European Escapades

Back To France?




unfortunately the swimming pool and bar was closed
Unfortunately the swimming pool and bar was closed.

We moved South-East from our tranquil night of wild camping and onto our next stopover at Montblanc. No we are not back in France and we cannot decide why the place is called Montblanc. But there you are, maybe it looks whiter in the winter. For us it was just another nondescript campsite on our way to the Costas and the prevalent campsites that litter the coast of Spain. At the moment litter seems an appropriate word, as so far, I am not that enamoured with the urban areas of Spain at all. At the moment I can only put it down to the cultural and historical aspects of this country. If I was in any small town in most other European countries, I would be able to find a building, usually a church, which would hold some architectural beauty.

The older mountainous towns in Spain cling precariously to the hillside, huddled together in a defensive pose, holding no allure for me to investigate further. Not that we could get into these places with a three and a half ton camper van if we wanted to. OK we have tried and failed on one occasion. The newer urbanisations below are usually ugly sprawls whose only interest for us is the meagre shopping opportunities they hold. Maybe we are looking in the wrong places. I will say that the church in ‘Al Calla de Chilvet’ was an exception to the above statement and this was quite majestic in its pose above the surrounding town.

Montblanc Park was open and active when we arrived, but that is to be expected as we arrived on a Saturday. The Spanish campers with their semi-permanent pitches were there in profusion. Although we found the outdoor swimming pool to be closed yet again. It had water in, and it looked beautiful shimmering in the glorious sunshine, but was not accessible even though the weather was perfect for a swim. As we headed for our suggested pitch we passed the bar restaurant and a number of outdoor tennis and basketball courts awash with children. The suggested pitch unfortunately was being used as a car parking space by a number of full time Spanish campers, so we had to find another empty pitch. This seems a natural thing for the Spanish to do. They rent a single pitch, fill it with a caravan, awning and an assortment of ancillary tents and fake green grass mats and then use any other empty pitch as a car parking space or an extra spill over area for their use. We noted that one family had managed to take over four pitches on their weekend stay. I tell you this so you can understand that when one of the Spanish campers turned up mid afternoon, back to their completely utilized pitch, they did not seem happy to find their usual overspill pitch taken by a transient foreign camping car. They ended up parking a few pitches down and lugging everything including a kitchen sink from the boot of their car to the Tardis they seemed to have within the large awning and caravan. Ok I exaggerate about the kitchen sink, but I’m sure they had a Tardis, with the amount of stuff they managed transfer from the boot of their car.

We were told that free WiFi was available either in the children’s indoor play area, which was a cacophony of screaming children, or in the bar. The bar whilst we were there, always seemed closed for some reason. Whilst I did manage to get the website updated it meant using the Children’s play area and then heading back to the van for some aspirin afterwards. We did manage to get a brief lull of moderate silence at one point, as I shouted over the noise at Frances in English how it was amazing that children could be so loud and that I was almost finished updating the website and we could go back to the van for a break. I also shouted over to a Dutch woman who was also in the playroom using the WiFi, asking how she was doing with her E-mails. It seems an adult making as much noise as the kids was somehow not the done thing, although we adults all had a little laugh from it.

The cacophony moved from the play area to the camping area as the children were slowly put to bed and the regular campers got together for impromptu fiestas and general gregarious and boisterous behaviour and chit chat. Us old farts who like to retire at around eleven o’clock were accosted from all sides and had to either, immerse ourselves in the lively atmosphere of the site or go to bed with a pillow on their head. I went for the immersion method and Frances went for the pillow. We both survived the night and were happy to wake to utter silence from our temporary neighbours. The Monday morning was to be in complete contrast to the weekend mayhem and we awoke to a deserted ghost town, where the only sound was the occasional train thundering past on the line around a kilometre away from us. If it were not for the train we would have assumed that the scenario from the film ’21 Days Later’ had become an actuality. With the fun weekend at an end and the glorious sunshine that had greeted our arrival on the wane. We decided to move onto the Costas and the larger town of Tarragona.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 at 1:44 pm and is filed under Travel Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Back To France?”

  1. Alpha Mattingley Says:

    May 20th, 2010 at 7:05 am

    This is one awesome article.Really looking forward to read more. Cool.

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