Still very windy, and our drive is very slow, at times we can barely
make headway against the wind, and other times it seems like our poptop
might be pulled off! Somehow we get distracted from the fuel guage
and suddenly realise we are almost out of fuel and it's Sunday.
We get off the road looking for the shops and petrol stations but the 24
hour ones don't take our credit card so we decide to get back onto the
highway in the hope that we'll get to an Aire de Service before we run
out. We keep going for an bit but it is looking pretty dodgy so we take the
next exit and luckily find a manned open station not long before he is
due to shut!
We decide not to push so hard to get our own way when the weather and
other things seem to want us going in different directions. We
pull into a service area to give the kids a longer break. Suzie
gets some campground info and I get a few treats in the overpriced shop,
then we get back on the road. Suzie tells me as we get onto the
highway that the steering is bad and we briefly look at the tires out
our windows, but we get onto the highway. Shortly after we get off
the highway and she realises we have a flat and pulls in on the shoulder. I do my best
to pump it enough to get us to the next town, where we happily find a
service station. No air, but a very helpful customer who changes
our spare onto the flat for us, assures us the garage is a good one when
we realise we will need to replace the unfixable tire, and shows us to a
campground after he's done!
The place he shows us is closed so we
drive along stoping at several other closed ones. We get to the
coast where there is a really good playground and stop for the kids, but
are not sure where we'll be sleeping tonight. We really don't want
another night of wild camping; Suzie finds out where an open one is; as
we leave we wave to a couple of other drivers in a Beatle and something
else VW and old a beach buggy jeep thing?!
We drive parallel to the coast and eventually down a long
road with several closed campgrounds we find ours, where they tell us to
just find a place and check in tommorow.
Suz talks to the garage on the phone and the tires will be ready
tommorow, so we decide to stay onsite all day. Suzie does some
sorting and I spend most of the day at the pool with the kids; they have
great fun on the water slides, and end up staying in long enough to come
out with teeth chattering, despite the water being heated. I have
to brave it, so once the little guys are out of the water I go down the
big slide a couple of times, Sammy comes with me once, and that's enough
As we're leaving the pool we realise that one section of it is a wave
pool as an attendant comes to turn it on. Everyone in all the
other sections comes over and the kids have great fun with Suzie.
day is sunny and windy, and wind eases later on.
12 April - shopping day
Today we give in to consumerism and head for a megashop. Newbie
is getting reshod today, so the rest of us who need new footwear get
some too, and we also stock up on food and bits and pieces, and finally
find a refill for our large gas container so we can have BBQs and use
our big cooker again. We manage to spend a lot of money with not
really a lot to show for it.
Our mechanic tries to engage me in a
discussion about some European politics; having not read a paper or seen
news in a while, his limited English isn't the hindering factor!
His assistant has some difficulty getting some of the nuts off the
second tire wheel, but gets it off eventually. Suzie drives and
says Newbie's steering is hugely improved with the 2 new front tires.
Back at the site we have a much needed
Later I cycle back in to Valras Plage to send emails to possible
WWOOF hosts and update our website.
I stay up late on the computer.
I get a bit of a lie in on the computer while Suzie and some of the
kids are up, then after breakfast pack up the laundry and computer.
Eli and I drop the laundry into the machines at a nearby laundrymat
where the locals just stare at us, no smiles! Then we rush off to
the internet cafe for 45 minutes to see if any WWOOF hosts have replied
(no) and upload our latest website updates. We also download some
3D animation tools and tutorials that Eli is interested in.
back and hang up the laundry, have lunch, and everyone gets ready for
the pool. Unfortunately heavy cloud cover means it is pretty cool
outside, but all the kids except Eli get in for a little while.
Just as they are drying off the wave pool is turned on so they get back
in again for another 10 minutes.
Back at the site we have a relaxed afternoon, Suzie starts a book and
I begin to get dinner sorted, another BBQ and mash, great to be able to
cook several things at once now that we have the big cooker working
We'll leave tomorrow even though we haven't had any responses
from WWOOF hosts. We can ring them but even if they can't have us
we can continue along the bottom of France and then turn up the West