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TDE2012 – day 3: Privas > Le Vigan

after a very refreshing night’s sleep, we can hardly get on the road, since the lady has seemed to have put it in her mind to keep us as long as possible: long discussions about where we are heading to, long breakfast, photos and goodbye wishing… it all adds up to us leaving at 0930 instead of 0830 as we had initially planned for.

privas, our rooms just above the entrance of the mill

privas, our rooms just above the entrance of the mill

view from our rooms in privas

view from our rooms in privas

right from the first meter we are forced to climb meter after meter up a quite steep hill just to descend on the other side again.

where did these clouds come from?

where did these clouds come from?

nice road towards our midday charging point ... rain ahead?

nice road towards our midday charging point … rain ahead?

this will stay our itinerary for the whole day.

towards le vigan - quick drink in a small village

towards le vigan – quick drink in a small village

we climb 600 metres along hillsides, see houses and villas built on said hillsides which are far too expensive-looking that they might belong to local people, cross a few belgian cars and … tucked away in some far-off valleys, we run across some very society-ignoring communities without electricity or telecommunication (no cables running to the community and no mobile phone reception) just to descend those said 600 metres into a next valley.

up on another hilltop

up on another hilltop

whilst we drove along these roads, we crossed our blue line many, many times – it seemed that we drove about 3-4kms for every km we progressed along our blue line!

winding along our red line

winding along our red line

4 kms on the red line = 1 km on blue line

4 kms on the red line = 1 km on blue line

the roads stay small and we usually meet 2-3 cars per hour.

single lane roads

single lane roads

since we started off late, we decide to drive as far as possible with our first charge. a good bet for charging are municipal camping sites: they know how to sell electricity and usually have CEE16 plugs. since we need 3 of them simultaneously – we normally negotiate the price of one, if necessary and then just use 3 instead.

tri-phase charge @ 144km/h

tri-phase charge @ 144km/h

this time we don’t have to negotiate, since the camping site minders are not on-site when we arrive. therefore we start charging without asking. on an other note: since i changed most of TW231’s parameters, charging, discharging and driving are displayed much better – our calculated SOC is only about 5% off now!

charging, electric & solar

charging, electric & solar

shortly after we start charging, the local police drive on to the camping site and stop along side the TWIKE and get out of their vehicle. initially we were worried for just a moment, since the told us, that their colleagues had seen us and it had proven difficult to track us down here on this camping site…

local police approves of TWIKE

local police approves of TWIKE

that said, they started asking us many, many questions about the TWIKE and wanted to know more about sustainable mobility. again, we felt lucky that we speak fluent french!

after about 75 minutes not only the police, but about everyone on the camping site had heard enough about TWIKE’s and had taken their pictures. just in time for the camping site minder arrives and duly charges us €2.50 for the 6kWh energy we consumed.

we then pushed further in order to get to le vigan in time. we still needed to negotiate one of the most demanding hills yet… 45 mins without any mobile phone reception and many, many meters climb before we descend down to le vigan.

this day was the most interesting until now and we really liked the interaction with local people – le midi, france is one very nice place to be: vive la france!

good night!