Solar Panel or Bust ? 

Paloma has made a quick dash into French France, stopping off in St Laurent Du Var ( N43.666460 E7.195740) .


When we awoke this morning, after a night of continuous rain, we looked up at the dominating mountains around and were in awe of how white they now were, even the rain outside was now falling as sleet.

Sadly for us (well me anyway) it meant our plans needed to change, our path into France was always planned that we would drive the ‘Col de Tende’.

With a maximum of elevation of 6135 ft the Col de Tende crosses the border between France and Italy and connects the Maritime Alps with the Ligurian Alps.

The route was reportedly first used by the Phoenicians sometime around 1000BC and later maintained by the Greeks and the Romans.

A Tunnel that is almost 2 miles long and simply known as the Tunnel del Tenda was opened in 1882 which bypassed the mountainous section of the Col de Tende and made the passage suitable for motor vehicles

And it was thus tunnel that hampered our crossing, apparently according to the website the new snow fall had closed the tunnel and it was expect to remain closed for 48 hours..

So plan B came into action, not something I’m normally a fan of, but needs must a 300km plus toll road journey back towards Genova and then along the Italian coast.

As we trundled along in the pouring rain the Km ticking by…..


We heard a loud bang !

Checking around we could see nothing had fallen out of cupboards…..

So we pulled into the next service station, to check out the garage again nothing …..

Kettle on and the mind starts racing, let’s check the hekis, opening the main roof light and I see the solar Panel, which should be stuck to the roof is free and hanging on by the two cables…..

The panel was on the van when we purchased her and as it’s fixings looked ok we just left it be.

A quick removal of said panel, oh how I love laying on the roof next to the motorway!

But now all safe we continued our journey towards the French boarder. 


Normally we pick our stops based on what we can go and see but this one was picked due to its walking distance from an Intermarche/brick….

Thankfully the weather held long enough to clear off the old adhesive and refix the solar panel, this time with the addition of a couple of self tappers in each of the feet !


So as we say arrivederci Italy and Bonjour France with a night in a French aire and a trip to the Bricko shop……

But all’s well that ends well ! But I guess an inspection of the fixing from time to time is a must ! 

And the toll – €29.30 – not bad for that distance …

Paul. 

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