Week 10 started quite well. On leaving Port-la-Nouvelle we headed south on the quiet roads and passed some lovely scenery over the inland lake of “Étang de Leucate ou de Salses” where a few cheeky wild camping options were available. We explored a few of the smaller villages/resorts en route and they all appeared cleaner and a better quality than the previous few days, and we ended up in Le Barcarès and parked in permitted motorhome area right next to the beach overlooking the med. Le Barcarès is obviously a resort town, but it actually has a nice feel about it. We stayed 2 days enjoying our first run for a couple of months (5 miles) up to Port-Barcarès and also got the power-kite out to stretch our already sore muscles. With wifi in range I bought some more safety kite-killers on eBay that may come in useful in a few weeks when my dad will be having some kiting lessons (if mum permits!).
Le Barcarès had a little market in the morning and a childrens carrousel playing music – nothing strange there, but the song was Lilly Allen “F**k you..”. One way to teach the toddlers I guess….
We did appreciate a lovely meal, 3 courses with bread, olives, coffee and wine, and the bill was €14 each – not bad for steak and fish!
Upon leaving we headed to Perpignan with some good expectations, but instead we left disappointed. It didn’t really excite and didn’t really look or feel special, apart from some lovely cakes we had from a walk-by store. Taking the quiet roads we headed to the cost and ended up in Saint-Cyprien-Plage parked right in the marina overlooking the boats and sea. Motorhomes are banned overnight but only from June to September so visiting in February eventually has its advantages! The only downside is it p****d it down, so we just did the laundry and admired the view.
We were blessed the following day by clear blue skies, so after a morning run to try and get rid of the new running aches, we popped up to an aire to sort water/waste, and then just chilled in the resort and had a lovely meal out in the evening for my birthday (Still below 40!).
In the morning we carried on the coast to Argelès Plage where most areas had banned motorhomes and/or had height barriers. We were lucky to find a very quiet spot overlooking the harbour which another Dutch couple had found, and enjoyed more time walking and cycling around, and also getting the kite out… Mel impressed by learning how to land the kite (very difficult to land “neatly!”), but then, frustratingly, promptly forgot how to fly it normally. I’m looking forward to getting my new kite (4m/bar/harness/board) which I bought myself for my birthday, as long as my parents can bring it to Gibraltar…. Watch this space….
For our last stop in France, we headed to Le Boulou which seems to be the last aire for water/waste before Spain. We were presented with a reasonable market and a rugby match and also met anther English couple who were fairly newbies doing a similar thing but loving it and no doubt will do a lot more. A very sociable day and evening followed before we departed for Spain. Bizarrely, during the usual information swap, they had been given a copy of my old GPS databases from someone else – quite funny to see it being used and given away to others.
The couple pointed us to Banyoles in Spain where we stayed the night after visiting Besalú which is a medieval town worth a visit. Banyoles ends a superb week 10, a really nice time in France, meeting some great people, and also a very nice start to Spain.