20240325 – Port Vendre


A grey but dry day.

After a lazy morning we have a stroll into Port Vendre. As we should have remembered everywhere is closed – it is France after all closed Saturday lunch through to Tuesday morning; plus Saints day (amazed how many saints there are); plus special events; plus stock taking. And of course closed for 3 hours at lunch time – staggered lunch breaks are much too difficult for them to comprehend.

Leisurely coffee and then off to Lidl who can be bothered to stay open.


The laid back, no rush life of France, especially their restaurants, when they can bother to open and serve. Teaches you patience.






More climate nonsense from the EU. Under EUDR, importers of commodities like coffee, cocoa, soy, palm, cattle, timber and rubber – and products that use them – must be able to prove their goods did not originate from deforested land, or face hefty fines.

The EUDR requires companies to digitally map their supply chains down to the plot where the raw materials were grown, which could potentially involve tracing millions of small farms in remote regions.
Moreover, because companies often don’t deal directly with farmers, they could be relying in part on data provided by multiple local middlemen, some of whom they also might not deal with directly or trust.

Many smallholder coffee farmers, who primarily sell their harvest to European markets, now find their main source of income in jeopardy.

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster we escaped all this lunacy.


Well it’s a rain day today, at least it’s not as cold as home.

After leisurely start we squeeze the car out of the car park and drive over to an Intermarche hyper market. Great selection but alas no Cream Soda or Root Beer and no Aix-en-Provence red wine. But they do sell fresh sardines and mackerel. Fish salad for tea, along with some awesome coleslaw and fennel.

TV is in a good mood tonight and we get to watch all UK TV. Try a bottle of St Estephe, intent to only drink half but it was just too good to risk overnight oxidisation.

trivia header

Why do we drive on the left side of the road in the UK but most other countries drive on the right?

Driving on the left It is possible that the custom of driving on the left dates back to pre-history and may later have been used as an early road safety measure. At a time when the main danger on the roads was mugging, careful travellers would pass on-coming strangers on the left with their sword arm towards the passer-by.

The keep left rule did not become law in Britain until the increase in horse traffic made some sort of enforcement essential. Before this, the drivers of coaches leaving London for the country simply chose the firmest part of the road. The main dates for the introduction of the legal requirement to keep left are:

1756 – London Bridge
1772 – Towns in Scotland
1835 – All roads in Great Britain and Ireland

In Europe, Pope Boniface VIII instructed pilgrims to keep to the left in the year 1300. Later, class distinction in France meant that aristocrats drove their carriages on the left side of the road forcing everybody else over to the centre or to the right-hand side. Keeping left had really only ever applied to riding or driving. With the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the subsequent declaration of the rights of man in 1791 many aristocrats decided to keep to the ‘poor side’ of the road so as not to draw attention to themselves. Keeping to the right of the road was also seen as a way of defying the earlier Papal decree.

The subsequent Revolutionary wars and Napoleon’s European conquests led to the spread of driving on the right to Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. Napoleon ordered his armies to use the right-hand side of the road in order to avoid congestion during military manoeuvres. The nations that resisted invasion – Britain, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Russia and Portugal – generally kept to the left.




Stop sharia law in Britain


Lazy start as usual. Sunny day so we try out the deck chairs on the balcony but by lunch time the balcony is in shade.

After lunch we have a stroll into Port Vendre. Have a capucino and I treat my self to a beer. Lovely sat out in the sun.

Come back and set the deck chairs up in the tatty courtyard whilst we have afternoon tea.

Overnight the wind got up, wow noisier than Belthorn.




Warm sunny day. Drive over to Collioure. Leave Wendy in the car – she’s taking it easy on her back today – while I have a stroll around the town and harbour.

Then it’s a drive into Argels sur Mere. Nice beach front but not much in the town. Then Wendy’s treat we go to the Hypermarket – it is impressive.


Wendy gives me an Easter Egg ready for Sunday – never forgets.




Another warm sunny day. Lazy start.

Drive up to a local fort and sit in car for Wendy’s lunch.

Then drive over to Banyuls sur Mer. Drop Wendy off on the beach front whist I search for parking I would hate to be here in summer, just no where to park.

Have a coffee on the beach front and French people watch. It’s lovely and sunny with a slight breeze.

Banyuls has to be the zebra crossing capital of France, some a less than20 yards apart. Not that it makes much difference to the French. Even if they bother to use them the motorists and bikers must just think they’re road art.


The pigeon story continues. Today as we’re sat having coffee we watch two pigeon fight over a piece of biscuit. They chase one another, squabble and it must change beaks about 8 times. Seems that they’re not bothered about sex, more interested in food. Fascinating to watch.







Another sunny day with a lazy start. We start to pack some of the bags and lug then down to the car ready for tomorrows departure.

Then we have a languid but tortuous drive over to Cerbere. The roads we’ve around the vineyards on the hillsides. Not a lot there but we get a coffee on the promenade and enjoy the afternoon by the sea.


The laid back, no rush life of France, especially their restaurants, when they can bother to open and serve that is, teaches you patience. Perhaps it’s the life we lost when we abandoned Sunday closing and half day closings. Mind you there’s a good chance you’ll die of second hand cigarette smoke or are deafened by the roar of noisy motorbikes doing 60 through a 20 mile sea front.






Met the woman who manages these apartments. Told her about the sat nav problems finding the place. “Yes, I know, you’re not the first one. It’s a problem.”. Stating the obvious I ask her “Why not put some guidance on the joining instructions”. “Good idea, I’ll look into it” she says. Dumber than a box of hammers.

“We are all born ignorant, but one must
work hard to remain stupid”  Ben Franklin


What a grey day. Finish loading the car and off by 10:00. Then it’s an easy drive up to Palavas le Flots.

Arrive in a howling gale, need goggles to get out the car as being near the beach is a sandstorm.

Getting in the Airbnb is a nightmare. We have to ring Richard. Richard doesn’t speak a word of English and my French is useless, annd even worse over the phone. Finally get to meet him at the garage entrance. He shows us where to park, our own garage; how to get in; where everything is in the apartment. Face to face we get by with my broken French. He gives us a bottle of wine to welcome us, he’s very amiable and by the end of it all we’re the best of buddies. Just a pity these French Airbnb’s haven’t heard of internet or keysafe locks.

Lounge / dining room

The apartment is stunning. It’s the penthouse. Modern and massive inside with a wrap around balcony that overlooks the sea and harbour. Fantastic views and we’re not overlooked. The only first World problem is the TV is a tad small for such a spacious lounge. We’ll cope.

Kitchen and 2nd dining room.

The howling gale continues all evening, worst than the winds in Belthorn, time to bring all the electronic shutters down. Wot no curtains, just shutters like most of France.

Finally get to enjoy my bottle of St Emillion that I’ve been lusting over all week.

trivia header


Near the Spanish border. Better not go across as those mosquitos will be waiting for Wendy.

The politics of France take place with the framework of a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the French Fifth Republic. The nation declares itself to be an “indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic”.[1] The constitution provides for a separation of powers and proclaims France’s “attachment to the Rights of Man and the principles of National Sovereignty as defined by the Declaration of 1789”.

The political system of France consists of an executive branch, a legislative branch, and a judicial branch. Executive power is exercised by the president of the republic and the Government. The Government consists of the prime minister and ministers. The prime minister is appointed by the president, and is responsible to Parliament. The government, including the prime minister, can be revoked by the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, through a motion of no-confidence; this ensures that the prime minister is practically always supported by a majority in the lower house (which, on most topics, has prominence over the upper house).

Parliament consists of the National Assembly and the Senate. It passes statutes and votes on the budget; it controls the action of the executive through formal questioning on the floor of the houses of Parliament and by establishing commissions of inquiry. The constitutionality of the statutes is checked by the Constitutional Council, members of which are appointed by the president of the republic, the president of the National Assembly, and the president of the Senate. Former presidents of the republic can also be members of the Council if they want to (Valéry Giscard-d’Estaing and Jacques Chirac were the only former presidents that participated into the council’s work).

The National Assembly sits in the Palais Bourbon, by the Seine.
The National Assembly is the principal legislative body. Its 577 deputies are directly elected for five-year terms in local majority votes, and all seats are voted on in each election.

Senators are chosen by an electoral college of about 165,000 local elected officials for six-year terms, and half of the Senate is renewed every three years. Before the law of 30 July 2004, senators were elected for nine years, renewed by thirds every three years.[29] There are currently 348 senators: 326 represent the metropolitan and overseas départements, 10 the other dependencies and 12 the French established abroad.

The Senate’s legislative powers are limited; on most matters of legislation, the National Assembly has the last word in the event of a disagreement between the two houses.

Since the beginning of the Fifth Republic, the Senate has almost always had a right-wing majority. This is mostly due to the over-representation of small villages compared to big cities. This, and the indirect mode of election, prompted socialist Lionel Jospin, who was prime minister at the time, to declare the Senate an “anomaly”.


Today’s good life entry for the Wave has to be this stunning, luxury apartment. We sure are shitting in the tall cotton here. It may have been a tad expensive, but we’re worth it.

Memo to self It’s only money, look to book luxury every time. After all said and done the bible has plenty to say on rich man and eye of needle, plus there are no pockets in shrouds, so get it spent before we kick the bucket.




Our Airbnb in Port Vendre’s was interesting. I didn’t do a review for them but if I had this is what I would have said:

The Good

Clean, modern and comfortable.

Nice views from the balcony.

To be fair the owner did get us some balcony seating within hours of complaining, but no way as comfortable.

The not so good

Lacks some of the basics, classic being a tin opener. Cups are a joke, a set of thimbles with handles, I think they must have got them cheap from a child tea party set.

4 Keys, 2 lock boxes and 4 doors are a nightmare to get in the place. Anyone would think it was Fort Knox. Very frustrating. Can’t even be bothered to label or colour code the keys to make it a tad easier.

On the 2nd floor and no lift is a nightmare, need to be an entrant to Ironman to lug everything up those narrow stairs. To be fair you we are warned in the posting.

3 different Sat Nav’s couldn’t find the place and no simple instructions to help. Apparently a common problem yet no guidance on the joining instructions.

Balcony didn’t get the sun after 1100.

The Bad

Comfy balcony furniture, as per photos, had vapourised. Replaced by 3 rusty kitchen stools – disgusting.

It say the beach is only 100 metres away. In their dreams, nearest is 450 metre. The sea is just over a 100 metres away but you’d be torn to shreds on the jagged rocks.

After complaining the comfy balcony furniture was replaced by two basic deck chairs – a joke.

Web site photos still haven’t been updated to remove the comfy balcony furniture – misleading future guests.

Well I would have given this place 5 stars, but due to comfy furniture issue I’ve given them 3 stars. Acid test, would I come again? No.

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