Van Life France | Our 2 Month Roadtrip from The Pyrenees to The French Alps

Hi, we’re Tania and Adam We’ve spent the last year living out of our tiny camper van Jitters If you’ve been following along on our journey, you’ll have seen our adventures through Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way, Scotland, including the famous NC500 and then over to mainland Europe where we spent 3 months of lockdown on a Portuguese farm, before it was safe to head up through Spain Now we’re in France and surprise surprise, in true Jits fashion, we’ve spent a lot longer here than planned, but we don’t regret a second [Adam] Oh my god. Look at the snow coming in! Our first morning in France, we woke up just across the boarder, near the start of the Cirque de Gavarnie trail Where there’s parking for dozens of campervans Because of it’s beauty, Cirque du Gavarnie is one of the most popular hikes in the Pyrenees. governing is one of the most popular hikes in the pyrenees In an attempt to avoid the crowds, we got up with the sun So the walk to the start of the trail has been interesting so far Absolutely beautiful We’re here next to some water and apparently some horses! [Adam] The local horses [Tania] Hello everyone! Oh my god Oh my goodness! Haha! Wow! The morning is always the best time for hiking The light is beautiful and we were the only people around [Tania} So we found our breakfast spot We’re going to go right on that rock The Cirque de Gavarnie is a natural amphitheatre surrounded by a panorama of cliffs and a waterfall And we had it all to ourselves as the sun rose over into the valley Beautiful! Lovely little breakfast spot [Adam] Perfect isn’t it? [Tania] Yeah. Are you happy? [Adam] Yeah. This is the classic ‘early bird eating the worm’ scenario Because there are still VERY few tourists around There are still a few people but… [Tania] … they are kind of scattered around in the distance – They just look like little rocks. Haha! [Adam] Yeah, it’s great! Cheers to overnight oats [Tania] Cheers After having overnight oats under the waterfall, we made our way back to Jitters And as the sun was coming up, so were the people We we’re glad to have made the most of the morning Since we were up so early, we managed to get on the road by lunch time and weaved through the French countryside You may remember the extraordinary Frederic from our Portugal film He was kind enough to let us experience Castelnau des Fieumarcon, His passion project; a fortified private village usually used for weddings! We felt very lucky to be able to enjoy this unique place for a week And Frederic’s brother, Jean, treated us to some cider [Tania] Is this Frederic? No it’s not Frederic, it’s Jean! and home grown tomatoes [Tania] This is FRESH! [Adam] Hello! [Tania] Hello! Are picking me up? [Adam] Yeah, ready? [Tania] Yeah We set off in Jits filled with that liberating feeling that only being on the road can give you So I just want to show you the little spot that we’ve got Look at how cute that is And Adam is busy… working away on the next edit Well done And over here is a little gym and chill out set up Woo hoo! Do you have enough fruit? This spot right next to an old Mill was peaceful so we stayed for a few nights It also happened to be just opposite a small animal sanctuary [Tania] Well done you, well done! [Tania] Jits is home! Something quite unique to Vanlife in France is the option to stay for on beautiful vineyards for free [Adam] I love that out of the back of our kitchen here, you can literally reach out and touch olives

[Tania] Look at this! That is so cool! [Adam] Tania cooking up an absolute Mediterranean feast here So we are just leaving our spot in the vineyard We’ve spent the morning working out and packing up Jits and adam is ready Got the sat nav? [Adam] I’m ready to rock and roll. Yes! [Tania] Perfect! On to the next spot Tania’s just been taken away in an ambulance So I’ve been given the address and I’m just gonna go and meet her She basically just fell over and sprained her ankle and they’re just checking it’s not broken Hopefully it’s nothing more serious than just a sprain like she’s done before I know it’s very painful so it’s hard to tell the difference But either way it’s quite worrying Yeah I’ve just parked up now and I’m on my way to see her I was given an x-ray and thankfully nothing was broken Just badly sprained iIwas told it would take 2 to 3 weeks until I could walk unassisted [Tania] There she is. Jits is ready [Adam] Haha [Tania] Like a seal! [Adam] Well done! Elegant [Tania] Yeah [Adam] Okay you should stay there when we drive, I think you’ll be alright [Tania] Okay – Oh god look – Thank you Even though it wasn’t a serious accident, moments like this are still humbling reminders as to how quickly everything can change And how easy it is to take daily mundanities, such as walking, for granted Thankfully we could carry on exploring I was just a bit restricted [Tania] Whatcha doing? [Adam] Going swimming in the lake behind me [Tania] Woo hoo! Why can’t I come? [Adam] Because you fell over. Haha! [Tania] Haha! She fell over. She fell over! This water is SO warm I think Tania might even actually get in it So it’s SUCH a shame that she can make it down We spent some time in the peaceful, cool mountains for me to recover There’s something healing about being in the mountains The air is fresh and the roads are quiet So we were just driving up this incredible road here on the way to a spot we found on Park4Night that we wanted to stay at but as we were driving up we were both just in awe of this view and we just decided.. “should we just stay here for the night” I was like “Yep, why not!” and one of the beauties of van life is that we we have the ability to do that because we were just driving around in our home so we have stopped over looking this incredible mountainscape We are VERY high up and it’s actually a little bit cold The breeze is SO fresh So yeah, there you go…middle of August in south of France..south-ish of France and it’s cold [Tania] So we just woke up and Adam… haha I just noticed that Adam went to sleep or was it in the middle of the night that you put your jumper on your head? [Adam] My head got really cold My head got really cold and I didn’t know where my hat is [Tania] Look at this light! So this absolutely cracks me up So I’m inside Jits, relaxing …it’s a bit chilly so I’ve got my jumper on! and Adam’s just helping himself to his gym Look at that! Enjoying the view [Tania] Hello! [Adam] Hello! We’re saying goodbye to our little spot that we’ve had here for the last three nights

[Adam] Yeah. Ready to leave [Tania] Ready to leave – And here’s our van life reality [Adam] THREE nights? [Tania] …The bed is a mess but we sometimes just need to crack on and get going [Adam] Yep. We’re up early so we’ve got an opportunity to.. seize the day! [Tania] Yeah! [Adam] Let’s go I think it that has been two nights [Tania] Two nights or three nights we’ve been here? [Adam] One really cold night and then last night which was okay [Tania] Oh yeah, grand. Three days.Two nights [Adam] Three days. Two nights [Tania] okay [Adam] Okay, let’s go [Adam] Okay. New spot for the night [Tania] Oh my god [Adam] So nice isn’t it? [Tania] Wow! What a view! [Adam] What building! [Tania] That would be so nice…do you think I can hobble over there, if you help me? [Adam] Yeah, just about. I don’t know – Yeah, we’ll see how you feel. We’ll start and see how you feel I can always carry you back. Haha [Tania] Haha This was the first time I left the van, in a week and a half Using a chair as a walking stick, I hobbled down to the church The chapel of Saint-Pierre Extravache is the the oldest church in the beautiful region of Savoy, dating back to the 10th century and symbolizing the beginning of Christianity in the region It’s incredible to imagine how different the world would have been for the people who built this a thousand years ago and how they could have never imagined a couple living out of a van would be hobbling around filming it, a THOUSAND years later! Over the next few days, I started to slowly be able to walk again [Adam] Tania’s hobbling down the road to recovery [Tania] Slow road And we just continued moving through the mountains When living in a van, the finite nature of resources is very apparent Our water tank in Jitters is 60 litres Which is next to nothing when you consider it takes six liters to flush a household toilet When we can, we make the most of natural water sources The mountains melting snow becomes ice-cold water running down its beautiful clear rivers Which we filtered into drinking water and use to wash our clothes [Adam] So what are you doing here, Tania? [Tania] Making crêpes… ’cause we’re in France! [Adam] Because we’re in France, Tania is whipping up some crêpes Lovely Jubbly. Sweet or savory? [Tania] Sweet! [Adam] Sweet crêpes.. my favourite! [Tania] Ah! That was a double flip! For the time I was recovering, Adam was going on solo walks, while Jits looked after me Almost three weeks after my accident, I was beginning to find my feet And limped around at 2700 metres above sea level Europe’s second highest passable road So this is Tania’s first hike since the accident [Tania] Woo! It’s like been nearly three weeks [Adam] Yeah [Tania] It’s exactly three weeks [Adam] Oh great [Tania] It’s my three week anniversary [Adam] Well there we go – Tania’s three week anniversary she’s finally back out here walking and hiking and we are next to the beautiful lake of Annecy [Tania] Yeah, look at that… it’s glistening [Adam] Glad you’re back out? [Tania] Yeah, it feels so good and there’s nothing like an accident to make you really appreciate just the simple things like being able to walk on your feet so next time that I’m like “oh no i don’t feel like it”… I’m just gonna remind myself [Adam] and this is what’s inspired you to commit to getting into the lake [Tania] Yes exactly [Adam] Cold or not [Tania] Yea because if you watch our previous episodes you know Ihate cold water but i’m going to do it because why not [Adam] There you go Being out and walking without any support and without pain was the most liberating feeling [Adam] So we are on the way down and her legs are aching but her ankle is not [Tania] Yay!

[Adam] So that is fantastic news. That’s what we were after We first arrived to Annecy thinking we would spend two or three days there Little did we know it was an activity paradise We went cycling Swimming and hiking We met an amazing german family and their dog Fina They were remarkably kind and lent us their SUP board, so we could explore the lake [Tania] This is so hilarious. Look at this So our lovely German friends have let us use their SUP board They’re basically insisting for us to have a good time They’re just the nicest people ever [Adam] They’re just sending us off on our way [Tania] Yeah, so here we go! [Adam] Your undies look really small [Adam] They are [Tania] Haha [Tania] Who are you trying to impress Adam? [Adam] The ducks! Another reason we stayed in Annecy for so long, was that we had friends on the way We are very excited because we are about two minutes away from meeting good friends of ours We haven’t met them in the flesh yet and they have finally arrived to Annecy, so we cannot wait [Tania] The moment of truth! Overlanding Sophia Chesca and Ben have been living full time in Sophia Their self-converted sprinter van, for over a year They make weekly videos here on YouTube, which is how our friendship began And we were excited to finally get to meet them in person It had been a LONG time coming and this is their puppy, River For the next 10 days we all convoyed together So we are on our first outing with our van life friends Chesca and Ben…and River over there exploring the river [Ben] Nearly fell in River ironically doesn’t really like water but she’s getting used to it Everything was going wonderfully Riverwas enjoying learning about water and the sun was shining but then [Thunder] So we’ve just come to the end of… wow you can hear that? [Adam] Oh. my.god! We are literally getting caught in the rain [Tania] Yeah we’ve just finished like about a four hour hike and we’re rushing back to get home [Chesca] Look at the raindrops on your shirt [Adam] Yeah, they are ginormous! Look at them! [Tania] Yeah okay, let’s hurry! [Ben] Let’s go, go, go! [Tania] Go, River!! [Adam] Knock, knock! [Tania] Aww! Hot chocolate delivery! This is it, our first official convoy Chesca, Ben and River are right behind us and we are taking them to a nice little spot by the lake [Adam] Right by the water [Tania] Yeah, it’s a shame about the weather but it will still be beautiful And it’s just fun all being together and having neighbours and waking up [Adam] And you can still go swimming [Tania] Yes, exactly [Tania] You guys just go off into the distance [Chesca] Yeah, I just tried to kiss Ben and was like… Boof! It’s hard to get close haha! [Chesca and Ben] *Mwuah!* Haha! [Chesca] Good girl! Waking up with neighbors is a novelty that hasn’t worn off [Tania] Good morning! [Chesca] Hello! [Adam] Hey River! It’s like having a little team We do the fun and the less fun things together [Tania] River! And it’s especially nice to have the support when things go wrong [Adam] So we have hit another mechanical issue with Jits We’re not exactly sure what it is but she doesn’t start We were very lucky for three reasons ONE: A Peugeot specialist was based just two kilometers down the road and came to have a look TWO: Aldi let us stay in the car park until the part we needed arrived THREE: Chesca, Ben and River stayed with us

and made what could have been a stressful couple of days into really good fun So we have just stopped off halfway through a lovely hike for a bit of a picnic and the weather is just gorgeous especially because the last couple of days it’s been raining [Adam] Yeah [Tania] And so we’re really appreciative [Adam] As soon as these guys rocked up, the rain clouds rocked up too [Everyone] hahaha! [Adam] …and now we just got a break in the rain So we escaped from the Aldi car park to here [Tania] Yeah look at this view! Thanks to the advice from many members of our instagram community we bump started Jitters to take her in for her new starter motor avoiding the 200 euro tow bill [Tania] Yay! Well done! Woooooo! [Ben] It’s heavy.Haha! [Adam] Well done guys! Good job! While Jits was having surgery, we spent the day in Sophia discussing the fabric of the universe [Adam] Yeah you fold the fabric of the universe It was a relief to pick up jits at the end of the day as planned Healthy and raring to go! [Tania] That looks like snow [Adam] That IS snow We’re literally driving up into a snow cloud! [Tania] oh my god! [Adam] Haha! This is mad! [Tania] What the hell!? We were literally in our bathing suits a few days ago [Adam] Yeah! [Tania] It is white! [Adam] Oh my god! Unknowingly, we drove up the hill into a different world It was as if we crossed the border from summer to winter [Adam] Right… oh my god, look at the snow coming in! Reacquainting ourselves with the cold, we settled in for crêpes [Tania] It is chilly and [Adam] VERY chilly [Tania] there they are [Adam] So we ran down the mountain to escape from the snow and now it is time…we are parting ways we’re saying goodbye to these guys [Ben] After ten very quick days [Adam] Ten very quick very action-packed days We’re temporarily parting ways these guys are heading down through italy We’re going to try and catch up with them later So make sure to follow those guys because they will post weekly videos about their trip down through Italy and beyond So check them out. We’ll put the link in the description [Tania] What was your highlight? [Ben] Thank you very much guys] [Chesca] The snow was intense! [Adam] Random! [Chesca] … and an experience [Ben] I think yeah, the contrast between when we arrived and it was 30 degree heat annd then a week later we were stuck in the snow [Chesca] Swimming in lake Annecy, that was amazing [Adam] Yeah [Ben] Aww, yeah! [Chesca] ..our park-up on the lake that was really cool [Tania] River had the time of her life [Ben] Yeah, first time in water. First time in snow [Adam] Yeah! A lot of firsts for River [Ben] Yeah [Tania] Yay!! [Ben] She’s loved every minute of it as well, hasn’t she? [Chesca] Yeah! [Adam] Good old River, she’s gonna be missed! [Tania] So we will see you guys in Italy! Yeah and see you guys in Switzerland! [Adam] Yeah, we’re off to Switzerland next, so that’ll be our next film and then down to Italy! If everything goes to plan! [Ben] Haha! [Adam] Always got a caveat with that breakdown again or whatever [Everyone] Bye!! Bye!! We never thought we would spend two months in France, it was very difficult to leave No really, we couldn’t leave So that is it for France! It’s a very exciting day today, we should be in Switzerland by the end of the day If you’ve enjoyed watching, let us know by giving this a thumbs up and sharing our films with anyone you think would appreciate them And for real-time updates, connect with us on Instagram and Facebook at ‘Jits into the Sunset” Thank you again and see you in Switzerland!