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  • Day946


    January 28, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌬 7 °C

    My oh my were we glad to pull into the aire at Salernes! Starting the day with an interesting but stressfull drive into and back out of the world's most densely populated country (Monaco, click the link to see the video:, we retraced our tracks of the past few days, along the coast road of the French Riviera, through Saint Laurent du Var, Cagnes sur Mer and finally Nice, thankfully turning inland before we hit Antibes. Driving an oversized vehicle in heavy traffic, on highly engineered road sytems that we are unfamiliar with does tend to wear on the nerves and many drivers along this particular ribbon development did seem to have an air of self entitlement that made it difficult for others around them. Straddling the middle and inner lanes, it seemed like an age before we hit the hills and just had the numerous switch back bends and roundabouts to contend with! Funnily enough we didn't see to many other motorhomers running the same gauntlet!

    Will drove for 5 hours to reach this sandy van parking area, bordering the town of Salernes. It has the small but clear, tree lined River Bresque running alongside and a water tap that produces little more than a dribble, but there is waste emptying, recycling and more importantly, there isn't a high rise building in sight! Will spent a little while fishing before the light faded and Vicky had an early bed. Deciding to stay two nights, so we were refreshed for the next leg of our journey towards Spain, we took a short day trip to Cascade de Sillans; a stunning waterfall just 6km away. Parking in a layby we walked half a kilometre along a woodland track, emerging to the sight of a beautiful white tail of water tumbling 42 metres down a rich sandstone cliff, into a milky turquoise plunge pool.

    Three other people were standing on the wooden viewing platform when we arrived, but they soon left and we spent some time just taking in the details of this natural phenomenon. The different varieties of moss and long tree roots that hung down from the back wall, most covered in ochre coloured calcite deposits that made long thin stalactites of them. The way the thin spray of water bouncing off a prominent rock ran so fast it appeared as a smooth, unfocussed, flowing whole, instead of thousands of clear, tiny, distinct droplets. The rainbow colours trapped in the high speed spray, formed as the force of falling water collided with the body of the pool. It certainly lived up to its reputation as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in France!

    Back in Salernes we walked to the Biocoop, a shop Will had already visited and wanted to show Vicky. We put a lot of time and thought into trying to buy food that is as good as possible for ourselves, the environment, the people who produce it and animal welfare; not always an easy task when travelling to a new place every day or two! In all our time we don't remember coming accross a shop that ticked so many boxes. As large as a supermarket, everything it sold was organic. It had a massive range of products, including cheeses, meats and meat substitutes, fruit and veg, drinks, dried foods, washing and sanitary products and alternative remedies. It made a real effort to cut down on unnecessary packaging, offering a lot of foods such as rice, flour, nuts and seeds, loose for you to put in your own container or a paper bag. It had a focus on local producers, many of whom it seemed, made things especially for this shop. It was also a cooperative, meaning that its success was based on and benefited the community that supported it, rather than a handfull of rich board members. We were in raptures and waxed lyrical about how brilliant it was to the cashier. They seemed a little bemused when Vicky asked to climb the stairs to the mezzanine for a photo of the shop floor, but were happy to oblige. We hope shops like this will continue to grow in number!
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