15th October 2016. St-Tropez, France.

We spent the morning catching up on chores and cycled into the town in the afternoon arriving just as the market was closing up!  We really must start getting out earlier.

At first glance we weren’t that keen on St Tropez with all the flashy boats and cars around the harbour area but on the other side of the harbour there were still small fishing boats, we saw one coming back in to the harbour and we saw a man sorting out his nets, so the small fishing village hasn’t been taken over completely.

I spent a while taking photos of jelly fish, they were different from any that I’ve seen previously.  The water was full of flotsum and jetsum, we assume that is from the storm.

We found a little café away from the harbour where we had baguettes for lunch.

Then we sat in the sun beside the harbour with an ice cream and watched the (very rich) world go by.  We watched the harbour master bring his little boat over and hook a piece of tree then drag it along, we though he was removing it from the water but apparently he wasn’t, he dragged it out of a berth so that a HUGE boat could moor there.  It was entertaining watching them reverse it in, whoever was manoeuvring it was very skilled and he got two thank you hugs from the owner when it was finally moored up which was lovely to see.  The harbour master helped push the back of the boat sideways a bit by driving up against the side of the huge boat with his little boat and pushing against it, using the anchor of the boat beside him to rest his boat against as he did it, intriguing!

There was a loud hooting noise while we were sitting there and we turned round to see a bridal party going past in the bridal car, unfortunately the bride was waving as they went past so my photos included one of her with her arm across her face and three photos of the backs of people as they turned round to wave and clap to them, d’oh!

It’s amazing how a sunny day can change the look of everything.  The sea and sky were vivid blue and the coloured houses glowed.  We cycled round to the far side of the harbour and pushed the bikes along the walkway and across the two beaches in the small bays.  I had a brief paddle, the water was quite warm but I really must remember to take a towel with me on these excursions, it’s not easy trying to get the sand off with a sock!

We were proud of ourselves on the next part of our cycle ride, we cycled all the way to the top of the hill to the castle which a few weeks ago we’d have found a chore just to walk up so we must be getting a bit fitter although there was a lot of heavy breathing when we reached the top.  Luckily there was an information board at the top to read so we were able to recover while we read that.

Unfortunately we’d arrived too late to go into the castle so we enjoyed the view from the top and cycled back down the other side.  That was strange, it looked like it was a slope on the top of the hill so we tried to freewheel down but there was so little momentum we were barely moving, then as we started to get a bit of movement we noticed a car had stopped in the road and we weren’t sure whether we were supposed to stop too, it turned out some poor bloke had left the car there to have a quick wee because there was no traffic coming down and we cycle up slowly and disturb him!  Sorry!  The hill got much steeper there so we hurtled down the quiet road to the bottom.

We popped back to the local beach on the way back, it looked so much more inviting than the previous day so we decided to go back to the van, get some coffee and sit on the beach (we could actually see some sand!).  There were some sneaky sleeping policeman along the road, in fact Darren told me he nearly got some air when he hit one!

We got back to the van and noticed a man sitting outside his van, we said hello and he wandered over to chat to us.  His name was John and his wife’s name was Mandy, so that was very easy to remember!  We stood and talked for ages, it was lovely, people have such interesting lives.  They go out travelling for 6 weeks at a time during school term times.  That sounds perfect.

We’d noticed a sign saying Plage Salins on our cycle route so I checked it out on Google when we got back, apparently the road we turned round in yesterday goes down to a sandy beach on the other side of the peninsular.  It would be nice to see that before we go.

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