I have been away, sur mes vacances, tout seul dans la France profonde. Yeah, I know, again. Listen, somebody has to keep the travel trade going.
Not that this would contribute greatly, being an El-Cheapo trip to the Landes of Aquitaine, specifically to my favourite little town of Le Porge and my favourite campsite - Aire Naturelle de Lescarran.
Here it is: This must be the sixth time I've been there and it never changes much. Old Madame has had a stroke and Young Madame (these are relative terms, you understand) is now in charge. It still costs only threepence-three-farthing a night and the showers are still cold. It's actually €5 a night in early season (can you believe a bargain like that?) and you can get jetons to shove in a box to make the shower run warmish. But I rather like the cold showers (it's all we got in the North when I were a lad; character building), especially when the temperature is 106F.
I like to travel fairly light, as you can see, although it's possible to travel much lighter. One happy camper (quite a big bloke) arrived by bicycle with one of the tiniest tents I've ever seen. He didn't so much sleep in it as wear it.
But this has all the important elements for me - a car, a bike, a tent, a chair and a coolbox with wine, cheese etc etc.
What more could a chap need?
Well, freedom from thunderstorms at 3am would be nice. It occurred to me at said 3am that lying on the ground in a thunderstorm next to two vertical metal tent poles was perhaps not the brightest or safest place to be. Although it could have turned out to be extremely bright indeed with a faint smell of singeing and roast pork if I'd stayed there much longer. So I wimped it out in the car, resting firmly on four nice big rubbery tyres while Armageddon raged overhead.
Incidentally, speaking of roast pork, the site is sometimes visited by sangliers (wild boar). I've seen them on previous visits and although I didn't see them this time others did, and I did hear them. When something large snuffles round your tent in the middle of the night and says Oink you can put money on it having a curly little tail. It behoves one to make damn sure the sausages are packed away; don't want les sanglier finding their best mates all trussed up in sausage skins and pret a manger.
I'd happily spend all summer there (and at €5 a night I could!!) but you'd all pine for news of the allotment so I guess I'll just have to buckle down to it. Next post soon.