Today (Friday 17th October) we stayed at the sea front aire at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (N 43.453558 E 4.436642).
This is a long and narrow site just behind the sea wall and promenade, with good access to walking and cycling about 400 metres further east along the seafront road. There is a second section to this aire, pretty much on the beach, about 300 metres further on. This was full when we arrived so we just planted ourselves on the bigger site. It is 10 euros per night wherever you pitch and water is available but only in the morning.
This is a popular aire and quite a few motorhomes turned up over the course of the day; it is the start of the weekend and the weather is good. So it did get a bit too cosy by bedtime when we were picking up next door’s heavy metal music.
First job knock back a luscious French salad prepared by the missus…baguette, smelly cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, olives, salami, apple, french dressing …etc.
After lunch we cycled first in to town. Its a bit posh..lots of expensive yachts tied up in the harbour and clothing boutiques in the centre ville…smart but pricy. Luckily the dog cart wouldn’t fit up the narrow shopping alleyways so we diverted to the harbour and breakwater.
The local church towers above the surrounding buildings; it was built as a defensive structure..spot the battlements… in the 9th to 12th centuries to withstand raiding pirates.
After a quick tour of Saintes-Maries we headed back past the aire and into the nature reserve which starts just beyond the town. It is a flat expanse of scrub punctuated with salt pans and brackish channels. There are birds everywhere.
There are a lot of flamingos who spend most of the day with their heads underwater guddling for shrimps or other muddy delicacies. Each to their own, or ‘chacun à son gôut’ as they say in this neck of the woods.
This one eventually lifted his head up and posed for me.
You have to cycle quickly as it begins to get dark because this is when the mosquitoes come out to party. Stop and you are dead meat. You have to develop a technique of taking pictures whilst cycling along, one eye on the viewfinder and the other on the potholes.
The blog is now only a day behind our actual position, which is, as I type this, Salin de Giraud, close to the mouth of the Rhône. We will cross the river shortly, on the chain ferry.