FOLKESTONE TO ITALY
We left Folkestone early on Tuesday morning, having spent a week looking after our Collinson grandchildren, Archie and Violet. It was a real wrench to leave them and all the Collinson family.
Eurotunnel was, as usual, very efficient and within an hour of leaving the UK we were stocking up with wine at Majestic in Coquelles. A 3 litre box of dry French rosé wine cost just over £8. We sampled the wine that evening, sitting in the warm evening sunshine at Châlons-en-Champagne, south of Reims. The temperature was 17°.
Our next overnight stop was at Lyons, a site we had visited previously and from where we were able to walk to a supermarket to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables. We experienced a heavy thunderstorm overnight at Lyons, which sounded ten times more violent from inside the camper van. The following day we drove through several heavy squalls that virtually brought the motorway to a standstill and yet a few kilometres on there was no sign of precipitation. We stopped for a very good €13 lunch at roadside hotel.
We crossed into Italy via the Tunnel de Fréjus which was 13K long and charged a toll of €57. Our first night in Italy was close to the the industrial area of Turin. We found a lovely campsite at Asti, a wine producing area. We bought a bottle of red and a bottle of white at the campsite reception, €8 a bottle. No sign of the Asti Spumante, the sparkling variety, I assume the locals refuse to drink it and shipped it to the UK.
The weather was warm and sunny and we were able to eat our evening meal outside the van. The world seemed a beautiful place that evening as we sat with our wine watching our fellow campers go about their business. We were hugely amused by an elderly Swiss couple (“elderly” means our age!) who were moving their caravan by remote control trying to find a flat area on the steeply terraced site. First they settled above us, then below us and finally, more than an hour later, ended up right next door to us. It was exhausting watching them!