8. Jun, 2016

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MONDAY 06-06-16

We were up in good time as there was lots to do before we left the campsite this morning. Scrubbed up we completed the chores to prepare the vehicle for the road before heading off to the supermarket for some shopping. The young lady on the checkout was very friendly and her English was very good which I felt I should complement her on, which she appreciated.

Once the shopping was stored I started the engine to warm her up to operating temperature before moving off. Rosina went up to pay our fees at Reception, cash of course (they're getting as bad as the Greeks), whilst I did the final bits. She came back not too happy as they had put their fees up during our stay, one way or another it cost us about twenty Euro's more than it should have. We reckon they upped the prices for the Italian National Surrender Day weekend and we all got caught up in it. In a way I was sorry to be leaving the site as it is such a good location away from the maddening crowds, yet just a short train or bus ride to join them should we wish, but we have to keep moving on.

We were heading for a commercial Aire outside of St Tropez, sadly there are no campgrounds in the town. The theory being that we could catch a bus in to St Tropez tomorrow for a look round before heading north towards Lalley, south of Grenoble on Wednesday.

Much of the journey was done on the toll road before coming off and heading south towards St Tropez on a single carriageway road for about twenty miles. The route we approached on took us through St Tropez, which looked very busy and touristy indeed. Never mind we were here to tick a box really, you can't pass so close without visiting it, so that is what we're doing.

The Commercial Aire (GPS:N43.264611º W6.671948º) was down a long narrow single track road, I've no idea what we would have done had we met something coming the other way. On arrival it was pretty basic and very overpriced at €16 a night, that's as much as a campground with far superior facilities.

Once we'd got ourselves sorted I got chatting to the English couple next door, and discovered he was an ex matelot, so we had a bit of a chat about that, then it was time to soak up a bit of sunshine sat in our reclining high-backed chairs. The Chef's cold seems to be pulling her down a bit now, so we may need to rethink how we play the next few days.

We are parked on the edge of the site and kept seeing people walking past the Aire from our left to right. We thought that must be the direction of the beach, advertised as a distance of 150 metres. We therefore decided that before we had our evening meal we'd have a wander down there to have a look.

Well we walked and we walked, at a brisk pace for 35 minutes before we found the beach, and it was nothing special at all. Needless to say we did an about turn and made our way back. Along the route there was tall bamboo growing along both sides of the road, behind that tall trees, and above us helicopters buzzed around, I suppose either doing tourist trips or ferrying the rich around. It was like something out of the Vietnam war movie  'Apocalypse Now'.

When we were almost back to the Aire we found the bus stop on a road running parallel to the one we were on, so tomorrow we'll be playing tourists in St Tropez (we later discovered the beach we wanted was a right turn out of the site, not a left).

This evenings meal was a ham salad deliberately chosen because we had planned to stay on an Aire, which don't usually supply electricity. However, this private one does and includes it in the price whether you want it or not. Needless to say the salad was accompanied by lovely crusty bread and a drop of Coat Door Own rosé wine.

We've paid for two nights at this overpriced Aire and have now decided that since the weather forecast for Lalley isn't too promising, (the idea was that we would go hiking there for two or three days) we will probably now move from here to a nice looking campsite we passed on a sandy beach as we approached St Tropez for a couple of nights, rather than sit in the middle of nowhere for a few days unable to get out due to the weather. This will give The Chef a chance to relax and rest in the warm sunshine, well unless it rains here as well of course.

We both got well and truly bitten during our walk to the beach late this afternoon, I think we'll have to start taking precautions against mosquitoes etc as from tomorrow.