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 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.
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.