Part Four Touring France in a Caravan – Cazilhac to Argeles




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This was another driving day, this time the shortest leg of our journey down south from Cazilhac (Carcassonne) to Argeles-Sur-Mer, which is just south west of Perpignan on the south coast. I was amazed to find out that Argeles-sur-Mer is only 2 hours north of Barcelona.

As with all of our stopovers we have a minimal pack-up time as we don’t put the awning up, generally don’t bother to connect water. This means we can just sort out the inside, pack away chairs etc, disconnect electric and we’re off. Probably no more than 30 minutes.

The downside is that generally campsites aren’t that close to anything like a main road and with the Cartagena on the back, which is a twin axle 7.92 metre long ‘van, concentration is paramount. For me exits and entrances can be stressful affairs, especially as this time the motor mover is broken. I had no idea what we were heading to (site wise) as we’d not been there before, no amount of Google Earthing helps!

Anyway, we filled up with diesel pretty much straight away as I didn’t want a repeat on getting uncomfortably short of fuel again!

This stretch was mainly Autoroutes so the journey itself was easy enough. Until that is we got within about 5 miles. We have stayed in the area before, not this campsite but just a few miles away. I dutifully followed the Sat Nav and it took us off at the same junction we’d been down a couple of years ago on my last visit. “OK”, I thought, “I’m familiar with these roads” Then we were instructed to turn left onto a road I was familiar with, in that I’d seen it before, I’d not driven down it. I reluctantly turned left. BIG mistake. The two lane road very quickly went into a single track. So I stopped. A sign said that 9 tonne trucks were prohibited, well at least it didn’t apply to us, but I could see it was only wide enough for one vehicle.

Nightmare of all nightmares I had to reverse, I’d looked at the sat nav – I was using Co Pilot which KNEW I had a caravan as you can enter the width and length. I mean technically speaking I could get down the road, but really? What Sat Nav would knowingly take you down there, there MUST be another way. In any case I had to back up. Mandy was my banksman as I reversed some 300 metres. Let me say here and now, reversing in a straight line is NOT easy. It was hot, I was hot, I was stressed. Still, calm down and just f@cking do it, I took a deep breath.

As we had to push the last bit, couldn’t get it any further over.

After the reversing I had to do a 3 point turn and get back onto a road. This time I used Waze. Now Waze is my Sat Nav of choice. However, it doesn’t know I have a caravan in tow, so care is needed. We still had to go down some narrow is roads, and if you watch our Vlog (You Tube link at bottom of this article) you’ll see how close we got to a dustcart!

Finally parked, set up and relaxing

We arrive at Camping Le Soleil nervous wrecks! Something else you’ll see in the Vlog is my (even though I say so myself) Herculean effort in getting the bloody thing on the smallest tightest, narrowest pain in the backside pitch we’ve ever been on. Made worse as the shower block had this awful triangular shaped wall supports which rather got in the way of me reversing.

Although it was a stressful manoeuvre, we loved the site and whilst we were there booked for next year. We were able to walk the site and select our own pitch. This is great, unfortunately the first 10 or so pitches we chose were already booked for next year. Mind you, it wasn’t made any easier by us wanting 3 weeks, so blocking out a 3 week stay on a popular site at the height season is just asking for trouble 🙂 However, we did find a pitch and are looking forward to returning..

Site review

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