Yesterday we left Vilanova i la Getru and decided to take a couple of trips down memory lane. The first one we took was the old coast road from Sitges to Barcelona. I can clearly remember how hairy the ride was 46 years ago in a taxi with my Mum saying her prayers as the taxi driver sped around the mountain road in the pitch dark with few barriers and certainly not the ones that you can see today. In fact I am sure she managed the whole rosary at least once for the length of the journey!
Once through Barcelona, we took our second trip down memory lane to find the campsite that we stayed at when we had our VW campervan and took the kids to when they were about 5 and 6 years old, so about 25 years ago. We couldn’t even remember the exact name of the area where it was located but had a rough idea and got back on the coast road from Lloret de Mar and headed north. The coast road from Lloret de Mar through Tossa de Mar and on to Saint Feliu de Guixols is extremely scenic and not for the faint hearted. The road snakes it’s way around the coastline at a great height and is well used by cyclists of all ages who are extremely fit!
Playa d’Aro rang a bell with me but when we arrived it looked nothing like I had imagined and it all looked fairly new. Further along was another name I recognised, Colonge and that rang a bigger bell and would you believe it, we found the site. We could remember the layout of the road, how the campsite was situated and the way to the beach and knew it was the one. The only difference that we could see is that they have built a footbridge across the busy road for access to the beach below. Success!
Our final challenge was to find a small cove that we had gone to one evening, 25 years ago, and thought it was so beautiful that we got up early the next morning to spend the day there. When we first arrived the beach was pretty empty and we were able to spread ourselves out and blow up the rubber dingy for the kids to mess about in but as the morning progressed, the beach became busier and busier that we ended up moving all our belongings closer together to give more space but it became so crowded that even the spaces left that you would walk between people to get to the water became filled in too! We had never and have never since experienced such a popular crowded beach and we always remember it. Wonder if the kids remember it too, will have to get the photos out when we get back!
Again we had a rough idea of where it was but not the name of the cove but were sure we would know it if we saw it. We pinpointed 3 beaches it could be and set off again. It wasn’t the first beach, but it was the second beach! It really brought back some happy memories and we have now made a note of the name of the beach it is Aiguablava just south of Bagur and north of Palafrugell! We would highly recommend it to anyone who is visiting the area.
Since our return home I have now found a photo of when we were first at Aiguablava and Tony says that it became even more crowded after the photo was taken!
Well our trips down memory lane took up quite a bit of our day so without haste we headed for the border, a quick stop off for some last minute gift shopping and crossed over into France.
Last night we stayed in the Aire at Lodeve that we had stayed at previously and didn’t arrive until after it was dark! Lodeve looks a lovely little town to explore which we will do another time.
This morning we left Lodeve for a long day’s driving including the Millau viaduct. If you remember, on our way down to Spain, we dropped into the town of Millau and only saw the bridge from the town but this time we paid the toll, which Tony found extortionate at €10.90, so I don’t think we will be crossing it ever again! We stopped off at the visitor centre to take some pics and it really is amazing but I have to admit that I prefer my feet to be on the ground rather than so high up in the air although I am glad that I did cross it as it seems I will never get another chance!
We have been using a few more tolls on the journey home and it has been left to me to struggle with the automated machines because they are built for lorries and cars with high and low access points, however being in our van we need a mid-way position! I have to stand up and lean half way out of the window, which doesn’t fully wind down, in order to reach the position to put the money in and collect the change. This takes quite some dexterity and can take quite a bit of time to feed the money in and collect the change, so much so that today it all went wrong at the only toll booth that took cash, a queue of cars formed behind us and their drivers started tooting their horns because we were taking so long. Once the barrier lifted, Tony then took his time exiting the gate just to annoy them even more!
After a long day’s driving we have now stopped at an Aire about 30 miles south or Orleans, giving us enough time tomorrow morning to drive to meet Liz at Nonancourt.