Bienvenue a la Côte d’Azur!

We were welcomed into Nice at an inauspicious road junction by a bizarre but impactful sculpture – and whilst I could go off-piste here to conduct some in-depth online research into it, I really can’t be bothered, so – like us – you’ll just have to enjoy it for what it is (while being reminded of any late 70’s music track from Ian Dury & The Blockheads!)

The point of the image is to announce our successful penetration of France, through Menton (where the Gendarmes on the now teeny-tiny-border were too busy checking out the clearly suspicious contents of the van just in front of us to even warrant us a Gallic second-glance.)

The sun was shining, cab windows were open and we progressed in an agreeably buzzy flow of traffic onto Le Promenade des Anglais, thereby fulfilling one of the rather eccentrically amusing ambitions of our venture – equal in stature, we feel, to our earlier trip through Bra.

My Editor (all the best authors have one, dahling!) back in England (thank you Peter) was keen to point out that the epithet ‘des Anglais’ may not necessarily relate to us Brits doing our usual colonial cloning of overseas territories, but again, I’m afraid the Gallic indolence which has recently taken hold results in absolutely nil research being undertaken on this otherwise distinctive distinction. Sorry.

Anyway, the point is, we have driven our embarrassingly decrepit Knumptywagen the entire length of the prom at Nice. Faded, over-wide, bug-spattered, aged, moss-greened and downright awkward (and that’s just the occupants) we belched diesel fumes along narrow, traffic-clogged lanes alongside soft- and open-topped Bentleys, Porsches, Ferraris, Maybachs and stuff that was clearly so expensive if didn’t even warrant identifying badges.

And to add to our perverse sense of one-upmanship, we sucked on Werthers for the duration. So there.

And – despite a challenge received as a comment from a dedicated reader (thank you Iain!) – we did actually manage to park up! Not for long, admittedly, but sufficient for us to record the moment for posterity, which you can witness here through yet more uncharacteristic photobombing.

And having arrived at an acceptable beachside campsite dans la plage du Gaillarde, a few kilometres south of St Aygulf, on our first ‘date-night’ meal out of the whole trip so far; with our feet scrunching in the sand; red wine that actually had a label and wasn’t fizzy; two beach fishermen reassuringly catching bugger-all (as is the way of these things) and ultimately the first reassuringly expensive restaurant bill for a meal we ate, appropriately enough, with Coutellerie d’Azur.

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