Having taken the decision that the weather was too changeable in Chamonix (3rd time lucky maybe for the view from the Aguille de Midi?), we headed off to Italy after a short incursion into Switzerland. With the cost of the Mont Blanc tunnel being around €150 for a vehicle of over 3m and because Bob likes a challenging drive and we are all partial to a photo opportunity, we decided to go over the Alps via the Grand St Bernard pass.
As we were driving along one section, June looked down to the side and noticed it was along way down. As we turned another hairpin bend the cloud below suddenly cleared and we were treated to a spectacular view of Vallee du Rhone so we pulled into a viewpoint to jump out and take photos. Well June would have, but at this point we realised her camera was still in the drawer at home but hey, we only had another 12 devices capable of taking still photos!
We had the option of either going through a tunnel or taking the pass right over the mountain top – no choice really. The pass was longer but the drive stunning and we were in no rush. A succession of hairpins took us down into Italy and sunshine and we came out of the mountains into a huge agricultural plain which seemed to be growing mostly rice.
Back on the motorway we headed towards Genova (Genoa) and the coast and then mile after mile of either tunnel or viaduct…..The Italians do seem to take the most direct route through the mountains! We were aiming for a sosta a little further down the coast at Marinella di Sarzana about 50km north of Pisa with the idea being that we could have an early start to the town to do some exploring. At €10 a night this was a basic site but had fresh water and the facility to dump grey water – enough for us for the night. Across the road from the site was a beach and we had hoped to be able to go for a swim but the thunder storm continued to haunt us and the sea was too rough. We managed to find one bar open for a quick drink before the rain really set in and the girls managed a quick paddle.