European Escapades

In The Middle of Nowhere




View of Lake Sanguinet
View of Lake Sanguinet.

We left the big dune and headed for our chosen campsite, which was in the middle of a forest. Seems from this point on all the way to Biarritz is forest, so we should see a few trees along the way. The campsite we had chose was open all year and we also had a backup camp site around a kilometre down the road, but it wasn’t until we pulled up we realised it was a Sunday. With this easy travelling you tend to forget which day is witch, I mean I haven’t had a working watch since we left England. OK so we should have learnt by now that if you are in a campsite on Saturday then you have to stay the Sunday or be sure the campsite is open before you head off. But we had two campsites to choose from and thought there would be no issues.

First one had no cover for arrivals on Sunday and there was not even a telephone number to call, as we have had at most of the sites. The number in the book rang the phone in the empty office. Our second choice of camp site, where there was someone about said that they were not open anyway…

Well the first had my vote, and it was only a barrier that stood in our way from a electrified and watered pitch. So we thought, let’s wait and ask as someone leaves or arrives if they could assist with the code and we could pay in the morning at reception when we left. Nice and simple except for the minor inconvenience that both people we tried to talk too tuned out to be Spanish and we hadn’t even started on our Spanish lessons yet. One person we did manage to get our meaning across too, didn’t feel that inclined to help anyway. Well there was a lot of space between the campsites front entrance, the reception and barrier as it had a long driveway. There were grassed areas that looked like old pitches, along either side of us. So we thought that if we couldn’t get in the barrier, we would wild camp outside on one of the old pitches. No electricity, but at that point we didn’t care too much. So we parked and setup, but still thinking about the sense of it. I decide to take a small trip into the town nearby, to see if I could find a McDonalds that was signposted just before we arrived here. McDonalds you say, that’s not like Steve to eat that stuff. Well no, but they do have WiFi access at McDonalds and I wanted to go check out the service on offer. Frances didn’t feel like joining me so I got out and assembled the table and two chairs, as by this time Missy Moo had decided she wanted to be outside in the sun as well. With Frances and the cat left in the middle of some old pitches on the side of a road, with nothing more than a wine glass and a five litre bottle of red wine, I set off on my hunt.

A gentle stroll along the beach
A gentle stroll along the beach.

One of the problems in France and the advertising hoardings, is that you cannot seem to trust them too far. They will say McDonalds or Intermarche, five minutes away and give some vague directions for you to follow. What they don’t mention, is that the five minutes is by supersonic jet or some other means of transportation. Else their time runs a lot slower in their distorted marketing universe. Needless to say my nearby McDonald was actually some way away and to go there leaving Frances in the middle of nowhere was a little mean. So I decide to give up on my quest and head back to our temporary campsite. As I am driving back through town I spot an ‘Aires de camping car’ and decide to go and investigate. This is what Frances means when she says that we need to give these things more of our attention. Rather than be stuck on the edge of a campsite in the middle of nowhere, I now find we have an opportunity to camp with a few other vans for free in a wooded parking area, overlooking the lake we had actually come to see. We would also have the added bonus and use of two bars and a restaurant on the lake side, as well as being nearer to town for some bread in the morning. Result!!!
Back to Frances and Missy, to pack up the table and chairs and to bung everyone back inside the van. Then I can return to the lake and show them all, what I had found on my wanderings. A perfect wild camping site with the best views of the lake we could wish for. Table and chairs reassembled and it’s time for both of us to sit and watch the afternoon sun over the lake, whilst sipping some nice red wine. Missy Moo is having a great time, as she ferrets through the undergrowth looking for interesting things. When we are finally chilled out and relaxed, we can both go for an evening stroll on the beach maybe, and end up in one of the bars to indulge in a little something to eat or drink. Whatever we do, it’s nice and peaceful in the middle of nowhere now…

This entry was posted on Monday, April 5th, 2010 at 7:59 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.

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