Here’s a quaint little game that Francine and I quite often play upon arrival at a new campsite. First, we wander round and select a likely pitch. Second, we drag Guillaume (our caravan) to the chosen pitch and set him up. Third, we settle down to relax, usually with an “installation beer” and often with a slightly late lunch. Fourth, we look around, then at each other, and say, “On second thoughts, I think Guillaume would be happier over there”, indicating a preferred pitch. Fifth, we strike camp and re-site Guillaume all over again.
Having arrived here on Sunday, we were busily re-pitching Guillaume about 50yds from our initial attempt when another English couple approached us and asked, “were you here two years ago?”. Yes, we were, and we recognized them as having been here as well. As it happens, we were now pitching Guillaume in exactly the same spot he had enjoyed two years ago. Why we tried a different spot, neither of us knows. We had a natter to renew acquaintances and continued while they selected a pitch to their liking.
We generally try to visit a mix of new French locations, to investigate, with some known, “safe” and favourite locations. It’s not unusual to bump into others from previous years doing pretty much the same. The Dutch tent, our 50yds-distant nearest neighbour in yesterday’s picture, was also here two years ago in exactly the same spot. My suspicion is that it is here every year in exactly the same spot. The Dutch gentleman in question has a serious tan highlighted by a mass of completely white hair and a white moustache. He looks just like Dick van Dyke. He also has two dogs – spaniels – which he takes for a wander every evening so we’ve tagged him Dick van Dogs.
The morning today was dull but it was market day in La Palmyre. We treated ourselves to half a poulet rôti for lunch from the market stall. The sun returned for the afternoon and we pedalled our way around another 15 miles of new VTT circuit entertained by some very active and uncooperative dragonflies and some much more readily studied stationary flowers. One plant that Francine had been spotting, and thought to be some type of orchid, actually turned out to be an example of a slightly odd group called the Broomrapes. These have no green pigment or leaves, as such, and are parasitic on the roots of other plants. To identify a Broomrape accurately it is necessary to first identify the host plant. Weird! Isn’t evolution wonderful?