Escape to Gruissan

Deluges continue apace, at least in our petit coin [small corner] of France. Yesterday evening was wet, overnight was wet and this morning thrashes were several and frequent. In a bid to escape to better weather and avoid the constant squelching sound of our newly webbed feet as we walk, we arranged to drive over to Gruissan on the Mediterranean coast, a distance of about 90kms, our main plan being to enjoy a plateau de fruits de mer lunch at a particularly good seafood shack that we know. The only reason any arrangement was necessary was that we’d asked our Dutch neighbours if they’d like to come too and they readily agreed. We set off at 10:30, leaving the waterlogged campsite behind.


We didn’t have to go more than about 10kms east along the autoroute before conditions brightened. Patches of blue appeared in the sky and the view ahead held a promise of continued improvement. It was windy but we’d take wind over continuing rain any day. Parking was a doddle and, stepping out of the car, all four of us luxuriated in the now unfamiliar feeling of warm sunshine.

My trusty Tilley hat, used recently mainly as a defence against rain, was at last pressed into service as a defence against a sunburnt scalp. Only briefly, though; the wind was so strong that Tilley went flying off in the wrong direction. “Bother”, said Pooh crossly, once more. There was nothing for it – out came the inelegant but effective chin strap, which I hate using. Now, If only I could find me a six gun, the effect would be complete.

J18_1002 Sky Blue PinkAfter a brief aperitif wander around the town looking at the market which was now in shutdown mode, we repaired to the restaurant and found that it, at least, provided some shelter from the continuing strong wind. The restaurant faces a salt pan with astoundingly pink water. One day we really must get here at the right time, i.e. in the morning when the angle of the light is best for the colour and with less wind disturbing the surface, to do it justice. This will give you the idea of the effect, though. Naturally, the phrase that springs to mind is “sky blue pink”. See, that mythical colour does exist.

20180613_130241Studying the menu, our friends Hans and Marga fancied a seafood platter, too, so what turned up was a humongous dish laden with seafood for four. A platter order is for a minimum of two and contains a crab, oysters, raw mussels, prawns and whelks, together with the necessary hardware, bread and mayonnaise. We added a bottle of white wine, of course. Maternal remonstrations not to play with ones food are useless faced with a such a feast. We all set about manually attempting to destroy it and very nearly succeeded – very nearly but not quite; a few bulots [whelks] went back with a moule [mussel] or two.

We’ve had three more showers since we returned to the campsite. I’ve always said this site is 50kms too far west.

Posted in 2018 France

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