Friday, 12 May 2017

Blustery days with the Wrinkleprüns

Loupian to San Pere Pescador, 139 miles, Camping Gaviota, €19. 

Though we moved from Languedoc to the Costa Brava three days ago re-inventing the deleted blog posts prevented me writing new ones. Actually, since we arrived here we have not done much. Though it's been quite bright and sunny most of the time, a blustery wind has made getting out and about a tad unpleasant. I am unsure how, but somehow we failed to realise that the Bay of Roses was a breezy spot. When we checked out the campsite location on Google maps the road to the beach featured a clutch of kite surfing schools, we should have made the connection - Mr Beaufort definitely would have regarded the area as 'up-scale'.

Its windswept position means the site attracts a particular mix of clientele consisting mainly of bronzed well-honed twentysomethings driving camper-vans festooned with surf gear; but scattered among the kite surfing hipsters are Herr und Frau Wrinkleprün mit Karawane und großem glitzernden SUV der deutschen Extraktion alle mit perfekter Präzision geparkt. 

Exhibit 1: großem glitzernden SUV der deutschen Extraktion alle mit perfekter Präzision geparkt. 
The bright young things head beachwards, spending from dawn to dusk  clinging desperately onto their kite strings as the gale-force tramontane endeavours to sweep them towards Tunisia. So daytime in the campsite becomes the sole preserve of Herr und Frau Wrinkleprün. Anyone who has experienced the delights of camping in the Bundersrepublik will be familiar with the post lunch 'quiet time', two hours of enforced peace and relaxation where you are allowed to breath, but only quietly. 

As the Pied Piper of kite surfing has stolen everybody born after 1960, now Camping Gaviota, becomes populated wholly by German retirees; it assumes the zombie-like hush of 'quiet time' not just after lunch, but post breakfast, through elevenses, in fact up until early evening when the latex clad hipsters stagger exhaustedly from the beach dragging their half folded kites behind them. Throughout the day the most exciting campsite activities consist of earnest reading, vehicle and/or caravan polishing, high-speed knitting, and that most beloved past-time of the balding German male - lying sprawled out in the sun on a recliner attired only in alarmingly minuscule Speedos, seemingly oblivious to the teeth-chattering wind-chill. 

spot Herr Klein-Speedo
It's all very very neat

I think the deadly atmosphere is unhinging to us, which is a shame, because the area itself is OK. The nearby village of San Pere Pescador has a nice old centre, the supermarket on the edge of town is well stocked, there are bike tracks into the town and all along the protected shore line in both directions. 

The beach is huge, steeply shelving and windswept with views across the Bay of Roses to the Pyrenees. Watching the kite surfers is entertaining, so in some ways it seems silly to move on. However, there is another ACSI site about 10 Kms south of here on the headland beyond L' Escala. The blurb says it has access to some rocky coves which are good for swimming. I fancy a swim. 

Today is Friday. With the weekend approaching La Gaviota is filling up with a more mixed clientele, Spanish families with kids in tow, yet more surfers. I am sure the atmosphere at the weekend will be less prissy. The couple who just turned up next to us have driven 1200km non stop from Ausburg. The guy is a keen surfer; his wife understanding! A really nice lively couple, we had an interesting chat - I guess they are probably in their forties. One of the real downsides of retirement is that you are plunged into a grey haired world, whereas in work you mix with people of differing ages. I miss that. I can't see us morphing into English Wrinkleprüns anytime soon though......

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