Well here we are on the Cote D’Amethyste, West of Marseilles in the Camargue region of France. We arrived here on Saturday after a short hour or so drive from St Remy de Provence. By coincidence our route took us along the same hill road out of town that I had cycled just the previous day so I was able to note that the altitude rose by 170 M (approx. 500 ft in old money) in exactly 2 miles and all accomplished in a cool 30 + degrees heat!
Having arrived on the La Brise campsite; first impressions were (and still are) that it’s ma-hoosive! Something like 800 pitches – think this would certainly be top of our NOT to be list in high season.
The town is a seaside town with a lovely promenade, well-kept beaches and small yacht and commercial fishing harbor. Every building appears to be either a brasserie or a gelateria (and not a genetalia as I referred to them the other day. I was sober too!) . The most popular meal on menu’s appears to be Moules avec Frites (mussels & chips) and tonight we might just indulge ourselves in that delicacy ….. along with a bottle of the local wine.
Having taken a cycle through the town on Saturday afternoon we were not overly impressed. This was mainly due to the sheer volume of people. We reckon the majority of folk from SW France (+ Belgium & Holland) had descended on the town (due to it being a festival weekend) and the aires (municipal & private motorhome(MH) camping parks) were heaving with every type of MH you could imagine. Little ones, big ones, old ones new ones, tatty ones, homemade ones – you get the picture?
Part of the festival involved the local equivalent of bull fighting however here in France, unlike Spain, the bull isn’t harmed. The bulls are paraded through the street (corralled by horses & horsemen) to an arena where the ‘fighters’ attempt to either pin or remove rosettes of other items to various parts of the bull. Depending how pissed of the bull is determines the entertainment level provided by the bull and the injuries inflicted on the ‘fighter’. I’m sure you can tell by my description that either Mrs Mac or myself are enamored by that form of ‘entertainment’ and so consequently didn’t bother heading into town to watch. Some of our fellow travelers watched and it received mixed reviews.
Festival over; and the town has now returned to the ‘quiet seaside town’ status once again and so has been a lovely place to spend a few days. Yesterday we had a guided tour of the town which doesn’t really have a lot of apart form a fortified church, so an hour and half later (and all the guides appear to have learnt English watching re-runs of Allo Allo) and I think we had almost the will to live, especially in 35+ degrees and no shade.
For those interested in the antics of Rockydog, he’s enjoying his new life. He just ignored French dogs when they bark at him (pretty much the same as he does to British dogs lol). He was very cagey about going in the water after his near death experience at the last site but this morning he was in the sea doing back stroke and doggy paddle (with his flowery swimming cap and David Hastlehoff red speedos on ) behaving as if nothing had ever occurred.
Last night was a group Paella night (no mean feat making paella for 38 folk) with the idea we would line our tables & chairs up and eat as a group as we have done on other group nights, however the weather was against us and whilst still very very humid, a sandstorm raged for most of the evening and night, necessitating awnings and outside living spaces to be packed away in a hurry and the meal being enjoyed by all but in smaller groups in vans or outside sheltered areas.
Tomorrow we move to Remoulins with wine and cheese tasting to look forward to tomorrow night!