2021Oct, France-Provence and Italy-Barolo

Travel from Mallorca toToulon and Provence area in France to San Remo in Italy and Barolo wine district, back to Mallorca

October 2021 campervan trip…..WHO KNOWS WHERE WE GO !!!!

Well, we have been on the road since 2nd october, and I am only now getting down to writing my diary of this trip!

Leaving Mallorca behind…
…with a sunny daytrip on Corsica Ferries.
We started on 02 OCTOBER so that was DAY 1, which was not on the road, as we took the car ferry from Alcudia to Toulon! .   That went very well, and we had an amazingly calm crossing with hardly a ripple on the water! ….. really beautiful.
We arrived on time and decided to skip having the overnight in Toulon as planned as we had our meal on the ship and just started driving.   We arrived to SAINT CHAMAS and found the perfect parking in front of the water.   Unfortunately there was a Circus in town but it didnt affect us, and we enjoyed looking at the animals which were grazing nearby!  A llama, a goat, a dog, some ponies and I dont know what else!
Llama and Mandy (from left to right)
Saint Chamas main square
03 OCTOBER which is DAY 2 was not too great weatherwise but we walked to the square and had our coffee and croissants from the bakery.
Saint Chamas aquaduct
Saint Chamas troglodyte
We then continued on a walk around locally up and over the aquaduct and over the hill to the little monastery and all around the area…… a beer in the plaza again and a nice meal of lasagna and salad in the camper, then off for another walk around.
Viewpoint over Saint Chamas
More view..
Everything closed in the afternoon, and by that I mean even the bars and cafes.   The only thing which remained open was the bakery.    In the evening it started to rain….but RAIN RAIN RAIN… it was soooooo bad that we decided to move away from our great parking in fear of getting swamped out.   We moved up a bit, as did the other campers who had parked near us.   I honestly thought we would not sleep, but it subsided a bit, but it was scarey when we saw the fire brigade out starting to pump water away!
04 OCTOBER and its DAY 3.
Due to this bad change in the weather, we headed towards CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE to visit the Mont Redon winery.
This is life! at Chateauneuf du Pape…..and the glass is empty!
And yes, the lovely man who attended to us before was still there.   We did some tasting, and walked away 360euros poorer, but with very good wine and a gift of 6 somierre wine glasses, the very shape I just love! ….. the chappy there told us about an interesting art exhibition.
We overnighted in a camping in Avignon which was new to us, and it rained, and rained and rained! …. however, we had a nice meal and planned what to do the next day.
05 OCTOBER and here we are on DAY 4.  Carriers de Lumieres in BAUX DE PROVENCE was unbelievable with the art display.
Cezanne was amazing.  WE also walked up to the old town which was also well worth a visit.   Coffees and our first showing of the Covid Pass which we were to use on many occasions.   ARLES was to be our nightstop with dinner at La Cliquet but the campervan parking has gone! … didnt like the look of the other available parking, so we headed on to NIMES.
Nimes, park4night
 On the PARK4NIGHT  app we found a little finca on the outskirts, well more in the residencial part of town, where we parked up for 2 nights.  Very friendly guy who welcomed us in and gave us a briefing in the morning about all the things to see in the city and gave us maps and his phone number if we got in to any bother! … really hospitable! ….  Dinner chez nous.
06 OCTOBER and its DAY 5.    Up and jump and after our briefing at 9am sharp, we biked in to town, which was a bit scarey with the traffic and it was mostly all down hill which led to keep thinking about our return, which would therefore be mostly up hill !!! We got lost but then found our way thanks to the help of some franchuchies.
Bullring/Roman theatre in Nimes
We did the Arena then the Carre museum which was a documentary type movie, and then the library and finally the tower.

Best of the day…
A stop for coffee and beer in the morning, and then when we wanted to have a meal, it was the wrong time of day, and we could only find a place to have a snack.  It was a Bistro and we both had Croque Madame which ofcourse is Jack Reachers favourite breakfast!…. its a Croque Monsieur with an egg on top!

Nimes Croc in a pool
The ride home was actually ok even though it was uphill and we got back safely in time to enjoy a nice dinner in the camper.
07 OCTOBER and here we are at DAY 6.   After saying our goodbyes to our great host in NIMES and a long chat with Spanish folks from Burgos, we set off for LES SAINTES MARIES DE MER.    How I love that place! …. dont ask me why, but it has some kind of encanto.   Campsite La Brise still as good as always, and a lovely young lad on reception who after seeing my DNI told me he was Spanish from Barcelona.  First time I have ever heard a spanish person speak english with a french accent!!! … quite amazing.    Parked up and then went off for a walk in to town.  Our little Creperie has closed down, sadly…. so we have to find somewhere else for that delicious little snack!
Saintes Maries de Mer campsite..La Brise
08 OCTOBER and DAY 7.   Morning took us down in to the village on our bikes, and we went up the Churchroof top!….. What a feeling up there! …… in the afternoon we took the bikes all the way along the camarques to the Lighthouse.  So thats it! …we finally did it! ….. pretty rough going on the sand at times, so some pushing, and when riding it was a bit bumpy!!
Top of the church
Lighthouse at Camarge
Resting my butt!
 Dinner was out, but I cant remember the name, but we had actually been there before.  It was quite ok, and G had pasta fruti de mere and I had brochetas.  Forgot that medium means rare in france, but it was tasty! ….. still looking for somewhere for crepes.
Camargue flamingos
09 OCTOBER is ofcourse my brothers birthday and its DAY 8.  We did another long bike ride on the Camargues which was both bumpy and a bit boring!!! ….but it was good exercise which is what counts.  We had a late lunch in the square of crepes and they got the order wrong….. ha! Such a simple order, but anyway they only charged 1 glass of vin rouge instead of 2 ! …. forgot to mention we bought some Camargue rose wine which grows in the sand…. I mean the vineyards are planted in the sand, and it is totally deeeeeelicious.  More like a blush.   After lunch we had a lazy afternoon sitting outdoors with our awning up and just enjoying the nice weather and being here.
10 OCTOBER and its DAY 9 and i have to say that I am loving being settled at the campsite for 4 nights…… absolutely lovely lovely as, in case I hadnt mentioned it, I do just love it here!!!!    We decided to just walk in to town this morning, and have a look at the local shops.   I have found things here before to my liking, but not this time, apart from a nice little backpack for on our travels, and a campervan apron! …both of which G bought for me as an early birthday present! …. the apron is burgundy colour with Mandy @ La strada written on it! ….. so great for the camper!   Lunch was at home in a very relaxing atmosphere and then In the afternoon we went to the show that was on at the Bullring.
Bullring in Saintes Maries de Mer
Saintes Maries de Mer
Horses and bulls.   But hey! It really was pretty good although at times we wondered?….hahaha.  When they did musical chairs! That was when we kind of looked at each other with the ?….. however, the end of the show was like the Abrivado when they round up the bulls with the horses, and it really was quite spectacular!! ….. We bought a kilo of paella to have tomorrow as the food stall is closed on Mondays.
New apron
11 OCTOBER and we are on to DAY 10 already! ……today we leave Les Saintes Maries de mer, but before we go, we return to the apron lady and get one for Magnus Masterchef!  also got some Herbes Provencales for myself.   we empty the peepot and fill up with water and get ready for the road.   We made the decision to head to Sanremo, so before setting off, we went to the Petit Pins winery on the road to Aigues Mortes and bought some of the blush wine, plus a 5litre bag in box and a great cricket which chirps every time you pass it! for bonaire! ……. we stopped at MARTIGUES which was not at all what we expected as it was a very very big place, and not the quaint little port that the pictures showed! ….very difficult to park anywhere, and very disappointing, so we found a PARK4NIGHT spot on the outskirts, parked up, had our paella meal and then just settled for the night with SANREMO in mind for tomorrow!  ITALY HERE WE COME!
12 OCTOBER … on to DAY 11.   The drive was ok, although i would have preferred not taking the mountain pass and driving along the front in Cannes, but you cant always get what you want! …… and we made good time.   Had a nice little stop above Monaco with a viewpoint looking down over it.
 Shame it was just a little misty.   On arrival at Villagio camping, we got such a disappointment as the camping was FULL.   And to our dismay, everywhere seems to be full! …. couldnt believe it but on reflection, one realises that many more people are out campervanning this year because of Covid, so that could well be the reason.   Anyhow they did offer us a place beside the emptying station to which we said “thanks but no thanks”.
So it’s wildcamping beside the campside where dozens of other campers are, so we are not alone!.    After our meal we walked along in to town, good exercise! And had a drink at the marina.
San Remo marina

Home then and that is where I am now, having caught up on my diary of this trip!

Nobels villa in San Remo
13 OCTOBER…. and so to DAY 12.   Lovely weather, I must say, and its off on our bikes for the day to do the 24km biking route on the old rail track through the tunnels.  We went west first along to OSPETALETTI  and had a coffee there and local market was on so I had a browse but found nothing.
Looking for a couple of t.shirts as short of them on this trip.   They had their winter stuff on sale.   Anyhow we made it all the way along to San Lorenzo where we had a beer…. a big beer which went down very well!! ….. the whole cycle totaled 48.4kms and my bum was numb! ….. however, in saying that it was a good ride.   Cooked a nice meal when we got back and then we walked along to the campsite to snoop around, and had a drink in the bar.   The owners were there all sprussed up and going in for dinner! …. same as everywhere, they get the best of the best service and treatment! …..   we thought about taking our towels and having a shower there, but decided against it!…. they really were very unhelpful when we arrived the other day.
Local bar in San Remo
Street view San Remo
14 OCTOBER….. thursday today and DAY 13.    A late start and a walk in to town to find the jolly bakers shop! …its still there and in a mess like last time we were here.
Happy Göran and Evert Taubes Happy bakers shop
A beer in the old town in a local bar, then a wander around, and back home along the front with a stop off at a beach type restaurant for some spaghetti.   Not very good and wish we hadnt bothered.   Never mind, we had to eat somewhere as I was not cooking today.    Reading outdoors in the sun in the afternoon.   Then a Belgian couple stopped to say hello and we had a long chat with them! …. I honestly think they would have talked all night, so we managed to escape after a reasonable amount of chatting time!! And then that was it for the night.
15 OCTOBER…. and its day 14…. 2 weeks in and 2 weeks to go.   So on we go towards wherever we are heading! ….  we headed along the coast past Imperia which looked interesting and perhaps worth a stop on another visit.     Then it was inland and up and round the mountain road, sometimes quite frightening for me! But it was ok and lots of little villages which were reminiscent of the alpujaras.
Barolo winedistrict
 We finally arrived at Barolo and to a vineyard which had space for campervans.  No facilities for us as too many campers already there, but it was fine,   Wine tasting with very interesting stories from the owners of the vineyard.    Looking around I think we might find some more places like this.
Night stop in Barolo,at a wineyard
 Cooked a very good meal of chicken and veggies with cream sauce and drank a bottle of the vineyards special which is going to SWEDEN to the SYSTEMBOLAGET . 20,000 bottles have been dispatched!!  Very interesting that they were selected from the Barolo area.
Anyhow settled in for the night and will move on to some other good spot tomorrow probably if we dont get to use the showers.!!!!
Ballon in Barolo wineyard
16 OCTOBER …. day 15……and what a morning it was…. we woke up to seeing a huge air balloon landing on the vineyard!!!! …really wow!!! …… breakfast chez nous as we didnt want to have the house breakfast as we would have certainly over eaten our quota for the day!!! So we then got on our bikes and headed towards Barolo, but little did I know that we were heading uphill to the little coloured capilla on the top of the hill!….. and boy!!! What a hill !!!!! …… I just keep pedaling and pedaling and had the bike in top gear and on high for the battery, but oh my goodness it was hard! ….but…. i kept going! …. only when I saw Goran had stopped ahead of me, did I dare to stop ! …and that was it! … no way would I have been able to get back on at that steep slope! …. I wish i knew what the gradient was! ….. anyhow, we were then fairly close to the chapel so we left the bikes and walked to the top! …what a very colourful little chapel it was! …looked like a children’s playground!
Colourfull chapel in Barolo
Winefields in Barolo
Chapel in Barolo
The way down which one thought would be really easy, was in fact, very difficult!   Far too steep to ride down on brakes!…so we walked most of the way! ……. and so on to the village of Barolo.   Again quite a steep ascent to get in to the village, and then we just parked and locked.   Sooooooo very busy as it turns out it was Wine Weekend in Barolo, so it was packed with visitors! … not ofcourse the best time to visit, but what can you do ! …. we really couldnt find anywhere to even have a drink or a coffe as they were queueing outside every place! …we did go in to a “tasting” place and learned a little more about the Barolo wines.
Barolo village
And so back to the rancho…. or the Azienda as they call it here! ….. we both had showers which were welcome and then ate our meal ‘al fresco” with wine .   Later talked to the german couple who arrived and parked next to us.  Turns out they had great spanish language skills!!   She was a spanish teacher ! And …….. can’t forget what the connection was with the spanish language but they spoke very good spanish!
17 OCTOBER… day 16….another day with challenges!!! …hahahah! …. anyhow we paid our bill at the vineyard to the “nice lady” in black and headed towards the other little Barolo area towns.   First to LA MORRA … which was a lovely little town way up high on the hill!!! ….. luckily we found some parking and eventually found a place for a cup of coffee which was really really good! ……. obviously a busy Sunday again as sooooo many people out and about!
La Morra
…. then on to ALBA where again we found a good parking and walked in to the town and had a really good browse around …. love the cobbled streets in these old towns…
Jesus made of old keys and locks!! (Keyman?) Alba
Alba shopping
… couldnt find anywhere to eat as everywhere was full so we just keep walking and exploring and then had a sandwich and a beer back at the camper.  Then on to BARBARESCO  which was not a place to stop at as there really wasn’t much there and nowhere to park….so on to NEIVE….. NOW that was worth it as we were so very lucky in finding a parking with electricity!!! … turns out the little guy who parked us has a little bar and it is full of campervan letters on a board! …. so very lovely people and so very local!!
Campervan club in Neive bar
Local friends in Neive
…. a G and T and a wine was only 6.50 which is very cheap for here! Hahahah….. anyhow we also walked around the village and tried to get somewhere to eat! …. tooo late! …kitchens closed! …. so in the end we went to a wine tasting place and did some “tasting”…. bought a bottle of BARBARESCO at 27euros and took it home for our dinner!!! …… would have easily spent that on food in a restaurant so it was well worth it! …. Goodness me it really does taste so good! …. I did a great salad of everything I had in the fridge, and it was yummy! …… we then went in to the little bar belonging to the people from the parking….. so nice!  And soooo local! ….. they gave us lovely biscuits! And because I had questioned the pasta they sold, for gluten free, they were concerned about the biscuits !!!  How very nice!
View over Neive district
18 OCTOBER …. Day 17and a quick walk round the village to ask in the tourist information office what the name of the flower plants that appear in every window sill are! …. Hahahaha…. the guy in the office said he was sorry but he was not a florist!!!!! We left NEIVE and headed towards ASTI .   We found the Agroturismo place and the distillery, but they said they were full…… however, if we could only stay one night then it was ok.
Wineyard stop over near Asti
The had a wine tasting tour at 5pm and we ordered their homemade pizza for 7pm, and got ourselves settled in.   G had a shower and I made up some sandwiches even though we had no bread!!! ….. oh yes! That was possible with burritos or tortillas or whatever you call it for Mexican eating! …. and very tastey too! …. another 4 campers on the lawns, and I talked to a Swiss lady staying in the hotel rooms who spoke spanish! ….. very interesting and very good to talk in spanish! … thats the second time I have found spanish speaking people on this trip to chat to!! ….. at 5pm we presented ourselves down at the distillery and Alessandro was there to welcome us.
So very unpretentious in his working clothes !!! … he is a pruner and the bee keeper and married to one of the daughters of the owners.  Very nice guy and very good english.   We were 10 in total for the tour, plus 4 kids who were a bit noisy, and had to to be taken outside as they were disrupting the information being given out! ….. Alessandro was very good with his description of the processing, which ofcourse we know off by heart by now! ….but nonetheless, it is good to hear again.   When it came to sitting down to tasting….. we were 6 at one table. And the other 4 plus their 4 kids at the other.  We were with a german couple and a Swiss couple.   We tried 8 different wines.   There was breadsticks, cheese, salsichon, and water, also on the table…. which was all replaced when empty.   What a very good tasting, I have to say.   When that was over, we went outside to the courtyard where a big barrel bar was set up for tasting all the different Grappas! ….. one of the couples with the kids were from Holland and had lived in Scotland.
 Good chat going with them and the others too. It was quite a jolly do, and it was only 10 euros each.    And the pizza was being cooked by Michaela to be collected at 7pm back at the Azienda.     Oh my Gothenburg! …. what an amazing pizza! … it was oblong and soooo big!  Enough to feed 3or 4! And we managed to scoff the lot except for 2 small pieces!! …. totally stuffed, we retired early for the night with thoughts of starving tomorrow!!!   A very good day, with very good wines at the tasting, and also more reasonable prices than Barolo.
19 OCTOBER…. Day 18 and a pity to have to leave this place so soon.   We had a visit to their distillery shop before leaving and did a quick tasting of 2 wines which we particularly enjoyed yesterday and bought a box of 6.
Grappa and Wine
 Also bought a Limonino to match the grappa that G had got yesterday! Hahahahaha.   We stopped in Asti to do some supermarket shopping, then parked more centrally for a walk about the town. Talked to a danish couple when we were having coffee.    Then it was onwards to Acqui Terme where we found a good parking with electricity, just near the old Roman aquaduct and took a walk in to town.
Lovely lovely old town with lots of old history and little square and parks and leafy trees everywhere.
Acqui Terme
20 OCTOBER… and its day 19…. only 10 left before boarding at Toulon!  Woke up to this leafy autumnal scene of the avenue littered with different coloured leaves… really quite pretty! …. after breakfast we headed off towards the coast with one road in mind, and then we came across a closed road, so had to change route….. this time it was up and round the mountains in the mist and on a road which was basically single track.  Very scarey to be honest at times, and I  really felt we had taken a bad route…. however, the viking driver was confident and all was well, and although it was probably a very long way round it did get us down to Savona.
Lost in Italy
   We tried a few camper spots near Savona and along the coast, but nothing was to our liking…… we continued as far as BORGHETTO SANTO SPIRITO which is a really strange name to a farm campsite.   Upon arrival nobody here, but a ramshackle house and some parking places….. we decided to hang on and eventually someone came by….. he took Göran to another building where he found an old lady in her socks and cooking apron, about 80yrs old who took his ID and asked if we just wanted one night.
In the end, the cost was whatever she fancied charging us!!!! …. so it was 18.50 for the night with electricity and use of the toilets…. we have to buy a token for the shower.  We can fill up with water and empty our grey and black water.   Very funny really and so terribly basic and local italian.   I can just see a little old mallorquina on a finca doing the same thing!!!
Dinner was very good and then we watched some tv.
21 OCTOBER…. and it will be Thursday day 20…..  Started our drive up in to the mountains as not much here to look at…… and what a drive it turned out to be.  Up to 1000 mtrs and at the peak there was a derelict hotel and bar restaurant.   Such a waste of a marvelous place.    On our way there we stopped at a little village called ZUCCARELLO which was absolutely beautiful and so unspoilt.   I dont think I have ever taken so many photos in one little village.
Coffe and Beer in Zuccarello
Started the donkey trail up to the old castle but G was not wearing the right shoes, so we didn’t reach the top. It was actually called ILARIA’s trail which was to do with her and about her marriage in LUCCA which lasted 3 days and 3 nights….. she died after childbirth of her second child.  Such a sad story and there is a statue of her in the village.  This was back in 1405 ish.     Anyway our destination was GARESSIO which has a very good parking, but not much else! …. so we wont be hanging about here tomorrow.
Church in Garessio
A long walk round the village and then home for the evening in the camper.  Its 7pm as I write my diary.
22 OCTOBER… on to day 21 and its Friday.    One week left before ferry to Alcudia. Driving down from the mountains was indeed a beautiful ride, and very round and round and down and down, and round and down and just like in the Mr. Men book !  Got some lovely lovely pics on the way down and the weather just got better and better.
Italian village
 We decided on travelling as far as Latte and staying over in a campsite there.  Ofcourse the weekend is coming, so we have to think ahead.   After booking at this quaint little campsite with lovely people, we took a walk along the beach and around, and then went back to base and to cook our dinner…..or was it the other way round?  Anyhow, we decided that it might be a good idea to stay another night here.
Latte campsite
23 OCTOBER… Saturday day 22.  After good showers and breakfast, we book in for another night, and then walk in to Ventimiglia.   A bit of a hairy walk as it was along the main road and loads of traffic! … However, it was a lovely view over the Mediterranean and the 5km walk was good for us! ….. before reaching the town, we went down towards the beach thinking it would take us to the marina, but it didnt! …but it did take us towards getting some lovely pics! …….. just as we were arriving to the town we went up to the old part, and what an amazing village of little tiny narrow streets all bunched together! ….. so many pics were taken and we were so very pleased we had decided to stay on.
Happy walkers
Coastline between Latte campsite and Ventimiglia
Ventimiglia marina
It was extremely funny in one part of the old town when I had stopped to take a pic of lots of shoes on a washing line…. little did I know that G was waiting around a corner to give me a scare…… hahahaha little did he know that I had stopped and another lady was walking down!  He jumped out to scare her, and i think he was the one who got more of a shock!!!! Hahahahaha…..very very funny!
We had a drink down in the new part, after wandering around the flea market and trying to find a shop for t/shirts…… and then called the shuttle taxi from the campaite to bring us back to base.  5euros was well worth the ride!
So after dinner and a nice bottle of Italian wine from Rovero we then booked in another night here! And went supermarket shopping locally.   A really great shop with absolutely everything in it!!!!  We ordered our shuttle bus to take us to MENTÓN in the morning at 11.
24 OCTOBER…. and its Sunday day 23.   Change of plan as 3 nights would have been too much for G in Latte….. so we cancelled the shuttle bus, and did our emptying etc of the campervan and drove ourselves to Mentón.   We managed to find a parking space not too far out, and walked down to the front and then up to the old town.
Menton church
Menton marketplace
Beer in wine bar in Menton
 What a jewel of a place it is!!!……absolutely beautiful and better kept than the other side of the border.    Lower down was also lovely as it was so alive and bustling with people and lots of shops open, and I managed to buy myself an apron! …. hahaha I think I am the apron collector!! …… we had a beer and a wine in a great little wine bar, and then went in to the food market and bought some potato dophinois and some goat cheese and spinach quiche! …. deeeeeeelicious! …….. we drove on to GRASSE but it was totally impossible to park there after many attempts of up and down and round and round….. total waste of time.   But anyway, it was worth a try.   It made no difference to me as I wasnt bothered about staying there as I had done the perfume museum on a previous visit.   In the end we headed out in to the country and found an Aire which was perfect.   It was even entertaining watching a gay couple trying to set their camper up on the wedges for the night!!…… reversing with handbrake on!!! …. think they must have had too many glasses of vino for their aperitivo !!! ……
25 OCTOBER…. and its day 24….. Monday.   Heading today towards Draguignan to find the ammunition museum…… boring… but anyway! …… the town was actually quite lovely except that the clock tower which we wanted to view was closed on Mondays!! Hahahaha… the usual story on our travels! …… we did walk up to it though and took pics, and wandered round the old town, with its painted streets, and pile up of rubbish collection.
The ammunition museum was like I said before.     We headed to an Aire which was in a place called la Motte.   Not up to much so we both decided to head back down to Saint Chamas.    G had talked of going back to Gorges de Verdon but i really wasnt keen as we have done it twice and i dont like those roads, and i dont like the steep walks either…… so its to the coast, or near to it that we go.    We needed to do some supermarket shopping, which was not easy as not many on this road down to St. Chamas…… got the shopping with difficulty as many empty shelves…. and then they wouldnt take my card! ….. had to leave the shopping in the store, and go back to the camper for my other card!!! ….. stupid.   We ate earlier at la Motte beside the tennis courts where the mothers were collecting their kids from practise and wishing us “bon appetite” …… a bit of tv to catch Strictly for me! …… and then bed.   G’night!
26 OCTOBER…… day 25 and its Tuesday in Saint Chamas.   We decided to do the walk up to Miramas old town…… supposedly through the park which would bring us out at the other end and directly down below the old town.
Memorial place in the park at Saint Chamas
Ground Zero of the ammunition explosion
That seemed to go well, and it was a lovely walk with interesting finds of an old ammunition factory, a mill, and an observation tower, and a chapel…… we even found a memorial stone from an explosion which had happened in 1936……. we couldnt find our way out, so when we saw a park attendant trimming the grass edges, we asked him, and he informed us that the park was closing at 12.00….. for goodness sake! It was 5 mins to!!! ….. we thought it closed at 6pm! …… totally wrong with our reading of information! …. anyhow, we had a lot of laughs as the guy who was helping us put on his glasses to look at the gps and the lenses fell out! …. and he said he would call his colleagues to NOT LOCK THE GATES as we would not be out before 12 as we had to walk all the way back!…. much hilarity with them all and a good chat……
WE drove off to Carro to no avail and on to another parking to no avail and ended up in Sauset something or other.   Good sight for the night with electricity.
On our way we stopped off at MIRAMAS old town, and had a wander up there…. really lovely and had a drink with a view.
Then on to MIRAMAS new town where they have a massive outlet place……. too many shops, too many choices, and actually pretty expensive, but found a nice shirt in DESIGUAL…. So I was happy.
Nice meal of very good meaty burgers with cheese, and huge mushrooms with garlic and perejil with cheese ….. a bit of tele and then to bed.
27 OCTOBER…. Day 26 and its Wednesday.   After emptying and filling and doing what has to be done…. we set on our way back to Saint Chamas¡¡¡¡¡¡. Strange how that place keeps calling us back¡¡¡ hahahaha!!!   …. Different route back which was quite nice really along side the Etang and rather picturesque.   our parking space was still available so we were happy!!! ….. Coffee and croissant at our local bar then off round the park to discover more about the gunpowder factory and its explosion and how the whole network was set up!!! …..they were open in the park till 6pm on Wednesday so we had no problem!!! …..  a good walk and a good find of information.
Explosion 1936 in St Chamas
Saint Chamas stopover
Walking round the village a bit more, and a visit to the supermarket to buy some necessities and some wine…..hahaha as if that was not a necessity!!! ….. dinner home at the rancho with a beautiful sunset in front of us…what a lovely spot to park in! …..   Coffee after dinner and a copa in another bar which we have not frequented till now! ….. no liqueurs and G had to have a pastis!!!!
28 OCTOBER…. Day 27 thursday…… late start and just a walk around the town and back to base….. then later a nice long walk up over the aqueduct and round the town…..which was really nice as the sun had come out and got some nice shots which we didnt get when we arrived with no sun some 3 weeks ago!
St Chamas stopover
St Chamas marina, troglodytes in the back
….. a Visit to the tourist information office was not very fruitful, she didnt speak english but with my little french she didnt really know too much either! ….we did however get a leaflet with some interesting info about Saint Chamas…… we wanted to know about the Troglodyte houses and more about the ammunition factory……..    after dinner we walked in to town again to have a coffee and a copa.
……yet another bar..
They informed us that tomorow they are cooking mussels at noon! …..soooooo very tempting but we have to be on our way to Toulon and are going to have our meal on board in the dining room! ….so 2 meals in one day would be too much!!!     Bought a bag of Bordeaux which is rather nice!!!
29 OCTOBER….day 28 friday.
 Ferry today back to Mallorca! ……. Drove off from Saint Chamas early just in case of any  holdups on the road.  It rained most of the journey!!!! ….we took the highway for easyness.      Arrived in Toulon about midday and got parked up.   The rain went off so we went for a walk down to the harbour.   The market had been on, so the streets were littered with left over rubbish!! …not a very pretty sight, and actually a shame we missed the buzz of the market.   Not really nice enough to sit and have a coffee so we headed back to the camper.   By 3pm we thought we should make our way down to the ferry terminal……. lots and lots of vehicles for the Alcudia ferry!!….couldnt believe it!
By the time we boarded we were ready to get to our cabin and have a shower! …. lucky that we had booked our cabin because there were none left! …. and what a pleasant surprise to find the cabin was a good size and big windows looking out! …..   Showers over, Göran went to see about booking a table for dinner.    No bookings being taken so just a case of going down when they opened at 7pm.
A really really good dinner, 3 courses, much more food than we really needed!
Very tasty!!
 We ordered a nice bottle of BARBARESCO which went down a treat.   We were really stuffed when we got back to the cabin and collapsed on our beds!….. the waiter service in the dining room was excellent.   So very professional in their crisp white shirts and jet black trousers.  Quick, efficient, and didnt get in your face.  It was a 10 from us both!
30 OCTOBER….. DAY 29 Saturday…. and first a stop in at Ciudadella then on to Alcudia.   It must only have been about 6am when the cabin maids started banging on our door to get up as they had to prepare the cabins for the next journey!!….. we were not due in to Alcudia till 8.30 !!!!!   It was actually very funny with this little italian guy screeching off at the top of his voice!!!      We took our time, then vacated our cabin 6012 and headed to the coffee shop! …. couldnt have faced breakfast as our bellies were still full from last nights dinner!!
Docked in Alcudia on time, and directly home!!! …….. Holiday over, work to be done,but what a really really great trip we have had!! ….. it was so nice not to be driving so much and to spend several days in places and we were sooooooo very lucky with the weather!      Apart from our first days when we had some rain, and the last day in Toulon, we had bright blue skies mostly every day both in France and in Italy.
Happy chappies are we !!
Saint Chamas beach
Saint Chamas by night