Friday 21st November
Nearly five weeks on the run now. Todays plan is to head into Spain and aim for a site at St Feliu De Guixols (Number 195 in the All the Aires, Spain and Portugal book). Yesterday, we were given a ticket on entry to the car park and all we had to do was put the card in today, pay the money and the card is spat back at you to put in the exit machine.
How hard can it be? I put my card in and it won’t work “Ticket Illisible”, try it round the other way, upside down, back to front and the same response. A german guy comes over to help me by rubbing my ticket on the inside of his thigh, still no luck but his ticket went through no problem so I pushed the intercom button and when the woman answered told her my ticket was illisible. She said something which I thought was try again you silly rosbif but still no luck so I rang the intercom again and she was very sharp with me, it turns out that she had said “give me a minute and I’ll be there”.
I went back to tell Lucy our tale of woe when a woman walks over all smiles and I ask her if she is the parking lady, “Oui, oui, monsieur” so se puts my ticket in, upside down, back to front, etc” and then tells me it is kaput and she presses the intercom button and by this time the lady on the other end is getting very abusive!! It turns out my lady saviour is staying on the aire as well.
After 15 minutes our proper parking lady does turn up and she spends a good 20 minutes trying to get her computer to give us a new ticket. She’s on the phone to her buddy going through the instructions step by step and eventually manages to get us a ticket that works. As we’re leaving the aire we see another parking person turn up on scooter to help out.
We took the coast road from Collioure to Portbou which was fantastic. Lots of hairpins and very twisty bits but without most of the steep hills we’ve had going up the mountains. I couldn’t take my eyes off the road and Lucy saying “Oh, isn’t that lovely” didn’t help because I couldn’t see it, I was really concentrating. I’d like to say that she got loads of photos but she didn’t.
Now we are in Spain, it’s slightly warmer than it was and the words have changed but everything else is the same, The aire itself takes 12 units but the book says it is difficult getting tot he services when it is full up. Luckily there is an overspill car park next door half full of British, German, Dutch, Swedes and of course French but no Spanish. This car park benefits from being in the sun all day long so we had our Spanish lunch (exactly the same as a French lunch) sat outside. I had to take my t-shirt off, it was getting that hot.
Tomorrow we’ll investigate the town, find some cheap wine and see how long we can manage to stay here, officially the limit is five days, it’s a free aire and I’ve hooked into the local free wifi. If the weather holds we could be here a little while.