Welcome to our little home on the net. We are Steve & Rosemary and live in Buckinghamshire, UK. This is a blog of our life, sometimes interesting, but mainly boring. It is very picture orientated as Steve loves to take pictures, especially of wildlife. Sometimes he has his arm twisted by Rosemary and takes the odd snap of a weed.
14th September 2022
There was plenty of wind early in the morning, and a little rain fell. I walked to the camp shop and bought some bread and chocolate croissants. I left it late, so the choice was limited. The bread was already past its sell by minute.
As the day progressed, the wind became stronger, the guy ropes became unpegged from the ground. Lots of remedial attention had to be made to the pegs holding the guy ropes. The ground was soft sand on the windward side. I eventually tied the ropes from each canopy leg to individual pegs drilled deep below the ground. The awning was also showing a tendency to collapse under the wind, so checked the air pressure of the supports, well below the minimum. Pumped these up to max, problem cured.
Late afternoon cooked the ratatouille for the evening meal, then went for a walk on the beach. The waves had reached both restaurants, and all sun beds had been moved to higher ground. Walking was painful with the stinging sand abrading the legs. A dinner plate sized jellyfish was on the beach, some helpful person attempted to save it by moving it to the sea. It left on the next wave, dead or alive, probably the former.
Back at the campsite, the latest influx of new vans arrived. One opposite us suddenly decided to turn around. Maybe because we were sitting in the awning looking out at them. This German couple had a dog, small rough collie job. It just lay beside the van, no lead and just minded itself quietly. There was also another German couple with two dogs who just laid around all day on their dog beds absolutely quiet and well behaved. Is this a German trait in good dog ownership? If so, it is excellent.
One van came into our area, and then nearly took a tree out as they decided the pitch was not for them. They spent quite a while with their RV against the side of the tree as they fruitlessly tried to extract themselves.
Drinks while these entertainments were going on, were enlivened by the sparrows coming around for food. We had well over 20 in the vicinity. I do hope they like the Indian spiced rice sticks.
After supper, in the dark, we could see a major lightning storm inland. This went on and on for an exceptionally long time. We were in clear air with amazing views of the stars. The wind dropped, and there was no sound from the awning shifting in the wind.
13th September 2022
Today was meant to be cloudy, and windy as a front was coming in. No rain predicted until tomorrow. This proved partly true, though cloudy, there was still plenty of sun. Yes, it was a bit windier.
We ambled into town, stopped at a bar for a quick beer and looked around the shops. Rosemary is thinking of buying Camargue rice, but never getting to buying it, hoping for a cheaper price elsewhere. I chose a restaurant for lunch, Ambiance Tapas. A very small tapas restaurant with seats outside the front, inside, and in the back garden. The cooking all took place in the minute kitchen in the inside restaurant.
We chose from the plates of mixed tapas on the menu, saving us having to decide finer details. While we were deciding, we each had a Ricard (in nice glasses) as an aperitif. I chose the Ambiance Mer, and Rosemary the Ambiance Mixte. Rosemary as a hater for aubergines had a dish of aubergine with honey. It was delicious, she even liked it and wanted to make her own. I’m still waiting.
We wandered back to the campsite, picking up some beers and food on the way home.
I investigated the beach and went for a swim in the sea. It was getting quite rough, so I enjoyed diving through the waves and body surfing back.
The mozzies are still biting, so Rosemary is covered in swellings from the bites. I suggested she take an antihistamine in addition to spraying us and the van in Skin So Soft. I am not suffering quite so badly but am definitely itchy and scratchy.
The wind rose in the evening, so we disconnected the awning from the van, and placed guy ropes in position. The predicted rain during the night never came.
12th September 2022
A day with differing sunshine. Started off with sunshine, but all the sky to the west was obscured by a solid bank of cloud. This cloud edged slowly nearer and over us.
We started the day with breakfast, some bread and pain aux raisins from the campsite shop. Pain aux raisins, not up to par, not enough gooey syrup and sultanas.
We walked over to see the Flamingos and other birds in the marsh. Managed to grab a picture of a spider eating a dragon fly. Some good shots of small egrets catching, losing, and recapturing fish. I see from the photographs they spear the fish with their beak. They then have to release the fish to get it into their beak. While doing this manoeuvre they can easily lose the fish and have to chase after it to recapture.
Back to the tent for lunch, the sun was now out, and it was getting warm. I went out for another walk on my own, a couple of hours and 8km. Saw some Flamingos who took flight as I approached. Some nice shots of flying Flamingos. Amazing how black their wings look when the birds are in flight.
Back at tent at 5:00 for evening drinks followed by supper.
11th September 2022
Packed away in the dry and left Moustiers-Sainte-Marie for the Camargue. We headed west to the A51 motorway but stopped at Manosque for some shopping. It was a Sunday, so the supermarket was only open to 12.30. The butchers, fishmongers and cheese counters were not open. There was a limited selection of fresh flesh, so opted for some Tuna. The vegetable and fruit area of the supermarket was a disaster. Old, wrinkled peppers, grotty small selection of vegetables. French supermarkets have lost the plot. We complain about UK supermarkets only serving the best vegetables, and why don’t they serve ‘off’ vegetables. Well go to France, the only fruit and vegetables sold in the supermarkets are off, and the selection is so poor in comparison to the UK.
Anyway a few beers and bottles of wine, and some bread, and we were on our way. Quick stop for some diesel at 1.72. I see some fuel stations sell add blue at the pumps. Not seen that in the UK.
Headed to the A51, stopped at a service-come-fuel station for the loo, and our packed lunch bought at the supermarket. Off again, and then on to Arles where we headed south to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, and the campsite Camping de la Brise. Google informed us that it was four years since we had last visited here. We booked in for 6 nights. This site has now joined the ACSI group of campsites. We pitched on a large plot near to where we had previously pitched. It was hot, the dragonflies were flying as well as the less welcome mosquitoes.
A couple of beers later we were ready to eat our fried tuna and potato and bean accompaniment. The sparrows around us, were only too willing to eat any crumbs around us.
Our electricity supply did not work, so some deft use of the Leatherman had the powerbox open, and the trip switch reset. (16amp)
All settled now after dinner, sealed in our campervan away from the biting mosquitoes outside. The dragonflies were very active before sunset, flying erratic courses in their pursuit of the mozzies. Just wish there were more hungry dragonflies around.
10th September 2022
Another lovely day in France. Today was just a day of driving around the hills of the Verdon. We started off heading on the D952 to Lac de Sainte-Croix. During the morning it was a vivid blue and looked beautiful, surrounded by white beaches. But we couldn’t find anywhere sensible to park – several low 1.8m barriers blocked our way.
Instead of enjoying the boating, we headed for the hills and drove to Aiguines where we had a coffee and a sandwich. This town hosted an amazing museum of wood turning, specifically turning boules, before the French turned to using solid metal spheres. The museum was even more amazing in that it was open during lunch. These boules were turned out of box wood roots, and then were encased with nails which resulted in encasing the wooden sphere with metal. We both picked up a mallet that was typically used to knock in the nails. Very heavy.
After the museum stop, I insisted we travel on a route to Pont de l’Artuby on the D71. This road was on the other side of the gorge we had travelled on yesterday. It was a lovely ride with precipitous drops down into the gorge. We arrived at the bridge and watched humans plunge off the bridge to the floor below, to be saved by the elastic thread attached to them and the bridge. Shades of our trip to New Zealand.
We continued our journey on the D71, turning off to onto the D90 to descend to Trigance. After passing Trigance we turned left onto the D955, heading North along more precipitous gorges. All along the way we had motorbikes following or coming towards us. It was a hot weekend, so the bikes were out in force.
At Pont de Soleils we turned west) onto the D952 and headed home, passing through Point Sublime. Along this route are deep valleys, we saw vultures gliding into their homes. Now we were on home territory, so continued on to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, making fast passage until we caught up with two motorhomes who only turned off our route a kilometre from home.
Rosemary purchased a couple of local beers from the campsite, brewed only 200 meters away. A brown and blonde ale, flavoured with honey. Not session ales at 7.00 and 5.9, but a delightfully different taste.
Supper was Puy Lentils (imported!!) with tomato, red pepper, lardons and onions.
I enjoyed the journey, these narrow, steep and precipitous drives are exhilarating. Rosemary was meant to enjoy the scenery but turns out she was worried that she would end at the bottom of a valley, or that Morrison would be scraped along the mountain side.
Rosemary loved this BMW bike and side car at the campsite.