1. May, 2017


MONDAY 1-5-17

When we woke we slid back the cover over the skylight to reveal a blue sky with very little cloud. However as we lay there more cloud appeared. The forecast for today was not good. Heavy showers with sunshine from 11:00 to 23:00. We put the showers to the back of our minds and concentrated on the sunshine.

The shower block here is a peculiar French arrangement. It's unisex, even down to a urinal for the men to use whilst children use facilities around it. As I left the block this morning a chap gave me the old "Bonjour", it's something we all do. Most of us don't go beyond the one friendly greeting, because most of us would not understand another word that was spoken by the other party.

Today's plan was to play it by ear regarding a trip by bus in to Bordeaux if the weather looked promising enough come the time to catch the one bus of the day at 12:54.

Heavy rain showers at the present time, never mind, they still had time to clear.

Yesterday when collecting a watering can full of fresh water from the tap in the next avenue of pitches I noticed one of those tiny flip-up tents on one of the pitches. It was more like a child's play tent. I assumed that it was a camper from the newly formed FDUCA, 'French Dwarfs Under Canvas Association'. It was so small, and just as importantly very short. Surely an adult could not be camping in it.

When I returned for the second watering can full, I heard voices inside. 'Blimey', I thought, 'There's two of them squeezed in there'. It was only when I returned for the third time with the watering can that I realised there was a radio on in the tent, so it must have been one camper and one radio.

Later this morning I heard somebody outside of the motorhome (we had the door open to air the vehicle), it was the man who had said "Bonjour" as I left the shower block this morning. He needed help, he was gesturing that he needed a hammer. So out to the back I went to fetch the toolbox. I then followed him - to the tiny red flip-up tent in the next avenue of pitches. He needed help in pitching it properly, although he had spent last night in it, the tent needed pegging down. So out comes the hammer and I get it all sorted for him, problem was he was one peg short, so back to the vehicle I go to rummage for a steel peg. Fortunately for him I had just one onboard which I then used to peg the back end down. I should just add here, looking for a bit of sympathy, that by now it was peeing down with rain and I was getting very wet. Ok, so I could have fetched my mac, but we're talking focus here, commitment to the task in hand.

He was telling me that he spoke Spanish (he had a Spanish passport), a little French and not much English. I believe he said he was Moroccan by birth. The thing is this chap had a load of personal effects as well as his tent, but no car. So how was he getting about?

Anyway, job done, until I realised that all of his personal possessions were getting very wet, so back to the motorhome I went to donate the plastic tarpaulin I'd only just bought before we  came away, to use should I need to lay under the vehicle to sort out any problems. The tarpaulin covered all of his kit nicely. I also gave him my peg-puller, and demonstrated how it worked, so that whenever he was ready to move on he could get the pegs out of the ground. He was very grateful bless him and my motivation was simply that like us all, he was trying to make his way in the world as best he could, and we all need a little help from time to time to do that. Besides that, if he was Moroccan, he would perhaps stay longer and scare the thumb-suckers.

This was the second day we have been denied fresh bread, so it was another lunch of cheese and biscuits with a glass of wine.

The sun was shining again. We decided that the weather was too nice to sit around the campsite and so we would have to make a break for Bordeaux on the bus. So suitably attired, and with the backpack containing our waterproof clothing etc we made our way to the bus stop.

Soon after arriving another couple approached the bus stop from the campsite, Brits as it turned out. Ooohooo we thought, here's another couple making their way in to town . No they weren't. They'd been told by the Kamp Kommandant when they arrived this morning, that as it was a National Holiday there were NO buses, they were simply checking the timetable for tomorrow.

We contained our rage until they were out of earshot.

So that was it then, another day on the campsite, here in the middle of nowhere, so back to the motorhome we went. Eventually we motivated ourselves to take the Petanque balls up to les Petanque pitch and take our frustrations out on that. Les Chef beat moiré 2-1. The things I do to keep her happy.

Back to the motorhome to chill before our evening meal, washed down with a very nice glass or two of wine.

I then went down in to the next avenue for more fresh water. My thinking was to fill the tank up a bit more today to save time doing it tomorrow. I couldn't help but notice that 'Mr Bonjour' had now acquired for himself a matching set of red plastic chairs and a table for his abode. I had to assume that my tarpaulin and his possessions were now inside the tent while he was up at the bar or restaurant.