Some of the best village ramparts in France
I had to break off my ramblings last night to assuage the rumbling tums! Today has been a quiet day in camp. No excursions and not much to report at all. The big event was doing the washing in the campsite laundrette! When we arrived yesterday afternoon it was all activity and lots and lots of kids everywhere. About 5-6pm they all packed up and left! We think these are local people who keep a caravan here for the season and come down at weekends. Today the place is so much quieter. It does make me wonder where they live in the week that makes a caravan on a small pitch here so attractive. Most of the campsite facilities (pool, restaurant, bar etc) are closed for the winter. The area is around is rather run down. The beach is cold and it is more grit than sand – Nairn beach is much nicer!
We went for a little walk late yesterday afternoon. Between the campsite and the beach is a minor road and then the railway line. This latter is single track and only carries local trains. We can hear these on the site but they are not noisy or fast. To get to the beach we crossed the road and used the underpass under the railway embankment. There was a big sign about it being a blue flag beach and that the lifeguards are not there after 15th September! There were two fishermen with their rods out huddled in their shelters but apart from them the beach was deserted. Everything looked tired and run down. There was a special fenced off area where dogs were allowed but much of the fencing was damaged. I looked up the tides here and the rise and fall is just 20cm so these beaches never get wave washed like most UK beaches as the water never gets up very far at all. The sand looked really nice but it was quite coarse – almost a fine gravel. You would never build a sandcastle with that. It was actually quite hard work to walk on it and even the wet sand was no better.
We trudged down the beach for a bit past a fenced off glamping site that was closed for the winter and back under the railway line at the start of the the next town in this ribbon of development that stretches for miles along this coast. You may be getting the impression that we are underwhelmed so far and that may be true. Our tour of the streets a few blocks away from the beach were quite interesting but still very quiet (Sunday afternoon). A few shops were open and we did rub our noses against the window of a bakers but somehow the pastries were not as good as we had got used to! I noted that all the shops showed opening hours with long lunch breaks and the common opening times were 9:30 – 13:30 and 16:30 – 19:30. There were variations but that midday closure until after 4pm was common. We must bear this in mind and make sure we get shopping done early in the day before the midday closure.
After our walk last night we downloaded the camera on to the laptop and then went through all the photos (and a few videos) that Eileen has take on it. There were a lot! It was good and it brought home to us just how far we have come and how much we have done. We left home on 18th October and it is now 18th November and a good time to review the journey so far.
The campsite is costing us 19 euros per night which includes the 1 euro per night city tourist tax. Electic hookup is free (I think it is a 6amp limit) but wifi is extra and so is the motorhome service point. That makes me cross as this is the only tap that I can fix a hose to and they want 2 euros for 100lts of water from that tap. I can fill up for free from any of the other taps in the site but none of these will accept a hosepipe. Filling Bertie’s water tank without a hose is a pain. We have a collapsible 5lt can for such emergencies and it is possible to pour this straight into the water tank by opening the access under one of the dinette seats but it takes ages and some always get spilled.
The private aire in Cabanes was more basic in some ways with no marked out pitches and only a basic loo block but it did offer free wifi and it was just 10 euros. If I can find somewhere like that further south that would be perfect.
Anyway we have had a quiet day today and that has given us the chance to talk about plans for the next few weeks. I have also spent a number of hours on Park4Night looking at all the stopovers between here and Alicante and putting all the hopefuls into “My Selection”. I have identified interesting looking places for the next few nights. The next two places are inland in the hills as I want to see the real Spain away from the Costas. The weather looks set fair until Saturday by which time we will be a good bit further south so I do not think snow and ice will be a problem!
We have started to think about Christmas and New Year and we think we would quite like to find a nice campsite with some other people we can talk to and have a couple of weeks in one place. We are told that the good ones are filling up fast and we really need to start working on this and getting in touch to make a reservation. Even this place has long term bookings for the winter which I find hard to believe! So we need to decide where we want to be (Algarve or Costa del Sol and coastal or inland) and then start contacting campsites. We will need another quiet day to do that and somewhere with good connectivity. Maybe the village aire tomorrow will be good enough or maybe the aire beside the vineyard at El Masroig or perhaps the aire in the Ebro delta with all its birds might be a nice place to stop for a few days.
We will use another campsite but I hope it will be a week or so yet and much further south where there are lots of campsites open all year and we will have more choice. Watch this space as they say!