14th January Argeles-sur-mer, France

Our journey today should only have taken an hour and a half but the trip did not start well.  We headed for the A9 toll motorway, junction 34 only to find it closed due to damage caused by protestors.

We since found out that over previous weekends, the ‘yellow vest’ protestors had disabled/damaged up to 60% of France’s toll booths and speed cameras. This explained why there were closures of junctions the day before. One of the tolls we did go through, all the machines had signs of being burnt and staff members were manning them for us. There was graffiti everywhere, and on quite a few roundabouts there are protestors with their braziers going try to keep warm.

Other than road closures, we’ve not seen any other bother so we’ll just be aware, adapt and adjust our plans as necessary.

After an hour detour, having to come all the way back past the campsite and onto the motorway further back we made it to our destination in three and a half hours (148 miles).

The aire (L’aire du soleil) was excellent. You are a little remote but it was well used by all nationalities, and you’re only a 15 minute cycle ride from the nearest supermarket. It is a five minute walk to the beach, where due to the proximity you are liable to some strong winds on occasion.

There is also a ‘wash down’ facility for your van on site but unfortunately it was out of order when we were there.

Van Wash Area

This was our first experience of some sun this winter, so our moods lifted considerably although we were happy already!

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On our first day we cycled out to explore the area after cleaning the van thoroughly. We needed to find a launderette so we checked out the one nearby (Laverie J & J, 20 minute cycle ride) ready to come back the next day and clear the backlog of washing. They have up to 27kg machines so we used the 18kg one at a price of 12 euros (35 minutes) which was worth every penny!

It takes coins and notes and is very clean and so easy to use. They have even gone to the trouble of writing the instructions in English too, and the owner is always available if you get stuck…which we didn’t!

We also cycled out to Aldi and stocked up on food stuffs which was only 20 minutes cycle but there are nearer supermarkets. While we were on site, Dean washed the outside of the van as we were covered in road grime having travelled in winter conditions for the last five weeks, while I gave the inside a proper deep clean. We also took the opportunity to empty our garage to give it a good airing before re-organising it again. Luckily no one else was around or they may have thought we were having a boot sale! 

Garage tidying

It is lovely to stop somewhere you have plenty of access to fresh water and drainage so you are able to clean properly. We were not sure what our plans were after here, due to personal family reasons so potentially we were heading back home.

The beach is well worth a walk along too and we spent an hour just walking, enjoying the sunshine for a change!

About Dean

Angela and I decided that there was more to life than working hard to keep up the payments on the mortgage, to pay the gas, electric, phone bills etc. etc. SO............ In 2008 we sold our house, I initially took a year off (Unpaid) and Angela handed in her notice! We bought a motorhome and set off for a year of travelling! This was the best thing we had done in our lives (Apart from getting married) and we have no regrets. During the year I managed to secure a redundancy package which felt very strange. Almost sad as I had worked for the same company for 19 years (BT). It was always our plan to have a whole year off before thinking about the 'W' word. We began applying to the Camping and Caravanning Club (CCC) for the position of Holiday site assistants in August 2009. After the interview, work experience and induction we were finally given a contract at the CCC site in Inverewe (Scotland). Our plan is to work through the summer in the UK then head to Europe to overwinter before coming back to work the following summer season. Hopefully these few words and our blog will inspire others to get off the hamsters wheel and see that there is more to live than having a house and material things. A cliche I know but this is not a rehearsal, life is too short!!! Since our first contract in Scotland we have worked a winter contract in Oxford (never again!) not Oxford but a winter contract. Hereford for two years, living in a yurt for one! And Cornwall. In between our working we have also travelled a bit. Hopefully this website will give you an insight into our alternative lifestyle. Get out there and live the dream!
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