Day 15 of our trundle and we were heading over the high hills towards the Ardèche.
We started in drizzle and rain and when we hit the real hills we were at over 1,300m high and in thick cloud. Last time we used the N102 to Aubenas it was a hot sunny day and we were climbing from east to west, this time it was dull and damp and the spectacular scenery just didn’t look quite the same.
We were going to Camping Beau Rivage, just outside of Vallon Pont D’arc, to meet up with our caravanning friends Jenny and John. We don’t often use sites but I have to say this was an excellent choice.
It’s not a huge site but it is one of the best cared for that we have seen. Everything was immaculate with the hedges and shrubs clipped to within an inch of their lives. The family that own the site are extremely friendly and all the pitches are a good size. Our pitch was right at the front overlooking the river and was good value for the ACSI price of €17, including 10a hook-up.
We spent five nights at Beau Rivage and very much enjoyed a couple of days with our friends in their car driving round the winding roads beside the Ardèche and up into some of the old hill villages.
Once again the changeable weather played its part and we had a very wet weekend. As a little compensation it was the Spanish F1 GP that weekend and as the Ch4 reception was borderline with the heavy rain we watched the race live on German RTL TV with the commentary via BBC Radio 5 over the internet. Only problem was the radio commentary was about 6-7 seconds later than the pictures which made for frustrating viewing.
On the Monday we said goodbye to our friends and headed south to try and find some Mediterranean sun. I had seen photos posted by other motorhomes of the aire at Carro (GPS. 43.32932º 5.04050º), between Marseille and the Camargue.
The popular aire is right by the rocky beach with the small harbour behind. There are about 80 marked out pitches and entrance is via a credit card barrier which is €9 per night. There are lovely views out to sea if you manage to get at the front as we did and views over the harbour at the rear. In the strong wind the sea was rough but the windsurfers seemed happy enough and were out on the water until it was too dark to see much.
After two nights we partly retraced our steps with a lovely drive over the Camargue towards Montpellier then down the A9 to Narbonne and our frequent haunt of Gruissan.
As usual it was windy when we arrived but the weather forecasts were saying that the wind would drop the next day and it would remain sunny.
We quite expected the aire at the marina to be busy and were surprised to find it almost empty. That allowed us to find a nice quiet corner spot where we could spread ourselves out a bit without intruding on anyone else. Sure enough, the next day the wind dropped, the sun was out and that started a week of perfect weather. As the Pentecost holiday weekend approached the aire soon filled up and by Saturday night it was packed. Tucked up in our corner we were OK except for the constant loud nattering of our French neighbours who seemed to have a continuous stream of family come to meet them. Gawd, those Frenchies can jabber!! Still it’s all part of holidaying in France.
After a lovely week at Gruissan we drove a short distance inland to Homps on the Canal du Midi.
The aire de Camping-Car really is just a piece of scruffy and often muddy waste land but is beside a lovely village and on the bank of the canal. There are no facilities apart from rubbish and recycling bins so you need to have water on board and empty waste tanks. It is though, a peaceful and pleasant place to watch folk messing about on boats and to walk beside the canal or through parkland to the nearby lake.
More to come…………….