September 26th, 2019

26 September 

Last night, we ended up not bothering to cook! Well, ate a packet of breadsticks with our rum! One other moho parked up behind us. We were a bit anxious once we were in bed, and had to open the blinds to peer out a couple of times when we heard cars, as we thought it may have been police to move us on - but it wasn’t! We were buffeted by the wind, but had a peaceful night. 

It was 7.45am when I took my picture of the sun rising - seems quite late!

Tintin wanted to drive again today, so that I could look around. Was just over 2 hours of driving until our lunch stop. First stop was a manky service point, but it was free - and worked, no drive over drain for grey waste, but not a problem as we have the relevant hose!

Not very pretty driving earlier on, Fos-sur-Mer seemed to be a very industrial area, and we were stuck in fairly long traffic jams mainly due to roadworks - maybe improving the roads for the masses of trucks using the roads around the ports. 

How exciting - Dave went on a ferry across the River Rhône today! It cost €10, only took a couple of minutes, but saved about an hour’s drive. 

The picture of co-pilot looks like we were off driving into the sea - felt like it too! We drove to Plage de Piémanson, a 6km stretch of sandy beach, with rough sea today! The carpark is actually the beach! Books say it’s packed with mohos in the summer, despite no facilities whatsoever!

We had to laugh, as soon as we arrived, lots of insects landed on the windows. Thought they were mossies, but I could be paranoid! However, did send my husband out to turn the gas on! 

That’s half a dozen that won’t bother us!
That’s half a dozen that won’t bother us!

Another avocado salad for lunch - no chance of buying anything (um - baguette would be nice!) where we were stopped! I thought the avocados were expensive here in France - €3.99 for 2 - even M&S are cheaper - and they weren’t that special!

After slapping on our second lot of mossie repellent, went out for a walk along the beach. Really windy, which is just as well, as temperature has been hovering around 30° for most of the day, without the wind it would have been cruel - but in a strange way, it was quite bracing - and certainly wouldn’t have wanted to lay out!

Neither of us felt the need to hang around to stay the night, didn’t even fancy a swim - well couldn’t really swim, but could have got wet! We could have even gone to the nudist beach, but nah!

The narrow road back to more civilization was about 10km long. Again, would be horrid in high summer, not really enough space for two mohos to pass easily!

There were lots and lots of swans in one lake - and herons - and lots of smaller birds, but I don’t the names of them!

We stopped off at Le Point de Vue on the way back. The lookout here provides a rare vantage point to see the pink stained salts pans, and the soaring crystalline mountains. This is Europe’s largest salt works, producing 800,000 tonnes per year. The pink colour is due to a micro algae, Dunaliella Salina, this is also why the flamingoes are pink. They are born a dull grey colour, but they become what they eat! The beta carotene in the algae, larvae and brine shrimp that they eat in their wetland environment changes their colour!

I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many dragon flies as we did today. Lots of them, especially by the salt lakes - but very hard to photograph - they weren’t landing on anything!

So Tintin drove for nearly another hour this afternoon, and we’re parked up at Domaine Paul Ricard. Here we could go horse riding for €19 for an hour, or go on the little train. To be honest, it’s so hot, we’re inside Dave with the fans on, but the air temperature is still 30°. 

Trying to get some shade
Trying to get some shade

There is also a bull ring here, however, unlike in Spain - bulls aren’t harmed. The razeteurs wear skin tight white shirts and trousers and get as close as they can to the bulls to try to snatch rosettes and ribbons tied to the bull’s horns. 

Earlier on, we saw flamingoes, but only when driving, so no photos - will try harder tomorrow. Also saw black bulls, again, no evidence. Think we must have passed the rice fields - but again - didn’t notice. 

We have however seen the white Camargue horses. These are considered one of the oldest breeds in the world. They have developed stamina, agility and hardiness. They are born with a hair coat of brown or black, and as they mature into adulthood their hair coat becomes white or grey. 

All of a sudden we were in the Camargue region, where the Petit Rhône and Grand Rhône meet the Mediterranean - 930 sq km of salt flats, saltwater lakes, marshlands and farmland. It all looks flat and quite inhospitable! Our book describes travelling around the Camargue as tantamount to frolicking with a zillion mosquitoes in a giant nature park!

I don’t want to jinx anything - but I don’t think either of us has been bitten - yet! Must be the light colored clothing, lack of perfume, layering on of mossie repellent - and being indoors for a lot of the day, or the fact that it’s really windy, so maybe can’t land on us! 

A few more photos from today

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Martin and Kay Dumont from Guernsey, first time motorhomers and ready to travel. ‘Dave’ is our Mobilvetta K Yacht 85, purchased in 2017 and travelled all the way from Italy. After following Jason and Julie Buckley’s blog 'Ourtour' for years I just couldn’t get the name ‘Dave’ out of my head. So the Mobilvetta had to be another 'Dave’. More...

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