Almost daily diary!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Showers showers everywhere (Camping in France Part 1)

I have been promising myself to write this post for sometime, and since the weather here is a little 'showery' I thought I would wander back to a summer where the weather was warm and I had not a care in the world (well almost!)

When I was 18 I visited the south of France with my first 'real' boyfriend. We went for three weeks and we travelled in a Renault 5 van! We had little money and, unlike these days, it was totally unplanned, unfinanced and unannounced, a sort of spur of the moment decision.

It was a tumultuous relationship which lasted over ten years and through 2 marriages, his and mine (to other people). But I digress!
Freedom in France was glorious. We worked our way down the west coast from Mont Saint-Michel to La Rochelle through Cognac and so on. So many lovely places but sadly I can't remember the names of them all now. The weather was warm and we lived on baguettes and cheese.
When we reached the south we camped in a two man tent. The campsite was large but there was lots of space, so we went to the far end away from the crowds. There was a toilet block nearby, which was convenient and I took myself off for a shower sometime during the first day.
As I walked into the shower block I noticed that each shower cubical was quite open, three walls and no shower curtain. I had experienced all sorts during the previous week, the 'hole in the floor' loos being the highlight, so the fact that there were no curtains was not really a surprise. Luckily there was no one else there so I walked to the end cubical, which was a little more private, and stripped off. The shower was a bit chilly but at least I felt clean. I dried myself down hastily as I was sure someone else would be bound to come in soon, and knowing the French, this could easily be a unisex block! As I trotted out at speed I only just avoided a couple of planks of wood lying across the door way. I hopped over them and turned around. There was a french man there, hovering outside. He was wearing painters overalls, covered in white paint (the same as the colour of the walls of the shower block) He spoke to me in French, I didn't concentrate well in my french lessons at school so I had no idea what he was saying but I got the gist. Just beside the planks of wood was a sign which said something like 'closed for refurbishment'! How had I missed that on the way in? I had a towel to hide my blushes, but I never really knew just how long the little French painter had been standing there for!

10 comments:

girl with the mask said...

Ohmygosh I can't believe you did that! You little exhibitionist you!

Susan said...

I had quite the laugh! I do miss being young and stupid! I am now just old and stupid! Now I am not as spontaneous as I once use to be~now I over think everything! I think that is what happens when you marry and have kids! Sounds like you had quite fun in France!

Suburbia said...

Yep you're right Susan, the family bring responsibility and planning is the order of the day otherwise it all goes very wrong!!

Rose said...

Ah, the wild abandonment of youth! This is so funny:) I travelled through parts of Europe when I was in college, too, but with a girlfriend instead--we had a guidebook titled "Europe on $5 a Day."
I remembered a time--just a year ago though--when I didn't see the "Men" sign at the local Walmart and walked out of the stall, noticing very strange "sinks." I ran out of there very quickly!

P.S. I'll let you know when I've scheduled the "pity party."

BS5 Blogger said...

C'est magnifique, mon amie!

Denise said...

France is one of our favourite places to tour on the motorbike. We will miss it this year. I love the whole adventure bit, so I can well imagine the fun of your visit and I am sure you laughed about this for some time. Great stuff!

Brett said...

That a superb story, love every minuet of it, sounds like you could tell lots more?

Peter said...

*giggle*

That's great! For some reason, it reminds me of the great Carry On... films....Babs Windsor, eat your heart out!

Peter

Jules said...

And how the little French painter painted, eh? You probably inspired him and made his day. LOL

Liz said...

I did that sort of trip too! Only on a motorbike and after university. Each campsite we went to, I insisted on first inspecting the toilets. If they were hole-in-the-ground it was 'non' and move on.

I had a most horrific toilet experience. Shall i tell you? No, it's way too embarrassing ...