Aigues Mortes with Becks and Fred - we made it to the Med

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February 2nd 2011
Published: February 2nd 2011
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after 3 hours in the sunshine on a sunday morning we were in Aigues Mortes. We'd seen camargue horses alongside the canal and the wind had died down a little. Aigues Mortes instantly impressed us. It's a fortified town, with all the main streets, restaurants, shops etc contained within the walls. Its narrow streets are cobbled and every so often there's a lookout post cut into the wall. I kepot expecting to see knights ride up on horses. We went for a walk once we'd tied up. Outside the walls of the town was a fiarground and a makeshift arena had been built at the rear. Something was going on – how exciting! We walked through the town and saw tables and a stage set up in the square, the tables covered in pink and orange paint and spilt drinks. Someone had had fun here last night! We found out from the tourist office that the 'Fete Votive', a week long party of bull running and fighting, music and drinking had just ended. We were gutted. Mike and I perked up when she told us it was being revived the following weekend for 3 days, which was why everything was still set up. We decided there and then to stay for week. Fred and Becks weren't as excited and wished they could stay longer. I tried to persuade them to do so, but they had jobs to get back to.
We had a look around the town and saw a fabulously homoerotic painting in the window of an art gallery. It featured sailors in various stages of undress, all leaning on one another or posing. I loved it and took a photo. Despite the fact that we're all in our 20's and 30's we still had a good giggle at the painting with willies on show. Tee-hee. Willies and farts are funny no matter how old you get or how mature and responsible you're meant to be. After a day exploring the town and sorting out Becky and Fred's transport back to Paris to catch their flight, we went for pizza in a fab little restaurant just inside the walls of the town and decided to hold a 'leaving party' for Becks and fred the following night, they had to leave early on the wednesday so a leaving party on the Tuesday probably wouldn't be a good idea!
The next day was spent doing shopping for our party. We had gotten directions to a supermarket from the landlady of a little bar in a side street where we had a beer before commencing our walk, so walked off armed with bags for life (no carrier bags in France) in the direction she'd pointed. We passed more dog groomers than anything else and began to wonder whether we we re going the right way, until we spotted a Lidl sign at the end of the road. Past the sign was an industrial area with loads of supermarkets. We went round them all to get the best bargains! A few hours later we were back on the boat with filet mignon, all the ingredients for long island iced teas, salad, bread, ribs and more crack crisps.
After an 'iced tea off' we voted that Mike's tasted best and assigned him cocktail maker for the night. Fred christened the drink 'Goober and the Iced Teas' – because of our frequent use of the word goober in reference to each other and anyone else we deemed to be doing something stupid but amusing. I've used it ever since I heard Ross say it in season 3 of 'Friends' because it's a funny word and rolls off the tongue nicely. We chilled in the sun for a couple hours with cold wine, then me and Mike cooked up the dinner. I was in charge of salad and potato salad, he was in charge of meat.
The meat took a while to cook and we made our way through the cocktails, getting more and more intoxicated. When the food came out we gobbled it up appreciatively. It was all amazing – Mike had done a cracking job on the meat which was melt in your mouth delicious. I've never seen Fred eat so much or so quickly! A few more cocktails later, Mike and Fred decided they wanted to go to a bar in town. I was happy in my joggers and baggy jumper and didn't really want to go out. Becks was n't fussed either so the boys went off while we danced around to Madonna, sung into our drinks bottles and had a good old girly gossip. An hour later the boys were back.
They'd found most places closed because of the partying the week before, but had found an Indian restaurant. Fred had told the owner that Mike was Tom Hardy, filming in Marseille but on a break here for the festival, and that he was his manager. He said they lived in LA. Fred swears blind they bought it but Mike says no chance. The owner also lived in LA for a while and asked them what part. When they couldn't name any area of La their cover was blown. Anyway, in the hour they were gone they'd managed to get through 60 euros buying and drinking shots for themselves and the others in the bar. They probably left there as minor celebrities.
The rest of the night was spent singing along to music, chatting and dancing. I don't think the neighbours liked us. When we got up at 10 the next morning the boat behind us was nowhere to be seen.
We decided to walk to the Med and on the way across the canal saw a group of people coming towardds us. An American guy said with a big grin “You're the rock stars huh?!” we exchanged baffled looks – had he been in the bar with Mike and Fred? “You're from that boat there? Don't pretend you don't speak English, I heard you guys rocking Bon Jovi last night! I live on the barge there, you guys sure had fun last night – sounded like an awesome party!” We smiled , said thanks and carried on. At least we hadn't upset all the neighbours. .. although we ran into him a few more times over the following week and he told us that his wife was not as sound a sleeper as him …. we never met the wife. I'm guessing she didn't want to meet us after we kept her awake with our singing.
Our walk to the Med was amazing. We passed vineyards in the sun, where Becks and I posed for Wensley inspired photos. We passed the salt marshes where mountains of delicious salt were piled up next to the pretty pink tinged marshes. We saw loads of different birds and insects and the sun was beaming from a bright blue sky. We saw flamingoes on the etang and I nearly wet myself with excitement. I'd been looking forward to seeing them for ages and now here they were, all pink and gangly, on the water in front of us. We watched them for a while and took photos before heading down to the Med resort of Le Grau Du Roi. There it was in front of us, the Med!! An expanse of blue sparkled and stretched before a white sand beach. We'd made it.
We visited Le Grau Du Roi aquarium and had lunch. The aquarium was wicked – lots of fish, sharks, performing seals and some head in the hole placards through which we took hilarious holiday photos. Fred and Becks bought me a flamingo coathook in the gift shop I love it. ..He is currently living in my bathroom holding up my toiletries bag. I have christened him Freddie the Flamingo. As we were walking back to Aigues Mortes the sun was setting and we saw flamingoes flying across the sky. Their wings are amazing. I'd never seen one fly before, the underside of their wings are bright pink and black and they fly with their neck and body in a dead straight line. They're my new favourites.
The sunset was another stunning one, reflected with perfect symmetry into the water below. We finished Becky and Fred's last day on the good ship Sorensen with dinner out and a glass (just the one) of wine back on the boat before an early night. At 7 the next morning we walked them to the bus stop hugged and kissed them and said our goodbyes. We'd had an amazing 10 days with them on board and hoped they'd enjoyed it as much as we had. We were going to miss them.

As I write this I'm looking forward to a repeat of ribs and Goober teas at Fred and Becky's next week (it's now February 2nd and the events I'm writing about took place mid October). Yes. Bring on the fun.

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