18.07.2008 - 22.07.2008
Carcassonne is impressive. A huge walled city. A giant castle if you like.
We had a good walk around the ramparts, the main castle inside, and the cathedral. Lots of “fact boards” to read – though I think there is not much more for us to learn about castle siege wafare!
We stayed on a campsite 10k’s outside the city – the one right by Carcassonne was expensive and only had two plots available. We asked to look at them and the girl prey much laughed and said “they might not still be available when you get back”. Sod it then, we searched further afield.
We ended up on a fairly ok-ish site and only stayed two nights. There were a gazillion kiddies, one who kicked a football in Kirtsin’s face with no apparent remorse. I’d forgotten what little shits French teenagers can be. We packed up in the morning the day after seeing the old city, in blistering heat. A mistake we’ll not make again by choice. Packing a tent and all the associated paraphernalia in scorching sunlight is a nightmare. I had to take another shower before we set off. We also managed to tear our trusty boot bag in our rush. We headed to Agde – we’d looked at the map and it seemed to be near the Rhone, and near greener areas, including Camargue – a wildlife reserve full of “Torro” – bulls, amongst other things. It was getting hotter too.
En-route we stopped for a roadside lunch at a pretty café in the middle of nowhere. Guess what I ate…. Yep! Bull! (Torro) – bloody lovely : - )
We’ve quickly realised you NEED to sop for lunch between 12pm and 2pm. It’s just too hot to drive, especially with the roof off.
When we finally got to Agde (famed for the Cap D’Agde – lots of nudist beaches) we were met with what we had been warned about – half of France on holiday. Standstill traffic, not a spot of spare parking space anywhere to bee seen.
We drove down to the “Cap” and were not impressed. Too much concrete and too many people. A bit like Brighton on a hot day, so we decided to push on elsewhere. The thing was, I had one hell of a stiff neck and we were both hot and tired, so we decided to treat ourselves… a hotel!!! : - )
We stayed in a quirky hotel in Agde main town, part of a still used church. Our terrace actually joined the church and we were overlooked by it’s main tower. You could walk over and peer down through the stained glass windows.
Kind of odd, sitting having beers on the balcony with the sound of choir singing coming from the walls beside you. Kirstin says her mum would of loved it!
The wi-fi in the hotel didn’t work, so of course I fixed it – free wi-fi :- )
After a proper nights’ sleep in a real bed, we set off for Arles – right on the river Rhone and well situated to see some Roman ruins and also Avignon. We’ve managed to bag ourselves a lovely campsite, nice and quiet and green. We’ll stay here for a few days – been here two nights already.
On the first night, rather hilariously, we joined in with an organised game of bingo! It was a great way to practice our French numbers. Kirstin was one number away from winning the grand prize – some kind of Belgian pot with lots of mugs hanging off it. We were kind of relieved we didn’t win, I mean, what on earth would we do with it?
The last two days have been windy in a BIG way. It’s sunny and very hot, don’t get me wrong, but either the “Mistral” is in a bad mood, or El Nino is off-course. So much so I have to re-peg the tent frequently and you can’t really sit outside. We are getting a little frustrated with the unpredictable weather now. We came to the South of France for sun and peace. We both miss Bordeau and the Dordogne already.
The current loose plan is to head up a little into Provence. Maybe we’ll find the sunny tranquillity we’ve been after there. Other than that, we are toying with popping into either Croatia, or maybe driving up into the Alps for some stunning scenery, or maybe Switzerland, or even Austria. Who knows. We will be in Italy in August by the 15th at the latest so we have plenty of time to mess around.