Because of the icy road conditions, a result of Sunday’s snowfall, we have been more or less house-bound for the past few days. But a week or so ago, we were “house-bound” in quite a different way.
We were returning from an aquafitness session at our regular pool, and a bit anxious to get home quickly because we still had a fair amount of work to do to prepare lunch. Along the road between Bouzic and Pont Carrall, there is a huge amount of road construction taking place, with the road reduced to a single lane in some stretches, with alternating traffic lights. So the pace was already much slower than normal. And then, just before we reached Bouzic, we encountered this:
Now it’s not unusual to see a convoi exceptionnel in the Greater Daglan Area, including the transport of some incredibly huge agricultural equipment. But usually, there’s no problem. You slow down a bit, you might pull over a foot or two onto the shoulder of the road, and that’s it. Not this time.
The truck carrying two pre-fabricated housing units was stopped dead on a narrow country road. On one side, a ditch. On the other, a ditch and some nasty looking rock outcroppings. There was no way I could go around, not without the risk of scraping the side of my car. So I climbed out and walked over to the driver and his helper, who were removing a heavy piece of equipment off the back of the flatbed trailer.
When I asked if there was a problem (thinking that their truck had broken down), they said no — but then went into a great song and dance about how they were waiting for the proprietor of a nearby campground, and they couldn’t move. Not at all.
I suggested that if they just drove the truck forward by 50 metres or so, my car (and any others behind me) could easily go around them. No dice. The driver was insistent about staying put, and argued that if he moved forward for me, other cars might come behind me, and he’d have to move for them. (It didn’t make any sense, but he was pretty wound up by this point.) So we were stuck.
By this time, two more vehicles had pulled up behind me, and a couple more vehicles had arrived from the other direction. Everyone was stuck, and no one was looking too happy. Immediately right behind me was a delivery van, and when I told its driver that the truck would not budge, he went along to argue some more. Again, no success.
Instead, the driver of the van suggested that we just turn around, and drive back several kilometres to a turn-off that takes you into the village of Saint Martial de Nabirat, over some pretty narrow and twisting back roads. So that’s what we did. Once we reached Saint Martial, we turned onto the D-46, which in turn led us to the D-60, which of course led us back into Daglan.
And so we arrived at home much later than we’d expected, reminded once again that in the countryside of southwest France, patience is indeed a virtue.