Subject: Bad driving experience
Hello Gavin,

(Snipped) Only drove from Paris to Avignon, then across country through Provence to the coast at Cannes, and then along the motorway through 500 tunnels into Italy. Where was your worst experience?

Here is a part of of my travelogue. Probably not quite as bad as your experience but 'hair-raising none the less.

Day 9: Jausiers - Entrevaux We didn't get very far when we were stopped due to road works. The road was closed indefinitely. We took an alternate route but, you wouldn't read about, road works again. We checked our trusty Michelin map and the only way to get to Entrevaux was to backtrack through Jausiers and up and over the Bonette Pass. This was going to slow up the trip some what and also add extra kms. to the journey but we had no choice. Needless to say neither of us were very happy. The road up to Col de Bonette was steep, narrow and very windy. At the summit, 2804m, the vegetation, or the lack of it, was very similar to that of Col d'Izoard. The only difference being that at Bonette the ground was exceptionally stony. The road going down was equally demanding and if anything it seemed to be narrower. Rachel was driving and I was doing the navigating. There was quite a big drop on the right hand side. I tend to suffer from vertigo and 'boy' was it playing up now. The road was very narrow and windy, both of us were pleased that nothing big came up from the other direction. We came across, what looked like a deserted village in the middle of no-where. The information board was in French, but we were fortunate, because a cyclist came over and translated it for us. Apparently this village was built for Napoleons alpine soldiers in 1860. The cyclist lived in a small village, down the hill further, named Etienne. Before he took off. he said that he would most probably beat us to the village. He must have because we never saw him again Just past the village we came across a beautiful waterfall and stream and decided to have our picnic lunch. Soon after we recommenced our journey we started to climb again. This time we were headed for the perched village of Roubion. A few kms. further on we could see high up on the mountain and partly hidden by clouds, a village. Rachel turned to me and said We are not damn well going up there, are we? I replied Nuh with a shrug of the shoulders. WRONG. That is exactly where we were headed, and the way up to Roubion was via a very narrow switch back road. The colour of the rock face was reddish brown. Quite picturesque really. When we could, we stopped the car and took some pictures of Roubion. What a sight to see, there was Roubion perilously attached to the mountain side. We eventually made it to the village, parked the car and went for a walk through its narrow, steep, and vaulted passageways. We really appreciated the authentic charm of this small 12th century village, with its beautiful houses, small squares and fountains. There were incredible views down across the forested valleys to the south. At the top of the village there are ruins of a feudal castle.

(snipped) Photographs????? 800 of them, and 15 hours off video. As it is now 12 months since our trip, we are having a daily session of reading the journal, watching the days video, and photographs. We will return next year for a 6 week fix.

You and your wife sound a lot like us, well you would, wouldn't you, we are after all, from 'down under'; we took something like 45 rolls of 36 exposures and approx. 7 hours of video.

(snipped) (where we were caught in the middle of an unannounced car rally on a dirt road down the mountain from Vellano to Pescia), Sounds like a nightmare.

Regards, Richard Bloomfield.(New Zealand) ricardo