Sadly, we had to leave the Camargue and made our way home again. We travelled via the Millau with the stunning bridge and Clermont Ferrand and stopped over night at Bourges.
Next day we travelled to the Valley of the Kings and visited Chartres which is a very beautiful town and worth the visit. The Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Chartres is stunning but also the streets of old Chartres are very interesting to explore. We wished we could have stayed a bit longer but we had booked the shuttle back to England.
A new day and we planned to go to the Abbey of Saint-Roman which is near Nimes and Avignon. Only one and a half hour drive on a beautiful day again. It also called the Aiguille uplands on the lower valley on the right bank of the Rhone river.
Apparently in the 5th century, hermits who were disciples of Saint Romanus settled on this rock. Anyway in the 7th or 8th century the eastern monastic style of the desert Fathers of Egypt adopted the teachings of Saint Benedict and became a Benedictine Abbey.
We could see the Abbey Chapel, Cave tomb on the terrace, monk’s living quarter, a medieval wine press and much more. Well worth the visit.
We left Perpignan and travelled North-east to the Camargue. It is only a 2 hours drive and arrived in Aigues-Mortes which is between Montpelier and Arles in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon.
Camargue is very well known for their white wild horses and of course an opportunity for Diane to ride one of the horses. She had an enjoyable time despite the high air temperature.
We also had the chance to watch the local “Cowboys” round up the bulls, which was very interesting the way they work.
We went on the move next morning heading east to Toulouse and half way there we decide to make a stop in Lourdes, one of the great shrines in Europe to visit the Grotte Massabielle.
We travelled further to St. Gaudens and then via the Midi Pyrenees in to Spain to a small town of Bosset which is on the foot of Sierra Sascorjada. There we stayed over Night.
After an early start next morning we heading to Andorra but driving the small mountain roads from Vielha to Salardu, Port de la Bonaigua which has a stunning view from over 2000 meter. Unfortunately the fog has spoiled it but we still had a great time despite the road been very challenging for the Land cruiser.
Further to Vall d’Aneu, Sort and the Coll the Canto to Seo de Urgel which brings us to Andorra la Vella. We stopped for a meal and of course very cheap fuel. We wished the Land cruiser had bigger Diesel tanks.
We continued on afternoon via Pas de la Casa in to France and was heading to Perpignan where we planned to stay for a view days.
On the edges of the Beauce plain and the Loir Valley is the town of Chateaudun and is presided over by a massive and beautiful chateau. It is definitely recommended to visit which we have done. The view from the castle and the surroundings with many 16th-century houses is stunning. We could not ask for better weather.
A couple of days later we moved on heading south again, passing by Vendome, Chateau-Renault, Amboise, Blere, Loche and got totally lost near Chatellerault thanks our backroad driving. In Poitiers we decided to go on to the toll motorway as we lost to much time.
We passed by Limoges and on to the back roads towards Perigueux we found a lovely camping side at Antonne-et-Trigonant. We stayed only one night as we want to move on to the Atlantic coast.
Again back on to the toll motorway, passing by Bordeaux, which we have visited a view years before and close to the Spanish border near Biarritz we found a camp side in Ondres on the Golfe de Cascogne which was a total disaster as soon we had the roof tent sorted it started raining for the whole night. Not very enjoyable. Also the Camp side was not up to our taste and we moved on as soon we could.
Here are some more photos from the Buschtaxi gathering 2015 in Storndorf, Germany. A huge variety of Toyotas were present. Toyota 40, 55, 60, 80, 100, 120 and 150 series were on show, along with the FJ-Cruiser which is a bit a rare sight in Europe. I also noticed the trend for Roof tents has abated a bit, with everyone moving towards camper style hinged or tilt roofs. I’m not surprised really, as the weather in central Europe is rather too cold for using the Roof tents throughout the year. I’m also considering getting, in the foreseeable future, getting my 100 series converted. Obviously there is a cost implication to consider, but it is also a big job to convert. For a start the roof will be cut out, and there is no way to restore it back to the original condition once that has been done. As I have no plans to sell the Land cruiser anyway it is definitely an option for me.
We have had an enjoyable time and have been spoiled with the fantastic weather. Also met old friends and have made new ones. The organization and program was perfect. There was so much to see. It would of been great if we could have enough time to see everything. Unfortunately we had to move on, and start our journey back home.