Sanglier at Windswept Étang de Leucate

Little things bring me so much joy. Simply having electricity this morning pleased me immensely. I woke yesterday to a dead battery bank, no electricity, and because we had no electricity, no lighting and no heating. Being able to briefly sneak out of bed this morning, click a switch and hear the gas boiler roar into life was a real pleasure.

Another simple pleasure was glancing away from my MacBook screen as I typed to see the distant snow-capped peak of nine thousand feet high Pic Canigou. The mountain was bathed in an orange glow from the sun rising in a clear sky behind our Hymer. It was a chilly thirty degrees. Thank God for electricity and a plentiful LPG supply.

We ploughed through a busy day yesterday. First on our to-do list was a flying visit to the aire in an adjacent bay to our wild campsite. We dumped our waste and rubbish and filled our water tank. An enormous motorhome towing an equally large trailer spanned half a dozen parking bays. The trailer looked like a DIY caravan. In fact, it was secure storage for the owner’s expensive toys. As we passed, he reversed a Smart car out of his mobile garage revealing two gleaming Honda Goldwings. The contents of his enclosed trailer cost more than our motorhome.

Recent nights have been cold, but there’s a real spring feel to the air. We drove south to Claira past a steady procession of blossom covered trees. It’s a sight we wouldn’t be able to enjoy in the UK for another two months, three months around Cynthia’s former Vermont home.

After a day of tedious but essential resupply, we returned to our Leucate Étang and an evening walk with the dogs as the sun set over the Corbières Massif. We walked them separately last night. Twelve-year-old Tasha can’t keep up with young and energetic Abbie. They walked separately, but completely in tune with each other.

Both dogs adore a stinking corpse.

The shore is lined with half-acre plots of scrub surrounded by low stone walls. Some contain small stone buildings and barbeques and maybe a wooden picnic table or two. We think they are used during the summer months by seaside loving locals.

The plots are deserted at this time of year. Very few people come here, which is possibly why a wild pig chose one of them as his final resting place.

Abbie found the skull, bare apart from a few tufts of coarse black hair. She stood over it, quivering and refusing to move away from anything so deliciously foul. Tasha found the body. Much to Cynthia’s dismay, she tried to drag it back to the Hymer.

Sanglier sightings are rare, but we’re getting closer. Fresh prints in wet mud in the hills above Peyriac-de-Mer last week, and now a sun-bleached carcass. I hope to meet a wild boar face to face. I just hope he isn’t too wild.

Roadside blossom on the route to Claira

Roadside blossom on the route to Claira

A sanglier skull on a rocky shore at Leucate

A sanglier skull on a rocky shore at Leucate

Is liking animal carcasses THAT bad?

Is liking animal carcasses THAT bad?

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