It’s been an eventful journey to Spain, after arriving in Calais, we drove for most of the day using toll roads and non-toll roads to our first overnight destination at Camping de Sologne in the town of Salbris just off the D2020. The campsite is next to a small lake, within easy walking distance to the town with reasonable facilities, a very friendly welcome and a good overnight stop.
On our second driving day we left Salbris, staying on the non-motorway roads until we were south of St Amand-Montrond then picked up the A71 toll road to Clermont-Ferrand then joined the A75, our most favoured free and scenic motorway that takes you all the way south to Beziers. We stopped off at the Millau Viaduct rest area and to cross the viaduct there is a toll fee but it is well worth it as it would add at least another hour to your journey if you dropped off the A75 and drove through Millau.
We made our way to our next overnight stop at Camping Le Rebau in the village of Montblanc, close to Beziers. The site was rather tricky to get into with a tall vehicle and a long unit of car and caravan however, we made it through without any mishaps. We had originally planned to stay 2 nights and visit Beziers but quickly changed our minds when saw the state of the swimming pool, half empty with green sludgy looking water! The toilet facilities left a lot to be desired and the water taps weren’t giving out any water either. At €17 per night plus taxes I have to say that this was certainly not worthy of the price.
We walked into Montblanc in the morning for some bread then headed off for Spain, taking the A9 to the Spanish border which then continues into the AP7, the Spanish fee paying motorway. We had bought toll passes for Spain to make entry and exit through the tolls much easier, however, it didn’t go quite as planned through the first toll as the pass did not beep and the barrier didn’t go up which meant leaning half my body out of the van window to take a ticket. We realised that we had put the pass in the wrong place on the windscreen so remedied that at the next toll and it worked perfectly well after that. We headed for our next overnight stop at Camping Globo Rojo in Canet de Mar and because of the awkward entrance to the previous campsite wanted to ensure that this one would be OK before we ventured in. All looked good and we followed the campsite personnel to our pitch and at a turn in the road there was another campsite personnel directing us around the corner. We made it to our pitch without any problems but unfortunately for Mick and Jill the back end of their caravan hit a low-lying tree branch making a hole in the corner. The campsite staff were extremely helpful and sent their maintenance team to fix the hole with fibre glass making it waterproof. I think they felt responsible as they had been directing us onto the site. The site itself was really excellent, the best sanitary facilities, a swimming pool, restaurant and bar and just a short walk over across the road and railway line to the beach (not the best location but a fabulous site!).
The following morning Tony put the kettle on as normal not realising that a magnetic pot stand, a gift that I had been given, had also stuck to the kettle and caught alight, filling the camper with smoke and setting off the smoke alarm! Sorry Liz but the pot stand has now disintegrated into ash but the camper is OK!
We set off again heading for Peniscola, our destination for the next 8 nights that meant driving through Barcelona which we have done plenty of times before and told Mick and Jill how easy it was and most of it was through underpasses and you don’t even know you have been through the city. Full of confidence that I knew the route to take we continued into Barcelona on the C31 ignoring the satnav’s instructions to turn off at any point and started to get a bit jittery when we came across traffic lights and then turned right in front of the Sagrada de Familia! We felt a little bit better when we saw 3 motorhomes ahead of us and continued through the centre of Barcelona, not an underpass in sight! Mick had never been to Barcelona before, now he has and is pretty sure he doesn’t want to go back there again, well not with a car towing a 7 metre plus caravan and I had to apologise profusely once we had stopped for a rest south of Barcelona!
We are now camped at Camping Eden in Peniscola and have been enjoying the sunshine with a walk into the old town, a sunbathe and a swim in the freezing cold pool and a cycle ride to Lidl to stock up. The weather today has been a bit cloudier and cooler but when the sun does show itself it is beautifully warm.