San Galimert

Every Twentyfour hours 10


Second day at Camping Campeole San Galimer.

No mistakes today with a supervised tour. I attempted to upload some blogs with no success and then retired to the pool where I read most of the day.

I acquired the French flag on my cheek from a guide who said they were celebrating Bastille day in advance. They were so good with the children. They dressed them up in the French colours and organised a parade around the campsite led by the guides in an electric cart playing music. The children sang ‘a l’Hopital’ at the tops of their voices-recreating the herding of the royal family to the Gallows in 1898. So cute!!!

I still felt I had not got to grips with San Galimer. I had not located the casino or the Badoit source or found a decent coffee shop. Nor had I decided whether to stay another day or to leave early next morning.

This time, I was determined to see what the fuss was about the water was. The roundabout coming into the town has an enormous fountain surrounded by masses of flowers. This leads on to a bridge flanked on both sides by boxes of abundant flowers. Below this is a lawn with the words BADOIT picked out in it and a structure like a bandstand in the middle. People were coming and going from this structure. What they were in fact doing, was filling their bottles with Badoit sparkling water, coming straight out of taps on the bandstand. Each resident is entitled to twelve bottles of water a day and that includes tourists.

Feeling I was getting somewhere, I then started looking for a coffee shop and eventually took the advice of the customer service lady in the Supermarket to go towards the Church. Armed with this intelligence I made my way up the hill, remembering to keep right.

Bingo – the winding streets, the church surrounded by families eating out in their gardens, and in front, just below the church, the Mairie or the town Hall. In front of that was a Marche or Market like our Farmer’s markets. Sometimes, you find everything in a space of two hours, usually just before you leave.

Facing the Mairie was the nearest thing to a pub you will find in France, complete with a waitress named Giselle serving coffee outside where you could observe the comings and goings at your leisure.  I was not long there when the man next to me asked me if I was Irish and was that my car around the corner. His son is working in Dublin with a large multinational and his grandson spoke French with an accent just like mine. He had not a word of English, and I was happy to dredge up as much as I could of the Parley vous.

I felt I had cracked the town at this point. I was happy to leave the next morning. Back to the Camping and another Rock Concert. This time it was a serious band with drum kit, bass guitar, roadie and emaciated female lead singer.

They downed tools after about seven numbers.

One of the great plusses of this area is that the nights get so cool, ensuring a good night’s sleep.

Every twentyfour hours 9


I was excited waking up in the Camping Campeole San Galimert.

I wanted to explore immediately so I went up past the two rows of terraced mobile homes and caravans and saw there was a walk at 9 am. I thought that will be perfect – follow up on my exercise yesterday and get a feel for the place.

It turned out I was the only taker for the walk. I was accompanied by two men, one a camp guide and entertainer, the other a senior who did mention something about being able to buy roses and to bring money.

We went at a very leisurely pace and arrived at the local village, not San Galimer itself. It was then that I was first introduced to the roses. It seems there is an amazing collection of rare roses cultivated here. There are all sorts of trips to Monaco to present the royal family with roses. Now I like flowers. I will admire a bed with the best of them. But it was expected that we walk a few yards, admire the yellow, then admire the pink, then the tinted one and over again. I tied to catch the campguide’s eye but he was being very professional. Eventually, the senior guy brought us to the real objective of his walk- the Maison where I could buy books about roses and all sorts of things to do with roses. I had a quick look and went outside and nearly took up smoking with the guide.

It reminded me so clearly of an experience in Turkey where I went for a tour for the day and we were all herded into a jewellery manufacturer and came under huge pressure to buy something. Trying to get out was a nightmare as the stairs went round and round, bringing you back to the sales floor again and again. I really resent being manipulated like this. Our time abroad is precious and if we want to go and buy something, we can work it out or ask.

After this, I needed cooling off, so I went straight to the pool. Clean, well signed, with loungers and shade at the edge.

That evening, we were treated to a concert of rock music. Two guys with synthesisers, and beat machines playing some songs well and murdering some others as only the French can so when they sing in English – Touch me baby zainted love. Or New years day –ah wil be wiz you agen-. They played until midnight.

The guides had heard about my opinion of the Rose walk and took every opportunity to offer me a free trip to the Maison de Roses.  They were highly amused.

This is a great site for families and older people alike. It is set on terraces as this is a mountainous part of France.  I decided to stay another night as I had not seen the Badoit source or seen San Galimer itself.