I decided on another day in Objat and it was quite a change from the past couple of mild sunny days, cooler, overcast and with a light drizzle from time to time. I walked into town again where a local street market was in full swing. Dozens of stalls selling all manner of goods lined the streets, people wandering about slowly, chatting with friends and inspecting the goods for sale. The cafe’s were doing a roaring trade, as were the bars, it was quite a social event and one that takes place every Sunday I was told.
I took another walk after lunch between the light showers, then read for awhile. When the weather is miserable there is little to do other than sitting in the camper, reading or doing something on the computer.
I was sorry to leave Objat, the camperstop was super with everything I needed apart from internet access, which wasn’t available anywhere in town it seemed. So moving on I continued south, still unsure exactly where to head to. A week ago I had received a message from a friend Rudi who had said he would be in southern France somewhere, I thought maybe we could meet up, but although I replied to the message, asking where he would be, I’ve not heard from him since. Its the second time we have suggested meeting up, but each time Rudi has had to change his plans, maybe another time then.
I had two choices, one to head towards Pau and cross the mountains into Spain then following the Atlantic coast down towards Portugal, secondly to head towards Toulouse and directly south into Spain then following the Mediterranean coast all the way southwest and going into Portugal from the south. Still unsure I called Niki who looked at the long term weather forecasts for both options. It seemed that going to Portugal from the north was going to be both colder and wetter, so after chatting for awhile I decided to head for the Mediterranean coast where, according to the weather forecasts it would be mild and sunny. I set course for Toulouse taking the national routes. It was gone 5 pm by the time I reached the outskirts of the city. Strangely none of my guide books listed an aire in Toulouse, only a campsite, which I thought would be okay. When I arrived the campsite was open but didn’t really look like it as it had huge metal fencing and a electric security gate, maybe I was right to choose the campsite rather than parking in the street for the night. Having been allowed in I went into the reception office, a lady was engrossed in her computer and didn’t acknowledge me for a couple of minutes. Quite a bit overweight and wearing a short skimpy, low cut dress she looked more like a lady of the night. As I checked in a man appeared with two young children who greeted the women with a kiss, it was there mother, perhaps her dress sense wasn’t that good or she just didn’t care, each to their own I suppose. The campsite itself wasn’t very appealing, there were a large number of mobile homes, which seemed to be filled with workers. The area for the campers was not very tidy and considering the cost, €20.70 for the night, was disappointing. There was no comparison to the aire at Objat, which cost only one third of the price, apart from the shower and toilet block, which I have to say was very modern and very clean.
I cooked dinner, watched a film and settled down for the night hoping for a good nights sleep.
I left the prison, rather the campsite in Toulouse at 10 am. Having made the decision to head for the Mediterranean and set off towards Lleida, almost due south. It was good day to be travelling as the weather was terrible, strong winds and lots of heavy rain. At lunchtime I passed a McDonalds and decided to get some lunch and log on to the free WiFi, a mistake as the restaurant was full and 90% of the customers were busy on their smartphones, tablets or computers which meant the WiFi signal was bad to awful. It took ten minutes just to check my email. Note to self, go to McDonalds mid morning or afternoon when there’s not many people about.
The grim weather continued as I climbed up the mountains towards Spain. I had to drive through a tunnel some five kilometres long, but when I emerged on the southern side the sun was shining brightly, albeit that there was snow about on the slopes and roadside. The sun shone for the rest of the afternoon which made for a pleasant drive into Lleida. I found one aire listed in the area but it was at a motorway service station on the A2 autoroute, not somewhere you want to stay in northern Spain, so I pushed on another 50 kilometres to Ascó where I found a camperstop at the edge of town. Free, with hard standing and a service point it was okay, but it backs onto a railway line so hopefully there won’t be too many trains going past during the night.
It seems I've been travelling all my life. For the past eight years I've been following a simple, nomadic lifestyle full time touring in a camper van and meeting with other like minded travellers.
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