Friday, 6 November 2015

There's a massive pond at Massane!

Our newest campsite, Camping Neptune, is in the small village of
L'Etang du berre 
Massane on the banks of what the French refer to as a pond - l'Etang du Berre which is actually one of the biggest lakes I've seen. We have had a couple of short walks along its banks to see a couple of pretty spots, but unfortunately there isn't a significant walking path or cycle route. It's more a case of going to the water for beaches and boat launching ramps, then having to go back up to the town for a half mile before being able to access the water again. Lots of the unassuming houses here have frontages right onto the beach and there are at least two pretty big campsites, however Massane is nowhere near as resorty as we were expecting.

L'Etang du berre 
Camping Neptune has views out over the lake, good sized pitches and, at
Camping Neptune 
last, we have warm sunshine without shady tree cover. During the last couple days in Avignon we were wearying of not only the steady drumming of rain on Bailey's roof, but also the all-too-frequent crash of tumbling twigs. Hopefully there will be none of that here! Our pitch is €14 a night, including electric, with our ACSI card and there is a nice shower block with good showers and hot water for the laundry sinks - luxury! Wifi is a pricey €22 a week or €34 a fortnight so we ummed and ahhed about how long we thought we might stay, eventually choosing the fortnight and crossing our fingers that we will find enough to keep ourselves occupied. There's nowt worse than a bored Davey! We plan to dust off our table tennis set, visit Arles and Martigues nearby, and I must catch up on my book backlog or I will fail on my Goodreads Challenge this year.

Massane has a little grocers and a bar-pizzeria, otherwise we need to
Grand Frais inspirational leaflets 
drive ten minutes or so to get to what is basically a big industrial estate, but with lots of shops instead of manufacturing units. Today we discovered my new favourite supermarket, Grand Frais. It describes itself as 'the best market' and is almost entirely stocked with fresh produce - fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and cheeses. Many of the fruits and vegetables are completely new to me and presumably to the locals here too as Grand Frais print leaflets explaining where they are from and whether/how they need cooking. I can't wait to try everything and to say that Dave is also over the moon would be an understatement. (actually a complete lie though he does like the shop too!) I mentioned the grocer earlier - we discovered the owner is Spanish and comes from Dos Hermanas where we stayed to visit Sevilla. He seemed surprised we knew of the town and it was an opportunity to briefly switch into speaking Spanish. I had already been chatting in German to a Dutch woman from Luxembourg whilst doing laundry this morning, and we asked questions in French while shopping so it's been a quadrilingual day.

Evening shadows towards l'Etang de berre 

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