Les Échelles to Saint Barthélemy le Plain

Today would be the day we stopped heading South and began turning towards the West.

First though, we visited the town. If you go across the small bridge over the Guiers river you find yourself moving from the Savoie to the Isère Departement and the small village of Entre-Deux-Guiers.

Our route Southwest ultimately took us down into a major valley that would lead to Grenoble if we went South, but we took a right turn. With steep mountainous cliffs on our left hand side we headed along the Isère river valley.

Seeing a massive scar in the cliffs up ahead we knew we were soon to pass a quarry. What surprised us though, as we were alongside was a huge blast, which strangely we didn’t hear, that sent massive boulders hurtling through the air – not seen that before.

First stop for the day was at Saint Nazaire en Royans. An interesting old town, that we should have visited properly. My interest was only in the free water and waste facilities provided at the municipal campsite, which is an unusual feature. After doing the essentials we parked up back near the town, ate a doughnut each and discussed whether we would visit the town or not. When Sophie weakened for a second I jumped on the opportunity to keep on driving, which I think Sophie regretted immediately, but as we always say, we will visit it next time we’re passing and we can’t possibly visit everywhere.

This whole route was dominated by walnut farms. We’ve never seen so many walnut trees. Sophie, who loves foraging, was virtually salivating at the sight, but in order to ensure we kept on driving, I reminded her that these ones weren’t available to the public, despite the seemingly endless supply.

Next on the tourist trail were the twin towns of Tain-l’Hermitage and Tournon, separated by the river Rhône. As it was now dusk, it was too late to visit, and there was nowhere obvious to park for the night, which was a shame because both places definitely seemed to deserve a good old mooch.

So we headed on up into the hills, where I was, not surprisingly, aiming for a Park4night. As we took the slip road into the village, Sophie noticed a small parking area outside their cemetery, nicely offset from the road. Parking was flat and there were great views over the countryside. Another night stop that could be chalked up to Sophie, which is a rare treat for me.

*** Just to mention that our blogs can be up to a few weeks behind reality, as we’re always in catch-up mode ***

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