29th October 2016. Latour-Bas-Elne, France.

We went exploring today, we were a little worried about how busy the roads would be and whether there was a cycle path.  It turns out there were hardly any cars on the road at the time we finally left, they were all having their afternoon kip and as we came out of the country lanes we found a cycle path of sorts.

It didn’t take long to get to the sea, it was a rich blue, with tiny white tipped waves breaking on the beach white sailing boats gliding along on the horizon, paradise.

We carried on following the track in the hopes we’d find a café and as we cycled round a corner we saw a stunning view, we were looking over at a posh island we’d noticed on the map.  Overlooking the sea was a large and beautiful house and the opposite bank was dotted with snazzy boats moored along it.  We watched a small motorboat putter out towards the mountains.  The water was the most amazing colour and the sun was glinting off the ripples.  There were people sitting at intervals along the bank fishing and a bit further along a group of people were enjoying a game of Boules.

We cycled further along to the entrance to the beach noticing as we went that there were a few motorhomes parked in various areas along the way and we wondered whether they were staying the night.  Luckily just as we were about to set off a UK registered van pulled in and Darren cycled over to ask them whether it was OK to stay there, with a view to staying there ourselves at sometime no doubt.  It turns out they didn’t know so they asked the couple in the French van next to them who said it was fine (but later drove off and left them guessing).

Darren was chatting for a long time and I was looking very antisocial sitting on my bike outside the gates so I cycled in to introduce myself.  Their names were Sue and Trevor and they had travelled to some very interesting places, not always in their van.  They’d started travelling when they were very young.

They had been about to take their lovely little terrier for a walk when Darren had cycled up and he had been sitting there patiently while we gassed on (the dog not Darren, Darren was very much a part of the gas bagging, which will surprise a lot of people I’m sure, the usually quiet Darren has changed and is the first to go over and start talking to someone! [I’ve got a LOT of catching up to do!])

Eventually the little dog started moaning and fidgetting as if to say “Hello, what happened to my walk?”, Trevor thought he might be hot so walked back to the van with him to get him some water, it was hillarious, the little terrier saw the van, assumed he wasn’t getting a walk and put the brakes on so Trevor was having to drag him along, you could imagine him shouting “NOOOO!  I haven’t had my walk yet!”  He certainly made his feelings known, you’re NOT fobbing me off with a drink of water I WANT MY WALK!

He didn’t get his walk for a while longer because although we, all kept saying goodbye we’d then think of something else to say, we must have said at least 10 goodbyes before we left but it was well worth it, eventually their little dog said “ENOUGH NOW! I WANT MY WALK!” well that’s my translation of his doggie noises, so Sue took him for around the car park to stretch his legs, it turns out the poor little thing was bursting for a wee, he was so well behaved.

We eventually left Trevor and Sue to get on with their walk, cycled to the tiniest Lidl I’ve ever seen to do some shopping then back for a quiet night in the van.


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