Valras-Plage (Day 3 Cont.) + Child labour

Valras-Plage Travel Blog

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The map informs us that to get to Valras Plage we should head towards the town of Béziers and then head south to the coast. We get back onto the A75 and subsequently onto the N9, which takes along side hundreds of vinyards and through some small quaint villages. Once again, things do not run smoothly and before long we find ourselfs lost in the town centre of Béziers. As we entre the town centre we notice a sign pointing out tha Béziers is twinned with Stockport in England. For some reason we find this fact very funny. After 15 or so minutes of going round in circles we backtrack and head toward the A9 Autoroute. This causes a problem as we get stuck in rushhour traffic. As we crawl our way through the melee of cars, we notice a sign for Valras-Plage and head straight for it.

This is a relief for Anna, who had been sitting cross legged in the back of the car for the best part of 30 mins. Once onto the Valras-Plage road the traffic eases and we pull into a McDonalds so that Anna can use the faclities. After much debate, we decide not to follow her inside the restaurant for something to eat, instead we choose to plough on to our destination.

The camping guide book we have suggests we go to the Camping Club Lou Village(check out the Aquatic Park section of the site... the animations are scary). The book's direction informed us to head into the town centre and follow signs for the Casino. Once again we get lost and end up on the beach front, surrounded by thousands of cars parked almost completely on the pavement.
Heading along the sea front, we finally see a sign for the Casino and head in it's direction. After another 5 mins heading through local housing estates we finally stumble across it. It is situated in an area which contains nothing but campsites. We head to the entrance of Lou Village and check out the tarrif. This place appears around twices the price we paid last night, so we try a different place, Campling le Mediterranee. The prices are reasonable so we agree to stay here. To stay on the campsite we all were fitted with a festival style wristband and the car had a ugly sticker slapped onto the windscreen. We pitched our tent and headed off to explore and have something to eat.

We head down to the sea front and walk along the beach. Everyone except me takes their shoes of and walk in the water, while I keep mine on and have fun dodging the waves. As we walk along Nick decides to count the number of women with no bikini tops on. This keeps him amused all along the beach.

We head up to the prominade in search of restaurants and notice a car rammed with inflatable creatures.

After stopping to look, we continue our hike to the town centre. We arrive and are spoilled for choice as there are hundreds of restaurants, but they all seem to have the same things to offer, and no vegitarian option. We finally choose a restaurant overlooking the sea, even if it has a rather racist and stereotypical statue of a black boy. I order a steak, Nick has turkey, Kerry has something veggie (can't remeber what) and Anna opts for a bucket of mussels.

Is that safe to drive?
Of course, this is all washed down with some rosé wine.

After a delicious meal we go for a wander around the busy streets and along the sea front. Kerry buys some postcard in a shop (but never sends them home), and Nick is tempted by a large steel Jack Daniels sign. It's then on to the fun-fair where the is a car covered in fridge magnets, some dodgy looking rides, some arcade machines (including a punch bag game flanked by some muscley looking guys just dying to be challenged by someone, just to show how strong they were) and some grabber machines. We have a couple of goes on the grabbers and we head off looking for somewhere to get drunk.

Do the French not drink? We wander for ages in persuit of a bar without luck. We eventually find one opposite the Casino and another fun-fair.

It is run by a man who, once again, cannot speak english. We manage to order some large beers and some rosé for Anna and settle in for night of drinking. Anna asks where the toilet is and leaves to use the facilities. On her return, the guy ushers her behind the bar to use the sink to wash her hands. She informs us that the toilet looks like a walk in freezer complete with bizzar fride style handles on the door.

Anna and Kerry decide they're a bit board, so cross the road and try their luck at the grabber machines again. This timethey are successful (because they cheated and nudged the machine), and win a cuddly toy of Spongebob Squarepants. They are a bit overwelmed by the round of applause they recieve from a group of french people standing at the machine beside them.
Bucket o' mussels

As we continue drinking and put the world to rights about who would be the members of our ultimate British band, we are soon shocked to find that the guy that running the bar's 8 or 9 year old daughter is helping out in the bar, pouring and serving alcoholic drinks. Around 2am she begins to pack up all of the chairs and tables from the outside seating area. Feeling sorry for her, Anna and Kerry set about helping her pack up, which receives looks of disgust from the other people in the bar. When it comes to leaving, we request our bill and receive a discount for Kerry and Anna's efforts. We pay, leaving a tip for the girl, and make our way on our marathon journey back to the campsite. On our journey home, Nick keeps us entertained with his impersonations of the Kings of Leon, which were amusing, if not rubbish. We arrive back at the tent around 3.30am, have a couple of drinks and then head to bed, as tomorrow is the final push to Benicassim.

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Is that safe to drive?
Is that safe to drive?
Bucket o mussels
Bucket o' mussels
photo by: Torwart