The strange case of the Fat Dog at Midnight.

We ventured down to the Bar to watch the World Cup opening match, Brazil-v-Coatia which started at 2200 local time.

There was a good size flat screen TV on the wall but it had to be viewed from across the pool table and a table football machine so it was a good distance away. The only available seating was on hard backed metal chairs which are more suited to being used outside on the patio, but at least we got to see it.

The bar hadn’t up until this time been open so it wasn’t very well stocked. There was some wine, a few shorts but primarily Beer at €5 a pint, which matched Wembley prices.

There weren’t many Croatians staying on site and no Brazilians so the audience was primarily a few Irish, some Dutch and a couple of Brits which didn’t create much of an atmosphere.

However this changed dramatically when an English couple came in and sat next to us with a big fat, very smelly, brown Labrador.

They gave it a bowl of water which it proceeded to spill all over the floor before settling itself on my right foot, where it managed to dig one of its dirty great claws into my toe. I pushed it off my foot with my hand but every time I took a sip of my beer I could smell wet dog. I had to go to the toilet and wash my hands to get rid of the pong.

The smell was so strong I couldn’t go back to my seat so I signalled to Jaki that we were leaving and we abandoned the second half.

(The bar man is also the reception guy, who also cuts the grass. He must work 20 hours a day).

The next morning I cycled to the local Carrefore and bought bread and milk for breakfast. Then we went out on the bikes for a ride which inevitably ended up back on the beach for a swim.

That evening we went out to the local restaurant and treated ourselves to a meal.

Jaki chose the meal of the day, three courses, a fish stew to start, Salmon main and a baked Apple desert, all for €17.

I tried the Monk Fish which was served with vegetables including ‘Diced Turnip’ which was different but neither of us felt it was anything other than ‘Quite Nice’. It didn’t have a lot of taste (apart from Turnip) and with no sauce, it was a bit dull, if healthy.

Given we’ve agreed to do the ’30 Day Abb’s Challenge, we need to watch what we eat so fresh fish and vegetables is ideal. Unfortunately we missed two days so had to go back to day nine and start again. Were now on day ten (or maybe eleven) which consists of:-

50 sit ups
50 Crunchies
35 leg raises and a 38 second plank, which for those who don’t know, firms up the inner Abb’s and supports ‘core strength’.

We’ve been doing these straight off and the best we’ve achieved is 50 sit ups followed by 30 Crunchies, then 35 leg raises and the plank.

So we can’t as yet progress to day twelve as we can’t do enough exercises without crying!

This morning we had to say goodbye to this site which was really hard. We’ve loved it here and the surrounding environment is beautiful. It’s not as cheap as Spain so to stay for a long time you would need to be pretty self sufficient as food and drinks in supermarket are cheap enough but eating out can hurt.

I think of France and Spain as two Sisters. Spain the reckless teenager, experimenting and taking risks, France the older sibling, with a degree and a steady job. Both enjoyable in their own way but each offering a different type of experience.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t any surprises.

Take the Tomatoes for instance.

Stocking up at the local Carrefore we put some Tomatoes in a bag and set off to weigh them. Once weighed, the machine gives you a ticket with the price on it which you stick on the bag.

The Tomatoes, were advertised with a huge sign saying (in French) Special Offer €.99 per kilo.

When we weighed them the ticket Said, €2.5 per Kilo?

I approached a shop assistant and explained our predicament. He told me to enter code 42 for the tomatoes, which I did and yet again they came up as €2.50 per Kilo.

I returned to the guy and showed him my new ticket and pointed to the advertised price on the sign above the Island full of Tomatoes.

“Ah, zat is the price for Radishes”. He told me.

“Where are the Radishes”? I asked.

“Over zer”. And he pointe to a lone bunch of radishes on a completely different counter!

Then we tried to get Diesel at Carrefore petrol station.

To cut a very long story short, as I’m sure your loosing the will to live by now, the petrol pumps were set up for self service. Insert your card, fill up with Diesel then go.

Trouble was, this wasn’t working so despite several attempts, putting card in, taking card out it was like a dried up North Sea Oil Rig.

Then a helpful French guy (there are some) told us it wasn’t working and you simply helped yourself and paid at the kiosk on the way out. However, when we got to the kiosk there was a lady sat behind the screen and the only contact she could have with customers was through a little flap in the wall.

I was looking at her face when this isolated ‘hand’ came out of the wall (like ‘Cousin ‘Thing’ from the Adams Family).

I leant out of the window and put my credit card trustingly into this hand and it reappeared with a little machine, on a wire, that given a good tug, was just long enough for me to tap in my PIN number. Once done the hand returned the card, the barrier went up and we were on our way without a word being exchanged!

We did have a similar experience at a toll booth on the Motorway where we put €5 change into the tray but despite all my efforts I couldn’t lean out of the window far enough to collect my change. So I lost 60 cents.

At the next toll we were 50 cents short and after turning the van up side down, couldn’t find another cent. I had to pay the 50 cents using my Credit card.

So even some where as sophisticate as France can still give us a laugh. It’s just that it cost us more!

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