- 21 Sep 07, 01:12 PM
La Ciotat - Namibia may not be the most talented team at this World Cup but I’d wager they have one of the cosiest set-ups.
Situated in the town of La Ciotat, 20km from Marseille, their hotel has its toes dipped in the Med and is the sort of idyllic little place you’d plump for if you wanted to keep a mistress sweet.
Although coach Eddie O’Sullivan has rubbished claims of disharmony in the Irish camp, exactly why many of the world’s top sides choose to stay in such soulless establishments remains a mystery.
Can Ireland’s players not be trusted in the belly of Bordeaux, hardly the world’s most hedonistic city? Is it really that much of a problem that they mix with their fans from time to time?
Back at Namibia’s training ground in La Ciotat on Wednesday, the vibe could only have be more relaxed if the public address system had been piping out whale music.
And, having been shooed out of the All Blacks’ training ground in Aix-en-Provence earlier that day, the chance to grab a few Namibians and act the goat proved irresistible.
Have a look at our latest video from the front to see the tournament’s tallest (Nico Esterhuyse), heaviest (Marius Visser) and lightest (Heini Bock) players proving that you are allowed to muck about a bit from time to time, even if it is a World Cup.
Tommy and I head to Marseille later today, where we will be cheering on Namibia against Argentina on Saturday.
But tonight we’ll try to get plumbed into a bar early for what promises to be the tournament’s first epic clash - between Ireland and France. Any campsite and bar suggestions are, as ever, welcome.
Much as it pains me to say it, I will be cheering for the hosts, purely because I shudder to think how the French public will react if their side fails to progress.
The bars of La Ciotat on Thursday night provided a glimpse of what might be, with Tommy and I forced to sit through a dubbed version of that smashing Irish comedy farce The Magdalene Sisters while Wales destroyed Japan on the other side.
All attempts to track down the Scotland-Romania game on Wednesday in Aix also proved fruitless, with the whole town seemingly rigged up to Marseille v Besiktas in the Champions League.
On Sunday, we head for Montpellier where we will watch the Aussies take on Fiji and hopefully exchange a bit of banter with some Wallaby fans.
Having nothing to shout about on the sporting front, I feel a few rousing verses of that lovely old hymn “We Get 10 Dollars to the Pound” coming on.
Again, let us know the best places to head for a few sherberts before and after the game.
Levels of hygiene in The Bloggernaut have, I’m ashamed to say, hit a new low. So much so that when we brush it out at the end of October, we’ll probably have enough dead skin and hair to build a whole new person.
Having failed to trouble the scorers so far on an amorous front, frustrations are beginning to mount in other areas.
The other day I spent five minutes nudging Tommy and getting him to look at a woman touching her toes in the park only to discover, when she pulled herself upright, that I’d been ogling the backside of a strapping chap.
By the way, does anyone know how to wipe your history from a laptop? Only joking bosses, although you might find it gets mysteriously smashed to bits on the ferry over from Calais…
Ben Dirs is a BBC Sport journalist travelling around France in a camper van with Tom Fordyce. Click here to search for all of Tom and Ben's blog videos.