For France we recommend All The Aires France primarily, and
Having decided to spend a few days at Cap d’Agde enjoying the environment and most of the views, the laptop decided to blow itself up. Pretty much literally which meant (oh no!) we were laptop-less for the rest of the trip. As such – the accuracy of anything written after this point is dubious as my memory has faded and I can’t read my brief paper notes! Suffice to say, Dell have fixed the laptop (new motherboard, CPU, fan, heat sink) and it is working again (oh – funny how most of my so-called mates emailed me sarcastic “get well” emails for the laptop! lol!).
Anyway, after a few good sunny and bright days at Agee we eventually left to Agde town heading towards Sete along the med. The beach here was very nice, very quiet, but with loads of campervans for almost the whole stretch. Where we parked was a quiet spur just off road with rather nice views across the beach. We opted for a run along the beach which worryingly was our only one of the trip… After our marathon we’ve lost motivation a little… The drive via Sete was quite disappointing and industrial, though afterwards we heard Sete had a nice town that we missed completely.
On heading to Montpellier we were pleasantly surprised by the population – and I can remember it. All of the women were young and naturally pretty and chic without being overly glamorous. A lovely centre (shopping) and lots of windy streets. Busy cafe culture and actually a rather nice city to be in. Leaving the students alone we went off to Le Grande Motte and parked (and stayed) just outside and cycled in. It appeared to be a nice resort town with very unique hotel architecture making it look up market and interesting. We took the opportunity for a nice early morning swim and made use of the beach showers to save our water!
Feeling fresh we headed to Nimes which is a perfect place if you need a shopping fix as there seemed to be miles and miles of out-of-town shopping parks. Fortunately I chose well and it was Sunday and they were all closed so we continued and headed into town. The Roman ruins were interesting, but sadly having spent time in Italy and Rome a few months ago they weren’t that spectacular. For the evening we headed to Remoulines to stay in an aire and cycle to Pont-de-Gard the old 3-tier Roman bridge that was quite spectacular with good surrounding scenery but to be honest was a bit of a tourist trap.
After the bridge we headed to Avignon which itself is a spectacular town with many interesting sites, such as the 1/2 bridge and the old papal buildings. Very Italianesque. Worth a visit as is the really old town Villeneuve-lès-Avignon just outside. For the night we headed to Salin de Girard where there is a massive wide/flat beach 10km south of the town used by loads of people wild camping. Past flamingos and mud flats there wasn’t much else there. It was fairly windy so I got the power kite out and had fun being dragged rather fast – the strongest pull I’ve ever felt – leaving me sore and aching for a fair few days! Once I even had to let go and rely on the safety killer to de-power the kite – but the safety snapped (ebay special) causing a bit of a problem…. Some old lady tried to tell me to pack up and play in the morning when the wind was lighter not realising the point (if a little dangerous) is to get dragged along the beach whilst standing and holding on for grim death.
In an overcast morning we realised where we were was on a spur so we had to take an 80km detour to get back on track! Doh – Dells fault. We ventured through Marseille without stopping as it didn’t look great, through Cassis that was a lovely old fishing port for lunch, off to Le Pradet for some wild camping on the quay. The wind got up again and the van was rocking (without us getting up to mischief) and Mel was very worried we were going to get washed away! We didn’t – we survived week 2 in one piece…