Thursday June 8, St Tropez…well not really, but over the hill at a beach near Ramatuelle!

The Med

For the first time in ages I needed to put a sweatshirt on this morning, but not complaining after all the hot weather we have had, the sun took a while to get into the gorge area. Did the ablution rituals at camp before setting off by about 9.30.
The sun hitting the steeple in Castellane
Wild barren country
It was such a clear crisp morning and we had a really good drive through a lot of mountainous hilly regions heading towards Draguignan. This is very arid country that is sparsely populated and the trees are very stunted. The buildings seem to have quite a Spanish look to them. This route was marked as a red road in our Michelin Guide and we have come to trust these as being very suitable for the camper and not a lot of traffic.
We came out of the mountains and dropped down to the coast for our first view of the Mediterranean, and weren’t sure about what it would be like. Although the traffic was quite heavy, it wasn’t a problem and Jilly did an admirable job. We came out at the coast at St Maxime and followed the beach around to just before St Tropez. This really is a huge holiday area with lots of hotels and shops. There was a big cruise boat anchored in the harbour and lots of privately owned super yachts. No places to stop to get a good look though as so busy. The road turned off just before St Tropez which we continued on for a wee way before turning down to the beach at Tamaris and the Aire. Lots of campers but we found a spot for the night.
St Tropez - View through the window.
Settled in and after a late lunch wandered about 100m down to the beach.  Wow, the sea is an amazing colour but the beach is wall to wall people and the sea is full of buoys marking swimming areas, jet ski areas, boating areas etc etc and off shore a bit were huge numbers of “Gin palaces”, and in the air the helicopters were continually buzzing around. We spent quite a bit of time sitting on the beach people watching. Everyone is sunbathing with bodies that very often shouldn’t be exposed – including topless and according to Ian, rather difficult on the eyes. Considering this was mid-week and not holiday time, we couldn’t get over how many people were here. Hard to imagine what it must be like during the peak season of July and August. Some people were swimming but I tested the water and it wasn’t as inviting as I would have liked. 

Well I guess you can say we have been here, and seen a south of France beach holiday area, but not quite our scene.
…Later… Walked down to the beach this evening as the sun was setting and got quite a different impression, hardly a soul around, the Super Yachts had gone and the colour of the sea and the sky was just so beautiful. A nice way to finish our day here.
Wall to wall campers tonight - about 70 all up.

Enjoying a dinner on the beach at sunset.


Pamlyn said…
Great photos as usual Meg -prefer the antique buildings though.