One of the joys of staying on an Aire de Camping Car in France is people watching……and we do quite a lot of that.
The aire at Gruissan was particularly crowded at the end of the week, what with it being a public holiday on Thursday, the nice sunny weather and that the other Gruissan aire, at the plage, was closed due to a windsurfing shindig and concert. As soon as a someone left, another motorhome would grab the space, particularly if the spot had a view of the sea.
On Friday morning there was a space beside us and that was when Frantic Frog appeared.
Now, life on an aire is a pretty casual and relaxed affair, nobody is in a rush, everyone saunters around and motorhomes, when they move, tend to trickle slowly along at not much more than walking pace.
Frantic Frog, as I named her, drove a small camper based on a Ford Transit panel van. She was a French lady of middle age and was on her own. She drove into our part of the aire and spied the space beside us, there were a couple more slots by this time as people left. She dived forwards into the space, braking sharply to avoid the large rock that was in the hedge in front of her. Into reverse and shot back a few feet and then forward again to the exact same spot, a manoeuvre that was repeated twice more. The sliding side door was flung back and out she jumped to march round to the back of the van to check her position. She marched around to look to see if there was space between us and the sea…..no chance. She looked across at another space and then marched back at speed and disappeared into her van. The engine restarted and she shot back again, this time applying a small amount of steering. Ahh! I thought, she is moving across to the nicer space by the marina. But no, more forwards and backwards, accompanied by heavy braking and she moved a foot or so closer to us. After all the shunting the van was still parked at an angle to everyone else.
Having settled herself in she locked up to go for a walk and marched off, again at 120 paces a minute, only to return after 20 paces for something she had forgotten. Each time she left the van it seemed to be in the same manner.
Late on Sunday afternoon she left, presumably because of work on Monday morning.
She departed in the same style as her arrival. With a slight tweak on the steering she could have reversed into the wide open spaces at the centre of the aire, but no, she tried to reverse into the small gap between us and our neighbours. At the second attempt she almost took out the whole group who were sitting outside enjoying an early evening apéritif.
We felt exhausted just being along side Frantic Frog for a couple of days.