8. Jun, 2016


TUESDAY 07-06-16

We both had a rough night last night. Rosina due to her cold and me due to her snoring and a mosquito trapped in the vehicle which continually buzzed around my head. Added to that I guess the Dutch neighbours couldn't sleep due to the heat and got up to watch some television with the windows open.

I eventually got up and turned the light on to kill the mosquito, but just couldn't find it, so back to bed I went.

Vehicle movements began at 06:30 believe it or not, those few vehicles must either have been trying to clear the very busy road around the St Tropez area before rush hour, or they had heard the Vietcong were planning a dawn raid.

Consequently neither of us was in a hurry to get up, but we knew we had to be stood at the bus stop by 10:15 to catch the second bus of the morning in to St Tropez, if we missed it the next one wasn't until 12:30.

As we'd bought 100 litres of fresh water with us we would both have showers today and tomorrow to use some of it up. We could have showers here on the Aire but firstly the facilities are very basic indeed and secondly the farmer who owns it has the cheek to charge an additional €2 to have one. Needless to say I will be giving' Vicarious Book's, who produce the Aires publications, feedback on this site, hopefully future travellers will be able to make an 'informed' choice.

Whilst having breakfast with the door open, our ex-matelot next door neighbour came across the back of our pitch to unhook his electrical connection and bid us farewell. They were off inland, probably up towards the gorge, The Chef's favourite place. I was then reminded that they had told us last night that they'd biked in to St Tropez yesterday and found it rather disappointing.

It was a lovely warm sunny morning and a pleasure to take a slow stroll to the bus stop in plenty of time.

Once again French public transport came up trumps. Two single bus tickets for a thirty-five minute ride in to St Tropez - a total of €1, about eighty pence. The ride in to town was quite uncomfortable, the suspension on the bus was rock hard, it felt as if it had solid wooden wheels. Never mind it did the job.

The bus dropped us off right in the centre and there was a market taking place on the opposite side of the road.

Down to the marina we went as a starter. It was all very nice I have to say, but in all honesty once you've seen one, you've seen them all. The one big difference with this marina was that it was very busy, with sailing and motor yachts continually coming and going. All others we've visited seem to be moorings for boats that hardly ever move.

There was no beach to speak of, mainly due to the fact that the tide was in, but according to the St Tropez map even when it's out it can't be anything special. The Chef was feeling a bit rough and having taken sufficient pictures and video shots we made our way through the pretentious, grossly overpriced, fancy labelled, shopping areas to arrive at the market for lunch. Having walked past all those tourists being ripped off for their pavement lunches we paid €14 for a grilled tomato and cheese baguette each, two portions of fries (The Chef wasn't hungry) a small beer and a bottle of water. We then sat on a bench in the sunshine close to the bus stop and enjoyed eating it. That's pavement-style eating without the price tag - and we could still people-watch for free.

Having dined in style it was over the road to have a wander around the market to kill some time before the bus left at 14:30. Well I have to say, today was the first time I have ever come across a pretentious market. There were stalls selling thin men's tops for €19, and a stall selling mens linen shirts for €80, and another selling what looked like woven straw shopping bags, the sort of thing some poor, exploited brown chap sits crossed legged somewhere in Africa and makes for almost nothing, and here they're selling for €80. There must be a market for mugs willing to pay that kind of money or the stallholders wouldn't be there.

For our return trip we had the same bus driver who remembered us and the stop we wanted on our return journey. We arrived back much sooner than we expected as the bus didn't go all through the suburbs on its return trip.

Once back The Chef took to her bed for a rest. She's a game old bird, a bit like the local cockerel which likes to crow all day long.

This evenings meal will be a baguette with something in it, rather than the barbecued chicken we had planned. It's the most odd thing here in France. You can buy skinless chicken breast, or fillet, in packs of, say four, really cheaply. But ask for them with the skin attached 'Mon Amis!' Suddenly you are propelled in to dog-turd luxury dining. Such a delicacy is clearly reserved for those palettes educated in the art of fine dining, those palettes which can appreciate eating the bits that Brits throw away or eat unwittingly in sausages. Back at our favourite supermarket in Villenouve-Loubet two chicken breasts with their skins on cost us an unbelievable €9.50, about £7. Before realising the price I had asked for four, he shrugged his shoulders, probably thinking 'Flash Git', and explained that they were the last two. That saved our bacon, otherwise I would have had to sell The Chef in to slavery to pay for them, and then had to do the cooking myself.

I can now hear the rumble of thunder. We've wound our awning in, second time of use in three years, and The Chef is now having yet another lie down.................... I'll give her a nudge when I'm feeling hungry.

Tomorrow we are due to leave this mosquito-ridden Vietnamese war zone and make for a campground by the beach, a much nicer place for her to feel ill rather than here.