November 15, 2019 Tournan-sur-Rhone FR

We had big hopes for today, but nothing went well.  Our plan was to revisit a town we had fond memories of from our very first trip to France.  Tournan-sur-Rhone is both the originator of Syrah, one of my favorite wines, and has a fabulous chocolate factory.  

The day started out with a hiccup when we were trapped in the campground after we had packed up.  We were ready to roll about 8:30 when we realized the office for the campground did not open until 9 so we messed around for 30 minutes and headed to the office where no one was in sight, they did not arrive until 9:15, so we were an hour late getting going.

To expedite travel today we decided to pony up a large sum of money (€50) for tolls.  We needed to cover about 380 km’s to Tournan.  The first 200km’s went as planned though we cringed at each toll booth.  Then we began to run into a pattern of 30 or 40 km’s at speed followed by 8 to 10 km’s of crawling along in a traffic jam for 30 to 45 minutes.  One of the traffic jams was interesting as the Gendarmerie had closed two lanes on the freeway creating a huge bottleneck, and when it closed down to one lane they diverted 100% of the commercial trucks into the two closed lanes and parked them nose to tail, we have no idea why.   So our 4 to 5 hour trip was delayed by 1 hour starting and took 90 minutes longer than we planned.  The good news is Ton turned the dash of François into an impromptu dryer, so a lot of our soaked clothes got dried out as we crawled along the A7 autoroute.

The French police diverted 100% of the trucks into the right lane and parked them there, we are not sure why, it caused a 6 mile traffic jam as you would expect.

The final surprise was there was 4 to 6 inches of snow at Tournan when we arrived. Luckily the campground was open and we were able to get a spot facing the Rhone.  The snow made things pretty, but walking the 1.5 km’s on icy sidewalks and bridges did not seem like a good idea in fading light, so we missed the chocolate factory.  Hopefully tomorrow.

We did not expect six inches of snow at our destination today!

The next annoyance of the day is that we are in a cell phone dark spot and have only 2g service on our WiFi.  Ton spilled her wine to cap off the day.  Well some days are better than others.

We do have a nice view of the Rhone from our cold campsite.

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