Where's Frankie?

The Great Escape

Tuesday 22nd November

Bearing in mind that the Romans managed to invade most of Europe, set up long lines of communications and trade routes why is it so bloody difficult to get into or out of Italy? Why didn’t they just stay where they were?

We spent the night in Borgo with a medicinal glass of whisky or two and weighed up the options. Try and repeat yesterdays voyage – a big no from hulk shoulders and chief buttock clencher. Go north to Turin on the autoroute and then get delivered into no mans land in France miles from where we want to be, retrace our steps or option D, try another route.

It was a bit risky, there was lots of uppey bits and downey bits but the road looked good and there were lots of trucks coming towards us. At the first sight of any white stuff we had agreed to turn back and live in Italy for the rest of our lives.

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What a bloody good road we found. A lane in each direction (except for the bits that had fallen into the river making it a very narrow road and next to it, all the way up, and all the way down was a raging torrent.

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There’s not much Lucy likes more than a raging torrent (a big glass of Baileys and Amoretto is one of them (Baileys, Amoretto and Brandy is the other)).

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Unfortunately it was rainingg for much of the trip and guess who had to get out and take the photos. In the right weather this would be a fantastic road to travel on. Plenty of stopping places and natural beauty round every corner.

We did see snow in front of us on a really steep bit but that was where they had put a tunnel. 3.2km of single track tunnel, we had to wait at one end for 20 minutes while the oncoming traffic came towards us. The tunnel used to be two lanes and you can still see the lines down the middle of the road but it was so narrow, we’re glad that it is single lane now. The acoustics were a bit weird, it sounded like fast cars were overtaking us, maybe ghosts of cars past.

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And then we were in France. We stopped for lunch by one of the hydroelectric plants, this one generates 44 million kph per year and has been doing so since 1917

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This bit of rock was nicely cut away, sometimes they’re not and when you’re on a bend with a big lorry coming towards you – eeek!!

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And then guess what, we’re back in Italy, hill towns…

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… and another. We travelled for 10 miles in France, there were no other routes so each end of this road starts (or finishes) in Italy.

Eventually we got out of Italy, had to get a ticket at the tolls and 50 yards later swap it for €4 and then a couple more tolls but we knew the autoroutes would be kept open and however much it cost was worth it. I bet Hannibal never had these problems getting his elephants to Rome.

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Tonights destination is Gourdon, on top of a mountain again but the road was very scenic.

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The town centre is very small but has lots of shops selling perfume and soap.

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Lovely little courtyards, it really is a tourist destination but thankfully very short of them.

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Small church, I can’t see any bells, we couldn’t even find a door, but it was nicely built into the surrounding bedrock. How deep are the foundations? Minus 6 feet you say?

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Anther lovely courtyard. The views from here are amazing, well they would be when the sun comes out but the photos looked a bit murky. We can see Nice, Cannes and the Mediterranean.

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