• Day103

    Saint Girons Plage

    July 12, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 0 °C

    This is a stop we’ve been looking forward to from the whole trip - arriving back at the beach where we got engaged, 8 years ago!

    We decide to stay in the aire that is attached to the campsite, which, now in high season has very few decent pitches left and is very pricey. The aire, which is like an overflow car park with motorhome sized pitches that have a little room at the side to set up table and chairs, has a small path that leads directly to the campsite and you get full use of all facilities! So for less than 15e/nt in high season, we know that we’ve lucked out and make the most of it! Many fellow tourers are spending the whole summer here in the aire, some of them in the end of row pitches have quite the set up with gazebos and awnings.

    The site has three adjoined swimming pools and a splash park area, plus sports pitches and a really great sandy park that the children love!

    There is a bakery, pizza place, organic rotiserrie, and bar, and also an activity programme with some fun stuff for the children and adults. The children are excited about the face painting session, which is comically bad, but they don’t notice. I get to try out a French Pilates style class (more of a stretch class, but much needed!).

    We have a pizza and cocktail evening which feels very luxurious at this stage in our trip, and the children have a dance while we relax...ahhh!

    We are blessed with beautiful blues skies, great surf and hot sunshine for most of our time here, although as we are planning to leave we are treated to a spectacular Atlantic storm with an amazing bolt lightning show! This extends our trip a little as we don’t want to pack up and head somehow that may not have facilities with the weather we end up staying 15 nights in total (we’d planned 5-7 days!).

    We are here for Bastille day and notice the town has set up lots of fireworks, literally 100m from the aire, but oddly, we go to bed after hearing no fireworks - then at 11.30pm Nic and I wake to hear the loudest bangs ever, we open our bedroom blind to get the best view of the whole amazing display - and even though it sounds like world war 3 as the bangs reverbate around our little motorhome, neither child is woken by the noise!

    We go to the beach each day, which is a bit of a mission due to the big sand dune that seperates the site from the beach; it’s a short, hot, steep trek each day laden with two children, beach stuff, umbrella, surf biard, body board....but it is worth it when we arrive to some amazing surf each day (by standards of Europe in summer months), warm sea, and lots of sand castle making.

    We watch the lifeguards in action daily as the rips and currents catch people out, and they even how to rescue one of their beach flag poles. The surf can be really trecherous here, churning huge dumps at the beach break so the lifeguards are very strict to make sure people don’t swim near the rips or outside of the flags - this coast is notorious for casualties, and you can see why as they whizz you and down in the jeep rescuing those who have been swept out on boards, or collided with other surfers.

    The children have now become confident swimmers and Amelia happily jumps in and swims across the pool with no arm bands, Coen swims happily on his back with his arm bands on, and they confidently dive from the wall (3 foot up) above the pool each day making huge splashes and cheering for more. Coen does pick up an injury of his own though which is not helped by the constant swimming - he stubs his toe on a stone, taking a big layer off, but he just keeps stubbing it again and again, making it bleed each time.

    The highlight of our trip here and the reason we stay a little longer, is the wonderful french family, Yann, Sophie and their teenage daughter, Lili Rose who are parked up next door to us, who speak excellent English. Lili Rose loves playing with the children, they love her, she teaches Amelia how to make bracelets and gives her a turtle tattoo, paints both of their nails and shares her toys, Amelia and Coen are both smitten with her and Nic and I try (badly) to learn some french from them. They are a big surf family, and Sophie actually used to teach fitness so we all have lots in common. Nic and Yann enjoy catching waves together ‘outback’ and Lili Rose helps build sandcastles. This does, of course, make us feel a little worse at how loud our children are constantly, especially when they are enjoying their siesta! Nic and I also get our first ever (since children) surf together as the children happily play with them whilst we have a quick go. I catch my best wave in about 10 yrs so am happy if I don’t get another surf.

    Amelia also gets treated to some great children’s discos, and both children enjoy some later nights, extra park time and people watching. We wander along the big board walk that leads to the beach lined with beach shops, surf shops and chilled out cafes and restaraunts. Coen gets a treat as a big monster truck show comes to town, we don’t go to the show as it’s an evening affair but we do get up close to the trucks. We also visit the night market, although this becomes a bit stressful as we think we will enjoy some amazing take away treats for dinner, but there actually isn’t much in the way of dinner!

    We also have a bad day here, which only needs one line written about it - The day that Amelia smashed her ‘in-bed’ TV! Oops!

    Coen’s second highlight after the monster trucks is seeing the helicopter come to land, so we go to see it on the helipad, it has come to help some injured surfers, we wait and get to see it take off - Coen is besides himself with excitement as it rises up into the sky!

    After an amazing two weeks, we say a find farewell to our new friends and leave (in the rain!) for our next stop, and armed with a few recommendations too!
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