Wednesday, 12 November 2014

...and back again (29th October - 4th November)

29 October

We set off from Newhaven for our return trip to Spain. We would be docking at Dieppe at 16:00 and driving south to our first stop at Nonancourt.

We arrived at the aire at 18:45 and were delighted with its location and facilities. We picked up some groceries and had a quick look around the town and decided that we definitely had to have a longer walk around the next morning.  

There will definitely be a star against this aire in our book and a return visit would be good too!

30th October

After croissants for breakfast and a leisurely walk around this very pretty medieval town, we set off  once more towards our evening stop over point. Mike had several options in mind and after comparing them all, we were delighted that our choice was just perfect.  

A very pretty lakeside location greeted us, and when we parked up we noticed a couple sat on a bench enjoying a sundowner.  They owned the motor home parked close to us and we took them by surprise with our response to their initial greeting of "Hola".  Our Spanish registration plates seem to have that effect on many people :)

Lurcy Levis will be another aire that will be awarded  a gold star and one that we will definitely use again.  Next time we will go into the small town which is a 15 minute stroll away as it looked rather interesting on our drive out of town. 

31 October

The views of the countryside on our drive out of Lurcy Levis were just beautiful.

The couple we had met at the lake had told us about an aire they had stayed at and it sounded good enough to us to change our previous plan and head there instead.  

It was quite a long days drive but we were making good progress and enjoying the scenery, even though Mike had kindly shared his cold with me and I was therefore not feeling 100% on top. 
Thankfully the recommendation turned out to be a really good one and the detour to get there was well worth it. 

St Malzieu Ville is another medieval town  with lots of charm and character. 
As we were parking, I noticed a procession of  small children in Halloween costumes who were obviously on their trick or treat journey. Thankfully they didn't mind that I didn't have any goodies for them.

The aire, although next to a road, was surprisingly quiet and we spent a few hours exploring the town and walking along the river bank.  This small town had wonderful sports amenities along with  play areas for children that were segregated into age related equipment. Such a good idea, and even better to see it being well used. 

1st November

Another fairly early start as we wanted to make sure we got to our next location in plenty of time. We were both looking forward to going over the Millau bridge and were hoping that the weather would be kind for photos.

It was a shame that it was cloudy as we drove over, but we were rewarded later on, when we returned to Millau  to check out an alternative evening stop. We were able to take more photos of the bridge, but this time with blue sky and sunshine for the backdrop.

Not far from Millau is the town of Roquefort and home of the famous cheese. This was a visit we were really looking forward to.  However, it turned out to be quite a disappointment. I thought the town would be a thriving one and was amazed to see that it looked and felt very poor and unloved. It also felt very deserted, but we were able to have a short tour and find out some of the history behind the famous name. 

Our guess is that in years gone by the cheese was completely hand made but now that machinery does a lot of the work, the people who once were employed are not needed any more. Or maybe we visited on a quiet day?

Having decided that there wasn't enough to keep us in Roquefort for any longer, we had lunch at the aire we had originally intended to stay at, and which gave us a lovely view while we dined, and then decided to head back towards Millau to see what the aire there had to offer.  

This was a very good idea as it allowed us to see the bridge in sunshine and from a different view point.  We also filled up with fuel and took yet more pictures.

Unfortunately the aire in Millau had started charging for its use and as it wasn't really very attractive at all, we got back into Wanda and headed off again.  After a journey on a long and very winding road, :) we arrived at Lunas. It was a very acceptable aire with another fishing lake and more sporting facilities. It was also a very popular place and was quite full by the time we'd finished dinner. 



2nd October

Today we were heading further south and our destination was Port Vendres. It is located on the French Mediterranean coastline and very close to the Pyrenees and the Spanish border.  I had read about it in a novel recently and thought that it sounded worthy of a visit.  It also had an aire which sounded fine according to the  blurb in the aire book.

Well, I guess we all make mistakes sometimes and what I had forgotten was that the book I'd read was set in the late 1950's!  60 years and lots of progress alter a place greatly, however, if I tried really hard I was able to shut out the industry that surrounded the port and imagine it as it had been all those years ago.  For those of you who might be interested, the book was called Daughter of Catalonia by Jane MacKenzie and I really enjoyed it. 

We made the most of it though and walked to the port from the aire ( not the shortest of strolls as the aire book lead us to believe). We also walked in the other direction and were rewarded with pretty views over the harbour entrance. 

3rd October

With only 2 days left of our travels, we headed over the Spanish border and towards our next stopping point. 

It was going to be a long drive covering just over 400 kms, but the weather was good and getting warmer as we got nearer to home.

Our stop for the night was at a place called l'Hospital de l'Infants. It is a little further south from Tarragona and still within the Catalonia area of Spain.

We weren't sure of our intentions at this time, but the weather decided it for us. This was only our second proper camp site and although the facilities were really good, the area wasn't that pretty with industrial views along the coastline that really spoilt it.  During the night we had rain; lots of rain, and, as it was still wet in the morning, we decided not to make any further stops, but to head for home. 

4th November

A drive along familiar roads with a stop off for lunch supplies at Lidls.

At one stage we did contemplate just passing the home turning by and heading further south.  However, we didn't think Mike's business partner would be too pleased about that and so we eventually arrived home at 16:00 after a fabulous time all round and with dreams of our next trip away.

Thank you for sharing our journey :)