THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Salzburg to Lake Garda
Aix and pains

Garda to Cannes

Our apartment near Lake Garda was a good idea in concept. Clean and modern with secure parking and minutes from the lakeside restaurants, bars and cafés. Two bedrooms to accommodate both travellers and a nice living area. However there was confusion and hassle about checking in, the WiFi connected to devices but not apparently to the internet and the air conditioning appears to have been installed by my mecaniciens from Lorraine! It blew convincingly but delivered nothing of value – rather like a politician. I knew I was likely to end today as a hot mess but I’d hoped not to begin it so!

Babicka was once more unhappy with the accommodation; this time because she couldn't see Lake Garda. I'd rather have crashed after our stressful journey,but I wanted her to enjoy the trip too. Rather stung by a barb about the journey not being just about the motoring for her, I drove her to a lakeside restaurant where we mostly had a lovely evening. It lasted longer than I, in my exhaustion, would have liked and in consequence she held up most of the conversation single-mouthedly.

After another little tussle this morning over whether it was worth further delay and cost to try to get Speranza's air-conditioning fixed en route, we set off bright and early. The drive was (apart from noise from open windows at speed) wonderful. We had a great run with only a few road works to slow us down. We made two stops in Italy; one comfort break/fuel stop and another to refuel ourselves. We made great speed and arrived mid-afternoon.

This met our objective of having time to relax before heading out to our evening meal at the best (in my opinion) restaurant in the world.

I really was a hot mess on checking in; not so much from the journey, which I found fairly comfortable, but from carrying luggage in from the car park in South of France heat. I took the first room key offered (it was fine) and left Babicka making a fuss about her room. She likes things her way and usually gets what she wants but I find the resulting contretemps a bit embarrassing – especially when she insists on taking up cudgels unasked on my behalf. So I was happy to leave her to it. 

Alone for a while, I set my room's air conditioning to the max and took a cold shower. Then (having booked an Uber to the restaurant so we could both have a drink) I sat reading for a while before dressing for dinner in the few moderately formal clothes I have with me. 

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The Maison de Bacon lived up to very expectation. Even the highly-critical Babicka, who will tell anyone, anywhere doing any job how they can do it better (and is quite often right) had very little criticism to offer. I wrote a review of it in 2016 and it's still  true, even if the Sordello family who owned it for 7o years, having built it up from a fish stall on the beach, have since sold out. The new owners have not changed a winning formula. They even still offer the cheese platter (most unusual in French fish restaurants) which the Sordellos introduced after I asked for cheese when I was on the Atkins diet twenty-odd years ago! 

We had a wonderful evening and I retired to my bed to write this full of martini, fish and fine white Burgundy. I told our waiter we were there to celebrate the news that Miss P the Elder was expecting in the place where, 19 years ago, my late wife and I had met her from a French language course in Nice to celebrate her 18th birthday.

My TrackMyTour map is updated here. Tomorrow, on to Barjac, where Babicka has a sought-after ticket to visit La Ribaute and where, while she does so, I shall do some laundry and then relax in the yurt which is to be my home for two nights, 

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