In the words of Francine, “we’ve become tired of staring at our unresponsive ‘Hi-Ho Silver-Haired-Cloggy-Away Dutch neighbours” – the ones with the caravan that is so badly loaded it rears up like a stallion when you slam the brakes on while it’s going in reverse. Besides, we’ve both essentially done what we came here to do. In Francine’s case, that was the Carrières de Lumières; in my case it was the Peau de Meau.
The stuff this Dutch couple travel with is an eye-opener. When they first arrived, apart from grabbing the draw bar of the caravan to drag it back down into contact with our world, we saw them unload no fewer than three decent sized blue gas bottles, all with some form of cooking device attached. To be perfectly fair, one gas bottle was only moderately large.
They also have two full sized plastic sunbeds, on wheels, if you please, complete with full length padding. The sunbeds (sort of) fold but I think I’d struggle to get them in our car, which is not small.
I was gobsmacked when I spotted a full sized Weber Oyster gas barbecue appear the other day. Not only this thing come complete with its wheeled trolley device, but it came complete with its own 6kg gas bottle, their fourth gas bottle. I knew it was a different gas bottle because this was painted a fetching camouflage green colour rather than an eye-catching blue. Maybe that choice of colour was to protect it against an enemy counter-attack. If they have any gas bottles in the gas locker of the caravan, those are extra. Strewth! Mind you, given the lack of nose weight in the caravan, maybe there are no gas bottles in the nose locker.
I have no idea where all this kit travelled, maybe in the back of the
Massey-Fergusson Volvo, maybe in the tail-skid-requiring caravan (if the latter, that would go a long way to explaining why the caravan had an illegal-in-Germany light nose weight).
Oh, and the final smirk about camping kit came yesterday when, Weber gas grill on trolley all fired up and cooking, Mr Hi-Ho-Silver-Haired-Cloggy-Away produced an electric pepper mill to season whatever gourmet delight he was preparing. Can you seriously imagine wanting to pack an electric pepper grinder to go camping? [Side note: Mrs Dyed-But-Otherwise-Silver-Haired-Cloggy-Away does bugger all but sit in the sun and read.]
So, it’s time; tomorrow we are off to the Languedoc, somewhere around the Bassin de Thau. There’s a second factor: two caravans in convoy have pitched up with a barking dog. Sayonara Les Alpilles.