Drive it like it’s hot.

When you drive in Europe during the summer with an air con-less car you have to make a decision.

You can pop up the sunroof and roll down the windows. [preferred].

However at motorway – well felicia – cruising speeds (c. 60mph) this creates a veritable white noise of hand dryer air that screams into the car, and your face. Not sustainable for a long amount of time. This is Option A.

Closing the windows, however, leads to a temperature inclined to soar to the forties. A warm car and option B.

We’ve been carefully negotiating our way up through France, flipping between options A and B and after a 500 mile day and a 300miler today, we are now have some seriously sweltering miles under our belts.

The sat nav told us we had a mood-boosting 913 miles to go when we set off from the shores of lake garda yesterday.

When we left the weather was overcast and we even had rain as we emerged from the 11km Mont Blanc tunnel. Not great holidaying weather but appreciated in a 15 year old Skoda.

As we descended from the alps, we found ourselves in the alpine Chamonix surrounded by outdoor types and glaciers.

In France, we can say the sun has got it’s hat on, but %*# has it made the car warm.

Here are some pictures.

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Rainy Italy

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Sunny France.

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Sunny, and now warm, France.

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French campsite, somewhere south of Dijon.

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Ditto.

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Lewis driving. Probably warm.

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The warmness indicator. Typical reading.

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The 913 mile task.

On Days Like These

Those familiar with the Italian job film will recall the scene with the Lamborghini driving the long and winding roads through the Italian mountains…

Yesterday we recreated this with less speed and thankfully less digger action at the end of the tunnels.

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The drive through the alps from France to Italy was many things; beautiful, hot, stunning but it most certainly wasn’t fast! At some points as low as 20mph as we reached 6800m high.

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The journey down went from being an engine breaker to a brake buster. The new pads came into their own with the strong burning ferrodo and steel smell pretty potent by the bottom.

We gave the car a rest and ourselves a dirty little treat in the form of a McDonald’s.

The rest of the journey was trouble free and we cruised into Lingotto, Turin.

Touring Turin

We best start with a beer then…

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Drove through some amazing Alpage earlier today on quite a long journey. There’ll be an update later, but for lots our average speed was about 20mph and at times we even had to put the heater on to cool down the asthmatic engine.

Suffice to say, it was nice to make it up and over, through the tunnels and in to Italy.

Definitely beer o’ clock though. The culture will have to wait.

View from the very very budget hotel.

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The back of Ross and Lewis’ heads.

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It’s reem in Reim by Lewis Ingram

When in Reim, do as the Reimans do.

So on the 600 mile jaunt we decided to revisit Reims. To those who dont know, this was a race track which hosted many events including a 12hr race.

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Since my last visit two years ago the ruins are pretty much as they were but some work has started to bring the paddock building back up to scratch.

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Shortly after this we got horribly lost on a new stretch of motorway but we still made it in time.

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Following the current theme of the holiday Lewis found the bar in jiffy.

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Somewhere, south of Dijon

Everyone stares.

When you are camping it is etiquette – in fact, obligatory – to stare at those camping, and, if you are the campee, to be stared at.

That’s what the first day has taught us.

That may have something to do with our unique style of homely camping that emphasises honest tenting, good times and beer over the electrical hook-up, caravans and awnings of our elders.

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The Skoda Felicia has performed brilliantly, and taken us the 560 sweltering miles to our first stop over, in the grounds of Chateau d’Epiverie. Chateau pictured.

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The Skoda’s pace may have been plodding, the engine may have warmed up worryingly in slow, hot traffic and overtaking may have been a painful dawdle but mile after mile it kept going and got us here.

If I was writing a camping guide about the chateau, I’d probably say, “Nice place, good views, a lake, and well-appointed facilities.” But the stand out feature was culinary. We arrived fairly knackered but luckily were able to order pizzas from the restaurant that came on an immaculately thin, crisp base. They went down well.

The weather’s been fantastically warm and sunny. To be honest, I really can’t even begin to describe just how warm it was. So, solid performance there felicia.

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Combating the ever pervasive warmth is our beer trough, seen here, and a new found drink of Picon – an orange aperitif added to beer. Refreshing.

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Today we visited Tournus and Macon, both on a river, whose name eludes me at the moment, but any worthy cartographer will be able to enlighten you. Let us know below if you know.

Few pics from Tournus and Macon below.

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Tomorrow we’re off to Grenoble in our last leg of France before we hit Italy. Still to pick a campsite but will work that out in the morning.

In the meantime, here’s a sunset from the campsite.

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