Driving with the top down through the high roads and by roads of France would be a dream holiday for some. With the wind whistling through my hair – or what’s left of it – the trip can be a delight, albeit a long one.
From my arrival on French turf, in Dieppe, to my finishing point, in Bergerac, is a distance of around 700km. It’s too far to cover in one day, so we break it with an overnight stay in a chambres d’hôtes.
My partner’s learning to drive, so for the time being, all the driving falls to me.
There is a temptation to take the autoroutes to speed up the journey.
The Via Michelin website estimates that the drive from Dieppe to Bergerac using the autoroutes will take eight and a half hours and cost about €80 in petrol and €45 in toll charges. The same distance using the routes nationales, on the other hand, will take an hour and a half more but with no toll charges.
So, I could save money with the routes nationales and time with the autoroutes. I think the real loss of using the autoroutes would be the views: the roads are fast but dull.
Let’s face it, sometimes the getting there is just as important as arriving itself. I’m happy to sacrifice an hour or two to travel through some lovely towns and villages on the way.
With less than six weeks to go, I’m already raring to go.