Tag Archives: Toulouse

Créon, Gironde, Friday 28th December 2012

Standard
Amboise 2012 022

Stunning sunrise at Leucate Plage

 

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.

Christmas with the family

Christmas with the family

 

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.

 

Spectacular sunset

Spectacular sunset

We also enjoyed a spectacular sunset and sunrise and managed to take decent pictures of both.

 

Sunset at Leucate Plage

Sunset at Leucate Plage

 

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.

 

Amboise 2012 023

The Pyrenees: a beautiful backdrop to the motorhome aire at Leucate Plage

 

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.

 

Amboise 2012 001

Motorhome aire at Leucate Plage

 

 

Motorhome aire at Leucate Plage

Motorhome aire at Leucate Plage

 

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.

 

Leucate Plage

Leucate Plage

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…

 

Sasha enjoying a sniff on the Mediterranean coast at Lecuate

Sasha enjoying a sniff on the Mediterranean coast at Leucate

 

Leucate Plage

Leucate Plage

 

 

Gruissan, Aude, Saturday 22nd December 2012

Standard

We’ve made it to the Mediterranean at last after a week on the road from Calais.  It is the first day of sun and blue skies since we left England and it’s also very warm (18°C inside the van at 5 pm!).  I am just loving the eastern light and the fact that we’re facing the sea, where the sun is going down gradually and bouncing off the terracotta and yellow painted buildings: a sight for sore eyes indeed.  We’re just north of the Pyrenees too, in the Languedoc Roussillon region, and we can also see the snow-capped mountain tops, just to make a perfect picture.

Gruissan 036

 

We’ve just been for a long walk around the marina and admired the luxury yachts as well as the holiday homes and tranquility of the place in the winter, but I can imagine that it must be mayhem in the height of summer.

 

Enjoying a walk around the Marina at Gruissan

Enjoying a walk around the Marina at Gruissan

 

Gruissan is just southeast of Narbonne, one of the principal Roman cities in France, and usually a very windy place, but today there isn’t a hint of it anywhere.  We’re off to Portiragnes tomorrow to spend the Christmas holidays with Adonis’s family, but we’re thinking about coming back here afterwards, as it is so idyllic.

 

The huge motorhome aire at Gruissan beach

The huge motorhome aire at Gruissan beach

 

Parked right by the sea with beautiful views of the Pyrennes

Parked right by the sea with beautiful views of the Pyrennes

 

 

Sign at motorhome aire

Sign at motorhome aire, free in the winter

 

 

Yesterday we spent the day in Grisolles, north of Toulouse (junction 68 off the A20 and then south on D820), where we found a motorhome aire not listed on the official guide (Le Guide Officiel Aires de Services Camping Car), just behind the community hall by the Garonne canal.  It had lots of spaces for motorhomes, a water tap and facilities to empty grey water and toilet, but no electricity, and it’s FREE!

 

Walking along the Garonne canal at Grisolles

Walking along the Garonne canal at Grisolles

 

We went back there after deciding that the aire at Grenade, just a few kilometres down the road from Grisolles, wasn’t really appropriate, being in a small car park by the cemetery, made worse by some road works going, with one side of the road being closed.  It didn’t really feel all that attractive or welcoming at all, so once again it paid off being flexible about our destinations.  So we made a u-turn and were very pleased with our decision.  There were only 4 motorhomes at the aire in Grisolles this morning, including ours, very different from where we are at the moment, which is also huge, but a lot busier: it must be something to do with the Mediterranean weather…

It was absolutely pouring down with rain all day yesterday and we got soaked walking Sasha along the canal, so we really appreciate the dry and warmer weather down here and will be sad to leave this region.

 

The Marina at Gruissan

The Marina at Gruissan

 

We used mainly motorways coming down from Uzerche and it’s good to know that the A20 is largely free until past Brive La Gaillarde at J.54 to Montauban, which was only a couple of euros.  The A61 from south of Toulouse to Narbonne was €20, but we didn’t mind paying for this, as all the motorhomes aires so far have been free, with exception of the €3 at La Suthe-sur-Sarthe, so we can afford to splash on better and faster roads.

 

The Marina

The Marina

 

The Marina

The Marina

 

Gruissan

Gruissan