Part Deux. Bites, Tyres, Doctors

Well we actually arrived without further incidents. No calling out the breakdown service (why do I pay them?) No more blown tyres. Just a nice easy drive down the A20, A61 past the impressive Airbus factory at Tolouse to Narbonne then the A9 to Perpignan. Past the now familiar landmarks of the arches on the hill and Perpignan prison. To jump.on a the D914 to Argeles-Sur-Mer.

We had a great night’s sleep at the Aire so we’re nicely refreshed, stopped at the next Aire with a petrol station to fill both the car and our tanks and carried on.

We arrived a little after 1:30 and checked in. We knew our pitch number and we’re directed to it on the map. Now this site can be a little tight so I elected to come at the pitch on my side to make the reverse easier. That just meant navigating about 3 very tight turns to get there. We found the pitch no problem and I began manouvering. As soon as I did the little old French guy on the next pitch jumped up and offered to help push the van into place. The management explained that I should be fine as I do this stuff for a living. Phew 1st go, my reputation still in tact. Levelled and chocked. Awning up and furniture deployed in an hour. Where’s me beer? Oh yeah still at the Intermarine Hyper. Quick trip soon solved that problem.

Sunday is Sunday evenmore so here in France. Not much opens so we decided not to try to sort out the blown tyre until Monday.

Monday morning we headed off to ATS Euromaster in Perpignan where I was pretty confident they could source a tyre. As it happened we needed 2 as the spare turned out to be 10 years old! We were not in a rush as we are here for 2 weeks. The manager managed to source 2 suitable Hancook replacements which would be in stock the following day! We left the blown tyre with them and returned the following evening at the agreed time of 5pm to collect and pay. We paid €177 for 2 tyres not cheap but could have been worse. I refitted the Alloy wheel with its new tyre and returned to ATS the following morning to replace the spare tyre.

Now our van was only purchased last October 10 months ago so 10 year old tyres are not acceptable. I contacted the supplier who stated they would have checked the tyres as part of their pre delivery inspection and changed them had they needed it as per industry advice. I pointed out that industry advice is for tyres to be changed at 5 years and certainly no older than 7 years. I won’t name and shame the company just yet as they have agreed to make a gesture and contribute towards the cost of replacement. We’ll wait to see what that contribution actually is first.

In the mean time I had been attacked by the local wildlife. Bites galore on my legs and ankles. Nothing unusual for me but one took a turn for the worse and looked quite nasty. I’ve always had wired reactions to insect bites ever since.I was a kid and usually making sure I take antihistamines is enough however on Thursday morning I woke with badly swollen feet and ankles to the point I could not put shoes on. I could just about get a pair of crocs on. By lunchtime nothing was helping and it was obvious I needed to see a Dr.

We called at reception to ask advice on where to go. “Next door” was the answer. There is a Dr on site every day from 14:30 just go sit in the room next door and he will call you in.

Wow that’s handy!

My turn and in I go.bone look at my leg and he is telling me “you must take notice, this is very dangerous especially in severe heat”! Oh great it’s 30°C and getting hotter. “I’ll give you some antibiotics, some antiseptic, some cream and some other medications” Your joking right? No I have Cellulitis and it is quite bad! Turned out he gave me amoxicillin with clavulanique acid, prednisolone (steroids) antiseptic spray,Fusidate De Sodium ointment and 1000mg paracetamol tablets for the pain and fever. Fever? How will I know I’ve got a fever in this heat? “You will know” he said. Oh and no swimming said the pharmacist as the infection can spread. Bum how am i supposed to keep cool?

Apparently I spent the whole afternoon/evening passed out in the bed and I was so hot that night the management made up the other bed and slept in that.

I’d had two doses of meds the previous day but Friday morning I could get my trainers in very loosely and head out as we needed to stay out of the heat. Some air con shopping was needed. we visited one of the big malls and stayed cool.nthen headed to Perpignan where we visited a museum to see the “art” this was also air conditioned and so I didn’t protest it also had toilets which was handy as the antibiotic trotts has now taken hold. Deep Joy!

The museum was The Musee D’Art Hyacinthe Rigaud and was housing a Picasso exhibition. Now art and me don’t mix very well usually but this was ok, for the aforementioned reasons and most of it I could tell what I was looking at. Not like the modern museum she took in Paris where I saw 8 foot square black canvas which I exclaimed,” I could do that! Some black emulsion and a canvas, easy” then as we walked around the corner to see a similar canvas this time pure white ” they haven’t even bothered to paint this one” I laughed! Not to mention the signed urinal in a glass case and the crushed car! Don’t get me started on those two! They are really taking the p#@s!

Picasso spent the last couple of years of his life in Perpignan hence the interest.

Anyway on the morning of getting shoes on I broke my chair! I leaned over to retrieve a sock I’d dropped and was quite un-ceriumoniously dumped into the floor. A flimsy bit of plastic on the back of the chair had snapped where it was riveted so I needed a chair.

Decathlon stocked the usual umbrella fold rubbish, both uncomfy and flimsy. We found a camping car dealers with an accessory shop and headed there. They had quite a range of chairs from German manufacturer Westfield including the cross compact which boasted “No Plastic hinges, all aluminium” I decided to take the plunge and at €149 it was quite a plunge. I got to the till to realize the price was €110. Result! Comfy and Sturdy, and for a lard arse like me no plastics is a great feature. In fact we went back and bought one for the managemant. I’ll do a separate review of those soon.

Saturday was also spent keeping out of the sun

Sunday and the promised thunderstorm has finally arrived! Rained on and off from 7am until about 10:30 apparently the thunder and lightning started around 4am but no rain. The management said it was great to watch. I think she’s making up stories. I never heard a thing!

We hung around site as I was to see the Dr again at 2:30pm. We had a walk over to see our Geordie friends that we met last year as one of their party has badly sunburned feet to enquire how he was getting on. On the way back we walked past the pitch that Ron & Connie should have been on, the lovely Dutch couple we met last year to not they were still not here, when just as we passed the next pitch Ron appeared with Connie close behind shouting “Ron, they are here! I knew they would come back! ” Turned out they have been here two weeks already we were looking at the wrong pitch and for the wrong car. Seems they had an accident here last year and the car we saw was a hire car. They were looking for a tent and in the wrong area as we have downgraded to a standard electronic pitch this year instead of a grand comfort serviced pitch.

It was good to see them. This is their 16th year in a row on the same pitch for the same 3 weeks. There already booked for next year. Ron says it’s like coming home.

2:30 and off to see the Dr. He was late, not only in england, and was happy I was feeling better but says my leg is still too red and angry. Turns out it’s not where the bite was at the back of my calf that is the issue but the redness at the front. He said I need to keep up with the treatment for the next 7 days at least and has given me 10 more tubes of cream. I also found out that Dr.s here get Sunday rates! €55 for today’s consultation as opposed to €40 the other day! Not only that the pharmacy also charged a €5 odd holiday payment for Sunday! They were open I didn’t ask them to open specially on Sunday! The flaming cheek! So that’s another €81 what was quite reasonable has now become a definite insurance claim when I get home! €150 so far and I’ll bet there is more to come!

Anyway I need to see the Dr again on Wednesday or Friday before I go home and if all is well enough then I can travel home. He says this usually requires about 15 days in hospital to sort out especially in this hot weather as the extreme heat is a major factor. I still need to keep cool I can now go swimming but if there is any liquid seepage from the effected area go back and see him immediately as that liquid is infectious and I will need to be hospitalised. Not happy with that idea. So looks like I will have to get home and get it sorted I just need to stay stable enough to make it home!

Barcelona Tomorrow!