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Sunday, 7 October 2012

Port Grimaud, France

We arrived at http://www.holiday-marina.com/index.php?lg=en&PHPSESSID=t87vrie4a06bhandt37ljdaev7 a site on the  fabulous French Riviera. As advised we entered this site through the rear gates 'reserved for the big boys' and as usual it was extremely tight access. Mr H eventually managed to tuck the bus onto a corner pitch after a crystal maze-type challenge! He looks so impressive in the driving seat, wearing his Ray Bans, sucking on a selection of boiled sweets whilst calculating and monitoring the width, height and length of the bus and trailer! So proud!!! We scared a sun-bathing Brit on our approach who spilled her wine as she jumped out of her seat convinced the bus was about to go through her windbreak! I reassured her we had a full quarter of an inch to play with and not to worry. The next challenge was a row of  well established trees on both sides of the barely RV-wide path to the pitch.  How Mr H drove through without taking out both the wing mirrors, a few parked cars and the many overhanging branches I will never know, couldn't even look half the time! 
We established base camp H in the sunshine with the usual sweating, swearing, trailer-shifting and the relief to be here in one piece.


We were impressed by the site facilities here, each pitch has its own neat chalet with a toilet, shower, and built-in sink/vanity unit. The smaller pitches had an outside washing up sink with a fridge in the wall but we splashed out and paid for a larger pitch with room for our RV and trailer with a separate fully-equipped holiday chalet and a paved patio (just loved the bright blue grass parasol once I had extracted the breeding snails and spiders from it!). So we had another kitchen/diner, bathroom and double bedroom during our stay, it was like organising and cleaning two houses but we enjoyed the space. We spent days trying to find where we had put things between the two. All of which provided many opportunities for our endless f*****g about! On the site we enjoyed the sun, a lovely marina, new heated outdoor swimming pool and the new bar and restaurant. Close by we found the sparkling sea, sandy coves, shops-a-plenty and lots of cycle paths! Oh yes this is more like it, so much to see and explore here although.......
 
It does rain occasionally!

The campsite is just outside Port Grimaud which was built in the 1960's in a Venetian style and is known as little Venice. We visited the port and its very good food market regularly to stock up and have the odd coffee and beer in the sunshine.
 




 
We visited the stunning Verdon Gorge in style, Mr H on his new scooter and I was a passenger on a Honda Goldwing driven by Julien our new-found Belgian friend.
 
 
He is a well-travelled gent and we shared many laughs during our trips out and about. "Today we will take a tour" was his favourite phrase!! He showed us the Gorge and it's breathtaking sights, then persuaded a chef to stay open for our late lunch overlooking a mountain lake. He and his wife Liliane took us out to an excellent Vietnamese restaurant for his birthday, introduced us to ruby beer (wonderful!), told us many funny tales and jokes and he cooked mussels for Mr H and soup for me! Julien we thank and salute you.

Mr H hanging about in the gorge





Just outside Port Grimaud are a number of older villages including Grimaud and Gassin



 

We took our lives into our hands whilst crossing the busy coast road each day, but once across there were dedicated cycle paths to St Maxime and St Tropez. Sometimes we travelled in by scooter but when Mr H started weaving through the queues of cars into St Tropez I screamed like a girl!!
 






Shortly after arriving it was great to catch up with Chris and Chris from the ARV rally who were down for a holiday in their Winnie and as we were walking around the local hypermarket one day we were accosted by Mark and Elaine our friends from Marjal who were on a beach site just up the road, what a coincidence!! Fabulous to see them all again for eats, drinks and catch up and to cap it all, after three weeks, we were joined by Big Nige, Rosie Whizz and family who had braved wind and rain to travel through France.

Start of the big race

Big Nige practising his moves!

Oscar

Siouxsie
Towards the end of our stay was the St tropez Regatta when all the proper yachts arrive for a week's f**king about on the sea :)




 
So we travelled across on the ferry to see the yachts and visited St Tropez Citadel with spectaclear views across the bay.





Ah well, time to think about moving on.

 


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