EEC 6, 17th March 2005

I didn't get far today. Early in the day I stopped in front of a rather fine view after climbing up some ways.

Ah. That's not the view I was thinking about. That was yesterday. I'll try again.

Nope. Another nice view though. Also yesterday.

This was a nice town. Got the right day now, but that was earlier in the day, before I stopped.

Got it! This was the view that caused me to stop. That's where I just came from.

Then I saw signs to Cirque de Navacelles. I didn't really know what this was but there were diverging signs to 2 different viewpoints. I took the shorter route about 15 km off my route instead of 25. It was a very impressive cut off river meander, the river cut through it's meander only about 6,000 years ago. It used to go right around the hump in the middle, the flat area around, where it used to go, is now cultivated fields.

I dropped down into the village at the bottom then found I could exit by the other viewpoint so I took that route. Actually I took the photo on the way out, I drove in by the road running top left to bottom right.

While stopping to view the first panorama of the meander I backed into a big stone on my blind side, and rather knocked the bumper out of shape.

I'll just mention to my American correspondents, as you know I'm now in Europe, so I will be using European terminology. You'll just have to get used to it. Bumpers, windscreens, bonnets, tyres, boots, autoroutes, petrol, litres, camping cars, Euros, kilometers, etc. etc.

To convert currencies try which is easily updateable and using it you can find out how cheaply you could buy a Kubicek balloon, if they were certified in the USA. (They are not because certification is too expensive and slow a process with FAA for foreign balloons, there are too many potential insurance problems in the US and Kubicek have difficulty keeping on top of orders even without the US). Look up Kubicek on Google, I don't have the address to hand. To convert distances or about anything else to anything else you need convert.exe from I gave this information to one friend and he asked, can it convert lead into gold. So before any other clever sox ask, no it doesn't. But both programs are free.

On the way back out I of the Cirque de Navacelles I stopped for lunch. It was so warm I took my shirt off and sunbathed. Hard to remember only 10 days ago at Daniel's there was ice and snow everywhere. Oh I forgot the mention, on about my last night there we went for a super dinner at a restaurant by the river Rhone called Emil's Boat. Well, actually, le Bateau d'Emil. I could go there again.

It's still cold at nights, and high up there is snow to be seen, but by day it's lovely and warm. I continued down to Lodeve and noticed a sign to a picnic area. Thinking that would be a good spot for the night I found it, a very small area, with a track running off the back. I followed the track. It went up and up and up. And up. Eventually there was a level patch with an amazing view. That will do for the night I thought. I like good views.

In the morning I didn't quite get the view I expected.

I waited, and waited, and eventually, about 10 am, the mist lifted.

The view was probably the best I have ever had from an overnight camping spot so I savoured it for several more hours. While there I used a minimum of skill and a big rock to put my bumper back into a more regular, if damaged, configuration. A slight touch of canister spray with matt black paint and it will be hardly noticeable.

I only made about 10 miles progress today, because of the wait for the mist, and the consequent savouring of the view, and stopped for the night by a church in a small town, after taking a signed walking tour around the town.

I took a long diversion north because it looked a pretty road, this was confirmed by the tourist office. it was a pretty road through valleys and past panoramic viewpoints. Well obviously I didn't go past the panorama viewpoints, I stopped at every one and even made small diversions to catch a couple more. I stopped in some towns.

Here's proof that there is still snow about.

I am parked for the night in a picnic area in a forest planted in memory of the 560 writers who died in the First World War. It's a little bit lower than the place above, and there is no snow. it's nice and quiet. A huge husky type dog arrived who wanted to be friends. Nope! I don't have room for a dog. Not even room for a kitten in this van. Which reminds me, sadly, I still miss my Little Cat..............

My daffodils in my plant pot garden are doing well. The original half dozen blooms have died and been replaced by a dozen new ones. They look great. I look at them from time to time and smile. I reckon I've had much more than my money's worth from the 2 Euros they cost.

Best regards

David Barker

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