Our Big OE 1981/82

Peter & Debra’s Big OE to Europe – Nov 13th to Nov 25th

Winding our way along the sunny french Mediterranean coastline ….


Diary Entry – Nov 13th
Up at 6.30am and on the road at 6.55am. Drove to Cannes before the rush hour traffic started. Got a car park near centre of town and shoreline. Went for a walk around yacht harbour and town centre. Shifted van to shoreline for the afternoon and stayed the night. Very warm, mild, sunny day.

Cannes. Super place.


Diary Entry – Nov 14th
Up at 7.30am. Shifted van so as to empty the bucket. Walked into town to find a Post Office but never found one. When we got back to the van we had a French parking ticket to add to the collection. Drove southward around the coast. Very warm. Stopped at 11.00am. Went for a walk and then had dinner. Drove for another 3 or 4 miles before stopping for the night (12.30pm). Camped in a rest area overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Had a visit by Police who passed through the car park at 7.00pm but didn’t stop, so they don’t seem to mind one night free camping which was worrying us. One other van (GB) in park for night, so we don’t have to worry about trouble (Sat night).

Diary Entry – Nov 15th
Lazy morning in the sun. Nice warm day after a very windy night. Started off at 1.30pm after lunch and drove to St Tropez. Wasn’t very impressed. Drove for another hour and camped in rest area.

Diary Entry – Nov 16th
Frost in morning. Had a long drive to night-spot between Arles and Nimes via Marseilles. Very built up with town after town joined together. Drove through Marseilles on main road, then picked up motorway to get out of built up area. Sunny and warm all day.

Mediterranean. Between Cannes and St Raphael.
Very warm and relaxing after being in the UK’s cold and rainy climate.


Diary Entry – Nov 17th
Sunny and warm all day. Drove to St Gilles where we stopped for bread and found a tap to top up water tanks. Had a look around old church and then drove onto Montpellier. Carried on and then stopped enroute to Sete for a night-stop in lay-by at lunchtime. Spent the rest of the day relaxing in the sun.

Peter, St Gillies.


Diary Entry – Nov 18th
Cloudy day, no sun, cool but not cold. A nothing day. Travelled through Montpellier, Sete, Agde, Beziers, Narbonne and stopped just out of Salses about 25 miles from Spain. The area we travelled through right from Marseilles was very industrialised with miles and miles of grapes. The area around St Gilles to the coast is very marshy. We didn’t really have a very touristy day at all.

Diary Entry – Nov 19th
Spent most of the morning at Salses at a rest area with a tap washing our hair and giving the van a clean. Weather cloud, no sun, but warm with no wind. Travelled on down coast to the hills before Spain. Camped in a rest area just before Collioure and overlooking the sea. Very dirty rest areas here in the South.

Ludwig. Acres of grapevines in the Dochesde Rhone district.


Diary Entry – Nov 20th
Sunny, windy and warm. 10C to 20C. Drove into Collioure and spent the day wandering about. Went for a long walk around walkway built into the coastal rocks. Lots of interesting fortifications and a Chateau. Grapes all over the place. Camped in the same spot as last night.

Collioure. A really nice winter spot.




Diary Entry – Nov 21st
Warm and sunny 10.00am to 4.00pm when sea fog came in. Spent the day relaxing in Collioure, reading and sitting in the sun beside Chateau and seafront. Camped in car park again.

Diary Entry – Nov 22nd
Foggy all day, but warm. 13C/14C. Washed our hair in the morning, then drove into town. Went for a walk around the sea walkway, then back through town. Had a look at a Sunday market and spent the afternoon in the van on the seafront. Met a chap from Wales on a cycle tour to Morocco and had a chat for an hour. Camped in car park again.



Diary Entry – Nov 23rd
A sunny day until cloud closed in at lunchtime. Spent most of the day in Collioure before moving on through Port Vendries to Banyuls. Free camped on seafront in car park.

Diary Entry – Nov 24th
Partly cloudy. Wind came up at nightfall. Very strong. Almost galeforce. Drove a couple of miles out of Banyuls and stopped at a rest area on a high cliff overlooking the sea. Went for a walk down cliff face in the afternoon.

Winter in Southern France. Looking towards Cerebere, French/Spanish border.

Diary Entry – Nov 25th
Very, very windy day. Drove into Cerebere and stopped for food. Banks closed until tomorrow, so couldn’t exchange money. Spent the afternoon reading on the harbour front. Drove back to Banyuls late afternoon for the night so as to get out of the wind. Temperatures about 15C today.

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