Driving through the south coast of France

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ September 14th, 2007. Updated on September 16th, 2009. Published in: Travel blog » France.

Travel Journal Overview: I lost a lot of photographs from France. A bad memory card, meant all was gone. I don’t dwell on it too much. France on the other hand became one of those haunting places. At the time I did not like it. But as I traveled further away from it, the more I kept meeting nice French people.

French Border Sign

French Border Sign

Strange as it was I did not ever think I would like France. And, it was partially true. We drove over the tiny little mountain border post. Devoid of any personnel. I think if I’d taken a bus we would have been stopped for passport checks. So to all illegal immigrants, the rule is – hitchhike. Though the way Europe was seizing up restrictions, I was quite sure this was now deemed illegal too.

Much like camping outside of a designated camping zone was. Not to mention lighting a campfire fire. Everything had rules and regulations attached to it. Gone was the freedom of Africa. I felt nothing for France.

Even as we stopped in idyllic little villages along the way. Small fishing ports and Salvador Dali’s hide out a different kind of tourist was evident. Families with motor homes, posh cars, rentals and retirees. There were no more food stalls, nor hostels. In this land it was 10 euro for a quick bite at a quaint cafe. Served by ill mannered staff. Yes, I did find the stereo types coming true.

Aside from one little fishing cafe we found. Local fishermen, most looking like they’d long since passed their last net all gathered for a mix of pipe and cigarette smoke. A coffee, a too small beer and side plate of something. Here at least as I queued, the lady behind the counter offered a smile and polite nod towards a table.

To make matters worse as I jumped a bus to Paris. My memory card failed. “Read Error”

I fought with it for days. Downloaded recovery software, and tried again in expensive hostel rooms to recover all. Nothing. Lost forever. Not even a format could save the card. Hardware failure. I was only grateful that I backed up all my Spanish Photographs. And that I had a few French photos on another memory card.

France it seemed, was not for me. I returned to Spain in hope of a lead in my quest to finding home.

Edit : it may seem I did not like France. In fact I did. The quaint villages were beautiful, we just didn’t click. Later in my journey I would meet a host of French people. And soon my mind would change about them. Travel is after all, a learning tool.  I am but a student trying to learn the way to a place called home.

Related Links: France country profile

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