…. here we are in Camp Aquaria
If you don’t know the song here it is. This was a our theme tune after sitting through three days of ferocious rain fall, howling gales and black skies.
To be fair, it did look better briefly yesterday morning as we squelched off the camper van site we’d been hiding in near Perpignan. The sky was blue, the sun shining and we began to feel excited about crossing the border into Spain. We couldn’t get the exit gate to open with the special code we’d been given but the young man who ran the place sorted us out quickly enough and we were on our way south. We did our ritual cheer as we crossed into Spain, waving at the bank of CCTV cameras and singing “Y viva Espagna”. While I’m in the mood to confess our lunacy, I’ll admit that we have a song for every occasion, including a wordless version of La Marseillaise every time we see a French flag and a strange rendering of the tune we imagine they play at bullfights whenever we see a Spanish one. Our first stop was to a big Spanish supermarket where we were delighted to find that fruit and vegetables were about 50% less than in France. The prices there had stung so much they’d made our eyes water. We stocked up on some essentials like Cava, mini chocolate ice creams on sticks, a fly swatter and a replacement cork screw after the one we bought in Azay le Rideau died after pulling only two corks. We also replaced, for the second time this year, the long handled dustpan and brush we find necessary in dusty Spain. We now own three of these wee beauties. The two we left in Scotland will definitely come in useful one day.
Anyway, back to this tale of woe. We had the choice of two campsites at Sant Pere Pescador. They were both still open and both in the ACSI discount book. I have no idea why we chose the one we did, perhaps it was because it had about 200 positive reviews from mostly German campers. We know that the Germans like a place to run well and for everything to work as it should. They are also good at sticking to the rules, so we imagined it would be a place that ran like clockwork. We were right. It does run like clockwork, it is also crammed full of Germans on holiday. They only had two pitches left – here was our opportunity to cut and run, but we didn’t. We accepted one of the small corners offered to us, bought a week’s wifi and tokens for the washing machine and dryer and squeezed the van in with the bonnet nearly touching the caravan in the next pitch. Any Caravan Club warden would by now be having a panic attack.
After the electric was plugged in and the van levelled we took the dogs out for a walk and noticed that the blue skies were turning an ugly shade of purple and the wind was getting up. Hurrying back to the van we dived in just before the heavens opened. Not to be put off her plans to get us some clean undies, Shirley put on her rain jacket and braved the deluge to put the washing in the machine. On her way our neighbour popped out to tell us that when the rain is really heavy all the paths here are under water and there is a risk of it getting into the van. Gulp. Not five minutes later Shirley returned with a long face. I won’t give a verbatim account of every word she used in case I offend someone but it went something like this, “There’s an xxxing big sign in there that says that every machine is already loaded with soap and fabric softener so I put the xxxxx washing in and pressed start. Then I looked up and there’s an fxxxxing sign on MY machine that says this machine is NOT loaded with xxxxx soap and fabric softener.” Then she shot off again with a bottle of liquid detergent to see if she could put it down the spout in time. Returning five minutes later she said, “Now the xxxx machine says it will be finished in 12 minutes. No way can the xxxxx thing do its job in that time. I’m off to complain.” and she was gone in a whirl of indignation. The man from reception told her that the machine was working fine and it turned out that against all the odds this was true. The clothes came out clean half an hour later, despite the lies the timer told. Was this the end of the washing debacle? No it was not. There is a sign by the dryers that says you may not touch clothes or take them out of the machines unless they are your own. There were two dryers in the laundry and one had stopped long ago but the owner had not returned to empty it. This meant that two ladies were sitting patiently waiting to use the dryer but would not, under any circumstances, take the finished laundry out of the machine. This turn of events almost had Shirley apoplectic. Just as she was considering ignoring the instructions and emptying the machine, another wild eyed woman shouted at her that it wasn’t her turn. Clearly the bad weather and cabin fever was in danger of causing an international incident. Shirley came back to the van cursing and very nearly foaming at the mouth so I decided to intervene. Off towards reception I went to suggest to the staff that the rules about not emptying machines were ridiculous, or words to that effect, when I spotted a second laundry. In I crept in full stealth mode and spotted an empty dryer. I was back to the other laundry, picking up our wet washing and heading for the second one in double quick time, pausing only to give the ‘It”s not your turn!’ woman a big grin and a waggle of the eyebrows.
So there we were, back in the van, listening to the rain pounding and imagining the water pouring down the path. We could hear our neighbours’ teenagers arguing and there were four pairs of wet boxer shorts hanging on a washing line right beside our lounge window. Neither of us felt like cooking but the thought of burger and chips from the site take away held no appeal. That’s when Shirley said, “I want to go home”.
We woke up this morning to brilliant sunshine. We had fabulous showers in the 5* pristine shower block. The water was hot, the space ample – they even provided bath mats. Our washing from the night before was all neatly put away and the freshly baked bread bought from the rather pleasant site supermarket. The dogs were happy after their morning walk and the coffee was on. We’d had a stroll by the sea and gazed at the lovely views around the Gulf of Roses. It was then that Shirley turned to me and began to sing, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah,” and we laughed.
What a difference a day makes.