Day nine – Bonjour Languedoc! (Monday 29th August)

It's all change as I swap sombreros for berets, and the boating couldn't be more different.

Today has been the longest day – press trips always are as tourist office guides seem to have the stamina of a particularly energetic ox. We (myself and Carrrrrrrrole) started the day at Collioure, a fishing port close to the fishing port and, guess what, my new favourite place.

The harbour itself isn’t big enough for our kind of boats, but there were plenty of motorboats anchored offshore and there seemed to be very little wind hitting them at all. The town is fantastic – all narrow streets and market squares – with the most beautiful church in the sea at the end of the quay. You can always tell a great place by the smugness levels of the people who live there, and here they were off the scale. But in a nice way.

It was all terribly picturesque, although arriving by boat seems the best way to arrive by a mile as the parking was attrocious and I’ve heard the view of the town from the sea are really great.

Next was Port Vendres, five minutes up the coast and a bigger port with a proper marina. We didn’t have time to explore the town as another mad tourist officer whisked us off to several beaches along the coast that are fantastic to anchor off and ‘treated’ us to a visit to the town’ fish market. Bit whiffy.

Then (French people don’t do lunch apparently) we went to Argeles-sur-Mer, which is a real seaside resort, with a huge, modern marina. But even this place had real charm, with an artisans’ market and fantastic ice cream shops with every flavour you can think of. But not the potato flavour I tried in Valencia – Top tip of the day: don’t be adventurous with your ice cream as it may end up tasting of feet. Anyway, tarte tatin falvour was infinitely preferable. And the town of Argeles is old and French and lovely. Oh, and there’s a fantastic wine Chateau overlooking the marina with a great Muscat.

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Am hurrying to finish as am using the internet in a tourist office that is about to close and they are rushing around me in a scary fashion. I realise these are getting out of sync again, but will endeavour to catch up ASAP.

Hope the weather’s good where you are…


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