St. Raphael - French Riviera

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Jul 10, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Le Prado De St. Raph

Flag of France  , Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur,
Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thu 28.04.2011 – After leaving Gap we made for the town of Digne Les Bains about 88 km along Route 85. We stopped first at a very small town named Sisteron built on the side of a mountain with a fast flowing river bisecting it. The mountains were vertical in parts with rock climbers having an outing. And they reckon bikers take risks? A sign said the rock was formed from when limestone was laid down in the Jurrasic Period when this area was under the sea.

In 2007 we had ridden 'Route Napoleon' in the reverse direction and stopped at Digne Les Bains for lunch.

Greg has vivid memories of the stop, including where we ate and even the location of the toilet! Kerrie had no memories of it at all. After a morning tea stop at the same café, where we had a cappuccino topped with Chantilly cream (yum!) we think Kerrie will remember Digne Les Bains now!

We reached the end of Route Napoleon at the coast between Nice and Cannes on the French Riviera. We chose to stay at the small seaside town of St. Raphael and booked in to the Hotel Le Prado De St Raph.

It looked a dive from the outside and the inside wasn’t much better. The saving grace was the concierge/owner/desk person/helper/oddjobman or whatever his position was. He could speak even less English than we could speak French so verbal communication was going to be an issue. Luckily for us he was an excellent mime! He carried our stuff up two flights to our room that was at least clean and then showed us how everything worked with explanation in fluent French of which we couldn’t understand a single word then demonstrated with mime that Marcel Marceau would have been proud of. This guy just wanted to help. Manuel (watch Fawlty Towers for you younger readers) is alive and well in the Hotel Le Prado.

After securing the P-D in an underground car park 200 metres away and owned and operated by a supermarket, we went walking, disappointed with our choice of digs and the location. After walking around several corners we found the seaside and a batch of restaurants to choose from. The day was saved. We found a nice outside table, sitting beside a retired porn star and his washed up movie wife who had had a lot of work done for little result, and their little terrier dog. The dog was nice.

We had a fine meal at 20 Euro per head with three courses, drunk some wine, and went back to our ramshackle hotel where the Wi-Fi was free but we couldn’t connect. At least we had a nice, hot shower.
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David W on

That is too funny. If he is a French Manuel you two are Basil and Cybil? This has been so entertaining and I really enjoy your camera work. I feel a bug coming on!

Chris on

Stunning scenery, shame about the town and lodgings. Trust you are still enjoying the whole adventure. A little travel weary perhaps? I was up and about the other day and in a place you know well they had just been reading your blog. All is going well with just the ocassional thing reported.BFN and bye the way the sun is shining!

Sandra on


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