Saturday 2nd August.
We are parked up tonight in Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon on a dedicated motorhome parking spot with about twenty or so other motorhomes, the parking bays are marked out and it's been full since mid afternoon. When we arrived at about 1.30pm we got into one of the two remaining spaces, it's busy around here to say the least. We have a fabulous view down onto the Lac de Saint Croix where the river Verdon opens up after travelling through the Gorge we visited yesterday. The lake is a beautiful bright green and this afternoon the sails of the small dinghys and windsurfers were glistening below us as they reflected the bright sunshine.
Our first job this morning before we left Moustiers-Saint-Marie was to pay last night's parking fee. We set off and found the Marie and although the doors were open the place seemed deserted. We wandered around the gloomy building turning on lights and ringing bells until eventually a door was opened by a lady who informed us the offices were closed, this being a Saturday and that we should go next door to the Municipal Police Office to pay. So we strolled down the street a little further to find the police station closed also! Eventually we stuffed the parking notice and €8.50 into a plastic bag and poked it through the letterbox, hopefully this should keep Interpol off our case. Next stop, coffee and croissants. The nice young girl in the cafe had no croissants so suggested we pop down the road to the boulangerie to buy some while she made the coffee, a sensible plan. Duly fortified we set off to explore a little more of the town armed only with a baguette. The town is very small so after a couple of circuits, including a visit to the beautiful gothic church we found ourselves climbing up a limestone pathway which offered some wonderful views but it was getting too hot to go much further so we descended back to town, bought a bottle of water and returned to the motorhome. After a quick lunch we topped the van up with water and headed off. We climbed another couple of hundred metres or so to a plateau of fields of lavender for which Provence, of course, is renowned. July and August are the best times to see the fields in full bloom so we were a little disappointed that the area we drove through had been freshly harvested leaving just the stalks of the plant. As we head west over the next few days we hope we'll be lucky and see some of the fields in bloom.
Sunday 3rd August.
Still parked up in Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon after a lazy day, popped up to the shops this morning for bread, stopped for coffe and croissant on the way back. Had a leisurely lunch under a tree with dappled sunlight watching the activities on the lake below. As a Dutch guy said as he passed by "This is the image they put on the brochures". Nothing else to say really.
Oh yes, we are parked next to a boulledrome! The clacking and clanking gets a bit tiresome after a while but hey ho. Last night it started raining at about ten o'clock so that drove all the players away. With any luck it'll rain tonight too. No 3G or WiFi here at all so won't be able to post this 'till we get back to civilisation.
Monday 4th August.
We are parked up tonight in the municipal Aire de Camping Car in Greoux-les-Bains just eighteen miles west from where we were yesterday. It's a great site on three levels and we have all facilities including electricity for nine euros a day and should we wish to we can stay here for up to thirty days. We briefly explored the top end of the town today and found the troglodyte thermal baths which have been patronised by the good and the great since Roman times. We called in to enquire as to the cost of a hot soak and a lovely lady dressed immaculately in what looked like an haute couture uniform kindly informed us that for €35 we could have a mud bath and a dip, approximate duration - thirty minutes. For €125 euros we could have the full works with all manner of treatments. We were a little crestfallen at this news and I guessed it showed on our faces however the smile never left her face as we trudged dejectedly to the exit.
This disappointment was offset, however, when we found the poulet rotisserie just around the corner. We love these places and today we ordered a chicken for seven o'clock which when we collected it and took it back to the motorhome and sat down to eat it was deliciously juicy with a crispy skin. Who needs a thermal bath when you can have a greasy chicken eh? So I think we may stay here for a couple of days, there's a big market here on Thursday and we haven't been to a market since we arrived in France and I'm sure there will be lots of things to tempt us.
No photos this time because although we have some 3G here it's so weak the photos won't transfer from my phone to the iPad. Lots of photos soon though folks.