After a good nights sleep we all felt a little more human. I had a shower and checked out the facilities; there are ample shower blocks dotted around and all facilities are spotless, no matter what time of day you use them, although the loo roll runs out on occasion so best to take an emergency supply. The kids were keen to get down to the beach which is 2 miles away down a bumpy track that Fugly had struggled with the day before. There are alternative ways to the beach in the car but these are a lot longer and inevitably mean sitting in a traffic queue (these can’t be avoided on the coast in the height of summer and are a pain in the buttt, I don’t do queues, so much so that on the way down the one campsite in Regluss that might have had spaces I walked away from after I had stood in reception for 15 minutes in a queue).
We decided to use our bikes and pumped up tyres in readiness. I have not been on my bike for a long time and a few things had seized up, like the rear brakes, but no matter, I was not going fast enough to use them. The route down was bumpy but it didn’t take very long and was relatively traffic free. There is an excellent cycle track along the coast and was so much better on my bottom when we got to it. After the kids had been sun creamed up we left them with provisions (baguette, meat, drinks, 10 euro, sun cream) we left them to have a coffee at the beach bar, the coffee was awful as it had been stewing in the filter pot for probably the last few days. So we mounted our cycles and rode to the village of St Aygulf where we found a sandwich bar on the road island and enjoyed coffee and a Salad De Chevre – yum yum and double yum. Even in a touristy hot spot where they don’t really need to make an effort it seems the French have such a respect for their food that they wouldn’t dream of serving up anything that’s second-rate or unfresh. We left the kids on the beach all day, well most of the kids, George came back to the campsite and we then went off to Lydl for more provisions, the prices were fairly comparative to home so no major shock there. When the kids returned we had a big pot of pasta and home-made tomato sauce made in the bowl thing on the Cadac – thanks Mum and Dad for lending us the Cadac it’s a brilliant bit of kit. We then fell asleep listening to the entertainment – a music quiz – and slept incredibly well once more.
During the day I had a chance to have a quick chat with Veronique about the floods last year. As she was speaking she became visibly emotional and it bought it home to me how frightening it must have been, she had watched her husband and children swimming for safety and witnessed the helicopters rescuing people from roofs of mobile homes in the campsite next door, Etoile D’Argent. The river is situated at the bottom of the site and there is launching and mooring facilities, it flows calmly down to the sea passing a few campsites as it does. It was this river, the Argen, that rose and engulfed the campsites in June last year rendering them all useless for the 2010 season. The owners and local tradesmen must have worked extremely hard to transform a site that was flooded up to above head height (there are markers dotted around the site to indicate flood levels) to the pristine and well kept site that stands today. This is the first season since the floods and obviously one of mixed emotions, I hope Veronique, her family and anyone involved in last years floods don’t have to witness anything like it again.