Sud-Sud-Ouest* – Photos

Following on Ann’s post about our vacation on the South West coast of France, here is a post with mostly photos of this camping/road trip through an area of France (and Spain) that neither of us had been before and it was great.
We drove 1880Kms and let’s just say we didn’t exactly follow the initial plan (why would we?!). In true grown-up style, we left with no tent, no stove and a list of potential campsites but no direction to any but one of them.

The trip involved a visit to a friend we met in the Philippines, our first ‘fête des voisins’, running on an empty beach at 6am, swimming in the Atlantique, a stolen backpack, a naturist beach, some carrot shredding, one truly great campsite, a vegan restaurant, a great city, some walking and a hail storm warning that didn’t materialised. Three of the items listed above occured at the same location, let’s see if you can figure it out (twisted suggestions welcome in the comment section below).

Fête des voisins in Bordeaux. We were not part of the neighborhood but were made to feel very welcome.

We met T. in the Philippines where she did an internship for the project I was managing. We got along splendidly and thus were very happy to visit her and her beau in Bordeaux where we stayed for a couple of very nice days.

We hadn’t seen an ocean for quite a while and we very excited when we started to hear it and smell it in the air.

This is the beach situated a couple of minutes from our first campsite. It was empty most of the time. It stretches for miles and miles both North and South – so much so that you couldn’t see any buildings or constructions in either direction. We went running there at 6am once and it was magical. I took off my shoes and socks and ran barefoot (literally) for the first time. Lately I’ve intrigued with the idea of barefoot running (more on that in another post) and being able to run with nothing between me and the earth was a very nice sensation. My calves hurt like a mofo for a week though (different muscles are being used as the position of the feet changes when they hit the ground) but it was well worth it.

500m East to West, 2,7 km North to South and about 60 millions de cubic meter of sand. This is the highest dune in Europe, its height varies between 100 and 117 meters above see level. Ann looks happy because she was about to make a sand castle.

One great thing to do, rather than be boring and walk down (like the person taking this photograph for example) is to run down the slope. It did end in a (stylish) tumble but it’s all good.

The path from one of our campsite leading to the beach (Basque country).

Beach below the same campsite mentioned above


Being so close to Spain, we decided to just pop over the border and go visit San Sebastian. What a great city it is. We only had a day there but felt a nice vibe in the city.

One of the two bays in San Sebastian.

Overlooking the city from the Castillo de Santa Cruz de la Mota

The other bay

“I’m not sure what I’m looking for but the view sure is nice!”

Us overlooking the other side of the city (still from the Castillo de Santa Cruz de la Mota)

A very nice local beer from the Ariège in the Pyrénnées. We only spent a day and a night in the Pyrénées as the weather wasn’t great (lots of fog and so no photos). It’s definitely a beautiful area and it deserves more time so we’re keen to go back there and spend the entire time in the area.

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0 thoughts on “Sud-Sud-Ouest* – Photos

  1. suncitymom says:

    Love the pictures! It so looks like a great getaway vacation! Chris can you send me that picture of you and Ann? I would like to get it printed and replace the one I have. Ann—love your hair! MOM

    • ann says:

      aww, thanks, ma! incidentally, re: the description of the pic of chris running down the hill, i’ll have you all know – particularly you, chris – that had the photographer in question chosen the less-boring option of running down the hill, she would almost definitely have taken a tumble as well, and her tumble would have been less likely to end “stylishly” and more likely to end with the two travellers holed up in a hospital for the duration of their getaway. nuff said.

      • Chris says:

        Just to be clear: The word “stylish” in the original post may or may not be an accurate description of said tumble.

    • Chris says:

      Sure, I’ll send you the higher resolution version (it will look nicer in print)

  2. maxzografos says:

    Love the pics. More about the stolen backpack on our call I suppose?

    • Chris says:

      ah yeah, that stolen backpack. It was Ann’s and it was 100% my fault (forgot to lock the car…). Something positive came out of it though, it made us late on our journey but as a result we ended up in a really nice campsite by chance.

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