27th October 2016. Latour-Bas-Elne, France.

Darren’s just washed the van, we had pre-paid 2 Euros for 10 minutes use of the water and the van in front of us filled up quickly enough for us to fill the water tank on the remains of their time so I suggested to Darren that we gave them a 1 Euro in return.  The man was pleasantly surprised to be given some money back, they’d had one hell of a time trying to work out how to get some water (glad to see the locals have trouble as well) and when they’d discovered where you had to pay his wife had kindly come over to try to explain to me in French where it was, which was very nice of her (I didn’t realise at that time that Darren had prepaid when we arrived)  Anyway once we’d paid it suddenly occurred to me that we’d now paid 3 Euros and had 10 minutes of water to use so we decided to wash the salt and dirt off the van, that was well worth €3 in itself (yes, but you weren’t the getting soaked or was that why it was worth €3?).

It’d been a long journey, we were only half way to our stop over, we’d driven for 2 hours and were very hungry.  We’d finally found a lay by large enough to pull in for lunch and as Darren turned the engine off I noticed a lady in a very skimpy dress and knee length white boots standing in front of the lorry, all the others have been at the entrance not the exit (she’ll sell more sandwiches if she sets up shop at the entrance or maybe it was her tea break!), I didn’t want to disturb her so we moved on and eventually found another lay by that wasn’t in use (we had to make our own sandwiches though).   I think we found the reason why it’s not in use.  As we were eating lunch a police van appeared to the side of us from nowhere, when we looked closely they’d come down a service road from the motorway and were trying to unlock the barrier so they could drive out, they then drove past us the wrong way down the lay-by, shot across the road and through a little tunnel to go back to the other side of the motorway.

We drove past another lay-by just along from where we’d stopped for lunch, there were 2 girls working that one, one of the girls gave me a beaming smile and waved to me as we went past (last sandwiches before the motorway!) and I waved back, we’re getting a lot of practise waving what with one thing and another.

The SAT NAV took us down another tiny lane to get to the aire which we could have got to from the main road, what IS wrong with it! (I think she’s upset ‘cos we named the van ‘Van diesel’ but haven’t named her, she must have been talking to Stella)

The lady on reception was very friendly and could speak a bit of English so we juggled between the two languages.  As we were driving to our pitch Darren noticed a UK registered motorhome, I said hello as I walked past and because I couldn’t see the electric hook up I asked whether there were any up this end of the aire.  The man told me to look behind the motorhomes in a very irritated tone.  OK my mistake.  As we pulled into the pitch further along I smiled at the lady in the motorhome a couple of pitches along and she glared at me and pulled up the blind, ooh very friendly!

We’ve been here a little while now and I think I misread the reason the lady next door pulled up the blind, it sounds like she’s watching TV and she probably wasn’t glaring at me, I think she may have been squinting in the sun so couldn’t see me anyway!  I really must stop imagining the worst!

The aire is very pretty we can see the mountains in the distance on one side and a field with palm type trees edging it.

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