Where did the sun go?

Argeles-sur-Mer – Mon 1- Thurs 4 May

Kate drove us down the coast, passing the lagoons filled with windsurfers at Leucate, in the direction of Perpignan. The snow-covered Pyrenees were a wonderful backdrop until we turned towards the coast at Prepignan towards Argeles-sur-mer.

We had bought some filled baguettes at the boulangerie in Gruissan but they had not proved to be a success and we were keen to reach our destination. However, the satnav took us on massive detour to avoid the toll roads which added time, then the road down to our target campsite was closed by roadworks (at which point we became very grateful to the satnav instead)

We finally arrived just after one and thankfully reception hadn’t closed for lunch. Selected our pitch – there were plenty to  choose from as the site is a good 1.5km out of town. However, the pitches are nice with mature plantings and the shower block the best we have seen, with excellent laundry and dishwashing facilities and a separate, heated section.  Amazing the things that now get us excited.

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Kate was last in Argeles-sur-Mer 34 years ago and was  struggling to recognise it. The beach is 7km long and there now appear to be cafes, hotels and campsites for most of that. Sun was shining and we managed to get a couple of hours lying in the sun before it disappeared from our pitch.

We cycled in to the front at Argeles-Plage, for dinner – about 2km from the site – and picked a restaurant that Kate recalled from Trip Advisor, Le Petit Bateau. Despite the amount of seafood on offer we both felt like a burger and were both glad we opted for that as they were amongst the  best we have had. But so big we struggled to finish it despite being famished when we started. It was quite entertaining watching the touts from the various restaurants competing to lure in the relatively low number of people looking for dinner. They got bored in the end and stood together chatting.

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Next day we checked the forecast. Grey with showers. We cycled out through Argeles-Plage and Argeles-sur-mer which now run into each other to the Zone Activite looking for the supermarket – a huge Intermarche. Despite a smattering of rain the mountains in the background were fairly impressive and Kate had recognised one or two places which kept her happy. She remembers there being nothing but a couple of campsites between ‘plage’ and ‘sur-mer’ when she visited.

The round trip of 12 miles at least made us feel we had done some exercise and gave us the opportunity to return down the closed road to our campsite, a much more direct route. It was now past 6pm and when we passed the Argeles Boules/Petanque club it was packed with locals and lots of games were going on. How we wish we understood it. Back home a hot, spicy chilli con carne warmed us through.

The following 2 days were grey and Kate took advantage of this to actually do some proper work on the blog, including trying to work out the photos bit of it. Mixed success with some frustrating bits. Danny cycled out for bread and bits, and finally got hold of some stamps and posted the kids’ cards. On Thursday we cycled to the front again for lunch, to get some fresh air more than anything, and ended up with with some cheap and cheerful fast food, of which the french fries with ketchup were the best bit. After this we cycled back up and explored the beach opposite the campsite which must be fantastic in summer, and the Aire de Camping Car down the road which was a mere €4 a night at this time of year. Then it was back to central heating.

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