27 July 2010

A whole lotta sand...

Even though the plan was for us to just relax in Bordeaux we couldn't keep ourselves from making a couple of excursions. Especially not when closer reading about the area revealed the presence of the largest migrating dune, Dune du Pilat, in all of Europe on the coast just outside Bordeaux - this was an opportunity we found ourselves unable to say 'no' to.

When one Monday morning it was overcast we knew this was our moment: this had to be the best day for climbing a migrating dune.

First we took the train to beach town Arcachon - picturesquely located by the shallow waters of Arcachon bay.

Here we rented bicycles and rode south along the coast through Pyla sur Mer - some 5-10 km - before suddenly finding ourselves at the northern end of migrating dune. The dune is quite impressive in size, but the otherwise difficult climb up its steep sides is eased significantly by the temporary stairway which is in place during the summer season.

We intended to walk along the top of the dune to its southern end. But we gave up when we'd been walking for about half an hour with no end in sight and the sun beginning to come out.

On the way back we stopped in Moulleau for a couple of local oysters and a nice pot of mussels with fries (so-called moules et frites).

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