From blue skies to black clouds in St-Andre-les-Alpes

Looking down over the dam gives me the heebeegeebees

We’re here: N43.96545 E6.50654

Weather: As the title suggests, today we’ve left the blue skies and met with some black clouds, rain and thunder.

Dave on our pitch overlooking St Tropez

This morning I gave Dave a big old clean while Jay showered then walked Charlie. Sitting in the sunshine with Phil and Julie we wondered what happened to the forecast thunder and lightning, but were soon distracted by a number of boats making their way into the bay. Sure it’s Saturday and if I had a boat and the weather was this good, I too would be out on the water (after taking my sea sickness tablets), but they were all flocking around the same area – very strange behavour, until we ralised that there was a regatta taking place.

Jockeying for position on the start line

Several claxons and rounds of cannon fire later. they were off and so were we, we had to be out of the campsite by noon. Phil and Julie were undecided as to what their plans were, I suspect they may sneak in another night and I really don’t blame them everything about the place was idylic, so they waved us good-bye as Dave finally ploughed his way out of the sand.

Phil and Julie (and the Glambulance) wave goodbye, as Dave leaves his mark

We headed North and within an hour we were passing the Gorges du Verdon which we’d driven down a few days earlier. The dark storm clouds gathered and as we stopped by the side of the river in a smaller Gorge on the river Verdon (this one was obviously too small and insignificant to be named on our map) the heavens opened. Thunder roared and the temperature dropped as Jay cooked us up a warming lunch so we could stay dressed in our shorts and t-shirts.

We carried on into the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region, yep we’re heading for the mountains and stopped off at the hydro-electric dam on lake Castillon. The dam created the lake which holds 150 million square meters of water, but today it looked very low – so low that it was below the level for the doors to release any water – it looks like the rain we were having is needed.

Lac Castillon created by the dam and bluer than the sky

We walked across the dam and looked down over it, not for the faint hearted, but it did give us a good view of the sundial which has been installed onto it. Covering about 13,000 square meters it is the largest sundial in the world, but unlike any normal sundial the shadow is cast onto the time lines by the overhanging cornice that crowns the dam. All kindly paid for by EDF!

Looking down over the dam gives me the heebeegeebees

We’ve made our way to St Andre les Alpes and parked up for the night in the Aire. It’s a quiet little town at the end of a lake and there are only couple of other vans here at the moment, I wonder if everyone has headed south for the weather.  My suspicions have been confirmed with a tweet from Phil telling me Julie is refusing to budge from the beach, as I sit and look out at dark clouds – still, we’ll be in Italy by Monday with more ice cream than I can possible eat, so it was worth the move!

J finds a snail so big it might do for tea for both of us tonight!

Ju x


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