The next stage of our trip will be walking the Camino de Santiago. But before all that starts, we’re taking some time out to visit some friends in the south of France.
First on the list is Siân who’s living in Nice for the summer. (Clever Siân.)
Siân lives close to the beach so we were in the sea less than an hour after we arrived.
The water was warm and we could see the art-deco hotels along the front while we were swimming.
Later on, Siân took us on a tour of the city at night. Nice is beautiful in the daytime and it’s lovely at night too.
These fountains, which light up in different colours, are particularly excellent.
Gorges du Verdon
While we were in the area, we decided to go on a camping trip to the Gorges du Verdon national park.
And after reading this article about wild swimming in France, we were determined to swim in the lakes.
We stayed in a campsite in a beautiful, little town called Castellane.
Lac de Castillon
After we were settled, we went to Lac de Castillon just north of Castellane.
The water was colder than the sea but not too bad and so clear we could see our feet when we were wading in.
It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip so far.
Lac de Sainte-Croix
The next day we took a longer trip west to the Lac de Sainte-Croix.
We stopped at two beaches. The first one was as beautiful as the day before, but even quieter.
The next beach was where the river turns into a lake. It was packed with people on or in anything that floated, including pedalos, canoes and even inflatable sofas.
We had a great time swimming up the river and looking up at the mountains towering over us.
To get to any part of the Verdon Gorge, you have to drive around lots of hills and mountains. This means a lot of time driving on narrow roads, with a tall rock face on one side and a sheer drop on the other.
It’s really hard to drive, despite how easy Siân made it look, and another fun test of Roz’s vertigo. But on the bright side, the views were amazing.
On the way back, we were extremely grateful to end up behind a coach with a trailer at the back. It looked like it belonged to a Czech cycling team.
It acted like a snowplough so any cars coming towards us had to either make room or wait for us to pass.
When it pulled over to let cars overtake it, we pulled over too. And when it set off again, we cheerfully followed it like particularly guileless spies tailing a suspect.
On the way back from the Gorges du Verdon, we stopped at a little town called Gourdon.
At over 1,000 metres up, Gourdon is really beautiful and it has some spectacular views.
It’s also just north of Grasse, the unofficial capital of the French perfume industry so it has lots of little shops selling all sorts of scents and soaps, like this donkey milk bar of soap. Ewww. (Not ewe.)