16. May, 2016

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THURSDAY 12-05-16

We both had a rough night caused by the noise of the heavy rain on the motorhomes  roof for much of the time.

For some reason or other the built-in DVD player on the telly packed up last night. It was fine the night before, but for some reason the DVD which was playing just froze, so I cleaned it and stuck it back in, no change, then I tried another one and it just kept whirring. I did try giving it a sharp thump but it was having none of it.

When it came time to go, our plywood pieces of wood under the wheels did us proud, without them the weight of the vehicle would have resulted in us sitting in four pronounced dips in soft wet grass.

Unfortunately at the same time I spotted that my repair on the slowly leaking flexible waste pipe hadn't been entirely successful, I needed to have another try at the repair as we cannot sit around on hard-standings with a damp patch under us.

Our first stop was down the road to buy a baguette and some fresh strawberries. The cheese we had bought from our red-wine-from-cow-pat grower back in Muides-sur-Loire was found to be very nice on its own, but overpowered if put on a plate with a bit of good old Cathedral Cheddar, and so The Chef decided that the inoffensive nice French soft cheese would go well with strawberries.

Yesterday, whilst out shopping we decided to buy some, and intended to support the small local shops on our way back from the supermarket, but when we got there - both closed for lunch.

Our intended route today was to travel through Alpilles National Park, but having travelled part of it and seeing two coal-fired power stations and other industrial operations we decided to not bother and reprogrammed the satnav to take us to Pont Du Gard, site of a well preserved Roman aqueduct (GPS: N43.949266 E4.543207).

Having parked up there we made our way to the ticket office - Eighteen Euros for the two of us plus the vehicle. The site was pleasant and the structure quite impressive, the Romans had gone to a huge amount of effort to bring water down from the mountains to nearby Nimes. It would have been nice to have taken photographs with a clear blue sky, but you have to work with what you've got.

After playing tourist we sat in the car park and had lunch before setting off towards the town of Orange. Our bed for the night was to be a free Aire en-route at a village called Chuscan, owned by a wine maker who thoughtfully had located his processing plant directly across the road from the Aire (GPS:N44.145439º E4.677226º) .

On our arrival we were lucky enough to bag the last of the six allocated spaces whilst other fellow travellers arriving later parked on the opposite side of the large gravel hard-standing area.

By now the sun was out and the late afternoon was really quite lovely, a nice change from all the rain we'd been having. We spent a couple of hours in our reclining chairs just relaxing and enjoying the warmth.

Our book of French Aires stated that there was wine tasting across the road at 19:00 each evening, and so we thought we'd pop across for a free slurp before buying some in lieu of rent on our pitch. Passing a large motorhome on the way over there, we found ourselves in conversation with a British couple, it turns out they arrived in France a week before us, and had seen very little sunshine but plenty of rain, so it seems we're not the only ones fed up with the weather. By the time we finished chatting we had missed the tasting opportunity if there had been one.

The Chef's creation tonight was a 'light' salad followed by strawberries, soft cheese and Carr's savoury biscuits, presented to me as a deconstructed cheesecake. I really must stop her from watching any more 'Masterchef'.

This evening is being spent listening to the birds twittering in the trees behind us instead of watching some more 'Only Fools & Horses' on the telly due to it needing another thump.