We left Benicarlo, deciding to take the motorway and start to head north as our time is running out. The time seems to have gone fast this trip, so we will have to do another trip next year and compare. The weather was forecast to be sunny at Benicarlo for a few days and we did think about staying, but then how long do you stay. The longer you stay the less time you have to get back to the ferry. Which means you to rush, I don’t like rushing. I much prefer shorter drives so I can see more things. So after saying goodbye to some nice peaple we met on the site we were off.
We were heading for another site called Albera at Capmany, it’s in a cork oak tree forest. The whole area was engulfed in a big forest fire five years ago which was made worse by the strong winds. We were soon on the motorway. The motorways in Spain and France are good and the toll ones have good surfaces and hardly any traffic except around the big cities. Spanish ones are cheaper than France.you get a ticket at the toll booth, the barrier goes up and you’re on your way, wherever you get off you put your ticket in the machine and it tells you how much you owe. You can use your credit card or cash, or regular users have a tag. You have different classes for different vehicles depending on size, height etc. We were in a line of three cars when the car infront of us decided to tailgate the one in front of him. Big mistake. Within a second the alarms had sounded and the machine had closed down. No idea why he would have done that because the cameras are everywhere and you can’t get off the motorway without going through a toll booth so he would have a nice big fine to pay. The machine reset and we payed our money and went on our way. A bit of excitement. We stopped for fuel and lunch along the way.
This was a big drive day for me but all going well. Then off the motorway onto the smaller roads. Good ol sat nav tells us to turn into the village, we had allready gone past a sign with the campsite restaurant name on it, but thought no way can we get down there. This next turning was worse. The road started to get narrower the houses on either side closer and closer together. On with the brakes and into reverse. Lucky nothing was behind as I reversed about 500 yards back. I say I reversed because Nikki had stopped breathing and was looking worried. Back on the other road and follow the signs for the restaurant. Here we go again the roads getting narrower but I know I can get through, but I don’t know what’s round the corner. Let’s go for it I say. Nikki stops breathing again. It was tight and took us into a little village square with two ways out, a one way and another which I knew I would not get down, so the one way street it was. Oh yea this was also the wrong street to the campsite. By now my Yin and Yang are getting out of balance. To anyone reading this that does not know we are in a 30 ft five ton motorhome. The street we went down.
We find the right road next and the campsite. Forgot to say all the trees we saw were all black from the fire and this was five years on. Checked in at reception by the owner who, a Dutch guy who obviously had forgot to put a happy head on in the morning. The site was expensive but we just wanted to get parked up, eat and bed and chill the next day. The pitches were a mixture of sand, mud and grass and it had started to rain. The toilet block was like a fridge, no loo roll, no soap, only good thing the showers had good water pressure.The next day it’s still raining on and off but we need to stretch our legs, so we head off down to the village on foot this time. We had allready seen it from the motorhome. Loverly little village, looked more French than Spanish but we are only about 15 minutes from the border so maybe they moved the border or could only get French builders that day.
Next stop was to be an aire in a town called Grisolle in France. The aire was in a car park of a community centre, next to a canal. We parked up and had a walk found the small town. Again some loverly old buildings and a wonderful old market building. We do like French houses. I must add it was a beautiful sunny day.
Next stop another campsite called La Montreal. We were recommended this site by a couple in Benicarlo. It also has a Dutch owner. We checked it out on the internet and on street veiw etc and I emailed the owner to see if they had room for us. All good. Some more narrow streets through the village after coming off the main roads but no problem, I think even Nikki managed to keep breathing this time, well most of the time. We were greeted by the owner (Hans) wife with a lovely smile and good English, she told us where to park and even gave us a choice of places. We chose to go up the top of the site so we are all alone but have fantastic views and get the sun from when it comes up until it goes down. A good ten hours of sunshine and it’s warm. Hans himself came up to see us when he got back from where ever he had been. He is a star and straight away we were having a laugh and joke. The site overlooks a lake and hills. The toilets are spotless, there is loo roll and soap and you are made to feel welcome. Completely differant to the last campsite.( Yin and Yang.)
We had a walk around the lake and up into the village yesterday to get some bread and a little French cake. Everybody was smiling and happy, the sun was shining, birds were singing. I was trying my French out by saying bonjour to everyone. Nikki was trying to disown me.
Yes I drove through there. I love the old house and shops with the shutters and big open windows when the shutters are open. We will proberly stay here until Tuesday then move on to Parc verger which is a campsite we stayed on when we coming down through France. Weather permitting I want to go to the Normandy beaches before we get on the ferry and visit the American cemetery and museum. It’s somewhere I have wanted to visit for a long time.