We have been very fortunate with our last 3 stops since we left the aire at Vias last Thursday, finding 3 beautiful and peaceful places on our journey down to Spain, all charming in their unique way.
Our first stop was at the pretty port of Homps in the Aude Department, Rousillon region, between Béziers and Carcassonne, and right on the Canal du Midi. Here we enjoyed a visit to the Maison du Port en Minervois, where we bought some of their fine rosé and white wines, as well as a viewing of their Art Gallery upstairs, where some fine paintings and sculptures by Jean-Louis Touzan were being exhibited, both innovative and beautiful.
In theory, motorhomes are only permitted to stay for 24 hours at this free parking by the Marina, but we loved it so much and, seeing that the parking area was almost empty in the morning, we risked another day with no problems at all, thus we benefitted from the charming olive tree lined walk leading the the nearby lake of Jouarres and a few swims in its cooling waters: absolutely superb and all for the price of the wine we bought!
On Saturday morning, we drove the short distance to Latour-bas-Elne to the east, where we found another excellent private aire for only €14 a night, lined on one side with a walkway of palm trees, perfect for walking Beano in the shade. The aire is about 5km from Laguna Beach in St Cyprien, for which we needed our bikes again, but it all fits with our summer exercise regime to make up for the lethargy of winter. We loved the views of the Pyrénées Orientales in the distance and the knowledge that Spain was just on the other side, as well as the opportunity to snorkel.
We thought we might wait until September before we crossed into Spain, waiting for the summer crowds to thin out, but we were both suffering from anticipation and itchy feet and succumbed to our desire to cross earlier than scheduled.
And so, yesterday morning, soon after 10 am, we made our entrance into this fine country, our first stop being this absolutely magnificent aire a Bellaire D’Empordá, just under 6km from L’Escala. There are pitches for only €10 a day without electricity, but we’ve really pushed the boat out and paid €14 for the privilege of the EHU in a shady pitch, but it also includes free WiFi and access to the pool, very welcome in this heat of over 30C. There are also toilets and showers for only €1 and a bar. What’s not to like?
Once again, we have changed our minds and instead of staying for only 2 nights as initially thought and paid for, we have extended our break for another 2 days, as this place is well worth the longer stay.
Before getting here yesterday, we spent some time trying to find a hypermarket around Figueras to to stock up with Spanish products for the week, but the ones we came across had difficult access and parking for the motorhome with the trailer and we ended up driving all the way to Mercadona in the outskirts of L’Escala, which was wonderfully cheap, so much so that we checked our receipt thinking there must have been some kind of mistake, but no: it really is very economical and the food excellent. And I got some HORCHATA!!!!
We cycled to L’Escala this morning and rejoiced again in the warmth of the Mediterranean Sea and took a few happy snaps of this attractive sea-side resort, as well as finding a pharmacy to buy a Scalibor collar for Beano to protect him from the dreaded sand fly, a menace to dogs in this otherwise idyllic coast. We’ll cycle again tomorrow and are hoping to tour the Port on the far side of the beach. Oh happy days!