12.08.2009 - 21.08.2009 37 °C
much to update on. currently in ste maxime so back to rubbish french keyboards...
wed 12th - after a lovely dinner on tuesday evening (cal had lobster!) we were well rested and on the road back to France on wed morning. we were melting away in the car! managed to drive out of barca no problem but it was a long drive to the border, not to mention the circus we had to encounter there. there was some sort of duty free area there, it was mental. people were making up their own rules of the road! this makes for a very road-raged Laura!
Got across the border eventually and drove for Port Vendre were we stopped for the night. nice harbour town, nice aire with beach just across the st. after a long drive we were too tired to do much so went for a dip then chilled out. explored the area after dinner. seemed a nice place so decided to stay the next day too.
thurs 13th - spent the day on the beach just relaxing. think I was still recovering from the drive! still very hot and had trouble sleeping the night before. the beginning of the mosquito plague was also upon us!
fri 14th - we left port vendre today and drove to Carcassone to explore the old walled town. supposed to have stayed in the aire but it was full and the overflow didnt have a service point for us to use. unimpressed with the whole thing in general we started driving back towards Narbonne stopping in no less the 3 towns on the way, all located around Canal du Midi. in each of these 3 towns there WAS an Aire but it was there no longer. You can imagine how fed up we were getting. eventually we found a place in Narbonne which turned out to be free with free electricity! rest of the evening was spent trying to cool down!
sat 15th - explored Narbone today. nice old town with a pleasant atmosphere. we hired a little electric boat for an hour and sailed down Canal du Robine. was nice to sit back and just go with the flow shall we say.
quick stop at the supermarket for some supplies. spent the evening chilling outside the van with some cheap wine and good banter
sun 16th - Sete was the next destination. couldn't find the aire so just parked next to some other campers in the st. it's strange, one camper on its on is just parked there, but if there are two or three it becomes OK for other campers to park there and it becomes its on unofficial camp site.
spent the day on the beach, and went out for dinner in the evening. we were staying just outside the town centre (which we took a while to realise) most of these harbour towns are really busy with lots of nice boats, and plenty seafood restaurants. managed to try oysters, and had strange beef filled muscles for dinner. cycled back to the van (rather tipsy after wine...) and straight to bed!
mon 17th - due to lack of official aire we moved on to Port St Louis Du Rohne. drove thru the Camargues on the way. bit of an unremarkable town with not alot to do so spent the day reading, and searching for cold beer
tues 18th - Cuges Les Pines today. away from the coast the road begins to resembles something from the pyrenees. still unbearably hot and spending time looking for shady spot. another quite day but enjoyed dinner outside with some more nice wine. Aire was up a big hill in a forrest area, so was nice to sit outside with the candles burning, watching the stars!
Wed 19th - after two unproductive days we decided to stop wasting time. today we went to the Colanques in Cassis. Had some trouble finding parking, eventually got parked in a very uneven carpark - i was worried the van would roll :D
disappointingly we couldn't get a swim in the Calanques but they were still spectacular to see. after out boat trip and a nice cool drink, we drove on St Mandrier to stay. Cal got into trouble from a nosy French man for doing the Service Point wrong, and then some nosy Italians gave us a telling off for what, we're still not sure.
managed to find a laundry place so spent the evening doing that, and had take away for dinner - it was too dark to start cooking :P
Thurs 20th - drove to Ste Maxime. was a loooooooooong way with horrible traffic. i was unimpressed - its only busy when i drive!! after some indecision about where the aire was and where to park we got settled around 2pm. explored the town, more nice boats to look at. still very hot but getting cooler in the evening so sleeping isnt a problem. more wine and candle light before bed.
fri 21st - today we got the ferry to St Tropez. aside from the spectacular yachts i found it pretty average. you can spot the locals a mile away. it has a sort of upper class feel to the whole place and the only way i'd be going back is on a bad ass boat. i think its the only way to really visit st tropez
meeting ben and sarah tmrw and looking forward to catching up and getting some banter. meeting in Cannes so no doubt there will be more big boats to look at!