24th October 2016. Montpellier and Sète, France.

We were pleased to see that the weather was dry today so we set off to Montpellier, I’ve been looking forward to going there since our son Austyn visited it earlier in the year.  We found the car park on the second attempt and after a nerve racking ‘U’ turn (it was fine you were meant to U turn there, the little red car in front did it so why not) and parked.

We got the bikes out and Darren suggested going into the hotel near us to ask whether they had a map of Montpellier.  I tried to talk to the man on reception in French and he asked me whether I’d like him to speak English (in fluent English!) which I was thrilled to hear.  He kindly marked places he thought we’d like to visit and gave me directions on a cycle path into town (we had been heading to the busy road we’d driven in on filled with trepidation).

We had a nice cycle through a park, had lunch and cycled off round the city.  I was a little nervous going through the deserted narrow back streets of a city, but it seemed safer than cycling on the busy road.

We had a good look around and came to the Arch de Triumph, we cycled into the grounds and had a ‘discussion’ at the bottom of the steps about whether we should leave the bikes unchained at the bottom while we went to look at the view.  I wasn’t happy with the idea as it is a city so I suggested Darren went up first.

I’m glad we did it that way because I suddenly heard the couple who were sitting on the wall next to me speaking with an English accent so I commented and we started chatting.  They introduced themselves as Anita and Teo and they came from North London, they were visiting friends, I mentioned that I’d felt rather nervous going through the back streets they said they’d found Montpellier to quite laid back and relaxed and very quiet at certain times of the day so that made me feel much better.  We stopped and chatted for ages but then dark clouds started to appear in the sky so I thought we should get a move on and let Anita and Teo continue with their day just before we left Anita mentioned a place called Sete, she said it was supposedly a pretty place to visit by the sea and as we knew there was an aire there we decided that would be our over night stop.

I went up the steps to look at the beautiful structure and the view of the city and obviously take LOADS of photos.

I nearly had heart failure when I came back down, where we’d previously been standing chatting some boys who looked about 9 years old were now climbing over the wall on to the ledge behind it and crouching down, peering through the gaps in the posts and a young girl with them was videoing them, the ledge was about 5 metres above the ground and I couldn’t believe that their parents were allowing them to do that, the woman that was with them was just making ‘scared’ faces at them and clutching at her heart as she carried on watching them.

We cycled back through the city and discovered lots of little alleyways.  We sat and people watched in a square with a cup of coffee and some ice cream.

We saw a brilliant ‘motorhome’ when we got back to the car park, it had been made from a flat bed lorry and it had a caravan welded on the back.

We hadn’t really thought it through before we decided to go to Sete, we knew the weather was a bit manky and we also knew Sete was on a narrow piece of land with water either side (and a railway line it turns out!) but we set off.

It was dusk when we arrived and we knew we couldn’t carry on any further because our lights are useless.  The aire turned out to be a large car park with height barriers which we could just fit under and although the wind was blowing a hooley on the beach there were sand dunes which were shielding the aire and any noise from the trains was masked by breakers crashing on the beach.  There were about 5 other vans there so we felt comfortable.

Before we settled in we had a walk along the beach, I’ve never seen so many shells strewn on a beach before, they were every where and there were some big ones.  It was a great walk and I know my mother-in-law would have enjoyed every minute walking beside the stormy sea.  The crashing waves were sending a mist over the beach.

I was busy taking photos when I suddenly noticed someone in the water!  I couldn’t quite believe my eyes, why would you put yourself in such danger, his wife was sitting looking bored way up the beach.  I pointed the man out to Darren and then realised that although I thought the blokey was wearing light coloured swimming shorts he was in fact naked!  I wonder whether he went in with shorts and lost them in the swell!

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