We made three little camping trips last year, all short and sweet and also quite varied. There was our first family camping trip to a nice site in the Pyrenees Orientales, by Lake Vinca, where we met a lovely Spanish family and DS played with neighbouring Spanish and German children. Then we went to the mountains just south of Ax-les-Thermes, staying on the municipal campsite in Orlu. That one wasn’t so relaxing, which is how we ended up on the posh Huttopia campsite (which I’ve just realised I never wrote up, so that’s another to-do post-rentrée!)
This year we decided to do something different. The criteria were strict: no dogs and beach. Various campsite listing sites, like pitchup.com, give the option to search for sites without dogs, which was great. It was just a shame that there were so few! We didn’t fancy any of the French ones – maybe for a short break but not for a longer stay, so what about Spain? There was one, on the Costa Brava, not so far from here, that looked like it had everything. It was quite a departure from our pre-children campsite of choice but fulfilled the two main criteria. We decided to give it a try.
Too good to be true?
We had a few discussions after booking about whether it could really be dog-free. The site we’d chosen said very clearly on their booking page that pets weren’t allowed. Is that what it really meant?
On arrival, there was a clearly a sign – no dogs! Wow. And once inside, still no dogs. Brilliant.
What this meant was no dog poo, no barking, no little yappy critters running across the site in search of scraps of food. But mostly no poo and no stress. We could all just walk around without having to look where we put our feet. We could put our water bottles down next to a tree without worrying whether the tree or post had been peed on. DS and DD could just run around (they’re both wary of dogs after living in a hameau with three big dogs that roamed freely despite both being less than safe, with baggage.)
We realised after a day of being there just how much calmer it was. Children wandered around, cycled around – it was safe for everyone. No barking, no noise (other than DS at 6am waking up and yelling for breakfast and for the light to be put on.) Bliss. There’s no turning back. Maybe sites without dogs are like mushrooms and once you see one you start to see them everywhere. Let’s hope so! For anyone with children (and no dogs), I recommend giving a dog-free site a go. Relax, enjoy… no more poo dodging!
Why No Dogs?
Just to say, I do like dogs. What I’ m not a big fan of is dog poo and dog owners who think the rules don’t apply to them. For example, here there are signs saying dogs are not allowed on the beach by the lake. So what happens? Loose dogs running around, in and out of the water. Imagine, all if those of us with children just started letting our kids wee and poo wherever they were when they needed to go. All the holier than thou dog owners would be up in arms! That’s where I am with dogs. I like dogs. Well-behaved ones with owners who respect that not everyone likes dogs, that not all dogs are safe or predictable around children, that sometimes people are scared of dogs so your friendly fluffy mutt running at them is beyond terrifying, and that the rules around No Dogs are usually about health and sanitation, not just some arbitrary restriction on your freedom. Thanks for listening. /end of rant