France

Every twentyfour hours 11

Leaving Camping San Galimer  early -6am was an excellent idea. I headed for St Etienne, then Lyon. Looked for Chambery while taking the periphery around Lyon. What a vast city. Quite daunting but I got through without difficulty.

I found a campsite beside a lake nestled in the start of the Alps called Camping Lac Du Carouge Websitein the Savoie area of the Rhone Alpes region.  Well run by a tall French man and his wife who took orders for bread every morning on a sheet of paper pinned up outside reception.Last time I looked, there were twenty baguettes ordered along with tens of croissants.

He gave me a large site so I had plenty of space to park which I did without any assistance. Beginning to get the hang of the reversing.

As usual, I was offered help, this time with filling my water tank. I was first offered and hose that did not fit on the tap. To the rescue another friendly person with a funnel. Such a good atmosphere on this campsite.

Once I settled in I went down to the lake for a refreshing swim. The lake is so different to the sea or swimming pool. Something very calm and smooth about it unlike the sea and it does not have the chlorine of a pool. It As it was fourteenth July, there were large groups of families around the lake,barbecuing and swimming. To see the snow capped Alps above me as I swam was thrilling. The landscape is really changing as I go further south.IMG_5799

As I planned to be up early, I stayed at the campsite instead of looking for fireworks. I had a beer and watched the entertainment and turned in early. The transit in to Italy via the Tunnel de Frejus was on my mind and I wanted to be ready for it.IMG_5801

Every Twentyfour hours 10

 

Second day at Camping Campeole San Galimer.

No mistakes today with a supervised tour. I attempted to upload some blogs with no success and then retired to the pool where I read most of the day.

I acquired the French flag on my cheek from a guide who said they were celebrating Bastille day in advance. They were so good with the children. They dressed them up in the French colours and organised a parade around the campsite led by the guides in an electric cart playing music. The children sang ‘a l’Hopital’ at the tops of their voices-recreating the herding of the royal family to the Gallows in 1898. So cute!!!

I still felt I had not got to grips with San Galimer. I had not located the casino or the Badoit source or found a decent coffee shop. Nor had I decided whether to stay another day or to leave early next morning.

This time, I was determined to see what the fuss was about the water was. The roundabout coming into the town has an enormous fountain surrounded by masses of flowers. This leads on to a bridge flanked on both sides by boxes of abundant flowers. Below this is a lawn with the words BADOIT picked out in it and a structure like a bandstand in the middle. People were coming and going from this structure. What they were in fact doing, was filling their bottles with Badoit sparkling water, coming straight out of taps on the bandstand. Each resident is entitled to twelve bottles of water a day and that includes tourists.

Feeling I was getting somewhere, I then started looking for a coffee shop and eventually took the advice of the customer service lady in the Supermarket to go towards the Church. Armed with this intelligence I made my way up the hill, remembering to keep right.

Bingo – the winding streets, the church surrounded by families eating out in their gardens, and in front, just below the church, the Mairie or the town Hall. In front of that was a Marche or Market like our Farmer’s markets. Sometimes, you find everything in a space of two hours, usually just before you leave.

Facing the Mairie was the nearest thing to a pub you will find in France, complete with a waitress named Giselle serving coffee outside where you could observe the comings and goings at your leisure.  I was not long there when the man next to me asked me if I was Irish and was that my car around the corner. His son is working in Dublin with a large multinational and his grandson spoke French with an accent just like mine. He had not a word of English, and I was happy to dredge up as much as I could of the Parley vous.

I felt I had cracked the town at this point. I was happy to leave the next morning. Back to the Camping and another Rock Concert. This time it was a serious band with drum kit, bass guitar, roadie and emaciated female lead singer.

They downed tools after about seven numbers.

One of the great plusses of this area is that the nights get so cool, ensuring a good night’s sleep.