Wednesday May 24, Montelieu-Vercieu

Dusk at the marina - 9.30pm!

There was a really nice breeze this morning with pleasant temperatures. Pottered around and not in any hurry as planned to stay another night. Got the bikes out and set off on the bike trail along the river, but very disappointed to find that it didn’t go as far as we expected but still enjoyed it. Called into the store on the way back and picked up a baguette for lunch and headed home. That decided us to look into other options to head off again this afternoon. Spent quite a bit of time looking at the map and going through guide books and places where we might stay and spotted this place beside the River Rhone about 1 ½ hour’s drive away, slightly south east.
Farewell to the Saone River
Used the camps facilities and emptied wastes and refilled with fresh water and set Jilly on the way. A very pleasant drive through cropping land and small villages. Found a parking spot in the village of Chalamont after seeing a Tabac/Presse shop. I wanted to see about getting some more data for my Sim card and the guy at Orange said that you could buy recharges through these store. It really was a quaint store selling cigarettes, coffee, alcohol, magazines and kids toys. There were quite a few kids lined up buying Widgets, seems to be the latest craze. Finally got to speak to the girl behind the counter but “Non Anglais”. She asked a few of the other customers if they spoke English but no luck. So then I got the phone out with Google translate and proceeded to try and explain what I required. Not easy and she had me behind the counter showing me the options for Orange recharges on her computerised till – I could not make any sense of it. One of the customers worked with me and we ended up working out what they thought I required, paid the money and came out with a printout with my recharge number. But more about that later!!!
Tomorrow is a holiday, Acsension day and there was a working bee
happening at this little village church.
Continued on and dropped down into the Rhone Valley, crossed the river and such a change in scenery with huge cliffs towering above, although surprised not to see grapes growing. The river looked so much cleaner than the other rivers we have been on, maybe because we are closer to the source and it hasn’t been polluted.
I had found the location of this spot on an online site and arrived at a very dismal looking sani station with a few parking spots. Not at all inspiring, so we drove around and came down to a marina right on the river where we saw a few other campers in the large parking area. Very little English spoken but we were able to ascertain that it was okay to park here and the Gendarmes turned a blind eye to it. Good enough for us and we found a very nice spot under the trees, very close to the marina. And can see what looks like a very good bike track down by the river, will check that out tomorrow.
Neighbour Martine spoke a little English so I asked her to help me load the recharge number for my phone. She was very good and ended up calling Orange on her phone and after about 15 minutes was able to tell me that they had given me the wrong recharge code and it was useless!! But they did advise what I needed to ask for next time so we will see. The trials and tribulations of getting data on the road!
As I am writing this at 10pm the Gendarmes have just driven past, obviously making sure we are behaving ourselves. It really is a very pleasant place to stay.
River Rhone
Glorious evening light on the hills.

A little bit of fun with my camera - low on photos today!