After spending 5 very pleasant and warm days on the Mediterranean coast, including Christmas celebrations with the family, we are now limping back northwest, taking things very easy indeed.
After Portiragnes, we went back to south of Narbonne on Wednesday 26th December and spent the day and night at the motorhome aire on Leucate Plage. It was a very sunny and warm day and we really enjoyed our two long walks with Sasha on this east-facing beautiful beach. The aire is divided into two areas, north and south, at Parking du Gallion, and there are loads of parking spaces. There were only 6 vans when we arrived, but it was quite busy when we left in the morning, with all the spaces facing the sea taken up. This aire is €7 a day in the summer months, but it’s free this time of year, as the facilities for clean water and electricity are closed.
We also enjoyed a spectacular sunset and sunrise and managed to take decent pictures of both.
On Thursday morning we went back on the A9 to Narbonne and west on the A61 past Toulouse and A62 north of this city to J9, where we got off onto the D813 to Moissac and west to St Nicolas de la Grave, where we parked right by the lake on the Country Park of Tan et Garonne. This was another smashing wild parking/camping spot, but the weather changed and it rained quite heavily in the afternoon, so I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I could have done. Adonis took Sasha out for her afternoon walk while I was still waking up from my siesta and they were gone for almost an hour, enjoying the herons and the egrets and a good run around.
This morning we stopped at the aire of Valence, just west of St Nicolas-de-la-Grave, still on the D813 to empty toilet cassette and top up with water, where for €4 you get 15 minutes of water, which is more than plenty to fill up. We really liked this aire for future reference and the town itself was full of character and fascinating buildings.
We were hoping to stop for the day on the banks of the Garonne and we tried several aires listed in the book, but luck wasn’t on our side and we only found this aire at Créon, about 10 km north of the river, at 3 o’clock this afternoon.
He first place we tried was St Martin de Sescas on the D113, west of La Réole, which according to the official motorhome guide (Guide Officiel Aires de services Camping Car), should be open all year round, but when we got there the farmer told us it was closed for the winter. So we carried on further west to Langon, where we found parking right on the river at a large car park, where a market was being held. We were just finishing our lunch when a gendarme came and told us they were going to put the barrier down and we couldn’t stay there the night, so we moved on towards Cadillac, on the D10 northwest of Langon. We didn’t really like the aire at Cadillac and, checking the map again, we chose to try Créon, even though it is not on the river. This is far more pleasant and we have free electricity, even though there are signs on the borne saying it’s been switched off. According to the guide it costs €3 a day. The aire is on Boulevard Victor Hugo, Station de Vélo, and it has a lovely cycle and walking lane that goes on for miles, all the way to Bordeaux!
We are hoping to stay by the Charente tomorrow, but we shall see how we get on…