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Home Travel StoriesFrance 2013

France Day 8 - Chilling In The Pool

By Sharon Parker

After the warmish evening it is a disappointment to wake up to it feeling decidedly cooler. Grey heavy clouds seem to bring the promise of rain, so it looks like my big plans of a hot day spent sunbathing and swimming are not to be.
So instead of swimming I decide to get wet another way and go for a shower. The shower was most enjoyable, nice and hot. After the shower water play continues with washing of clothing.

Midday arrives and although the sky is a little less threatening the clouds are still grey and it still remains cool. Well sod it I said I would go to the pool today so I bloody well will. I inform the surprised bf that I am going to put on my bikini and go swimming. Not one to refuse a challenge he follows suit (ha pun intended) and off we go to the lovely pool. It is no surprise to find we have the whole area completely to ourselves. No one else is a mad as us. Well I like to be mad and daft sometimes and I get the giggles as I prepare to dip my toes into the water.

sharon in her bikini stepping into the cold pool, all shivering and huddled up
OHH MY - this is brr, brr, brilliant !!

It is cold. No two ways about it. So I guess there is no point it trying to inch in slowly and I just dive on in.

sharon swimming in the pool at the les pinedes swimming pool
Just get in and swim

The bf however prolongs his own agony by inching in bit by bit. Once we are actually in the water and swimming it is not actually that bad. We laugh at ourselves as we feel the odd rain drops on our heads and float in the water gazing at steel grey clouds. This is fun, I am enjoying having the pool just to ourselves and silliness is good for the soul. As Dr Suess says, "I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells." Well I am not sure if it is the nonsense or the cold but I feel very alive right now and my brain is buzzing with a million happy signals.

ren, the bf, swimming in the pool too
It's not half bad this swimming in the rain.

In fact it soon begins to feel warmer in the water than out. If we stick out a limb the cool breeze makes us shiver and we duck back under the water. But as much as I would like to stay in the water I have to admit it is time to put away childish things and be a big brave girl and get out of the water.

sharon in her brown bikini stepping out of the swimming pool at the campsite
Being in the water is great, HONEST, just getting in and out are the hard parts

After having a little rest and chill out in the tent we emerge to find the sun breaking through the clouds and it's warming up nicely. Warm enough for shorts even. But as I pose for the bf in the hope of some pics without my thermals on I hear my camera make an usual beep beep sound. The bf quickly hands my camera over like a hot potato and it reads, MEMORY CARD FAILURE !!! Noooooooo the b******. The camera that is not the bf, or more precisely the god damn memory card. I am rather upset at the possible loss of all my photos and videos of the alps. Trust it to bin all my best photos. I know there are recovery tools I can try once home but I know the success will be limited. Chances are I have lost the lot. I am annoyed because while the bf does all the riding I hope to make some small contribution to out travel stories by taking the best pics I can. I know it is not my fault but even so I feel like I have let my side down a bit. Well another lesson learned the hard way, stick to my trusty SanDisk memory cards in future and not some brand I had never used before. I have other memory cards with me at least so I can still continue to take more photos for the rest of the holiday.

After shopping for food I cheer myself up by making a very tasty curry that we both enjoy. After our yummy tea we go for a stroll around the local park. Clearly it is popular venue and by the look of the lovely tables laid out with elaborate decorations and some guests arriving in suits and pretty dresses I guess a Wedding Party will be arriving soon. What a lovely place to host a Wedding Reception.
 
The path through the park leads us to a beautiful stretch of river. A small white beach nestles besides the crystal clear blue water of the river, a little tucked away blue lagoon.

ren standing on sand at the pretty bend in the river, la colle sur loup
A little piece of pure beauty

If it wasn't for the clearly imminent arrival of the before mentioned Wedding Party I would tempted to spend some time here. I conjure up images of a romantic beach fire and lying on the sand staring up at the night sky. But no alas this is no secret oasis but a rather busy public park so time to wander back to our tent.

We finish off the night with a quick work out on the campsite's outside gym. Got to work off that curry you know. But we do not last long because actually doing not very much today has made us both rather tired. It is hard work this relaxing I will have you know. It may only be 9 pm but we are ready for bed. It has been a good day, an easy relaxed just chilling in the pool (literally) day. Night, night.

ren on a bright yellow and green exercise machine at the campsite
Ten men Ren

Forming a Plan The formulation of a cunning a devious plan to take on Europe is formed in the tiny mind of our intrepid explorer...
The GF Question Do I take the gf with me to France? Can she come? Will she like it? These are all very difficult questions...
France...I wanna go but can I...?? Can Sharon make it to Europe? Will the kids survive? Will the bf behave? Is there any space for makeup? All these questions and more...
The Load Getting everything we NEED and a few items we WANT onto a motorcycle can be a problem. Now I have to work out how to get 3 WEEKS worth of gear onto the poor donkey(aka bike)
Camping In Cambridge The start of our Epic Adventure...or bike holiday around France. Cambridge is surprisingly nice really.
France - Day 1 Sharon's first day from her point of view. Cushy Cambridge and dry weather...what more could a girl want?
The Chunnel The Chunnel, I'm excited but also stressing because the bike's already broken before we leave the UK. I worry too much...
France - Day 2 - Bikes, Trains and Tents Sharon leads us through sunshine, hair issues, the Channel Tunnel and into France. But France is eerily quiet...
Here Comes The Rain Bike fixed...bike broken. Rain, endless dull roads, miserable towns and more rain. Oh the joy of travel! At least Epernay welcomed us with a huge smile :-)
France Day 3 - Crying Through The Rain The rain plays tricks with Sharon's spirit but a stiff upper lip and giving herself a good talking to see her through.
Rain Into Dijon Rain, rain and more rain. Just how long can it last? Would we be better off with a Jet Ski? Can we continue to keep our Great British Stiff Upper Lips?
France Day 4 - We Are Mustard We Are Dijon is the destination and we're surviving the rain...that makes us well mustard! We're happy in spite of the rain but how long can we keep smiling?
The Joy Of Being Lost As we head south the rain lightens but will it ever stop? I get lost which is no surprise, but lost turns out to be the best part of travelling. Are things finally taking a turn for the better? I do hope so...
France Day 5 - Biker's Paradise Sharon's day 5 in France starts out rough but improves considerably. What delights can put such a joyous grin on her face?
The Stunning Alps We are both facing a very strange situation...that of sunshine, warmth, beauty and pleasure.
France Day 6 - Magnificent Mountains Sharon shares the delights of the Alps. Sometimes life is good!
Highs And Lows From the stunning Alps to our ultimate destination...MONACO! Is it all I expected? Will it be as I imagined?
France Day 7 - Scooter Mayhem Sharon describes the best and the worst France has to offer. Ride on the back with her from the beauty of the countryside to the mayhem of Monaco
Resting And Deciding Today we stop to take a breather and recuperate. It's also time to make a decision about the rest of our journey. I used to be indecisive, I'm not so sure now.
France Day 8 - Chilling In The Pool A day off from the journey sees Sharon and Ren doing something very silly, breaking things and achieving very little. What a splendid way to spend a day!
Going West Day 9 sees us heading west from the coast. It's finally dry, but it's still windy so not too hot. The gf's not well and Ren is relentlessly lost. Overall not a bad day then!
France Day 9 - Poppies, Vines and a Wet Lettuce Feeling poorly rather spoils Sharon's day today. Still on she must go on and survive what might have otherwise been a good day.
Biggest Bridge In The World In glorious sunshine and fine health we make our way from Nimes to Millau complete with it's Viaduct. Sometimes life is good, occasionally it's great!
France Day 10 - Deflated to Elated Today is a good day for Sharon. Today the sun shines, the scenery is beautiful and the people are pleasant. Join her as France puts a smile on her face.
The Wettest Bridge In The World The Millau Viaduct ought to be impressive. It is, but nowhere near as impressive as the amount of rain falling from the skies.
France Day 11 - Grim Not every day can be filled with sunshine and smiles, even on holiday. This one certainly was not for Sharon!
False Hope Part One Ren would like to invite you to a joyous report about the delightful weather in the South of France! He'd like to. Instead it just rained and rained and rained and rained...
France Day 12 - It's Gloomy Inside And Out Sharon freezes her butt off during the night then is treated to a cold and wet ride. The Ren sure knows how to spoil a girl.
False Hope Part Two Is this the end? Has Armageddon arrived? Is this the Apocalypse? It sure as hell feels like it.
France Day 13 - Quietude For A While Sharon's report on another day of mixed weather. There's peace and beauty then there's mud and cold. Adventure...no-one said it would be easy!
Sunshine After Rain A night of rain soaked delirium. Will the day be any better? Will our travellers ever dry out?
France Day 14 - A Bit of 5 Star Luxury Sharon has a much better day on the road and a luxurious 5 star campsite. It's amazing what difference a little dry weather can make.
Back Into The Flatlands A quiet, simple and easy days ride through France for Ren. Pleasant enough but the flatlands are getting a little boring now.
France Day 15 - A Bit Of 2 Star Delight Sharon has an ordinary day and a frustrating battle with the weather.
Not Far To Chinon It's a short, easy and peaceful ride this day in France. Ren gets all philosophical too.
France Day 16 - A Historical Walk Around Chinon Sharon enjoys a hint of sunshine and the history of Chinon, France.
Shopping To Mamers Ren's airbed's leaking now. No problem, find a shop and buy a new one...easy? I don't think so...
France Day 17 - The Gift Of TIme Even though the weather is cool Sharon's heart is warmed by the people she meets in France today
Don't Go To Ault Ren has a grim, long, dull and uninspiring day in France. The accommodation doesn't help.
France Day 18 - Is This Misery Or Joy? Sharon finds sunshine, ancient caravans and ponders about hapiness.
Looking For Luxury With time on their side Ren looks for the perfect campsite for the next to night. Not finding it makes him a very grumpy boy.
France Day 19 - Campsite Conundrums Although the wind blows the sun is shining while Sharon looks for the perfect pitch.
Resting In Ambleteuse Ren philosophises too much on the final day of his trip around France.
France Day 20 Sharon's in a reflective mood on the last day of our French trip.
Back Into England Ren recalls the final day of the French Adventure. It's all over far too soon.
What Did We Learn? Ren sums up his thoughts about France and the French trip.
France On Reflection Sharon sums up her her experience of the French Trip. Damn those Alps.
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