Saturday, 17 December 2016

A castle for a shower block at Camping Le Florida!

Camping Florida 'castle' shower block 
Up until now, the weirdest campsite shower block we had seen was at Camping Le Rupe just outside Toulouse. There they have a garden, complete with small trees, growing in the centre of the structure. However our current campsite, Camping Le Florida at Latour bas Elne in the Pyrenees-Orientales, has a far dafter construction. Here the block looks like a little castle and even has medieval knights fighting over a treasure chest inside. It certainly is a bizarre sight, especially as the rest of the campsite is pretty standard, and reminded us a little of Trago Mills' oddness in Devon! Inside, once you've gotten over being watched by fibreglass knights, the facilities are good. The block is always heated and has plenty of hot water in the showers.

Knights at Camping Le Florida 
Camping Le Florida is €17 a night with our ACSI card at this time of year and that includes electric hookup and free wifi with a good signal. There are about two dozen large pitches available for touring caravans and motorhomes with probably three times as many taken up with static cabins. We think these are all for summer rentals as there is no sign of individual decoration or people around them. I imagine in summer this site would be frantic, but in December it is reasonably peaceful. There haven't been more than seven or eight units pitched up at any one time, the bar-restaurant is closed while the large swimming pool is being remodelled. The campsite entrance is on a fairly busy main road so there is pretty much constant traffic noise from that, but we can use a pedestrian/cycle gate at the far end of the campsite which leads out on to the chemin network (small agricultural roads).

The sleepy village of Latour bas Elne is a few minutes walk away and we also walked to our nearest supermarket, an Intermarche. We prefer the Casino supermarket though because it has better looking fresh produce. Casino is a little further away, but still easily cyclable along the chemins. We have enjoyed two long (for us) cycle rides already in the five days we have been at Camping Le Florida. The first took us to Saint Cyprien marina to see the boats and our second, which was meant to be a shorter ride, ended up being even longer and saw us enjoying coffee and cake at Le Pain du Sud on the outskirts of Argeles sur Mer. We did set out to cycle to Argeles once last winter, but hadn't allowed ourselves enough time for the distance. Now we've finally made it and almost entirely on signposted quiet roads and dedicated cycle routes. I love the French Voie Verte cycle route system! We used it a lot from St Jean Pla de Corts this time last year so I was delighted to spot its distinctive green signs again near here.

Our bikes at Le Pain du Sud, Argeles 

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