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To complete our evening’s entertainment a rather smart Mercedes car pulled up, and the driver got out and had a good look around. He had a word with a neighbouring motorhome, and then his wife and three children appeared and the general recce continued. It turns out that they were going to camp for the night. So the wife and daughter set about pitching a couple of tents, against the clock as dusk approached, whilst the father and sons collected wood for a barbecue in the official area next to us. Fortunately, they behaved well according to Sophie’s exacting standards, and so I was able to breathe a sigh of relief.
There had been a question mark over how loud the traffic might be, but it was never an issue at all, and we had an extremely peaceful night.
We continued North to carry on our exploration of the region, checking out some Park4nights and topping up with fresh water, as well as finding a cassette emptying spot en route.
I could see that our photographer was getting fed-up with the unrelenting pine forests and lack of characterful villlages, and so fortunately we then hit the Arcachon Basin. In search of a dodgy Park4night that turned out to be down a far too narrow a track, we saw a French man with a motorhome in his drive, and he came over and said we could stay for a day or two in his drive. It was a very kind gesture, but sitting on someone’s drive didn’t really appeal, so we thanked him very much and continued on our way.
We did look at one spot near the beach, but it seems that the French have every other day off this week, they’re all out on their motorhomes, and here was no exception.
We recalled a place we’d stayed a few years ago along the Basin, and so set out to find it. As it happened, we didn’t find that one, but came across another good spot in a small oyster harbour, where there were just 4 other motorhomes. It should be a good spot, but Sophie is reserving her judgment until she’s confident our neighbours won’t be disturbing us as they’re sat outside our van with their motorhome friends. I’m sure all will be well, and anyway, we can always change location if we need to.
As it turned out we decided on moving on after all, but with these light evenings, and a number of options available, it wasn’t difficult to find somewhere. We ended up in “Le Grand Crohot”, a huge pine forest behind the Atlantic dunes, just to the West of Lège.
The signs were ambiguous re motorhome parking, but our conclusion was that between 15th June and 15th September, the 2m barrier goes up and motorhomes are restricted to just two locations somewhere completely different on the peninsula. Other than that, then just go for it. This didn’t explain though why a whole load of motorhomes were packed tightly in a relatively small parking area to the left of the arrival point, but us motorhomer types do vary, and some just love to be part of the gang and close enough to one another to smell the garlic on their neighbour’s breath. This is not us.
So we went for it and took the right-hand route. Once you enter the one-way system you’re shot into a labyrinth of roads between all those pine trees. Any doubts about the legitimacy of parking disappeared when we turned a corner and saw plenty of motorhomes spread right across the forest at very respectable distances from each other. As a first, we even passed a large converted truck that clearly took its own chickens around with it.
For the first time in nine weeks we actually ate our evening meal outside, and I sat out reading till 10pm. We had a very peaceful night and enjoyed the shade of the trees in the morning.
Still continuing North, we drove through those very straight roads, between the endless pine forests and decided that we didn’t really need to return in a hurry to this part of France.
We paid a pleasant visit to the lake at Lacanau, then continued through the last of the forests, determined to escape them before the day was out. We then found ourselves in the Medoc region, with my plan to explore the South bank of the Gironde river.
Tonight, our Park4night is at Port de By, a tiny tree-lined port, with a distant view of the North bank.
*** Just to mention that our blogs can be up to a few weeks behind reality, as we’re always in catch-up mode ***