France/Italy Part 3: Pont D’Arc – The Alps (La Breole) – Italy(!) Lake Orta

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up on a wonderful free Italian Sosta, overlooking the beautiful Lake Orta. The sun is shining, it’s very hot, and we are having a wonderful time!

We had a great nights sleep at our France Passion site in Vallion Pont D’Arc and awoke feeling relaxed and excited that our journey was about to take us into the Alps! It was a longish journey (4 hrs) but spectacular, driving past fields lined with Cotes de Rhone vines, through amazing gorges that make us feel like we were in the Wild West, and then up into the most fantastic Alpine countryside, that was green and spectacular and inspired us to sing songs from The Sound of Music, well nearly!

We arrived at our aire for the night, a free aire, with free services ( we actually haven’t had to pay for accommodation yet, thanks France!) and cycled the 2 km down hill to a beautiful and larger than expected lake. It was buzzing with boats, wind surfers, swimmers, and had the dramatic and spectacular backdrop of the Alps. We had a dip, tried again to encourage Jazz to swim, and then tackled the 2 km back up hill! Back on site, we enjoyed a chill and made friends with both our neighbours, a French couple and a Dutch couple. Unfortunately despite a lovely relaxed evening, we had a terrible night sleep- the aire was next to the football pitch which had youths on playing noisy football til at least 3 am!!!

We got up early the next morning feeling bleary eyed and tired, but nevertheless excited about our impending trip further into the Alps, and then into Italy! It was a spectacular journey, and Bluebell handled it amazingly- the temperature light only came on the once and then the fan soon cooled us down!

We were heading for Cherasco, just near to Bra and Asti, but once we arrived, we didn’t fancy it, and so carried on for our next stop, Lake Orta. It is stunning here, we have fallen in love with it here. We are staying on another free aire (or sosta as they are known here in Italy). Our first impressions on motorhoming in Italy are good, as long as you are organised (which we are). Our book, Camperstops Europe, has proved so far to be invaluable, and as a result we have yet to pay a penny for overnight working, and only 3 lots of 2 euro for services. Tonight is our 8th night! So it’s 6 euros for accommodation in 8 nights. The solar panel is working a treat, so we are able to use everything in the van as though we had electric, and saving all this money on accommodation costs has meant more money for enjoying ourselves! Which we did last night, by indulging in a litre of beer each overlooking the lake, a pizza each, some wine and an ice cream! Britain- wake up!!

Today we are staying at Orta San Giulo, as we can stay here 2 nights for free, which gives us a chance to completely relax, explore and enjoy! It’s a beautiful romantic town with tiny streets and lanes to explore, and we love it here. Will post pics next time- tomorrow we move an hour down the road to Lake Maggiore.

Until then, arrivaderci!

Lx

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