Alone with the Van of my Dreams


After two weeks and 15 fantastic days with Linda, she manages to catch a special offer for the flight back to Amsterdam. Due to friendship and honor, Hector and I accompany her to the Perpignan airport and wave her goodbye. The first hour feels strange, now being on my own again. Then I get into action and change Hector’s interior back to single mode: suddenly I have ridiculous lots of space in the closets, the lower bed becomes not more than the regular lounge sofa and even the strong wind holds its breath for an hour, enabling relaxed outside cooking and a wonderful dinner (sorry, Linda: the crevettes just jumped into my shopping basket when I came back from the airport).


One of the golden rules of life itself is proved once more: as soon as I am at ease with me, myself and Hector, I stop being alone. Every now and then some neighbor comes around for a small chat, people that I have not noticed before suddenly greet and talk to me on the beach and even the French harpoon chasers from next-door (better: next tent) open up for at least some nice sentences. After an invitation to wine and sunset, exchanged van-visiting and shared stories of the adventures of our youth, I cannot leave without the reception of warm good-byes from all neighbors around. This might be tempting for some further days here, but as nothing is as constant as the change, I feel that it is time to move on.


The very same evening, Hector’s most intimate qualities are up to the ultimate test: I decide not to spend the night at some campsite, but rather deep in the Provence’s vineyards. Being member of the “French Passion” community, the overnight stay at one of the regional “châteaux” (which does not have to be a castle, but a private vineyard) is for free. Sure enough I give a try on their wine and totally unexpected I end up buying two bottles of their best vin rouge.


I am already prepared to the dysfunction of my fridge when it comes to gas-instead-of-electricity and enjoy for dinner the formerly prepared Greek salad, Spanish cheese and olive bread. Who bothers about a warm, empty fridge as long as the red wine is well tempered?!


All the rest of the individual camping is just fine: No campsite = no showers, no toilets, no electricity, but instead I am rewarded with a peaceful evening and the feeling of “Princess Château Hector”. I even have my own bodyguard: since the minute of my arrival, a charming black dog (“Schnuffinchen”) decides that for tonight, she’s mine (or, probably more true: I’m hers). After the two of us go for a short walk through the fields of wine and the nearby forest, we share dinner (salad for me, salami for Schnuffinchen) and some company. At least, only one of us needs Hector’s bathroom, and thus we get along pretty well.

H_Watchdog1 H_Watchdog2H_Schnuffinchen2

The next morning starts with blue sky and common yoga exercise: While I go through different positions, the dog concentrates on “lying dog, looking into the sky”, which I have to admit that she does great. As I happen to chose a small path among the vineyard for the best yoga spot, the employees of the vineyard are nice enough to pass over the nearby field circling easily around my yoga mat and giving some friendly comments on our morning sports.

For upcoming trips I will get my fridge fixed (for cooling on gas) and will continue those escapes from crowded campsites and come back every now and then to those wonderful private overnight-stays on farms, vineyards or similar opportunities!

France – Part 6

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  1. Pingback: Cold Spanish wind or: France is where the Sunshine is | Travelhector

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