France Trip - Day 8 - 1976 miles in total - Home.

Home now. Very impressed with the Eurotunnel service - they seem very flexible about how early you turn up with the car. It meant we were able to leave our hotel in France at 09:00 just after breakfast, and be home by 2:00 in the afternoon. Would have been more like 1:00 if the traffic on the M25 hadn't been so bad. Car is still happy, but needs a good clean.

Have updated the Birds 9 page with three "record" shots. Not particularly great photos, but records of having seem them - specifically a Linnet and Chough from Skomer and a Serin from France.


France Trip - Day 7 - 1703 miles so far.

Final full day in France. Drove up through various Rhone Valley regions and we're now in the far north of the Champagne region. Basically a 5 hour drive plus lunch and fuel stops. My big exhaust seems to be capable of dumping large amounts of petrol out the back - certainly the impressive pops when I lift off the throttle suggest this. As does the fuel economy, which seems rather low for motorway driving. Although perhaps a constant 80 - 90 mph with the roof down doesn't help. No photos today (I got some photos of a family of nuthatches, but they were all so badly lit that they're not worth posting).


France Trip - Day 6 - 1365 miles so far.

Got up at six in the morning to drive a few laps of the Monaco circuit while the roads were empty. I was able to drive the whole circuit pretty much exactly with the exception of the Saint Devote corner which I couldn't do as it would have meant going the wrong way round a roundabout. Photo of me exiting the Monaco Hairpin (Loews or hotel or whatever they call it now) on the right, and a photo of me exiting the tunnel on the France page here. To be honest, I didn't find the circuit especially challenging - I'm not sure what my lap times were, but I'm guessing they were pretty competitive. Note, I switched off traction control for the authentic 2010 race experience.

We then drove out of Monaco, down past Nice and Marseille and up past Lyon to the Beaujolais region where we are staying tonight. It is hot.


France Trip - Day 5 - 1013 miles so far.

Monaco. We drove down through the Southern Alps, passing over what claimed to be the highest road in Europe at 2800m ish, then down past Nice to Monaco. First thing of course, we walked the F1 track. Very recognisable, despite the lack of barriers and kerbs. I was most surprised by how steep some sections were - especially the bit up towards Casino Square.

Went for a swim, then spent an hour sat outside a bar in Casino Square watching the cars. The place is packed with Ferraris, Lambourginis, Rolls Royces etc. Frutratingly, they were all really shiney - even the odd few with UK plates on. The MX5 now has a covering of dust after 1000ish miles so these people must be getting their car valeted after the drive down.


France Trip - Day 4 - 895 miles so far.

Lots of twisty Alp driving, with lots of tunnels, and again into Italy briefly. Drove up a couple of famous Tour De France cols, the Col De L'Iseran which which was 2770m high and well up into the snow, and the Col D'Izoard which had loads of cyclists on - presumably because it's going to be one of the mountain stages in the Tour this year. Saw marmots (photo on right), but no Wall Creepers.

Lots more photos of the MX5 in mountains here


France Trip - Day 3 - 790 miles so far.

Today, drove from Geneva to Chamonix for lunch, then through the Mont Blanc tunnel into Itlay. A nice mountain drive through Alps and tunnels and then back into France. We're fairly near Val D'Isre.

A couple of photos from today on the right, the rest here

At the moment I can recieve but not send emails for some reason...


France Trip - Day 2 - 682 miles so far.

We're in Yvoire on the edge of Lake Geneva. Our hotel's in France, but driving here meant going through the Alps and into Switzerland for a bit. The Alp driving was pretty good, but no tunnels yet. Driving through Switzerland and Geneva a bit worrying as you hear lots of stories about how fussy they are about noise, so a convertible MX5 with a big exhaust and the best of Radio 1's Live Lounge playing loudly on the stereo may not have gone down too well on a Sunday morning.

But got here okay, our hotel room is overlooking the lake, and there are Kites about. Red Kites I think. A couple of photos on the right, the rest on my France 2010 page here


France Trip - Day 1 - 415 miles so far.

Am in Magnant in the Champagne region. Have seen a Montagu's Harrier. And also lots of trucks from the Virgin, Force India and Renault racing teams, presumably heading down towards Valencia for the grand prix next weekend.

A little bit of rain, but top down all the way, exhaust is nice and growly and car still shiny. Will be in the Alps tomorrow - very much like this. Or at least the first bit.


Beaujolais Beaujolais 24/06/10

James Exiting Monaco Hairpinr Exiting Hairpin 24/06/10

Monaco Harbour Monaco Harbour 23/06/10

Cloudy Car Cloudy Car 22/06/10

Marmot Marmot 22/06/10

Chamonix Chamonix 21/06/10

Italy James Italy James 21/06/10

Red Kite Red Kite 20/06/10

Yvoire Yvoire 20/06/10

Eurotunnel Eurotunnel 19/06/10

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