Going back to Paris was less leisurely than the trip south, largely due to the Australian Federal election on the 18th of May. Whilst we had registered as being overseas so would not be fined for not voting, we thought it very important to do so and our target was to vote in the Australian Embassy in Paris. As the embassy was staffed by public servants, the thought of opening on a Saturday or not closing early on a Friday was beyond the pale even for the election, so we needed to get back by the morning of the 17th.
We had one last stop in Spain in a town called Vic, four hours north of Valencia. It was chosen as it was about the right distance for the first hop and wasn’t suffering from horrendous hotel prices driven by the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
Vic is in the heart of Catalán and politics hung from every wall and lamppost. It has an old and beautiful centre, with a huge square, one of the best cathedrals we came across and a small river running through it. Best of all, we stumbled on the annual cheese and wine festival; J&J heaven, so mostly we ate cheese and drank wine.
From there we headed across the boarder to Perpignan and it was a rude awakening. Our airbnb was in an area that is yet to be gentrified and as soon as we parked we kind of went off the place. The streets were filthy, graffiti everywhere and the area was obviously very poor. We thought our place would be a few streets into the good area so were disturbed to find ourselves standing outside a near derelict, graffiti strewn apartment block waiting for the host. On the upside, the host away obviously an early adopter and had renovated one of the apartments beautifully; it was clean, comfortable and stylish…… but still in a block and area that had a way to go. This kind of put us off the whole town and whilst we did enough wandering to admit that if the start had been different we may have liked the place, we buggered off early the next day to head to the Camargue.