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France and Spain

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Rounded Rectangle: 2012

Early September and we are on our way to Spain for our Carthago Owners Gathering and to spend a few days with friends in Moraira and in the Dordogne. Our route was to take the Newhaven—Dieppe ferry and to spend our first night stop at Forges-Les-Eaux. This is a favourite stop for us because it is convenient for the channel ports and the aire has electric hook up and open views of the French countryside. Best of all, it has a lovely grassy area where you can put out your tables and chairs and enjoy dinner in the evening sun.

Our second night was at the aire in Bourges. This was OK but not the best by a long way. The good point is that it is right in the city and it is only a few minutes walk to the city centre and the impressive cathedral. The downside is that the aire is just parking spaces at the side of a road. It takes many motorhomes but it was busy and we were all parked up pretty close. Nevertheless, we had a peaceful night and had the opportunity to explore the city.


Bourges cathedral is impressive and the carvings in the west doorway are amazingly detailed. Outside the cathedral was an owners rally of Salmson cars. Some were beautiful examples of these vintage cars.

Otherwise the city seemed unremarkable but maybe we missed something?

Our journey continued through France to Millau. We use the N roads as the French autoroutes are quite expensive and there is not much to see from them.

Our campsite in Millau was one of three which are right alongside the river. Again it was just a short walk, over the bridge into town. Nothing of significance in Millau but the geographical location, in the Tarn gorge, is dramatic with the high causées rising to the north and south. It is a long, steep climb out going south.

When we arrived on site in Millau there was only one pitch available that was large enough for us. As we parked up we realised that Priscilla was parked right in front of next door’s TV satellite dish. The Belgian had spent a long time aligning his dish through the gap in the trees and now a big silver box had blocked out his signal. We assured him we were only stopping one night and that seemed to be OK with him.

We were intrigued to see that his wife was cataloguing a collection of something but we could not make out what they were. We had to go and ask and it turned out to be the metal caps from champagne corks. Apparently, there are thousands of different ones to collect!  That was a first for us!

The weather was being kind to us and we were pleased to feel the warmth as we went further south and entered the Mediterranean climate.

Our next stop was Collioure, which is almost on the French / Spanish border. This is another favourite aire and we have used this several times before on our journeys to Spain in the springtime. This visit was a bit different—it was packed! It was a Sunday afternoon and both the aire and the town were full of tourists. A free minibus ferries people from the aire into town and back (only in season) and this was full on every 15 min schedule. There were motorhomes of every nationality in the aire but by far the noisiest were a group of Italians. The women never stopped talking, all afternnon, all evening and beyond midnight!

(There are several photos of Collioure in previous years)

The following day we decided to take the coast road into Spain rather than go back to join the motorway. An interesting but strategically flawed decision.  The road was very, very twisty for a large motorhome but the coastal scenery was spectacular. It took a long time but we eventually joined up with the AP7 motorway at Figueres and sped on our way south to Peniscola.

We had been told that there was a new aire alongside (and owned by) Camping La Volta. Indeed there was. A large open space which could accommodate many motorhomes and has good security gates which are locked at all times. It has electric hook up (16 amps) for everyone and you have the use of the campsite swimming pool, bar and free WiFi.  Very good—we recommend it. 

Next day we reach Javea and our stop over for the next 5 days. It was good to park up and forget about driving for a time.

Camping El Narajal is a lovely campsite, friendly owners, shaded pitches, good sanitary facilities, beautiful warm swimming pool and just 10 minutes walk from Arenal Beach.

Take the link below to our Carthago Owners UK website to see what we were up to!

Bevel: Visit Carthago Owners in Javea 2012

Welcome back.

After the Carthago meeting we travelled down the coast just a few kilometres to Moraira, one of our favourite destinations. Here we planned to stay for four days and ended up staying for a week at Camping Moraira. The weather was just wonderful, the sea was warm and although most of the tourists had gone, everywhere was open and welcoming.

We met up with our friends, Bob and Caroline and Bob’s daughters Nicci and Michelle, see below, who were all staying at their apartment in Teulada (just a short drive inland from Moraira).

We enjoyed an excellent music evening at the Café del Mare which is walking distance from the campsite.  Every Monday evening a group of musicians and guests entertain you. A variety of performers took to the stage, all amateurs or retired professionals and their talent was very impressive. It was the kind of show that you would happily pay money for but it was all free! Even the drinks were reasonable prices!

We were joined in Moraira by Stuart and Linda Smith, Mike and Cath Rowland, John and Gill Davies with their Carthagos so for a few days there were 4 Carthagos on site.

Mike and Cath had hired a car to go exploring and asked if we would like to join them on a trip to Benidorm. They wanted to go and see if it was what they thought it would be. We have never been there so we decided to join them for the same reason. We were neither disappointed nor surprised ......  it was as we expected !  See below, left, looking south and right, are Mike and Cath with the northern view as background.   Lovely beach!

After Benidorm we motored up into the mountains to Guadelest (described in previous holidays) and the back to Moraira.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and were reluctant to leave and start our homeward journey. It is a delightful time of year to visit (late September) and next time we will plan to stay on into the early weeks of October.

Rather than break our northward journey to the French frontier at Peniscola, as we have done so many times before, we decided to head for Tarragona and a campsite that had been recommended to us by John and Gill Davies. The campsite at Torre de la Mora was delightful. The pitches were rather close together (Spanish style) and many of the pitches were far too tight for Priscilla but the location was simply marvellous!

The site is right on the beach. You just walk out of the gate and you are on the sand. A beautiful curved bay with several bars and restaurants but no high rise blocks.  However, the real highlight is the on site swimming pool and restaurant area. Just like a luxury Caribbean island hotel!

See photos on the next page >>>>>>

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