Friday morning and we were back on the A75 and going south to another repeat stop-over at Homps, a small village beside the Canal du Midi.
We found Homps last September, after a recommendation from friends who had been before and we loved it. It’s not a ‘proper’ aire, just what is usually known as ‘permitted parking’. There are no services and parking is on a piece of waste land beside a canal basin and opposite a lovely old village. it is quiet and peaceful with canal boats just drifting almost silently through. One of the large hire companies have their base there so there is plenty of comings and goings to watch. Parking is limited to 24 hours but being France rules seem to be for guidance rather than strictly adhered to.
After two days we moved the few miles west, through Narbonne and down to the sea at Gruissan.
As usual in that part of France the breeze blew and the sun shone, at least for some of the time.
We had made a loose arrangement with our caravanning friends John & Jenny (https://jennyandjohngocaravanning.wordpress.com) that we would meet up in the Pyrenees at a camp site we had been to several years ago. The French unions put paid to that idea by deciding to go on strike and picket the oil terminals. With the usual panic buying that always happens when it looks like a shortage is looming, the news was full of reports of fuel stations running out and motorists stranded. It didn’t seem very wise to be driving long distances across France and high into the mountains. Things were also complicated by the water pump failing in their caravan and John & Jenny having to wait in the Lot Valley for a replacement to be sent from the UK.
We spent four days at Gruissan and then, with full water, fuel and gas tanks, went back to Homps for a further four days, both conserving our fuel and staying in the best weather in France.
The weather on this trip was not what we usually expect at that time of year in France. Much of the country had a lot of rain, low temperatures and strong winds. We certainly had the strong winds but thankfully some sun as well. Looking at the weather apps it seemed that we were in the best place so we stayed where we were, moving back the short distance to Gruissan to fill with water and dump waste. The trip into the Pyrenees was abandoned, at least we could get fuel around Narbonne.