At last, we have returned to France. Our first stop, quite close to the border, was to do a bit of snorkelling. We’d read about a snorkel safari in a protected marine park and were keen to try it out. We ended up on the wrong beach, however, and this turned out to be a stroke of luck. The snorkelling was fantastic, with huge shoals of fish surrounding us like something out of a BBC documentary. On the way out we saw the official snorkel safari beach which was littered with people, and probably far fewer fish than we had the fortune to see.

Our final stop was Port Vendres – a pretty town, especially at night when its lights reflect across the bay, and little fishing boats return late at night with their catch. Four lighthouses (two are really just lightbulbs on a long stick) mark the entrance to the bay.

With no internet connection available we headed to the local cafes in search of free WiFi. I spent three hours working on a fault giving poor Christine plenty of time to reacquaint herself with speaking French. “Il travail encore” (he’s still working) was repeated many times, with an accompanying sigh and roll of the eyes. No single customer in the history of the cafe has ever ordered so many glasses of water; they must have thought we had a dolphin hidden under the table.

We spent the night in the local Aire (hurrah for free camping again) and baked ourselves silly.   It was the hottest night of our trip so far and, with no electric hookup (and therefore no fan), we lay awake half the night in a puddle of sweat and bristly dog hair, listening to the distant sound of booming bass drums and a hooter which shrieked for hours until the car battery ran out.