Southern France, the final leg
Well our campervanning advernture had to come to a close at some point. What could be a more fitting end than exploring the South of France in Spring for a week or two.
It was a bitter sweet end to our relationship with Jean Claude. We’d grown to love that van, even with all of its intricacies you might say.By this stage we were fully accustomed to tag teaming it in and out of the van at lookouts and quick stops because if we turned the car off when the engine was hot (i.e. running for longer than 10 minutes) then it wouldn’t start again for at least an hour. That was more than likely our fault after jump starting it somewhere in Portugal with a set of welding leads, subsequently frying most of the fuses and on later inspection a suspected fuel priming pump. Let’s not dwell on that though. What else, the air conditioning kind of worked but there was obviously an open joint somewhere because the air wouldn’t come from the vent, it just kind of filtered its way through the dash board in various routes. That made hot days pretty interesting. We blew a radiator hose and a turbo hose just South of Lyon that I managed to repair well enough with zip ties and gaffa tape to limp us home (those were some precarious moments). Apart from that though, he’d just escorted us on a pretty sensational adventure around some incredible places and he was our mate.
So that last leg involved a bit of time in Aix en Provence and many surrounding villages which was a pretty impressive drive. Vineyards everywhere, red poppies carpeting the landscapes, just generally a lot of natural beauty that kept our jaws dropped at every corner.
We also spent some time cruising along the Cote D’Azure (the Southern Coast) and we stumbled across some of the clearest, bluest water yet in places like Cassis and Nice. In line with our “Oh look, <insert event here> is on, we should go to that” momentum the Cannes film festival was also on so we poked along to it as well. We didn’t see one celebrity but instead we just made them up as we went along. It’s amazing how many heads you can turn by yelling out “Is that Wesley Snipes?!” in the middle of a crowd. Hilarious. Cannes was pretty cool though and some of the mega yachts there were twice the side of Buckingham Palace, and I guess they need to be pretty big so you can drive your Lamborghini out from under it so you’ve got some way to get around while on land. Stupid amounts of money.
And that’s pretty much it, a day or two in Lyon and back to Paris to return Jean Claude to his rightful owner. The dude offered me a job when we dropped it off because he got back a better van that he gave to us – probably a sign of my perfectionistic nature creeping in as I fixed everything that was slightly out of place.
All good though, what an amazing way to see the world. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Enjoy the last of our photos taken in the company of Jean Claude Van Damn.