I am proud to say, that Paul and I have not darkened the door of any McDonald’s or other fast food establishments. This wasn’t always the case for either one of us in the not too distant past. We never found ourselves ordering “we’ll have fries with that” at Micky D’s, but we both have a soft spot when it comes to Subway.
Over the past 6-7 months we kept educating ourselves on appropriate food for sustaining good health. This project mainly falls on my shoulders because I have the time to research it, and I am passionate about good, healthy food and staying well. And staying well as the years progress becomes ever more important.
On Monday morning we tackled a long overdue item on our administrative to do list. We needed an address in France where letters and parcels could be sent to us.
We made an attempt at setting one up last week. We popped into a small post office in Bages four miles from Peyriac-de-Mer where we’ve been staying for the last week. We aren’t very good at communicating what we want in a post office, or anywhere else for that matter, but we’ve successfully overcome the post office first hurdle. We now know how to get in.
After shopping in Narbonne at the beginning of the week we decided to return to our Christmas aire at Gruissan. The aire was pleasant enough, but a little too busy for us. Sixty four motorhomes half filled the large harbour parking area. Many were there for the winter. Most of the owners were French and spent hours standing in groups discussing the activity around them.
We enjoyed the view from the harbour and the clanking of halyards against masts on windy nights over Christmas so we decided to try again. We suspected that the numbers would have reduced after the Christmas festivities. Cynthia guessed at forty. I was confident that there would be no more than thirty five. We were both in for a surprise.
It’s hard to believe that just a week ago we were ringing in the New Year with our chocolate and bio-organic (delicious!) champagne. A good start and a great week was had by us…..
January 1st found us out the door and on the boardwalk of Peyriac de Mer, and from there we made our way along the trails that circle the estuaries here and then up into the surrounding hills that offer the best of views and nice little niches for a quick bite and a hot beverage.
As it can be rather windy in this area, we were particularly happy that this first day of the new year was a sunny, clear and tranquil one. There were many people out enjoying this day, but we never felt that we couldn’t have the peace and tranquility we so covet. There is plenty of room for many people to enjoy the environs without stepping on other people’s toes.
Boxing Day (or for those of you outside the UK not familiar with this term–the day after Christmas) found us pulling up the anchor and heading to new territories. We decided we wanted to remain in the Narbonne area because there are so many places to explore here. Nature is abundant—a true paradise!
So away we went a bit further south and west to Leucate, which consists of a village and expansive beaches on the Med as well as secluded spots on the inlet. We found one Aire that cost €10 a night and decided to explore another Aire closer to the Med and just a few miles away. Alas, this one was closed up for the winter so we made our way back through the mostly deserted village and returned the to first Aire. It is terraced and faces the inlet with fantastic views. This is a popular spot for wind surfers and there is even a school here for this sport. On this particular day, it was still quite windy and there were many enthusiasts out taking advantage of it. When dusk fell, they made their way back to their cars and departed for the evening, leaving just us motorhomes.
I haven’t written much over the last two weeks because, to be frank, I haven’t had much to write about. Santa has been kind enough to give us a trouble free festive break. Everything is working on the Hymer as well as it’s supposed to, so there are no tales of tragic breakdowns or careless accidents to report. I could almost describe our last couple of weeks as relaxing. I’m only joking Cynthia, of course the last fortnight has been relaxing!
At the beginning of last week we spent a relaxing couple of days on our own on Rennes-le-Chateaux’s facility free aire/car park. A complete lack of facilities and a steep downhill slope which is impossible to fully correct with even the tallest of motorhome ramps are two reasons for the aire’s tranquility.
Sorry I am a bit tardy with my post this week--seems I neglected to charge my iPad during the night, and by the time I sat down in ernest to write, the darn thing was down to 3%, then died a few minutes later. As Paul was busy writing his part, I needed to wait until after he had finished to get mine written! And, I had written a totally different post a few days ago, but Paul was lukewarm on it so I pitched it. Oh well, can't win them all!
I feel better now, thank you very much.
I received many comments last week about my downbeat, not-your-usual-jolly-self blog post. The comments were quite right. I was a bit of a miserable git. The drastic change to my lifestyle temporarily overwhelmed me. I wasn’t at all happy.
As is often the case though, the fault was all mine. I had two major issues; the acute lack of physical living space, and not enough time for me to practice what I do best… playing Billy-No-Mates on my own.
The solution was as effective as it was simple. All I needed to do was to spend some time on lonesome in the great outdoors, something which is in abundance around us at the moment.
I sometimes find this motorhome lifestyle very difficult to adapt to. Driving a large vehicle on narrow roads is often stressful and, after living afloat, I am used to living in a small space, but not nearly as small as the space I have to live in now.
I spent six and a half years living on a narrowboat. Those used to life in a bricks and mortar home would probably find three hundred square feet of living space I had on my 62’ boat a bit of a squeeze, but there’s more space than you might expect.
Our recent landing in the southern French village of Esperaza has provided many benefits. It’s a bit like the pebble-in-the-proverbial-pond syndrome. The wonderful ripple effect.
I mentioned in my last post that we had met a nice gentleman, Gary Granville, whilst we were using the facility at the aire there in Esperaza a week ago Sunday. Since that meeting we have exchanged some emails, and Gary has given us some wonderful suggestions of places we might enjoy visiting in the area.
One of these is Rennes les Chateau, only 8 km from the Esperaza aire, where we set off to last Tuesday morning after breakfast. I was happy Paul hadn’t looked at the twisting, winding barely-a-road-more-like-a-