Myrtle The Motorhome

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

This way to Adge (aka The Naked City).

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

This way to Marseillan Plage.

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

Le French bloke waving from a Le Boat with a Le Car in the background. Learning French is easy.

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

Boats at Marseillan Ville.

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

The beautiful beach at Marseillan Plage.

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

Our Pitch at Marseillan Plage.

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

The Larger Lac at 2 Lacs

Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2013

The Bistro at  2 Lacs

Days 6 to 8
Beauville,
Marsiellan Plage.

Day 6:
Thursday 4th October
Beauville to Marseillan Plage and the Mediterranean
Miles: 201
Site: Camping La Creole
Cost: €14.00 per night.

As we left Les 2 Lacs and headed for the motorway again which took about an hour as we travelled through some of the prettiest countryside so far on this trip.

On each leg of the journey so far we’d noticed the climate improving and the weather was now as good as anything we’d experienced that summer back at home, and this was what we’d come for, a bit of summer weather.

We re-fuelled at another supermarket, this being by far the cheapest option, and turned onto the motorway.

It was on this leg of our trip that we encountered the only driving incident that could remotely be considered ‘road rage’. This occurred where two motorways were merging and as ours reduced to one lane on quite a severe bend I observed the speed limit of 50km to the annoyance of the lorry driver behind me who then tried to undertake me on what was a very narrow, basically in existent hard shoulder while blowing a constant blast on his air horn. Se la vie, we soon merged with the other motorway and Myrtle pulled away from the loony lorry without any problem.

This was so insignificant I know and may seem hardly worth mentioning, other than in the context to express that this was the only driving related issue we experience thoughout the whole of our 3 week break. Generally the driving experience was a very good one and I think I prefer driving on French and Spanish roads and in particular motorways than I do driving on our UK road network.

We arrived at Marseillan Plage at about 3:00pm and when we stepped out of Myrtle to book in at reception and because we'd had the cab air conditioning switched on for most of the journey, the 27ºC ambient hit us and covered us in a duvet of happiness. Yes this is more like it, sunshine and clear blue skies, this is what we’d come for.

We booked in, pitched up and walked the 50 yards or so from Myrtle on to the soft sandy beach and paddled in the Mediterranean. Oh yes!

The pitch we’d selected was the nearest available one we could find close to the beach gate and was next to a motorhome with a Brit number plate, ‘We few, we happy few, we band of brother’ and all that. Anyway we’re glad we did because this meant we met ‘Geordie John Bishop and his Mrs’ aka Alan and Christine and their dog Maddie but more about them later.

What we’d started to notice about the pitches at the three campsites we’d stayed on so far was that although none were hard standing there was a distinct lack of grass. This was probably due to our visits being towards the end of the season and they were becoming tired but what ever the reason it did mean that when it was dry everything was dusty and when it was wet everything was muddy both of which meant the removal of footwear not just in the van, which we do anyway, but that it was best to remove them on the step. You could recognise the more hardened travellers as these had either encountered this problem before or had been away long enough to come up with a solution and many motorhomes had a make shift carpet of some form or another covering at least the space under their canopy. This was some thing we were to copy at our next stop.

At one side of the site there was a short path to the beach and on the other side was the main street with all its bars, gift shops, patisserie, restaurants etc although I estimate 70% of these had shut for the season. That said there were enough open for what we needed.
 
That evening we went for a walk about and at a bar just outside the camp entrance we bumped into our neighbours Alan, Christine and Maddie and enjoyed a couple of beers in their company until a drunk local man and his dog became a bit of a nuisance and we all decided to head back.
 
Day 7:
Friday 5th October
Marseillan Plage
Miles: None
Site: Camping La Creole
Cost: €14.00 per night.

When we got to Marseillan Plage the day before the temperature in the mid afternoon was 27ºC, the sun was out and the sky was blue but our arrival soon buggered that up for everyone. It was now Myrtle weather, dull and overcast but at least it was dry and it wasn’t cold.

After breakfast we decided to get Lizzie and Ada out and to explore the area. First we cycled around Marseillan Plage, which to be fair didn’t take too long. Marseillan Plage gave the appearance of a purpose built tourism resort and reminded me of a small modern Spanish resort, though to call it a mini Benidorm would be a gross exaggeration it was definitely heading that way. We could imagine how the place might have been buzzing during high season, I think we preferred it like this though.

On the out skirts of Marseillan Plage we stumbled upon an Aires De Camping Car very similar in appearance to the one we’d stopped on at Beauvoir. It was very reasonably priced too at €9.00 per night or if you paid for two nights the second was only €6.00 and if you paid for three the third was only €3.00. Three nights for €18.00. There was no electric hook up at this Aires but given the glorious sunshine we’d witnessed yesterday and the 80w solar panel mounted on top of Myrtle this wouldn’t have been a problem for us. What would have been a problem however was once again the lack of toilet facilities for which we were more than happy to pay that little extra for.

From Marseillan Plage we headed for Marseillan Ville it’s self along a very well maintained and signposted cycle path. Marseillan is separated from the thin strip of land upon which Marseillan Plage sits by a large lagoon the Etange de Thau and much of the cycle path runs along this and the Canal du Midi.

Now if Marseillan Plage was a nearly a mini Benidorm by the sea then Marseillan Ville couldn’t have been more different, it was quintessentially French in every aspect. There was a quaint little harbour and café bars and the buildings were recognisably old traditional French style of different shapes and sizes and colours with pan tiled roofs and wooden window shutters. These were in total contrast to the modern purpose built breeze block buildings at Marseillan Plage with sheeted roofs and metal roller shutter blinds.

After a small cup of French coffee, I much prefer a cup of Nescafe Fine Blend, we made are way back to Myrtle for a bit of tea.

After tea Alan and Christine, our motorhome neighbours, told us about one of the bars in the town that had a group performing that evening and we arranged to meet them their a little later.

Oh what a night, we had a great time. We got there around 8pm just after Alan and Christine and the group came on not long after that. It was a little strange though as the bar was quite busy but we were the only Brits and everyone else appeared to be French locals yet the French group sang English songs for just about most of the night. This was great because after a few beers in meant we were able to sing along, much to the amusement, or should that be amazement of some of the locals who also sang along with the more popular choruses. They only did one set, mind you it started at about 8.30 and finished at midnight! In fact the group, which consisted of a couple of guitarists, a drummer and a lead singer who was a short stout bloke in his late forties early fifties didn’t stop all night. One re-mixed version of ‘Shine A Light’ and a re-arrangement of ‘Ride Sally Ride’ must have taken up over an hour of that time on their own. Despite singing along and murdering numerous pop and rock classics we struck up a good friendship with Alan and Christine and had a great laugh especially when just after midnight we got back to the site to find we were locked out! Being from the North East though Alan was soon able to use his experience of breaking and entry to get us in (not really we were able to reach over the gate to the Yale lock).

A good day and a good evening.

Day 8:
Saturday 6th October
Marseillan Plage
Miles: None
Site: Camping La Creole
Cost: €14.00 per night.

None the worst for wear from the evening before we awoke to a nice day which by 11am, once the bit of morning cloud had burnt off, turned into a scorchio day and me H headed for the beach and I had my first dip or proper swim in the Med.

The beach wasn’t very busy and was mainly occupied by older people and groups who, judging by their dark brown almost leather like complexions were retired people enjoying long breaks and were from an era when the wearing of budgie smuggler trunks was all the rage. We stayed on the beach until mid afternoon and would have stayed longer but we needed food.

After our late lunch, at about 3PM, we hadn't  fancied sitting on the beach any longer so decided upon a walk instead. On our first day here just after arrival in the afternoon we’d been for a walk along the beach and on that occassion we’d turned to our left once we got onto the beach. Today we decided to turn to the right and in the distance we could see some form of marina or harbour wall and headed towards that just following the shore line and collecting shells as we went.

It was still quite a warm day and there were plenty of bathers about. After a while we came across our first couple of groups of nudists which isn’t too unusual as these continental types often strip off. It wasn’t long however before we came upon a few more and then a few more until eventually everyone was in the buff except me and H. Actually to be fair not all were fully naked and it would appear that some felt the cold more than others. The trend seemed to be that if you felt a bit chilly you slipped a short tee shirt on but still left the really naughty bits on display, I guess these bits don’t feel the cold as much though to be honest some gave the appearance they were feeling the affects of the cold quite a lot.
 
Well I kid you not soon a few dozen nude bathers became a couple of hundred just as we came upon a sign that H translated as Nudist Beach for the next 400 meters. We decided that what we’d walked through must have been the over spill (excuse the pun) and we could easily tolerate another 400 meters and maybe another slight over spillage at the other end and then we would be back to a clothed area. So heads down we carried on, and on and on and on for what was easily another mile but there was no let up or cover up, and I know you’re going to find this hard to believe but hundreds had become thousands.

At one point we spotted a large crowd on the beach and as we got closer we realise it was a massive queue for ice-creams. The queue was the size of which you might only ever see in the UK on a red hot bank holiday on Bournemouth beach, once in a blue moon (no pun, yeah right). It gave an all new meaning to the phrase ‘would you like nuts on your ice-cream’ (pun intended).
Next there was a nude lady selling beach jewellery and then what I can only describe as an extreme sport, there were nude men fishing, beach casting. Now if this wasn’t deemed an extreme sport for them it definitely was for the nudists that were sunbathing just behind them especially when they were casting their lines out and those dirty great fishing hooks.

The funniest sight we saw that day was that of an oblivious novice first time nudist. How did we know he was a novice first timer? Well it wasn’t difficult, I should say he was about 30, tall and of a slim build, he was bald headed but his baldness was of the type you used to see years ago before younger men started shaving their heads, the massive centre parting type bald head. He was wearing sandals and a rucksack which we guessed contained his clothes, but how did we know he was a first timer? His forearms and legs from the mid thigh down as well as his head were a shade of sunburn, reddish turning brown yet his torso was so Lilly white he looked like he was wearing a Leeds United football kit. That torso hadn’t been out before, not on a sunny day anyway and he was loving it, you could tell, he was walking tall and proud and smiling from ear to ear!

Eventually we did a ‘U’ turn and headed back to civilisation as we knew it but ironically there seemed to be even more naked flesh on the way back and by now the tide had come right in and the only bit of wet sand to walk on was on a 45 degree slope and was only a few feet wide. Overtaking on the soft sloping sand was near impossible and we got stuck behind quite an old droopy couple for much of the way back and also had a few close brushes with various droopy and dangly bits as every-body tried to walk on the same strip of wet sand.

We eventually reached the clothed area and our side of the beach and I can tell you I never thought I’d be so pleased to see an old man covered by a pair of budgie smugglers as I was.
The resort we were walking towards was Adge and I’ve Googled it since and discovered that the resort of Adge is also known as the ‘Naked City’ and is a town dedicated to nudism. It even has its own nude hotels, supermarkets and cinema’s, well there you go.

About a week before we went away we’d bought a Maxview Portable satellite system and receiver from the Lincolnshire Motorhome Show and apart from a quick go at home before we came away we hadn’t used it yet.

On the one occasion we had tried it at home it was a wet and cold night and after about an hour of mucking about all I could get was about 100 Turkish channels.

Well at Marseillan Plage I noticed quite a few folk had the odd dish set up outside their vans so, as it was a lot warmer here I decided to have another go of setting ours up for the first time proper to see if we could get match of the day on later.

Well after about another hour of mucking about, all be it in a lot warmer climate this time, the only channels I could manage to get were CNN, Al Jazeera, and an intermittent ITV Wales so we sat down to watch ‘Take Me Out’ with Paddy McGuiness, it's amazing what rubbish they'll show on Al Jazeera.

Max was stowed away again and I decided I would need to have a good read of the set up instructions before I tried again.
 
That evening it rained a bit and the weather forecast was not good for the next few days either so we decided that in the morning we would head further south and into Spain and the campsite Jacobien and Hugo had recommended to us when we'd met them at Les 2 Lacs.
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Copyright Myrtle The Motorhome 2012
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