Friday 28 June 2019

What to do on a scorching hot day

Friday 28 June 2019

Another night on the aire at Les Salles-sur-Verdon.   The temperature’s broken records in France today - 45’C not far from us in Carpentras - that almost 112’F!  It was about 43’C here and the air felt like someone had opened a hot fan oven door.  It reminded us of being in Karachi, where there’s always a sea breeze, but never a cool one.  Tomorrow could be hotter but thankfully after that it should reduce slightly.  So we’ve been taking it really easy, spending most of the day around the pool of the adjacent hotel, reading, drinking plenty of water and snoozing on the sun-loungers in the shade.

So today I thought I’d give you a walk around the aire and the village of Les Salles-sur-Verdon.  The day started with a baguette and a couple of croissants from the small shop a few metres away (run by the owner of the aire).  With it being so hot, ‘Wishy-Washy’ put a load of laundry to soak in our purple bucket overnight.  The purple bucket has multiple uses - a catcher of the grey water, washing bucket (like today), feet soaking bucket (after a day’s walking), holder of wet swimming shoes, washing-up bowl, even a ‘bird-bath’ if the need arises!  This was pummelled (at a stainless steel sink, not at the village lavoir!), rinsed and hung out to dry on a line rigged around the awning.

This aire is a bit untypical of the norm.  Most have a ‘dalek-like’ contraption for emptying the WC cassette (not a great job in a heatwave), emptying grey water (washing up and showers) and filling up with fresh water (I have a variety of different tap fittings and gadgets depending on the dalek).  You can see from the photo there’s a stainless steel sink with a cold tap (luke warm in this weather).  To the left of that there’s a longer hose and tap for topping up the van’s fresh water and to the left of that the sump for emptying the loo and a separate hose for flushing the cassette.  Some aires don’t have a separate hose for the WC and on a number of occasions I’ve seen people poking the fresh water hose down into their WC cassette - be warned!  In this case, I fill up our 10L water container and use that to pour water into our cassette.  Again, unusually for an aire, there’s one shower and two toilets here; most aires don’t have these.  There are electric hook-up sockets dotted around the aire. On this one you need a two-pin adaptor (European plug) that plugs into the EHU socket and with a male adaptor on the other end to plug your mains cable in to.  These 2-pin EU adaptors are widely available in shops and supermarkets in France.  This particular aire appears to have been adopted by the hotel and petrol station/shop, hence our free use of their pool, for which at the moment we’re eternally grateful!

Although the petrol station shop has some basic items we needed more, so I walked into the village.  It’s a village aimed at the tourist trade and reminded me of some of the villages on L’Ile de Re.  I used the ATM again and sat down at a restaurant for a restorative pression (draught lager) to cool down and watch the world go by, before popping into the Huit a Huit store with my shopping list.  Although they sell themselves as being open from 8(am) to 8(pm), they do actually close for a 2 hour lunch break!!

With the afternoon spent trying to keep cool at the pool, it was too hot to cook in the van, so the pizza parlour next to the petrol station was welcomed.  So that’s pretty much our day.  I suspect tomorrow will be similar, only with much less spent on groceries and eating out!  There’s another load of washing soaking in the purple bucket.

Dhoby Day!

Trying all ways to keep the van cool

Aire service point

The Marie's office 

Well it was hot.....even at 10am!

Steak bar and restaurant

The word 'Mon' caught my eye, particularly as we live on Anglesey (Ynys Mon)

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