As usual we spend a good while packing back up. With no
positive responses from WWOOF hosts so far we will head along the
foothills of the Pyranees, where several of them are located, and where
we may get a visit from Suzie's parents.
We drive for a while in the
rain, but having learned not to push it we stop at the first campground
not far from Carcasonne, and despite the higher cost than our last one,
we check in. Setting up is less stressful because the kids aren't
too tired yet, so it was a good choice. The site is by a lake so
we hope Eli can provide us with a fish lunch tomorrow.
A great chorus
of frogs can be heard on the lake at night.
There's rain on Newbie's roof most of the night. Some
unsuccessful fishing in the morning then we head off first for a
shopping expedition at Decathlon, amongst other things we get a new 2
man tent that pops up in less than a second, to replace our small popup
and older 2 man tent we use for storage when camping. While we are
shopping, the little guys get bikes from that section and cycle around
in the shop following us; this doesn't seem to be a problem, so we let
them at it. Eli gets a bit of new fishing tackle, maybe he'll have
better luck with this!
With our slightly more stuffed Newbie we
drive up to the old castle at Carcasonne to see if we can find a museum
we have been told about that has lots of armour swords and other knight
stuff. The supposedly free parking is expensive for a camper so we
find free on street parking not too far away and walk in.
castle looks like a real castle with ramparts turrets etc.
Sammy, Finn and I "storm" the castle, then we all walk around the
touristy place and the kids are happy enough to see lots of "knight
stuff" in the shops. The museum we have been told about isn't
there and from what one shopkeeper tells Suzie it may not suit the kids
Our day is mostly through already so we need to find a
place to camp. We go out of the town in the direction of a small
place called MontClare, and go along a small road where it would be
comfortable to wildcamp but there's no appropriate place to stop.
We get into the village, as much as there is one, and drive through the
twisty streets as they get narrower and we wonder if Newbie will fit
through some of the gaps! Nowhere likely to stop so we head back
and find another campsite we had missed. It's done in the Roman
style, the outdoor wash area has statues and a fountain, and the pool
(closed at the moment) is like the coleseum with pillars and spectator
seats rising around it. Eli and Rosa "set up" our new tent by
throwing it into the air. I make Shabbat dinner and serve it
inside the camper as it's cold, then our usual children's movie before
the big guys move out to the tent for the night. Suzie and I stay
up later to watch The Last Samurai, neither of us are very impressed.
Another move late in day setting up tent in rain at new camp.
17 Sunday April
Despite weather reports that it would be rainy again today, the
strong winds blew the clouds during the morning and then died down to
leave us a sunny afternoon. I minded the kids at the playground
while Suzie tidied and sorted our camp, then came back with Finn because
Cal hurt her throat when a stick she was chasing took a bad bounce.
She was subdued the rest of the day, so we are keeping an eye on her.
Our things dried out for the most part, and the pitch next to ours had
afternoon sun so we sunbathed there and I even had some time to talk
There are only a few people staying in this campground;
they all greet us as they walk past and the owners are friendly too.
It is more our kind of campground than the more expensive 3 or 4 star
types; here the facilities are good, it's clean and relaxed. Their
shop/cafe also has a ping pong table, some puzzles and board games and
books and a table football game. Nothing flashy electronic etc.
Rest of week
John and Jackie come visit and stay in a mobile home at our
campground. We take day trips back to the Castle in Carcasonne, to
the canals to watch the boats in the locks (and found frogs), to a paper
mill (excellent) and to a couple of markets. It's a different
week, less to do than usual, partly because the big 2 stay with their
grandparents and also because we stay in one place for what seems like a
long time. I shop in the markets for bitter herbs and greens for
our little Passover seder; Rosa and Eli illustrate a little Haggada and
we tell the story to Sammy.