This morning we hitched up early and headed for our next port of call, Les Alpilles. Les Alpilles, themselves a parc naturel régional, are an attractive series of rocky hills in the middle of an otherwise flat plain just north-east of the Camargue national park. We’re here for the wetlands around the Camargue. This area is definitely an Odo-nutter destination, if one can find the dragonflies in between all the mosquitoes for which the Camargue is famous. 😀
Our first decision was where to stay. We’d previously visited a pleasant, rural campsite near Mouriès. It was in a typically Provencal setting of arid scrubland and seemed to be run by the Gestapo, which is a good thing; you don’t any more thoughtless campers being given the freedom to spoil your own peace and quiet. However, a couple of kilometres west lies Maussane-les-Alpilles with a seemingly highly regarded camping municipal. It, of course, is more of a town site. We vacillated but eventually plumped for rural scrubland and the Gestapo – much more us.
We timed our departure so that the three hour drive would get us in just before lunchtime (12 noon). The French don’t care to have their lunch two-hours disturbed and often close receptions at noon for a couple of hours. We pulled into Mouriès at 11:30 AM and swung off the main road into the side road leading to Stalag 99, passing, as we did so, a camping sign appended with “fermé” [closed]. Bugger, it’s supposed to be open until September 15th!
The Gestapo clearly got fed up with tourists. I did a nifty three point turn with Guillaume still hitched and we headed for the site in Maussane-les-Alpilles after all.
Maybe it’s Provence but this site seems to be run by the same branch of the forces. An extract from the site rules:
NOISE: do not bother your neighbours with the sound of televisions or radios, with loud voices or musical instruments and this EVEN DURING THE DAY.
(Their phraseology, not mine.) Excellent! What with this and the free wifi, it makes the higher than usual (for us) charges something of a pleasure. This is how all sites should be run.
Now, if they could just take a leaf out of the book at the étang de Bellbouche where dogs aren’t permitted …