La Mer

We’re at the Bassin d’Arcachon on France’s west coast largely for seafood but Francine wants to see the sea. Francine always wants to see the sea, in this case the Atlantic Ocean.

This area is lousy with bicycle routes, though not always very well linked up or, indeed, signed. from our campsite we should be able to follow cycle routes through the forest to the Atlantic coast and back. We set off.

This area is pan flat; there really isn’t any need for electric assistance on a bicycle though many do, of course, have electric bicycles. We felt quite self-righteous riding proper bikes. Being pan flat there are little or no hills to contend with but neither is there any respite to the need to pedal. We knew we’d done the 12kms or so to the coast.

Neither is there any variation. We hit the last cycle track with 7kms to go and dived into woodland which remained unvaryingly the same until we got to the coast or, at least, to a boardwalk which led to the coast. We locked our bikes and took to Shank’s Pony.

20230909_112211_055620-01The coast here is pretty much dune-covered and it’s a fragile habitat under protection. [Very good]. We crested a line of dunes to reveal miles of beach, miles of surf, miles of surfers and miles of sunbathers. We’d be bored witless in 10 minutes. What do these people find to do all day?

There was nothing else; there was no town or habitation that we could see. There was a bar but, at 11:30, it was shut. We didn’t fancy hanging around on the off chance that it might open at midday. We mounted our electrically unassisted steeds and set off on the return pedal.

Let’s face it, this is not our environment. The seafood we’d had was excellent but you need only a day for that  and there are seafood areas that are much more to our taste. This is for those folks who begin describing a resort with, “it’s got a lovely beach”. We don’t care, we don’t do beaches.

We won’t be back, though the campsite we eventually found on our fifth attempt was very pleasant. I suspect, though, that in one or two years time it will be entirely given over to cabins and have no touring pitches left.

Posted in 2023-09 France

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