At last! Because of various commitments we haven’t been able to travel that much in Gertie since we came home last December. We did manage to sneak in a very wet Easter weekend visit to the Queen’s estate at Sandringham but it was over so quickly it didn’t seem to count somehow.
Now we’re heading for the Camargue in the south of France and if you’re planning a first trip to France I thought you might be interested in our itinerary and timings.
We were booked in for a 10.36 Channel Tunnel crossing last Saturday, but as the sun was shining and it was a Bank Holiday weekend we were delayed just a little bit. We finally got going from Calais at around 12.20 local time and headed in the direction of Lyon, the best route to the south of France if you want to avoid Paris and the dreaded Périphérique.
After a very short lunch stop we arrived at Camping Municipal Chalons en Champagne, at around 4.30pm. This is a very peaceful campsite, albeit with dated facilities. The great thing about it is that it’s an easy cycle ride into Chalons, where there’s lots of the local brew to taste. Yum!
The next morning we headed for Lyon, a 450 kilometer drive . As Gertie weighs in at 3.85 tonnes so is technically an HGV we try to keep to the statutory 90 km per hour speed limit on motorways so this leg took about five hours, but as we both take turns at the wheel it wasn’t too bad.
Our stop off in Lyon was at Camping Lyon in Dardilly, about ten kilometers from the city centre. It’s set in a country park and is surprisingly peaceful considering how close to the motorway network it is. And then on Monday we reached Arles, our first destination on this spring tour of the Camargue. It’s a beautiful city on the river Rhone, made famous by the paintings of Vincent van Gogh. More on this later…