661- 666 – Saturday 18th to Thursday 23rd March 2017 – Nice in Nice
K picked up our rental car from Nice Cote Dazur ‘Kiss and Fly’ airport – an Opel ‘Ostracar’ Astra TurboSonicSupreme – just like Jez! We journeyed into Nice – always heavy traffic into town… to se Sarah (J’s daughter) and Jade (Sarah’s daughter). One day we were picked up by Sarah from the campsite … (the NouNou – I know, but honestly this is what they are called! aka. the Nanny was Jadesitting) and off to see their prospective new home in Biot. A snip at (offered) Euro 455k. Large home – needs some work but eminently liveable in for now – 3 beds – pool – and room for Jezparking too. Let’s hope they get it… Lovely sunshine lunch in Biot with Sarah – we returned the following day for a reprise – fantastic fish course in with the locals.
Young Jade wasn’t quite herself – bit of an iffy tummy, but we persuaded her to walk out with us without her Mum – first time for us too! She walked by herself some of the time – and had amore than a few carries. In the park, she chased a pigeon but the pigeon won… Jade won the beauty contest, though… Plenty of Grandad time – ooops, am I really a grandfather?
Nice meals at Sarah’s – K cooking – Jade improved during the week – looking forward to seeing her Dad on Friday in Carthagena.
K here: Funny – J forgot to mention Jade’s name for James … Grandpa Pig …. hilarious! It comes from Peppa Pig. J was less than enamoured with it!
We missed seeing Jade on St Pat’s, but she did wear an Irish rugby shirt on Saturday, but wouldn’t keep still long enough for a non fuzzy photo … something to do with all the cheering and arm waving!
A walk to Jade means a carry!
Tummy tickling time.
Not sure how appropriate to take a toddler into an e vape shop?
Lunch with Sarah in Biot.
Set lunch – sole around salmon … guess who had chips with theirs?
All fall down.
667 Friday 24th March
Sarah and Jade left at 5:00 am for Spain and Daddytime – K returned our hire car to the airport. The day was spent doing van cleaning and admin – must be done – the rain came…one last night at Parc des Maurettes – we will return – probably in the summer – to help with the house move, we hope.
668 – Saturday 25th March
Off to the Camargue – on a friend’s advice – totally flat landscape – rice, lots of horse riding, rare birds… We started in the rain on the Peage … but after the first toll of EUR22, we headed onto the free roads. We overnighted at a ‘France Passion’ (rice farm) for the first time in a year or more – so peaceful, no nightly light pollution – lots of stars – and – quiet all around.
669 – Sunday 26th March
As we drove to Santes Maries de la Mer we passed many horse riding stables. I was into horse riding once – teenage years – my first (and only) mount was Raquel – who liked me so much she wanted to tickle my tummy on the ground – after she had thrown me unceremoniously. Pride comes before a?
St Marie de la Mer – gorgeous sea walk – flamingoes, more horses – and lovely sunshine… Euro 6 for 2 coffees!!! We are in expensive France, now. On to Aigues Mortes – stunning medieval walled town. Euro 20 for 12-hour parking – no! Parked at good old Intermarche and walked into town. Aigues Mortes was once a major sea port, but is now marooned 5kms from the sea.
Our second France Passion – a winery – same peaceful quiet night – and zzzzs.
There are some pink flamingos, top right of the pic – but we were completely outdone by others’ long camera lens.
Horse riding is the major tourist must do, but we didn’t. Something to do with a horse named Raquel … ask James!
How much, Sir? Two white coffees … EUR6!
Stables just everywhere with the small sturdy white Camargue horses. Although historically the horses were never stabled and were used to thresh grain.
The vines are mostly ‘Gris du Sable” , a rose – low growing and looking like a Germanic war cemetery. The other main industries are salt, rice and tourism, of course.
Aigues Mortes with its complete town walls.
670 – Monday 27th March
Intermarche for LPG and provisions – onward to Arles. We passed by St Giles and K recognised the waterfront where we had walked and lunched with Maddy nearly two years ago. Arriving in Arles we found the Riverfront free parking with free services – flat embankment for running – and wall-to-wall sunshine. Lots of narrow streets, Roman remains – and a glass of ‘Frexpensive’ wine at Euro 8 for 2! We reclined back at Jez – with our supermarket rose ‘Gris’.
Along the Rhone by our aire … just a wall separating us from the view, but nothing separating Oscar and a long drop!
Our near neighbours. The camels, goats, horses and dogs did not make a sound … but why do donkeys sound like they are building up to a hernia?
I had just been saying to J that last year I really liked the Sicilian Baroque architecture, and this year the Portuguese Manueline … and lo … some curly pillars.
Elise St-Trophine: Just read that this portal is one of the French Heritage Sites … knew it looked impressive
Take you fun pick – but not at EUR69 each. Did I mention we’re finding France VERY expensive? I know we’re in the touristy area, but! I googled a comparison of the cost of groceries between Guildford and Dijon … 23% cheaper in Guildford. yes, really!
Arles: the Roman amphitheatre is one of the best preserved in Provence and still used as a gladiators’ arena. Bull contests in the summer, but apparently here they pluck a rose from the bull’s horns.
Sampling the ‘Gris’ rose – not cheap (that old chestnut again!) at EUR4 each and not very good either!
The mellow water front.
671 – Tuesday 28th March: Recreation in Remoulins
Excellent runs for both of us along the beautiful river (Rhone?) in the morning – perfect conditions – I have identified a 5k race for us in Farnborough on April 15th – a good test – we have done these ‘Park Runs’ before – good atmosphere.
I tried to up my speed a bit and surprisingly ran 4:48 for the last km – good improvement – K ran further than for months, too. A bit of admin to do – beers by the river…
PM – to Remoullins area intending to stay at another France Passion – but just outside the town – a nice compact aire on the river – quite full, but we squeezed in. Nice walk on the stony beach (J, you omitted to mention the couple of beers each!) – mega play time for Oscar – he even walked on water – literally! Months ago, he would have run a mile. Some motorhomers in these parts are not exactly over friendly… perhaps the French think we look unfriendly, but we only get a grudging Bon Jour to our jovial one.
Where you off to? I was playing with you?
No, you keep sending my pink teddy bear into the water!
Sent from my iPhone
Jade really is a poppet. I’m not baby minded, but she is so bright. Her vocab is astounding and with a sense of humour … she will be a handful! X
We found France expensive, especially after Spain but the endless possibilities of free overnight stops takes the edge off the pain a bit. Scotland is much cheaper but not so sunny. Beautiful granddaughter Monsieur Clune. Happy travels!