August 28 – Monday

Got on the road right after 11, just as planned. Stopped at an ATM for some cash, then gassed up the campervan and hit the highway. Went south past Angouleme, then continued south and west past Bordeaux.
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Luckily there’s a by-pass around the city, and traffic coming north towards us was almost at a standstill at times it was so busy with Frenchies on the last week of their vacations. The countryside around here is very flat, but pretty – lots of fields and trees.

We stopped at Dune du Pilat, which is the largest sand dune in Europe and right on the coast – I caught a glimpse of part of it from the road and it looked huge, although it was swarming with people. We pulled into a large, very crowed parking lot, parked in partial shade and ate some lunch. We intended to go see the dunes, and I stopped at the loo on the way. Right after we got walking again we saw dozens and dozens of people coming towards us and both of us agreed immediately that we couldn’t bear to go any further – there were just too many people and we neither of us wanted to deal with it.

Got back on the road and headed south to find a campground. Colin had investigated before leaving home and all of the nearby campgrounds were fully booked, so we just kept going, all the way to Dax, which is southeast/inland. The temperature outside had dropped very quickly from 35 to 28, and it was looking stormy when we pulled in to Le Pins du Soleil campground.

Set up my tent immediately, then we walked down to the restaurant for a drink. The entertainment for the evening was ‘Adrian’ and he was just setting up – he sang to recorded music, along with a keyboard that he played. There is free wi-fi at the restaurant, and the receptionist had to help me get logged on – you need a phone to text the password into so we used Colin’s. I tried to face-time Dominic but there was no answer, then shortly after that I got cut off. I took that as a sign that I should just enjoy the atmosphere of where I was instead of looking at my ipad, so didn’t bother trying to get hooked up again.

It had started raining, although lightly – glad I put the tent up when we arrived instead of waiting until later.
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Adrian was just beginning his first set when we went back to the campervan for a quick bite, then returned to the restaurant to enjoy the music. There were several tables of folks eating dinner, including a family with a birthday girl.
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Adrian had a large list of songs you could request, and one lady chose a song and sang it for us – she was actually quite good. Two ladies at the next table took turns smoking very long cigarettes – its so unfortunate to be enjoying a nice drink outside (under canopy) and then be poisend by neighbours.
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Colin spoke with Neil on the phone – it got up to 42 degrees in Mansle today so I’m glad to be a little cooler. Listened to the entertainment for awhile then went back to our spot – decided not to stay up and chat, so went directly to my tent. I was going to read for a bit, but started to fall asleep so turned out the light and hit the

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