Sunday, 12 August 2018

Wise decision to R and R, we avoided the storms and flooding in Southern France

Wise decision to R and R, we avoided the storms and flooding in Southern France.

Day 60. Sunday 12th August Sun 28 degrees Still R and R in mountains

Somebody must be watching over us! I expect you have heard of the severe storms, flooding, devastated campsites and gushing streams of Southern France. Had we continued the row we could well have been in some of the worst affected areas. Any doubts we had about taking the break were washed away as we watched the torrents hosing down and lightening striking surrounding mountain tops from our lounge windows.

Now our main concerns are the effect it may or may not have on the Rhone river particularly with the potential dangers and complications of the Rhône/ Saone confluence where the waters descending from Lake Leman pour into the free flowing River Saone.

Two kilometres after the confluence is the major commercial port of Edouard Herriot. Apart from the many coasting ships and barges a fleet of 4400 tonnes craft run a regular daily service between Marseille and Lyon carrying all manner of cargos. Particularly though, agreement has been reached with all the major supermarkets and other suppliers to use this service, each load replacing 220 20 tonne lorrys on the roads. Lessons to be learnt?

One kilometre below this is the Pierre Benite lock which, as with all the Rhône locks, we are prohibited from using under oars. Local signage is very confusing and books and charts leave us in considerable doubt. We have sent emails to the VNF and CNR requesting directions, but unless they change their ways it is unlikely that we will receive any response. Further research is therefore necessary and when we know a definite date of arrival we will attempt to make verbal contact and consider our limited options.

At present we are considering what that date might be. The meteo now tells us that foul weather is expected for Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday is a bank holiday with Fêtes and festivals going on everywhere. Enquiries reveal that campsites are probably fully booked until the next weekend. So watch this space.

For us though the break has been very good.The cooler weather, magnificent alpine scenery, beautiful green of trees and meadows and above all meeting up with good friends was just what we needed. It was a lovely holiday for Sally too to have a good run in the countryside and a rest from the limitations of a small campervan. 

Unfortunately, although I have replaced a few pounds and everything else fitness wise is good both of us it has done nothing for the serious problems I have in my one good leg.

Sara has been brilliant helping me in any way she can. I should be able to manage the rowing part of the project. Indeed, knowing that the leg had problems had influenced my choice of rowing as being one of the few seated challenges I could think of! The locks of the Rhône however will involve a lot of climbing, lifting and portaging which will provide an extreme test for me and now for Sara as well.

As they say " there is no fool like an old fool" so just shut up Chris and get on with it.

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