On Sunday we drove through the evening to try and catch up with David and Paul (Adam's uncle and his friend) on their motorbikes who had headed to Port Grimaud, in the South of France just across the bay from St Tropez. We decided to stop off at the beach in Montpellier first and when we arrived around midnight we parked up along the sea front where we had previously stayed a few months previously. No harm in visiting your favourite spots again! I remember when we first got to Montpellier on our last trip and saw the beach and sand dunes for the first time it really felt like we were 'away' and 'travelling', as the beach was so gold and blue and perfect.
When we woke in the morning Adam said he could smell smoke. Mia had also thought she could smell smoke but thought Adam had had a cheeky cigarette in the toilet! We didn't think anything of it until we could hear crackling outside, looking out to see a lot of black smoke coming from the dry bushes in the dunes next to us not that far away. There was clearly quite a large fire starting but we just sat on the roof and looked down the beach to see if anyone else has noticed and listened out for sirens. When I saw some flames pop up over the bushes I did panic and bit and we decided to move the van further down the road where some other campers have also moved. I maay have over reacted but I was getting panicky because there only seemed to be a dustbin man that had noticed the fire and I thought the firemen would never get here in time! But when they did arrive, accompanied by a fire plane that kept swooping low over us to put out the flames, it died down very quickly and we thought it was now safe to leave the van and go sunbathe and swim in the sea. Nothing like a bit of fire drama in the morning to get the day going!
After a few hours of shell collecting and swimming we pack up again and start the drive to Grimaud which probably took a few hours. We knew where David and Paul were staying as we had stayed in the same campsite on Paul's recommendation previously. Trying to save on the euro's we found a very handy free Aire to park in 2 minutes away from their campsite with a few other GB vans to keep us company. The sun had just started going down and Adam, taking after his dad with his want to surprise people, wanted to go and find David and Paul who didn't know we had arrived yet. We go to look round the campsite trying to find their little cub scout tents set up next to their bikes, only after a while did we realise that was pointless because of course they would be in the bar! We found them with their pints in the bar looking out at the sea and we had a great night drinking lots of beer, wine and eating pizza.
David and Paul had planned to take a trip on their bikes to Monaco the next day. They had one spare helmet and three people very willing to go along with them. The only way to decide was to pick straws and fate had it that Adam (another motorbike lover) won. They left mid morning on Tuesday and Mia and I had a veeery relaxing day on the beach where we had a good routine going consisting of sunbathing and swimming to cool off. I had never really been that interested in sitting in the sun before and usually got bored but I had some good books with me and I think I had definitely turned into a beach bum at that point.
When the guys got back that night they told us all about their trip to Monaco and how amazed they were with the amount of wealth their was in that tiny area, so many ridiculously expensive cars, amazing looking women and grand buildings. We had a BBQ in the campsite and David told us that one of his plans for their trip was to hire a small speed boat to take around the bay for an afternoon. He has a boat license and even owned a little sailing boat at one point and he invited us to come out with him and Paul. I was a bit nervous about it as the last time I'd been on a small boat was when I was on holiday in Portugal a few years ago and it was meant to be a nice little sunset sail down the coast with champagne and loveliness but I ended up being sick nearly the whole time (not so romantic!)
We went out the next afternoon loaded up with beers and baguettes and David was shown how to use the boat and off we went! We went around Port Grimaud looking at the huge boats and then out onto the open sea. It was like a rollercoaster when we were bobbing along at full speed and really bumpy but that was the enjoyable part for me, as soon as we stopped the boat further along the coast for a swim and the boat was bobbing up and down slowly I started to feel a bit queasy but luckily not enough to be sea sick. We took the boat into the St Tropez port and it was so pretty and calm. The boats were huge, some even blocked out the buildings behind them, I can't even imagine how much they would have cost! It was quite fun pretending we were as rich and glamorous as them, speeding around on our little boat. When we stopped the boat for a second time for more dips in the sea I felt a lot better and was so pleased I didn't have to feed the fishes! (Gross!)
It was an amazing experience to get to do that for the day and it was really nice of David to let us join him on his boat trip. They left early the next day to visit a little bit of Italy and Switzerland on their way back up to the UK and we decided that we will follow the coast and stop in the next nice place we find.