Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Back in the Saddle

Once again - am about a week behind - oh well...
We’ve just spent 4 wonderful days in Arcachon on the Atlantic coast west of Bordeaux. The camp was beautifully situated near cycle tracks and close to town. It was a great opportunity for me to really get back into cycling proper and lose my fear of falling off every 5 seconds. First day we did 15 kms or so and 2nd around 20kms – not exactly the tour de France, but enough to get ne back in my stride.
Dune du Pilat

We rode out to Europe’s highest sand dune (some claim to fame!), Dune du Pilat. Much to our surprise it was a real tourist Mecca, complete with tacky tourist shops and icecream sellers. When we arrived, Lawrence announced “I’m certainly not climbing up that, and nor are you I would think!” That was red rag to a bull, so up we climbed – but it’s a cheat as there are stairs! The views are wonderful and worth the effort.
Cap Ferret

We caught the ferry across to Cap Ferret where the rich and famous hang out, but they must have been having a day off as we only saw the same tourists as any other day. Managed to find a great lunch and the sun was shining, so no complaints.

The architecture here is really interesting – a touch of alpine, a dash of neo-gothic frippery, a hint of Australian Federation, making quite a pleasing mix.
Typical Architecture

After Arcachon we headed south to Biarrtiz, which is a soulless place but has an interesting coastline. Just inland, Bayonne is lovely and retains the character of its past and unadulterated Basque architecture.
Biarritz Coastline

South again, we hit St Jean de Luz for 2 nights. This was a lovely surprise with a camp right by the beach, sleeping with the sound of the breakers. The town is charming and like many of these old towns, the streets are free from cars and walking is a pleasure.
Always love a good cloister - this one in Biarritz

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