have anywhere nice to stay. As we needed to hopefully collect the post tomorrow from Gassin, we would stay up in a car park in the village for the night and then hopefully leave the area tomorrow.


Tuesday 4th May

Last night there was a storm and this morning the rain was still coming down heavily, hardly the weather we thought we would get for the south of France. At 9.30am I headed to the post office to be told that their post didn’t arrive till 11am. So till 11am we sat around in the motorhome, in the rain, a little bored. After 11 I went back to the post office to be told there was no post for me! As the weather was still raining and we had enough of St Tropez area, we decided to take a small drive around the coast south of Gassin. It seems at present were not really travelling, as for the last few weeks we’ve just been waiting around for post. Money keeps going out, but we are getting no closer to Eastern Europe.

After a drive we found a spot to park by the sea and headed for a walk round a coastal path in a small nature reserve on the coast. It was nice to be in an area that wasn’t privately owned. As the rain had stopped it turned out to be a lovely walk along the coast, looking out to the rough sea. Also it made us feel a little better inside. Later we headed back to a spot below Gassin we had spotted outside a small sports complex where we could park for the night.

Wednesday 5th May

Woken up very early by bin men, as we were parked right in front of the recycling bins! After 11am we headed back up to Gassin to hopefully collect the post and get on with our journey. Disappointedly my post still hadn’t arrived. We were stuck in the area for hopefully just another day, so we headed off to a café, to have a hot chocolate and some internet use. We had found yesterday, that from setting up a credit card with Pay pal, in February, they had basically ripped us off by £30! After some research we found the problem was Pay pal’s fault and wrote them a complaint, also asking them to pay the charges we had received. This ended up taking a great deal of time and afterwards we headed off to find a lay-by opposite some vineyards for the night.


Thursday 6th May

Headed up again to the small post office with fingers crossed it would be here today. Thankfully it was and with a replacement tax disc and mobile phone sim card, thanks Mum, we headed off. We were extremely glad to see the back of the St Tropez area and to be getting back on the road. We headed along the coast in the direction of Cannes. As we drove through Cannes, they were in the process of preparing for next weeks film festival. We saw them setting up the red carpet, where all the stars next week would wonder down. Cannes was full of expensive shops and expensive hotels, so we drove through slowly having a good gawp !

We continued along the coastal road to Antibes, where I had been told there were many campsites, as I needed to continue my job searching. When we arrived it was not what we expected. It was overdeveloped and we could hardly find any campsites, let alone anywhere to park up. By this point we’d had enough of this part of the South of France and really just wanted to get out. The job hunting so far had been unsuccessful, I would have to borrow from Lorna. She had offered so we could keep on travelling. Maybe I might be able to find something in Croatia or Bulgaria in the resorts, but then the wages would be low.
For now we decided to drive into the hills and away from the coast, in the direction of Italy. Originally we had planned on seeing Monaco, but now we decided we had seen enough wealthy people wandering around. It wasn’t really helping our positive ness. After a few wrong turns in the centre of Nice, due to avoiding low bridges, we got away from the coast. We stopped in a nice car park in a town called L’escarere, in the hills.

Friday 7th May

Set off to Italy, up and along a lovely mountain road. The border crossing was through a 3km tunnel under a mountain. As we arrived we found the tunnel had a height and width restriction. Lorries and motorhomes had to wait for certain times during the day, to go through the middle. Luckily we arrived 15 minutes before one of these few times and joined a short queue of lorries, before being able to continue our journey. Arriving on the other side in Italy, not much changed, apart from the road signs! We continued north to a town called Cheroscan. On the way Italy seemed flat and industrial. Not what we were expecting, but still it’s a big country and we were only going to be travelling the north. On arriving in the town and finding the motorhome parking, we were pleased to find the parking was free and they had electric and water for free. This was a huge bonus as we thought most of the aires in Italy were paid. Just as we were setting up and thinking of going for a wonder the heavens opened and the rain fell. So we stayed indoors.

Posted by marklorna 02:28 Archived in France Tagged automotive

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