A Week by the Mediterranean: Amazing nature, old ruins, salt culture, birds & ocean
This week has been in a special gear. It began very practical and with a completely drained battery. We are in the process of learning to live in a bus and getting to know the balances of the battery is a key. When we came back Sunday night from the grand finale of “Le Gardien du Temple,” our battery was down (we forgot to close the door to the refrigerator), and as we use solar panels, it was no better in the morning. Another thing defining the beginning of this week was that someone backed into our rear bike rack and ruined it.
We managed to fix it with gaffer tape and strips so we could slowly and peacefully drive the 17 km to Decathlon to buy a new one. I speak French, like conversation French. Not tech veteran-bus and rear bike rack adjustments French. I did not, but now I do. It was fun. But it was also annoying.
As we were parked outside Decathlon in a remote center commercial with only car sales shops and this sports shop, we realized just how happy we were to travel with everything we needed. The place was actually quite nice, with a lot of grass and trees. We, and that is with Jesper leading and working the most, worked on getting all the adjustments to work, and I had to get help from the nice people from Decathlon several times. We cooked in darkness as we cooked on gas, and Jesper took off to buy gasoline for the generator. And it started raining, and Google Maps sent him out on a very muddy field, and it was no fun: He had to actually carry his bike and walk back to carry the generator and …. His shoes were all muddy, and he was all wet.
So, he got back and started the generator for 2 hours to start saving the battery, and we all went to bed a bit tired and frustrated, but — we will never ever give up.
On Tuesday, we continued to work on the bike rack, and in the afternoon, we were finally ready to go. The day was beautiful, with sunshine and the Pyrenees in the distance. The grass was green, the children were playing, and the quietness of fixing, cleaning, and walking was soothing. When we finally started driving, we went to get diesel, gasoline, and food and would have loved to get gas also, but as the systems were not compatible, and we were so close to going to Spain, we decided not to convert.
We landed in the darkness at Narbonne Plage, the small village of Gruissan. So much water, so many harbors, so extremely beautiful.
Wednesday, we found the perfect spot to park the bus, found a “laverie” so we could have clean clothes, and a “piscine” so we could have a shower. At the same time, we enjoyed the water, the half-sunken ship right outside our windows, the ships in the harbor, and the palm trees.
As the week moved on, we found a great balance of practice and adventure. Wednesday, our old dog, surviving three times cancer, celebrated her 12th birthday, and we all went for a long walk in the old city, all the way up to the ruin of the old castle. Extremely beautiful. And a lot of fun. Even the small things as using the bathroom at a horse-race cafe, with horserace at a big screen and a man playing pinball. We also visited the beautiful old church Notre Dame (there are more Notre Dame than the one in Paris), blown away by the beauty and clear energy. Taking a wrong turn, we even saw a beautiful and fun gallery.
Driving back, we were blessed with the sight of flamingos! We have longed to see flamingos in nature for so long, and there they were the beautiful “Flamant Rouges”!
In the night, we had an amazing thunderstorm. It was so cozy to listen to it from the peace of the inside of the bus, and we could, in the morning, find the very few and small places water can still enter. Good to know; now on the “to be fixed list.”
Friday, after my husband finished work, we visited the salt museum of Gruissan. Beautiful, wonderful day. Finely adjusted between practical stuff, like everyday life, work, and adjustments on the bus, and also going out to buy stamps for all the letters and, finally, the museum.
Saturday, we went to the beach to make our own OL finals, as we had seen such at YouTube the night before. We did a 100-meter run and long jumps and had our feet in the water and the wind in our faces, and it was just amazing. Our new friends we met in Toulouse, Didier, Mima, and Paolo, came to join us, and we invited them for coffee, wine, and dinner in the bus. It is so great to have guests in the bus. We had a local wine from a vineyard, where they water with seawater to get an extra salty taste, and it was spectacular. We had so much fun and are so grateful to have made new friends here.
Sunday was another fixing day: work, staying home in the sun, talking on the phone with friends, fixing clothes, hooks, and bicycles, and in the afternoon, we went to the piscine and took the spa experience with wine bath, salt bath, massaging waterfalls, sauna, hammam, river flowing outside. The stars, the warm water, the peace in the muscles and the mind. And the new moon. What a great way to end a week.
The documentary we saw, Salt – tears of the Earth
Peace and love
It is my core value to share, be honest, and dare to be vulnerable. I am grateful you are reading my blog, and I would be even more grateful if you comment, send me an email, or otherwise engage. Thank you.
Below, you can enjoy more pictures.
Where are we now?
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