Before we left the aire at Carro, I disappeared under the motorhome to track down a fault with the starboard air suspension unit, which was losing pressure. Noting a pair of feet sticking out from under Mavis, a knot of Frenchmen, fellow motor homers , very kindly gathered to proffer advice and help. When I ducked under the chassis for a second time the middle guy in the picture seized the opportunity to lean in through the cab window, and bandy words with the Missus. Penny, who was sitting on the shelf under the window, raised her head and finding a French head at her level gave him an enthusiastic lick on the chops. Luckily he thought this was funny and promptly announced that ‘Elle est plus passionné que ma femme’ ….’She is more passionate than my wife’. It certainly made his mates laugh.
Later that morning we left the aire and drove 80 miles west, around Marseille and through Toulon to Camping La Tour Fondue (N 43.029984, E 6.155241 ) which is at the end of the Giens peninsula, near Hyères.
The campsite is close to the harbour which is overlooked by the tower from which it gets its name. We headed to a restaurant there for a lovely meal that evening…starting with goats cheese salad as shown above. Not healthy but very nice.
The next day the Mistral blew. This is the very strong…up to 50 -60 mph…wind that blows down from the mountains of Provence from time to time. It is caused by (for the benefit of any weather geeks) the combination of a high pressure region over western France and low pressure over Italy. It blows out of a clear blue sky and is said to cause the unusually clear skies over Provence that attracted the impressionist and other artists to paint here.
We bravely cycled across Giens and along the peninsula to watch the kite surfers and wind surfers make the most of the wind.
After eating some slightly sandy sandwiches whilst sheltering from the wind we were blown back to Giens where we found a public garden, with good views, at the top of the town.
There is a regular ferry service to Porquerroles, an Island just to the south of the harbour, which we plan to visit tomorrow.
This is La Tour Fondue, the tower built to protect the harbour from pirates, Englishmen and other cads.