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Sunday, 14th July 2013 – Rally, Day 3

With Andrew somewhat recovered and fit to play out, we loaded the ever-willing Sara and set off for the morning rendezvous at the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile in downtown Turin. It was an opportunity for Stuart to drive like an Italian … There was a group photo taken on the museum steps.

Sunday Meet

Following this we all traipsed in for a wander round the Museum.

Auto Museum

After an hour or so it was time to set off for Monte Carlo and the end of the Rally. The recommended route was the A6 south to Savona then turn right and follow the coast road into Monte Carlo. We decided to be adventurous and turn of the A6 for Cuneo then on to the Tende Pass. Although not as high as the Great St Bernard (6, 135ft compared to 8,101ft), the combination of poor road, poor weather at the summit and poor signposting made it a far more daunting affair. This is a view back down the mountain. You can just about make out the road in the centre of the picture.


And here’s a close-up showing the hairpins:

Hairpins to Tende

Eventually we made it to the summit.


Stuart was happy to park next to a Renault Megane estate similar to his own.


There’s a hostelry offering refreshments to weary travellers, the Chalet Le Marmotte.


Whilst motorbikes were popular and plentiful, the number of people crossing the Pass on bicycles was surprising – it certainly looked like hard work.

We carried on to the plateau where the metalled road gave way to gravel.


Inevitably, we took a wrong turning and the road became narrower and narrower, looking like it would eventually turn into a goat track. You can hear the punishment the suspension was taking on the video. We had to turn round between the mountain one one side and a long drop on the other.

Eventually, we found the right road. Despite looking like the goat track, this one is definitely going down hill!

Remember the hairpins coming up? These are the ones going down!


Having passed into France we joined the D6204 at the exit from the Tende Tunnel and headed south. On the other side of Breil-sur-Roya we re-crossed the border into Italy for the trip down to the coast at Ventimiglia. The Italian A10 became the A8 (“La Provençale”) as we crossed the border yet again back into France and before long we were on the cliffs looking down into Monte Carlo.

Monte Carlo

We made the descent and after cruising round the very busy town decided on a plan of action. Stuart would be ejected from the car to take up a suitable position whilst Andrew did a circuit of the Jardins du Casino, coming down the Allées des Boulingrins and parking in front of the Casino. Once the requisite piccie had been taken he would do another circuit to pick Stuart up. This we did under the baleful eye of the local bobby.


Here’s the heroine of the trip at the moment of her triumph – the gal done good!

Sara at the Casino

So at 17:11 local time on 14th July 2013 – mission accomplished! There were two other things we had to do – Andrew had to drive the F1 course through the streets of Monaco, and Stuart had to view the superyachts in the Marina. This we did. The superyachts included the Enigma and the Baton Rouge, which is actually for sale but if you have to ask you can’t afford it.

We then had to travel down the coast to Nice for the official end-of-Rally ceremonies and prize-giving at Ma Nolan’s Irish Pub. There we eventually caught up with Sir Cuthbert Ware-Armitage whom we had supposedly been trying to track down over the 3 days.


At 22:00 we repaired to the Quai des États-Unis to watch the fireworks sent up from a couple of tenders off the beach – it was Bastille Day.

Afterwards, we joined what appeared to be most of the population of southern France in trying to leave the town – slowly – and made our way to our overnight B&B in Villeneuve-Loubet-Plage. And so to bed.

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Sunday, 14th July 2013 – Rally, Day 3 from Monte Carlo - or bust!