Monday, 14 November 2016

Monday 14 November – Gorges de l’Ardèche and Avignon

Where’s Colin? He’s at Camping Bagatelle on the Ile de Barthelasse at Avignon.

What a gorgeous blue-skied day we’ve had today! We’ve had some pretty spectacular surroundings too, with the morning taken up with a drive along the Gorges de l’Ardèche. It was a slow drive, not just because of the wibbliness of the road, and the occasional unmoving obstacle…

If its head wasn’t hidden behind the SatNav you’d be able to see that it’s a billy goat. We encountered more than one group of them

…but because there are frequent viewpoints along the road and the nature of the gorge is that we felt the need to stop at many of them. The first stop was at the Pont d’Arc, where the huge empty car park urged us to go and potter around there a bit more after yesterday evening’s rushed visit. We only then made it a few hundred yards further, before stopping for a photo opportunity of the arch from the other side:

A pause for elevenses was had viewpoint overlooking the scene below. As always, my snap doesn’t even start to do justice to it, nor does it convey how big and sharp the drop is down to the river:

The French don’t seem to big on crash barriers either, so for much of the drive down the gorge there is nothing to stop a driver, whose attention had wandered from the road to the view, from going straight over the edge and down the couple of thousand feet into the water below.

Popping out the other end of the gorge, where the surroundings went from ‘utterly spectacular’ to just 'very nice indeed’, a bit of a rethink was had about where we were heading and instead of going to an Aire at a vineyard on the Rhone (which wasn’t very far away at all), we redirected ourselves to tomorrow’s intended destination: Avignon.

Here we opted to go to neither the free nor the paid Aire, but to splash out on a very conveniently situated campsite*. Yes, we have the novelty of mains electric for the first time in 12 nights (not to mention the use of proper showers and laundry facilities). Oh, the joys of an electric kettle! And, after 13 days of movement, Colin’s getting a day off tomorrow, as we’ve booked in for two nights.

This afternoon we simply took a stroll around the Ile de Barthelasse, which sits opposite Avignon, in between two branches of the Rhone. Tomorrow we will venture over the bridge to be tourists.  

View from outside the campsite, looking at the fortified city and its Palais des Papes

(*I was doing so well booking in in French until we got to the receptionist asking for Colin’s registration number. I asked for her pen so I could write it down, my recollection of the pronounciation of the French alphabet having fallen out of my memory. She then switched to perfect English, with an American accent, to say that I could just give it to her in English. At least she was kind enough to humour my attempts until that point!)


  1. Looks just like a goat with a telly for a head! 😂😂😂

  2. The Tellytubby of the goat world?!