Camargue Wildlife to Marseillian PlageJuly 6 in France ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C
We aim to make it at least to the Camargue region today, although we hear the mossies are pretty bad and we’ve already been bitten quite a bit, so we are not looking forward to more around the marshy lands.
We are not quite sure where we’re heading when we get here but the area is known for its beautiful white horses, black bulls and the main attraction for us, pink flamingos.
As we drive down through the nature reserve we immediately see the black bulls and white horses (the oldest breed in the world, and a brilliant white - used by cowboys to herd the black bulls) in the fields besides the wetlands, and then as we tell the children to keep their eyes open, we see two flamingos in the water beside the road - so now we know we’re on the right track. There is a large bird park with miles of trails around the marshy fields of the nature reserve so after a quick drive around the seaside town of Sainte Marie De La Mer, we head into the park.
Amelia is excited as she has her very own flamingo to show to the real ones! As soon as we get into the park, we are greeted by huge flocks of beautiful pink flamingos, along with huge herons, ducks and many other bird species (of which I couldn’t name!). As we walk around the lakes and marsh land with boardwalks in every direction, the views get better, and we get closer views of the birds, we are amazed as they stretch out their wings at how colourful they are - apparently more pink in the winter - and not because they eat pink shrimp, this is a flamingo myth!
We decide to take the shorter route round as the children are both melting and satisfied that we’ve seen hundreds of flamingos already. As we turn around to make our way out, we cross a little bridge where a couple are stopped looking at something. A really friendly, tame otter looking species - we are not convinced it’s an otter, though it’s definitely not a beaver. He gives us a wonderful show ducking and diving, Coen shouting ‘doggie’ at it (we can tell it definitely isn’t one of those!), and then swims under the bridge that we are stood on and stops the other side and finds the greenery from the bottom of the river bed to eat (which is vey cute with his little hands holding the clumps of algae) before swimming off to take cover amongst some branches. On the way out we see some info boards and find it was a Koypu, which we’ve never seen before, let alone so close up.
As we’ve made good time getting down here and seeing the flamingos, we decide to crack on and get to the beach where we will stop for a few days, so stock up on more snacks and head to Marseillian plage - where the campsites all line up along the beach. Time to relax (again!)...
We drive through this tourist hot spot past a long row of campsites lining both sides of the road.
We are lucky to find a non sandy space at the campsite, almost all the free spots we see would be sinking territory for us - weekends are getting busier as the high season is almost in full swing and each week is now holiday time for a different region in Germany - will we have to leave our ‘where the wind blows’ ways and start booking or can we wing it for a little longer?!
Our pitch is opposite the big, tall play park/outdoor wooden soft play-type structure, Nic describes this one as a bit like caving after he goes in to help Coen get up to the top to go down the slides, we both have a go but it tests our flexibility (and claustrophobia), so we leave it to Amelia to help him from there on.
We check out the beach with beautiful, calm sea and the big pool area with slides and splash parks, and spend the next couple of days enjoying this: mornings at the beach, afternoons at the pool. The sea is nice and shallow and calm so the children can wander in safely. The pool has some great slides for us to play on and a sloping pool which is great for Coen’s confidence! There is a pool that is not heated which is fun to dip in like a plunge pool and then back into the warmth of the other pool!
There is lots going on at this site, a full entertainment programme, which although we avoid as nights are already late enough - we still hear from our spot late into the night as the DJ sets boom through the campsite. Amelia does enjoy watching rehearsals and dance lessons on the big stage in the daytime and joins in when it gets to Greatest Showman, but it does make it all a little noisy for us.
As there is a little town, we have a walk to the shops and cafes, but either it’s siesta time or limited Sunday hours as the shops seem to all be closed. Apart from one that has the feet eating fish...Sarah gives it a go and after the initial shock that it might actually be a form of torture as the nibbling tickles her so much, they seem pleased with their new food but only really go for the easy morsels rather than the really tough bits that she wants them to eat...so she comes out with feet looking pretty much the same.
After a few days, we decide to head a bit further down this coast to find a quieter site, it’s set to be pretty warm so we need to be as close to the sea as possible!Read more