|Route||Ovada, Italy – Pourrieres, France|
|Overnight stop||43.491131, 5.75458|
|Overnight Costs||€5 |
(fresh water, Wifi, reasonable mobile signal)
Finally at around 5am the thunderstorm passed by still leaving heavy, thunderous rain lashing in sideways as we ear-plugged up and managed to grab a last 2 hours of fitful sleep. We finally decided to get up at 7:30am, exhausted from our nerve-racking night, to find the river alongside in full flood and yesterday’s little trickling stream a now raging brown torrent racing through the valley.
Oh my word, time to leave.
But not before braving the weather and popping into the shop that I’d spotted last night for some olive oil and foccaccia. Well, it would have been rude not to!
Off we went. Again we stuck to toll roads because this time I did check the weather reports and with a storm system still over Genoa and not letting up, we decided on an easy drive. Easy? Huh.
If you have ever been to Italy, the roads around the coast are made up mostly of tunnels and bridges. And the road made up of these bridges and tunnels are really, really, really high as they pass over each valley and each tunnel through the hills and mountains. So high, that when you pass a town, you look down on high rise construction cranes. But as each bridge passes over the valley, it funnels the howling wind up the valley and over the bridge. Making for a dangerous ride in high winds. And an even more dangerous ride if you’re high sided…… you know, a bit like we are!
As we approached Genoa and turned west along the coast road, pointing Kaya’s nose towards France, the wind was gusting at over 100kph. A wagon on the northbound section on a separate bridge casually blew over as the gorgeous Mr T was grappling Kaya’s wheel and we were blown out of our lane and back into it. He did a bloody marvelous job! I was shitting myself but trying not to say a word while he concentrated on getting us to safety. But with nowhere else to go but forwards on the toll road, he battled and encouraged Kaya on. The traffic on the northbound section stopped as all high-sided heavies were in real danger but turning the corner brought us some relief as the bridges across the valleys were no longer open to the roaring wind but had high safety barriers making the journey across much less hazardous.
The gorgeous Mr T hadn’t spoken a word for 30 minutes and it was only when, in his usual understated way, he said ” well, that was a bit of a workout for my arms..” and pulled into the next services for a coffee and a 20 minute, extremely well-deserved nap. From here the wind began to ease.
We crossed the virtual border into France and made our way passed Cannes and the wind had all but gone, the rain had disappeared, the clouds had dispersed and we drove into a gloriously warm day with glittering blue skies and the sun shining down.
Bye bye Italy and hello France….and a night of peace & quiet parked up in a vineyard in the middle of exactly nowhere!