I must have really needed the rest because I wasn’t up and going til after 9 and even then had to drag my ass out of bed. Going on the coastal drive was again very slow, taking me a couple of hours just to get to Monaco which is just on the other side of the border.
Monaco, eh. Who’da ever thunk it I’d be in Monaco. Whenever I think of this place I picture sophisticated types dropping big cash on frivolous shit like pedicures for the poodle or casinos with thousand dollar bet minimums. Today, looking out from my car’s windshield into non-stop rain all I see are tall condos packed too closely together. But, yes, you can tell there’s a certain upscale trim to the whole city.
Moving on I made it through Nice and got bit by the (ah, how quickly one forgets) the nasty toll-infested highways which my GPS unit loves steering me toward if she can at all help it. Dana named her Carmen because it sounds like “Garmin”. She and I have a rocky relationship. I thank her when she guides me impassively through tight alleys in cities and through the heart of the middle of downtown nowhere and then I curse her whenever she dumps on a toll booth. These tolls would be fine if they were 50 cents here and a dollar there but they sock you to the tune of 5 Euros here, another couple Euros ten minutes later and on and on. Someone calculated it takes about $200 to cross France by highway - a country the size of Colorado. So I have to “thread the needle” by choosing small towns that run more or less parallel to the highways and since I’m in no rush that suits me fine.
I notice by day’s end how France’s countryside is unequivocally different than Italy’s. It seems greener, more forested and decidedly more sparsely populated. A big plus is that grocery stores are no longer hard to find. They have supermarkets in most towns with big signs telling you to go this way or that. And the icing on the cake is that gas is a few cents cheaper.
Tonight is a sleep in the car night since the day before I staid at a hotel. I chose a spot near Barreme behind some old, abandoned farmhouse then ate my usual dinner of a can of tuna fish, bread and cheese and some good apple juice to wash it all down If nothing else, I’m happy to be in France where I don’t have to stress out about going a whole day either with no food or only pizza as an option.