I woke up early this morning due to the air bed deflating and Bruce and I went in search of croissants. We found a bar tabac, boulengerie and Lydl on the outskirts of town and then returned to see if our pitch by the toilets was free as we were due to move today. Sure enough the pitch was free and we returned to camp to find the kids and start Operation Up Sticks. First the kids cycled round to the new pitch with all of the bikes while Bruce and I bungled all sleeping bags and pillows inside the car. Next we bungeed the airbed and camp beds on top of the trailer and slowly drove round to our new pitch. I may have mentioned that there are a lot of Dutch campers at this site and some seemed very tidy, organised and pedantic and not the least bit impressed with our moving mayhem, especially the weird chap camped opposite our new pitch. I say weird because he and his family hardly spoke to each other, never smiled and spent the day sitting outside their caravan staring at us. We gave them something to stare at when we went back to collect our tent and carried it round, fully erected, a person on each pole and plonked it on our pitch. Pegs in, airbeds unbungeed, sleeping bags in et voila, job done – decamped and recamped in under an hour.
We then had the rest of the day to enjoy canoeing (without oars as we had left them in the car park at Salles) and swimming in the river. The campsite has a riverside beach and plenty of shallows to play in. It’s also fun to watch those in hired canoes navigate the mini rapids caused by kids daming the river in various places. After a day resting, swimming and being stared at we lit the barbie and enjoyed a lovely family meal. Afterward we listened to a few tunes on the car stereo (not loudly), George played guitar and Bruce and I even had a dance around the pitch. Being stared at. At 10pm the music went off and we tidied around ready to strike camp the following day. We were right next to the
toilet block which was noisy with washer uppers and kids larking about with the water but it didn’t bother us, our neighbours were playing a film, kids were playing around and we all sat and played a game of “How many cars can you name beginning with the letter R” – that is until Weird Staring man got up from his chair in the dark, left his very quiet family around the table and came over and asked us to keep our voices down! He didn’t ask our neighbours to turn off their film (complete with loud dramatic music) or his Dutch neighbours to stop playing cards and arguing, nor did he ask the screaming kids to quieten down or the washer uppers to stop clanking their pots. Just the English (who are not all English anyway) family sitting down altogether and playing a game, I have never experienced prejudice before but I can tell you it isn’t nice. So we just put on our best shell suits and in true football hooligan style told him to F*** OFF! Only joking, we actually wished him a lovely evening and completely ignored his request. I can’t stand insular, intolerant bigots and it really hacked me off. Luckily his Dutch neighbours were fantastic, chilled and laid back with a really cool bell tent and they completely restored my faith in the Dutch camper.
Despite Weird Staring man I would return to this campsite as it’s location by the river is fab and it is comparatively cheap – 62 euro for 2 nights for 6 with electricity in high season. We were paying nearly that per night at La Barque and that was cheap for the Med coast. The toilets are clean but not quite 4 star luxury, the owners are friendly and the bar is fairly priced. It is generally quite laid back and friendly with the odd exception! If I were to book I would ask for a riverside pitch, although the river might be a bit noisy for some!