People had warned us not to go camping on Cote d’Azur during the busiest European vacation week but we thought we could make do with just a tent. The one place I couldn’t miss was Cassis, a tiny limited producing wine region right on the bay near Marseilles. I had never tried these wines, very few people do out of the country, and I was determined to check this place of my list!As soon as we got to Cassis after millions of wrong turns, the only campground they had was full. We worked our way along the coast, getting further and further away from my dream destination. Complet. Complet. Complet, until we had practically reached Toulon. We backtracked and ventured inland where we thought we’d have better chances. Full. It was getting dark, our stomachs were growling and after nearly 9 hours of driving we were starting to get worried.

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Claudio calmly said he could handle the driving and we would either drive all night towards home or sleep in the car somewhere. We got past Toulon and stopped in Hyeres which we heard was nice and “safe”. I later found out that the islands are the pretty part. After driving around this confusing peninsula, in the pitch black near an airport we incredibly found an open gate with lots of lights, CAMPING! Hallelujah! I walked in hoping to desperately convince them to let us pitch a tent but no one spoke English and they looked at me with clear rejection. Tail between my legs and tears in my eyes, I came back to the car with bad news. So close yet so far away. We decided to find the Port and luckily found a parking spot in a well lit parking lot. Relieved but worried about all our camera equipment we went straight out to splurge on some seafood.

Hyere port was pretty cool and full of people. I wish we could have enjoyed it more but at midnight we were still waiting for our main dish and decided to ask for the bill and try to get some sleep. We were so exhausted that we didn’t even take pictures. Well, I guess you can’t be lucky all the time!

The humidity and heat was so unbearable our skin was sticking to the seats and we could hardly breathe. We kept the windows just barely cracked open so no one could reach in and steal all our stuff. My paranoid thoughts started creeping in again. I was blind without my contacts but could still vaguely see and hear people around us the whole night. I didn’t close my eyes for one second and made sure Claudio had our camping knife close by. At one point I even heard the opening of a trunk and a loud thud. What if it was a dead body? Is this blurry outline of a man looking right at me? Was I now a witness? I relaxed for a second when I heard the car leave, but what if he comes back? The whole night went on like this until I was relieved to hear the garbage trucks in the early morning. I went for an early morning walk and found out we were right next to a horse track! At 6 we drove with sleepy eyes and foggy heads to St. Tropez.