It has taken us 2 days driving with one overnight stop at an aire at St. Amand Montrond, a very good aire with all necessary facilities for mobile campers and is situated on the D2144 midway between Bourges and Montlucon. The aire is also next to a lake with plenty of dog walking opportunities and is opposite a supermarket, McDonalds and a fuel station.
Our neighbours, Phil & Jules, kindly lent us their toll tag to use to save all the contortions I have to go through to reach the machines in order to pay. This has proved very effective except on one occasion when Tony set the toll alarms off for getting too close to the barrier before it lifted!
We continued our journey south along one of our favourite motorways in France, the mainly toll free A75 that runs from Clermont-Ferrand to Beziers on the south coast. The scenery is splendid all the way and you get to cross the magnificent Millau Viaduct (small toll charge). Just as we reached Lodeve, we were all diverted off the motorway and through the fairly narrow road that runs below but parallel with the A75 and hit our first traffic jam! We thought there must have been a serious accident or major roadworks and as we travelled along the river that runs alongside the A75 and Lodeve, we noticed that it very muddy, the banks were all washed away and there was a lot of debris floating along. We did find out what the problem was as we got further and could clearly see that there had been a serious flash flood that had washed away a part of the A75 and the road had collapsed. Apparently this happened a couple of days ago, so no wonder the road was particularly light on traffic today.
We have now arrived at Camping Le Plage (thank you Peter and Nia) situated on the Beach at Marseillen Plage in the South of France. We had a very warm welcome upon arrival as we arrived, much to everyone’s amusement, just as the campsite was celebrating their annual party in the gateway by Reception. After checking in we were asked to bring along our glasses and join them for a Sangria. Before we were able to do that we had to park up in our pitch which just so happened to be the other side of the gathering and Tony had to pull out all his driving skills and stay calm as we were being watched and helped with lots of arm waving and raised eyebrows by about 50 Germans. Needless to say, he did a good job and we took our glasses along to join the party and everyone was very friendly.
Camping Le Plage is directly on the beach so after our socialising, we walked out onto the lovely beach, took in the sea air and watched as the waves came rolling in (not quite the still calm that you expect of the Mediterranean!).