Claira, Le Barcarès and Saint-Hippolyte – Replenishing Our Depleted Motorhome Supplies
Our motorhome life in statistics.
Days since leaving the UK: 479
Countries visited: 11
Miles travelled: 21,589
Miles Per Gallon (MPG): 21.3
Cost per mile: £0.27
Total fuel cost: £5,829
The weather yesterday: 59°F and sunny all day (Hooray!)
Yesterday was a ‘doing’ day. We try to group tasks so that I don’t have to drive every day. After twenty-one thousand miles on the road, I’m as comfortable as I’m ever going to be at the wheel of a twenty-five-foot steel and plastic box, but negotiating the narrow and unknown streets of an ever-changing number of towns and villages causes a certain amount of stress.
We left this…
…to get some of these…
…and have one of these…
After three days off-grid, we needed it all; food for us, food for the dogs, water in, waste out, diesel for the ever-thirsty Hymer and a post office for Cynthia. I’m fairly sure that Cynthia has now sent postcards to everyone in the United States. She’s working her way through an ever-increasing number of friends in Europe too.
We drove south to a sprawling retail park on the outskirts of Claira north of Perpignan. At that point, we were just twenty miles from the Spanish border. The streets were lined with squat date palms, umbrella pines and deeply unappealing holiday apartments towering over endless marinas filled with characterless plastic sailing boats.
We shopped till we dropped, and then we shopped some more. I despise shopping days. The day’s saving grace was a lunchtime visit to Subway. I was also able to find a stylus for my iPhone which makes editing photo’s on my iPhone much more practical than trying to use a stumpy finger.
Finding an open post office is always a challenge in rural France. Google Maps rarely lists opening times. The first we visited on our coastal route back was in Saint-Hippolyte. Our route in was made more of a challenge by a three-metre high road bridge which barred our entrance. After a little perseverance, we discovered a way to the village centre. The post office was closed.
Much to Cynthia’s and the French government’s delight, we found one open in Le Barcarès. With the aid of a large rucksack, we were finally able to dispatch Cynthia’s overseas greetings.
The silver lining to the busy day’s dark cloud was finding an easy and free to use water supply at the nearby Leucate de Goulet aire. Last year, the charge to stay on the barrier controlled site was €10 (£8.76). This year, the aire was barrierless, allowing all and sundry access to parking and facilities. We considered spending a night or two but a nearby dilapidated motorhome with a load of washing strung between two lamp posts and a free-roaming German shepherd cross with a gammy leg put us off.
We’re back at our lagoon-side wild camping spot now, ready for another day or two of doing very little. I’m going to take Abbie a few miles north along the coastal trail today. The cove next to us is filled with pink flamingoes and egrets. The French Mediterranean coast is a beautiful place to spend the winter months.