Monday, 21 November 2016

Monday 21 November – Marseillan Plage

Where’s Colin? He’s at the Municipal Aire at Marseillan Plage, where it costs €4 for 24 hours. Water costs extra, but happily we filled Colin to the gunwales before we left La Grande-Motte this morning.

All of the pay-Aires that we’ve stayed at on this trip have had the common feature of being barrier controlled, effectively the same as a pay-on-foot car park. The difference in yesterday’s stay at La Grande-Motte was that, rather than taking a ticket at the barrier for entry and paying upon departure, you have to first go to the payment machine, pay for the number of days you want, then take your pre-paid ticket, which affords you entry via the barrier. We revisted the pay machine a couple of times yesterday afternoon having been somewhat confused that our receipt said that we entered on 10 November at 10.40am, and that we paid for 1 day on 20 November at 12.04. In fact, we had arrived at around 1pm.

With no useful information to guide us, we had to hope that there was something amiss with the machine’s knowledge of time and that it would allow us exit at any time within 24 hours of our arrival. It was at 5.30 this morning, lying awake listening to rain drumming on the roof and not yet moved to reach for my audiobook (Mick complains if I put a light on to read a real book quite that early), that the answer struck me: clearly I’d picked up the receipt of the person before me, which had been left in the machine. That was a relief; my conviction that we were going to have trouble exiting immediately abated.

All appearances were that the rain to which we had woken was set in for the day, so we didn’t rush to get up and, somewhere amongst the tea-drinking and book-reading, we concluded that we wouldn’t want to be outside much today and thus we may just as well relocate a whole kilometre, down to the marina where all those vans had been parked yesterday. That we did, and on the way we saw the prohibition for parking vehicles over 2 tons there overnight.

Mick was all for staying anyway. I prefer not to stay somewhere that there is a legal prohibition, even though I acknowledged that getting a ticket at this time of year seemed unlikely. So, we reverted to plan A and drove through some horribly windy and wet weather for 65km to Marseillan Plage.

All of the Aires along the French Med coast seem to charge, and this one was chosen for being a relative bargain at €4. We could actually have parked for free, on any one of a selection of deserted streets – this being another of those winter ghost towns – and if it hadn’t been so exposed we probably would have opted for a slot on the quay.

Settled into a space in the Aire (a slot chosen for its proximity to the Tourist Office, although it seems that the free wifi reported last November by Jo and Matt ( as being available at the TO is now only free for 20 minutes and currently has some security issues), a late lunch preceded a short circular walk, taking in a bit of the beach.

We’ve not had a selfie for a while, so here’s one of us dressed for the beach (note the sea state behind us):

And here’s one looking along the sand, which doesn’t really convey quite how windy it was, although it does perhaps speak of the dull nature of the day:

It stayed dry for almost the entirety of our stroll (which, in all honesty, was purely taken for Fitbit appeasement purposes), but my goodness, it’s a tad breezy out there!

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