Taking our Time

Ever since we started this adventure we have been searching for wildlife. In the UK, just on the outskirts of London, I saw my first fox, however due to a marital spat over “navigating our motorhome so close to London in peak hour traffic”, it took awhile for it to register that it was actually a fox in my brain.

We have seen 2 dead badgers on the side of the road and in Scotland a herd of wild deer grazed outside our front door at night which was amazing. Imagine my excitement when we decided to head to Norway where I had visions of Santa and his reindeer whizzing past us on the highways at regular intervals. Not only did this NOT happen but we only saw one Moose the entire time we were there and that was on our final day heading into Sweden. That’s it for the wildlife count unless you count all the stray cats in Croatia and then the count is endless.

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So when we learnt that the wetlands of The Carmargue National Park in France were full of Pink Flamingos we just had to go.

We found the salt first and acres upon acres of rice fields which was a surprise, as who thought you could grow rice in France. It turns out that the area is responsible for around 5% of Europe’s rice and specializes in growing Red Cargo Rice. The salt lakes are a pretty pink colour and just one mound of salt looks enough to supply the world for a year.

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It was just around the corner that we spotted our first flock of Flamingos but they just wouldn’t play ball and pull their heads out of the water. From there on they were everywhere but it took until the next morning beforr we got a grand photo. They certainly are amazing creatures

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The area is also famous for the white horses and the black bulls used in bull fighting in Spain. Whilst local Cowboys have captured many of the white horses and rounded up many of the Bulls, you can still see them wandering wild around the waterways of The Carmargue.

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The town of Sainte Marie La Mer is the central town of The Carmargue and whilst we caught up on our laundry at the local laundromat, we had a wander around this very Spanish place. It’s definitely the town to kit yourself out in the latest cowboy boots, Spanish riding shirt and chaps. My favorite thing was the coloured crockery though.

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We also poked our nose into the local church where I discovered Saint Sara.

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Different colour but the resemblance is definitely there.

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We also spent an afternoon wandering around the walled Fortress town of Aigues Mortes where everything exists inside these four fortressed walls.

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From The Carmargue we have headed towards Spain in a roundabout way as we wanted to spend some time exploring The Pyrenees areas. The colours in the trees have just been so magical, I can’t imagine a better time to travel through this area than in Autumn when the real glow of the reds and the yellows just radiate in the hillsides.

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We’ve seen some stunning little towns along the way, we stayed in La Grasse between the olive trees one night and wandered around the Abbey before moving on. As we were having our ritual coffee, this beauty rolled on past – what a way to see the countryside.

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We also stayed a night in Ax le Therme however arrived too late to take advantage of the thermal pools which would have been grand as the night air has certainly cooled.

To be honest, it hasn’t been an eventful few days, just driving through some beautiful scenery, taking all the backroads, passing through some fairly narrow town centres where we are now used to the stares from the villagers when they see us coming, stopping for baguettes, choc au pains and coffee, and just enjoying the journey.

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Sometimes it’s not about the destination – rather the journey.

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