Friday, 22 June 2012

Together again

Well things are a bit happier today as Libby is fixed and back with us. We also have an extra night in the hotel as she wasn't ready till 18:00.
To cheer me up the other night Tim took me out for tea. Tim, being a pirate, commandeered a ship and we had a picnic, well actually it was a banyan as pirates don't have picnics.

We went a walk and took a picture for Andrew' s collection! You can just see the hotel in the background.

We also swum in our private pool.... Well no one else was interested in using it.

....and I even did some stitching on the tailfeathers quilt. The heart is based on a design in Sue Dove's book " painting with stitches". When I'm home I might turn it into a broach.

So tomorrow we are on the road again..... East.

Location:Camp Laurent,La Seyne-sur-Mer,France

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

La Seyne Sur Mer

Things were fine..... And then they were not. I had a very grumpy face!

We might have found a new way to get hotels around France... But I would rather be in Libby :o(
Stuck till Friday......
Earlier in the day we had a very scenic drive out of Cassis.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Carcassonne to Cassis

We are sat in the luxury of a campsite in Cassis. But to get here we first collected Libby from the VW garage and then drove to Carcassonne. We had no preconceived ideas of what was there and as we rounded a corner and saw the castle we were amazed. Inside the castle are lots of tiny shops around the old, windy streets. We chilled out at a cafe on a square and watched the world go by. We also spent the night just outside the drawbridge.

After here we drove to Sete and a free air on a wonderful causeway that we could finally swim in the Mediterranean. Much warmer than Cornwall and no wetsuit required!
Then we drove through the Camargue and saw horses, bulls and flamingoes. Flamingoes just don't look like they should fly, but we saw 28 of them flying in one big, long, perfectly straight line.
We drove down a road and nearly fell in the Petit Rhone as the road stopped and we ended up on a small version of the Torpoint Ferry. Now we know what that B on the map means!

We where then heading for a little port called Carro...... But Libby has taken quite a fancy to French garages......

We had a flat, so Tim Changed it- with no complaints and we found a garage at 12.00 - just as the shutters were going down for lunch. We were told to collect the tire at 5.... So we had 5 hours looking around and had some lunch.
Carro was so worth it though as the Aire was in a fantastic setting at the end of a harbour wall, it was do nice we stayed 3 days.

Did some swimming and cooked a couple of kilogram of moule.

We also collected some beach treasure and Tim drew a gekko.

On our next leg of the adventure we went through marseille, but we didn't stop as it was very hot and jammed with traffic. The harbour looked great though around the world millions of yachts must just be sat not being used.

Cassis is a lovely little town with old, pastel painted houses and restaurants set around a harbour. We came here to walk and swim the Calanques, which are like fjords but warmer! Massive limestone cliffs go straight down int crystal, clear turquoise water. A lovely day and a place to return to one day..... With our canoe may be?

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


Well we packed up and set off for Carcassonne......and we moved about a foot with front wheels squealing. There was no oil in the power steering.
We set Off on our bikes to acquire some... and after an hour decided to ring the RAC. They have been brilliant. A tow truck arrived within 30 mins and we had 2 mins to pack before Libby was towed away. So we grabbed 12 beers, 1/4 bottle port, toothbrushes, clothes and my sewing.

Thankfully my sewing was all together in the lovely pouch that isisjem Jan made for me in the pouch swap.

So a taxi whisked us away to a Hotel in the middle of nowhere, but fortunately paid for by the RAC. So we have the luxury of Wifi and showers!

A bus into Lourdes to buy a few things for a friend and have another look around this amazing place.

We drank some more from the fountain..... And an hour later received a call to say that instead of the expected 4 day wait for a new pump.... It was just a leaking pipe that has now been fixed and we can be on our way again in the morning.... After a shower!

And thanks to the lovely Laura who wrote a great techi post on blogging from a mobile this is

- Posted using BlogPress from my iTouch

So hopefully the photos are in the right place and the links work :o)

Monday, 11 June 2012

Biarritz to Lourdes

We were told about an overnight spot on the sea front for small vans by a lovely Welsh couple we met who were going North. Tim managed to get there via the wrong way up a one way street as the proper way was blocked by a "festival of the Old Port". Le ponies, la tractor and la marquees were in the way. Due to the festival there was no room to park le van and so we went to the Aire for overnight and walked back to town where lots of tables were out in the street laid up by the restaurants So we chose a menu and had a lovely meal. we had our own Jubilee Street party, but Unfortunately no photos to blog as I didn't have my touch with me.
The next morning we moved early to the seafront and the surf was perfect so Tim went surfing and I went body boarding. The showers and toilets on the seafront were fantastic and would put some campsites to shame. One thing we have noticed in France is that things in the towns do not appear to get vandalised like they do in England. A lovely little sandy cove in the middle of Biarritz had a big old clock that was still working and shops leave out tables and chairs without having to lock them up.
We then went to a campsite at St Jean De Luz to use the washing machines and had a cycle around the lovely town. We treated ourselves to lunch out, our first moule-frite of the trip.
Then it was up into the Pyrenees to St Jean Pied a Port. I walked from here to st j de luz about 22 years ago, but nothing looked familiar - it took 10 days to walk and we drove in just over an hour! The town is a walkers paradise and on a pilgrimage trail to Spain - bit like a French Ambleside!
We've always wanted to see a ski resort in the summer and so we drove upto Arette La Pierre Martan at 1700m and there is an Aire there. We had a fantastic walk around the red runs!
Then next morning down the mountain and on to Lourdes. We never planned to come here but it was on our Easterly route. The Aire looked a bit grim and was 10 euro and so we went back to a lovely looking campsite by the river and it was only 12.40 euro and was a very short walk along the river to the fountain and Bernadette's cave where the miracles happened. The town is full of people who have made pilgrimages here. Lots and lots of hotels, according to wikipedia Lourdes has the second highest concentration of hotels in France.... After Paris!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Swatch Hossegor Surf

We were lucky enough to be in Seignosse Hossegor for the start of the Swatch Girls Pro France six-star rated surf competition. The massive beach breaks that happen here because of the deep ocean trench just off shore make this a World class surf venue.
Unlike at home - everything was free, parking, programme and posters.
One of the surfers was Bethany Hamilton who is one of the best, despite loosing an arm to a Tiger Shark at just age 13. She has had several inspirational films made about her life, including Soul Surfer made last year.
We had a fantastic couple of days watching the surfers whilst eating our baguette and cheese.

Royan to Capbreton

After the ferry from Royan we are in a section of France that has a beach and forest that would stretch from Truro to Southampton. We have hopped along the coast looking for surf beaches and cycle tracks. Some of the cycle tracks are better maintained than the roads and all are well signposted and generally through the forest.
We went to Montalivet, Lacanau, biscarrosse Plage, mimizan, st girons, soustons and now in Capbreton. I've listed all these as I know a few of you are following our adventure on Google Earth.
We had hoped to climb the biggest sand dune in Europe at Arcachon, but there was a storm and a force 6 gale sandblasting us- so we will leave that for next time.
The sea is warm enough for me to go in and so we spent today messing around in the water, collecting shells and recovering from a few beers with some friendly folks from Nothern Ireland. They are on their way north having spent 3 months in Portugal and they gave us some ideas for our next trip. There are very few British vans down here....but lots of Belgian, German and friendly Netherlands campers. I guess some of the Germans must have driven nearly as far as us to reach this part of the coast.
Next a campsite to do some washing before we go along the Pyranees. Though maybe we will invest in a Spanish map as ours stops at the French boarder.