One instinctively knows when it’s time to move on. We’d had a good time at Millau, helped by an interesting riverside pitch and reasonable weather for orchid hunting but now it felt like time to move. We bad farewell to our compatriot friends across our intervening pitch, hitched up and headed for Maussane-les-Alpilles in … yes, Les Alpilles, a few kilometres south of St-Rémy-de-Provence. I don’t know if the name Les Alpilles is some form of diminutive of Les Alps but they are a series of modest rolling hills – I’ve seen them described as waves – on what is an otherwise quite flat landscape.
The prevailing wind for our stay at Millau has been largely from the north. Its continuation now put the wind up Guillaume’s skirts and helped him south down the remaining stretch of the A75 before he hung a left towards Montpellier and on past Nîmes to our destination. Descending off les causses to the Mediterranean plain took us down a 7.5kms/5mls 7.5%/1-in-12 hill with a tedious 50kmh speed limit for towing vehicles. Quite sensible really – the sight of a jack-knifed Guillaume can be very upsetting, especially if one is in the car attached to hte front of him. At least you can enjoy the views. 😉
The temperature rose steadily as we descended southwards. Clouds were thinning and the skies were clearing as we neared Provence. 18°C/60°F became 28°C/77°F. That’s more like it, that’s why we’re here!
Our campsite at Maussane-les-Alpilles can best be described as “not us”. It is a municipal with excellent security, hedged pitches and inclusive wi-fi. It sounds fine but it’s a bit too urban and feels quite crowded. Still, it’s the most convenient we’ve found in the area and we are here for a reason, namely the Peau de Meau, but more of that later.
After pitching Guillaume in the most secluded corner we could find, we set off to investigate what I fondly refer to as the Maussane Ditch, what appears to be a drainage channel running into a small stream. Our late summer trip here produced about 11 species of Odos here. I was intrigued to see what spring species might be around to add to the list. We added a couple I think, from memory, but the most enchanting inhabitant is still the stunning Copper Demoiselle, which I’ would never tiring of watching. I offer this as proof that there is no God, since any god could never be this artistic. [Prepares to dodge the thunderbolt!]