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Journeys : June July 2009
Nice driving Lyndsey Burton St Tropez, French Riviera It’s like playing a video game and your job is to get through ... ... said the driver as the car on our right shot across two lanes of traffic to turn left. We are in Nice, on the thin coastal strip between the Mediterranean and the Alps and are quickly discovering that years of Australian driving are no preparation for the sheer terror of driving on the Côte d’Azur. Never mind the obvious adjustments – driving on the right, looking left for danger, reading roundabout diagrams anticlockwise, watching the left mirror for overtaking vehicles, operating wipers instead of indicators – in this unique motoring environment, vehicular terrorism is the dominant driving style. Traffic management is different. The only dedicated lanes are for buses and even then cars drive in them and tradesmen park in them. The roads are different. We expect, for the most part, wide, wellsurfaced roads. There, away from autoroutes, narrow roads are the norm. Traffic from major roads is channelled into macadamised mule tracks renamed dual carriageways. Between picturesque mountain villages, roads are often extremely narrow and poorly-surfaced. Their steep sides are strung with wire netting and signs warn motorists of the danger of falling lumps of limestone. What the signs should say is ‘These rocks slice your tyres like a cucumber’ – we learn that the hard way! Maximising Lifestyle, Minismising Stress • State of the Art Independent Units • 24 hour Emergency Response • Beautiful Gardens & Community Centre • Close to Shops, Restaurants and Beach • 2 & 3 Bedroom Units Available • On Site Care Taker Call John Crane to inspect. Free call 1800 246 418 www.rochesbeachliving.com.au 34 June / July 09
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