Well that was it. Once I heard the smooth, soothing tones of my friend Nick’s voice, the homesickness flooded in. There was no stopping it. Except 846 miles (1094 km), torrential rainstorms in the middle of France, the fact that every French person alive was going in the same direction as me….and the English Channel.
I was in Avignon. Which is a medieval town in the South East of France. It wasn’t designed for cars to drive around, a fact I discovered when trying to get out and onto the autoroute. Yes, I had a satnav. But the satnav assumes that road signs don’t really change over time. It’s a bad assumption to make in a medieval town at the height of the tourist season. Every left or right turn that I had to make seemed to be blocked with a “no entry” sign. Frustration escalated as Mini and I were blocked at every turn. I seemed destined to stay in Avignon forever, and as much as it is a beautiful town with heaps of history and a nice bridge (it is nice but it wasn’t in the forefront of my mind at this point), I just wanted to get out.
Eventually I followed a French car which seemed to have a purpose in mind and I just hoped that its purpose was the same as mine, to escape the gilded cage of Avignon. Hurrah! After an hour of driving around, reversing around corners, 23 point turns and countless numbers of apologies to the ambling tourists that I nearly ran over, I was free and onto an A road which would eventually lead me to the autoroute (I hoped).