The coast road from Genoa through the Alpes Maritimes was just miles and miles of dingy tunnels so when we eventually emerged into continuous daylight we were delighted with the sight of the road-side mimosa bushes ready to burst into brilliant yellow reminding us that spring had arrived on the Côte d’Azur. We had forgotten how lovely the south of France was, the weather was excellent, hazy sunshine and 17°. The aires where we stopped overnight were clean and well equipped and full of French camper vans. Covid restrictions were not as harsh as in the UK because the French had a wider definition of what was essential (eg hairdressers) and there were no restrictions on being able to travel around.
On the French motorways new “contactless” technology had been installed at the unmanned toll booths. The pads were set at a perfect height for a car driver but were far too low to reach from the truck cab. The narrow lanes leading to the toll booths meant my door would not open fully and I found myself having to make undignified sideways squeeze to get one foot on the lower truck step before reaching backwards with my credit card held precariously in my outstretched fingers. By the end of the day I was bumped and bruised with aching shoulder muscles; I promptly resigned my responsibility for dealing with toll payments.
After a large gin and tonic that evening I had one of my better ideas and used double sided sticky tape to attach my credit card to the head of the fly swat. That enabled me to lean out of the door and just about reach the “contactless” pad. Brilliant, huh? I am sure I will make a fortune patenting my design!