Sun seeking – Gujarat-Mestras, Arcachon, France

Before we left Castelsarrasin we needed to stop off at the local bike shop to sort out my bike flat tire, obviously when we had time to spare waiting for a vet appointment the day before it was closed. It looked to be leaking on the seam of the tire and having been persuaded to go for tube-less tire system at the bike shop it should have fixed itself. However, it clearly hadn’t and the spare inner tubes being missed in packing we needed some assistance. Luckily it was round the corner from a big supermarket, with a filling station with LPG, so we planned to top up all round whilst we stopped.

A quick reinflate of my tire and I rode off round the corner to the bike shop whilst Kev set off for the other jobs. I got one sentence into my introduction in French at the bike shop before the shop owner passed me over to an English speaking assistant. Obviously my French accent is not quite there yet. After a few questions on when it had deflated and if it had chance to self fix, it no longer seemed to be hissing but was flat that morning. The tyre was removed to show there was no solution inside, apparently you are supposed to top it up every 6 months. We were probably told that at the time we bought, as we were bringing it back for first service in that time frame and they were out of stock we did not have any. Also, when we went back we did not think about it. Anyway, solution was topped up from the shop supply, but again they had none to sell… possibly this is the service add-on they are planning for tubeless tires. Never mind, we can pick up our inner tunes when we get home. Anyway, a day later and the tire seems to be remaining inflated.

Kev meanwhile had managed to get a few bits at the shop, but also walked over to the petrol station and found there was no LPG. So we hit the road toward the coast near Bordeaux hoping to capitalise on a few sunny (though not over hot days) coming up. We used the LPG app to find a service station on route for LPG and off we went. Due to the issues finding LPG at pump in the UK we have only been using one tank before we look to top up. We actually have been finding multiple options for refills and could probably stretch this further, but also we had not used a French LPG adapter yet and wanted to make sure that was a good fit before we ran supplies too low. We thought France may be the same fitting as Germany, but no, afraid not. However, we soon located one to fit in our fittings bag. For those who are interested, picture below.

LPG fittings (to fill at pump)

We had some lunch at the Service Station Aire, in nice lawned surroundings, with children play area etc. Kev even saw a lady with two border terriers, quite unusual here in France. They are so well equipped with these in France, literally every 20km or so. Although the navigation around them is a bit baffling sometimes, especially as the height limit, not the garage forecourt which are usual height but the barriers with swinging weights in front of them in the car section is sometimes too low for us, so it is a bit of a roulette game. Anyway, on the road for the last half of our journey, arriving in a lovely woodland setting in the sunshine at the 3 Coccinelles Camping (3 Ladybirds).

3 Cocchinelles Camping

Here there is a little bakery at reception which also sells Oysters from Arcachon Bay for 7€/dozen. Only in France. We finally got to sit on on the deckchairs (often not allowed in aires) in a bit of sunshine, until it disappeared behind some trees and it got cold quick. We then headed off for a bit of a bicycle tour up the the coast of Arcachon Bay. The cycle paths were not so easy to find and we did a bit of a longer tour than originally planned. However, we were still a bit early for French dinner time eating. Due to the rapidly dropping temperature and limited bike lights we opted for dinner in Clouline and lunch out tomorrow…more Oysters for Kevin!

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