Looking for a place to rest my broken toes we were feeling pretty glad for our habit of never planning anything in advance. Our general idea before the injury was to take the car back to Florence and head to Croatia or Spain. A few hours before I broke the toes we extended the car hire for another two weeks, almost like a prediction that we would need the car.
We made our way to the South of France to Grimaud which is near St. Tropez. I still can’t believe we found the accommodation, an apartment across from the beach, because literally the whole of France was there to celebrate Bastille Day which we had no idea about. The idea of this place was good, 2 bedroom on the ground floor with a garden, but it had a pond and the yard wasn’t fenced so it was a bit too stressful for us.
Next I picked Calella in Spain really only because it wasn’t too far over the border, it was about an hour to Barcelona, it was on the beach and I found accommodation. The drive from France to Spain was good but very expensive with tolls. It feels like over here the rule is that the country you leave holds you upside down and shakes out whatever money you have left. I vaguely remember reading how expensive driving across Europe is based on the tolls alone but helpfully neglected to share this info with Rohan and then promptly forgot about it.
I had a real love-hate relationship with our accommodation at Camping El Far. I love it because it was right on the beach on a cliff side with amazing views and very nice breezes of an afternoon. I didn’t so much like the discos catering for the teenagers that went on every night until about 11.30 pm. Drifting off to “Achy Breaky Heart” or that new Cheerleader song was not ideal, the kids proved they’ll sleep through anything and Rohan too if I hadn’t been forcing him to stay awake and listen to me rant about the noise.
When talking about Spain and the beach you can’t not talk about the tendency for nudity among the young and the old. I am very much on the whatever makes you happy side of the fence but I will hold my hand up and admit to be taken aback a little by the first topless sunbather we came across who happened to be a grandmother with her husband and their grandchild.
A final note on the nudity is that you really need to check if the beach you’re heading to is an actual “Al Natural beach” or not. If you’re not keen to let it all hang out it could be very awkward having to do the walk of shame back over the rocks past all the people heading in that direction as we saw one couple do.
It was great to catch up with Rohan’s parents for a quick visit after they caught the train from Barcelona. Ice creams and the buying of bouncy balls together with unexpectedly seeing Nanny and Poppy for a few hours was very special for the kids and of course for us too.
Having not really given any information about Spain other than my observations on nudity I will point out that long term travel does weird things to your head. Logically I knew I had to rest, if I didn’t the pain could be prolonged and it could even get worse. The other side of my brain goes “but we’re in Spain, we should be seeing things” and it’s hard to switch that part off sometimes. But I did notice today that I can walk without wincing so I guess it was worth not seeing much of Spain for.
We are currently resting overnight in Grenoble, France as we make our way back to Florence to drop off the car. True to form we have no concrete plans after that, it’s currently a toss up between Croatia and Romania.