Tuesday, 28 November 2017

South to Gruissan

Its good to be back on familiar ground and we continue our steady drive south stopping off for the night at various selected locations taken from the trusty App

A two night stay at St Christophe en Brionnais in the heart of the Burgundy region is perhaps not on a 'Snowbird's' itinerary bit we've been several times before and love the region
Its quite mild here today and we dust off Max for a blast in to nearby Roanne which turns out to be a really nice town

Moving ever southwards we enter the Auvergne region and rest up at Ruynes en Margaride taking in some much needed walking and a view of the Viaduct de Garabit

The village is friendly and the architecture built to combat those chilly winters...

A preview of things to come next week according to the local forecast

Time to visit that Bridge again at Millau

The A57 is a nice 'free' motorway which we have travelled and crossed before with the exception of the Peage section at the Millau viaduct
Its better to pay your dues at the toll booths here and avoid the steep, long & windy route through Millau IMHO....
Saves time, mileage and the grief on our van combo..or so the theory goes..
Last year we pulled up at the automated booth and were identified as 'Classe 2' and duly paid the €12.00 then set off for the rest area for the all important photo shoot
This time its a bit different...
Having ignored Tom Tom to get off the motorway and go via Millau (There's a 3.5t restriction but only apparently for genuine HGVs) we naively trundled up to the barriers
'Classe 4' shone brightly on the digital display alongside the €34.80 fee...What?

Having no ability to back out of the deal the CC was fed in to the machine and I instantly made the mental note not to pass this way again
Either the ANPR pinged us at 4.25t + trailer or some jobsworth sat behind a CCTV camera wanted a laugh that day
For the record it states 'Private HGV' on my vehicle reg document so can't really argue can I?
Lesson learned....

That sinking feeling was soon eased later with the help of some of these...

Onwards down to Lunas where last year it was 35 degs on our visit here and I had to go sit in the river, a little cooler today..

The Med is soon reached and the local strays come to greet us one lunchtime

The last of the treats have gone so a new supply is procured at the local Carefour

Gruissan at last amid blue skies but chilly winds
The local fish merchant makes a killing here and I came away with 2kg of very fresh Moules for €6.00

The marinas here are vast with several waterside restaurants devoid of customers partly due to it being out of season but I think they would get a few more customers if they lowered their prices considerably. It may be a gold mine in the summer with the Yachtsfolk throwing money around but at this time of year how can they be making money given they are almost deserted?

Next day its essential to step out the door tooled up for a Siberian winter as its not called 'Aire du Quatre Vents' for nothing!

Gruissan, from a very long windy way off

Our recent liking for this Belgian beer warms us up on our return to the van

We up sticks to the Aire at Narbonne for some lekky and a visit to the town
A walk to the local Carefour reveals a huge surprise...
A boulangerie that does fresh coffee!
Has my rant got round that quickly?