We set off East heading towards St.Tropez, a long driving day so we stopped in Nimes for lunch, a perfectly pleasant town with a Roman background, visited an amphitheatre and then headed towards Pont de Gard, the oldest and highest Roman aquaduct in France, when we got there the French were charging 18 Euros to park your car to view the bridge, we decided not to pay so we headed towards Avignon, Emma fell asleep in the van so I quickly popped into a medieval village overlooking the bridge whilst she slept . On arrival in Avignon the area was swarming in French tourists, it was the French version of the Edinburgh Fringe and everywhere was full. We headed out of town to find a site for the night and saved ourselves for the next day..
Not knowing what to expect we cycled up to the Castle to find there was a town inside full of medieval streets, shops, restaurants and plenty of toilets for Emma. A meal was had with the most expensive pint of Magners £8.50. Followed by a tour of the castle and gig. Fundadelic were playing with The Original Blues Brothers Band. Fundalelic and George Clinton were off the wall and very watch-able, there was no alcohol, the crowd were aged, mainly argumentative French and dancing like at a wedding reception. The Blues Brothers were so tedious and dull we adios'd
We'd seen enough of Jean du Luz - there was no bullfighting until tomorrow and the arena looked rubbish so we didn't hang around. We gave Biarritz another try, we were right the first time, rammed packed full of bodies, if Harrogate was a French seaside town then this would be it. We ate lunch - I'm sure that was raw blackpudding in my salad, strange mixing it with grapes. Then wandered the shops, overpriced surf gear and perfume stores. Lets go, the adjoining town of Bayonne was a complete opposite, historic with a pretty old town, great little shops, wish we'd gone here first. We wandered the streets, shops and both bought some printed underwear with sweets on. Onwards across the Pyrenees to the medieval city of Carcassonne...................
We set out for the day to Onati and Aretxabaleta in the mountains where we discovered a beautiful cathedral on a mountain top. We then headed to some caves which were closed so we ate lunch in a local old countryside restaurant. A great lunch followed by a drive to a peaceful lake which we cycled around. Then back towards France once more, across the border we pulled in Saint-Jean du Luz were we stayed on a beach campsite. We drank in a couple of music bars and walked along the coast up on the cliff then on the beach whilst the sun was setting.
The following day we drove to Bilbao, cycled through the Old Town, had lunch in a famous spot - my favourite dish of the holiday was eaten - Squid in Ink - Emma wouldn't even try it, so she just ate Basque Rabbit Stew. An afternoon in the Guggenheim Museum followed by a drive to a campsite on the Basque coast were we chilled out on the beach watching the sunset.
We left the Dune behind and once again headed South. For lunch we stopped in a small surfers town, Hosager, probably our best meal in France, consisting of large portions of duck (all the parts of the duck). After lunch a drive through Biarritz - too many tourists so we kept going until San Sebastian in Spain. We had a walk around the Old Town stopping at some tapas bars followed by a harbour walk where the boat racing was happening. A pitch up on the outskirts for the night.
Awaking in the lay by on the motorway towards Bordeaux we noticed we were the last up again - all the other campers had gone. Mission to find a tyre as it's now Monday and garages are open, straight to the outskirts of Bordeaux - excellent a tyre garage - oh, shut for lunch. Those damn French and their lunch breaks. 2 hours to kill, we visited the best shopping mall of our holiday, found Emma some shorts, ate lunch and got the tyre fixed. Now lets get to the Dune, quite not knowing to expect we arrived and that was some Dune! We spent our most memorable time of the holiday at that Dune. We stopped for 2 nights, climbed the Dune, jumped off the Dune and enjoyed sunset and music on the Dune. Now southwards.......
(Also our camera broke at this point so all photos had to be taken with our phone)
"Its called Mont-Saint Michel Emma". A picturesque abbey and tiny medieval town upon a hill across a causeway (actually a building site that looks like a motorway is going to run straight up there).
An afternoon was enough time so we decided to head on southwards towards Bordeaux taking a lengthy detour to Chateaubrand for lunch, a pleasant town with a beautiful castle. Very good food and now onwards..................