Moved on to the Camargue today. Three hour drive to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer where it was a nice hot 32. We checked in at 1.50 and found some bu**er had parked in our place from last year. So now we were a few meters away. Chilled out in the shade from the van with some cool Ricard before walking to the Inter Marche. More wine and beers and then supper before sunset.
Some bats flashed passed at a great rate after sunset. Walk on the beach looking out to sea and the moon reflecting on the water. Mars, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter were all in view. So romantic.
Friday in the Camargue
Surprisingly heavy overnight dew. In the morning we went for a walk into the marshes and back along the coast. I was rather warm in the sun. Spoke to a French bird spotter who had the same Collins bird book, so we could swap page numbers! We ate are lunch in the shade of a rather stunted tree beside a path in the Camargue. There were masses of Herons to be see as well as the Pink Flamingos. During the afternoon we walked into town and visited the shopping street looking at all the fluffy pink flamingos and leather boots you could buy. Stopped for a beer and ordered a Monaco. When it came we were somewhat dismayed to see it was a bright pink colour. Yes it was standard Heineken but flavoured with lemonade and grenadine. Yuck. Unfortunately, I had ordered the 50cc size for me whereas lucky R had a 25cc version.
Back passed the InterMarche for some more vegetables and a bottle of wine.
Poor Morrison was now at the centre of an ant field, with ants now beginning to invade him, so I had to walk back to the InterMarche to purchase some ant powder which I spread around the ground and near where they were ingressing.
After supper we went to the beach for a quick evening walk. The planets and moon were all in view, but the spectacle was not so impressive. (I wonder if the large portions of Ricard and wine the previous evening had anything to do with its better view.)
Saturday in the Camargue
Early morning walk, waiting at the beach gate at 7am for it to become unlocked. At 7.07 it was unlocked and we hurried to the marshes for the sunrise. At the bridge and water control on the inland side was a seething mass of fish trying to get out to sea. They were large, over 18” and fat. You could see them quite literally leap over the control gate and splash into the water on the seaward side. (The next day there was no sign of this activity.) As we walked down the inlet, the birds scatterd further and further away. On the lake beach there was some Flamingos quite close to the shore. Even these were making their steady escape.
Back to the campsite we passed one photographer at the bridge who was sitting there all camouflaged photographing a heron.
Breakfast and then we walked into town for a beer and Saturday lunch. For me it was some oysters followed by a bull steak and apple pie. Rosemary ate a salad and fried fish. She even ate the skin!
Walked home for a relaxing afternoon and then another fish evening meal.
The evening walk on the beach was not pleasant tonight, we were bitten alive!
Sunday in the Camargue
Another early start to see the birds. This time we tried to walk behind the bank to avoid being detected by the birds. But when we popped around the bank, not a bird in sight on the ditch. As we walked near to the shore line there appeared two new hummocks, close inspection through the camera revealed netting and lenses stick out of the hummocks. Two birders were there a long time before sunrise in position to photograph the birds. They must have had 30 minutes when it is bright enough for a good photograph, and before the first dog walker or jogger arrives. R counted 14 herons.
Back to the camper where we vegged out for the whole of the day. Way too hot to contemplate doing much, a sentiment seemingly shared by neighbouring campers.
A walk to the beach in the evening was quickly curtailed by the Attack of the Mosquitos.