A lazy day tide watching in Taussat, France

Stranded at low tide

Dave the motorhome hasn’t moved, why would he? He’s bagsied himself a prime, free spot by the coast during French holiday season – a miracle! He’s still at the free Aire in Taussat by the Basin D’Arcachon and has witnessed several other French motorhomes come and go. There are four dedicated motorhome spaces here, right now there are ten motorhomes parked up and another has just arrived. As each one pulls up there is much discussion (in French) about where to park it. French people appear to they believe it is their right to be able to park here, not a privilege like we think it is – so if you ever plan to visit, be sure to get here early!

A sign you would never see in the UK. No Parking Except for Motorhomes - that's why we love France!
A sign you would never see in the UK. No Parking Except for Motorhomes – that’s why we love France!

Last night we went for an evening stroll and watched the sun set over the Basin – I love watching the sun set over water, so being back on the Atlantic coast is a real treat for me.

Sunset over the Bassin D'Arcahon
Sunset over the Bassin D’Arcahon
As soon as the sun dips behind the horizon, the moon puts on a show
As soon as the sun dips behind the horizon, the moon puts on a show
Charlie plays with his new mates on the beach (yeah right - Charlie tries to get away from the big dogs who want to play on the  beach!)
Charlie plays with his new mates on the beach (yeah right – Charlie tries to get away from the big dogs who want to play on the beach!)
The ducks heading home at the end of the day
The ducks heading home at the end of the day

This morning I dreamt that I was taking our jump pack over to help a van that wouldn’t start, then I awoke to the sound of an engine, not starting. The Dutch VW parked in the corner was having problems, but it was nothing our jump pack could help with. Eventually the contents of its ‘boot’ were emptied to get access to the engine and a man in a red French registered van arrived and managed to get it going – but it sounded rough and spluttered off to no doubt find a garage. By this point I was wide awake. Jay and Charlie were locked into a snoring competition, so I slipped out of bed and fired up the laptop. On my ‘to do’ list for what seems like ages has been an update of my CV, a job I have been putting off, now seemed like the perfect time to get it done.

By the time Jay woke up I was in a foul mood, I hate writing about myself (OK, not so much writing about myself but trying to sell myself – which is odd seeing as I worked in marketing for a couple of decades!). Once again the CV was put to one side and after breakfast we went for a walk around Taussat. There was a small market going on selling mainly foodstuff. We were drawn over to the ‘Artisanal’ beer stall, but soon repelled by the €5 price tag on the bottle – they weren’t even a litre!

Reaching the beach at the far end of town we looked over the sea, but it wasn’t there. The tide had gone out, way out, further than even the Skegness tide goes – and that goes a long way! It was as if the entire Basin had been emptied. Boats of all types sat stranded on the mud while around them people dug in it foraging for free food in the form of shellfish. It was noon and starting to seriously heat up, so we stopped off at the boulangerie to grab a baguette and a couple of cakes and nipped to the Tourist Office for a map before heading back to Dave to shelter from the sun.

Free food gathering while the tide is out
Free food gathering while the tide is out
Whole families take the time to explore the stinky mud
Whole families take the time to explore the stinky mud
A three wheeled motorbike from Canada - looks like a converted Skiddo!
A three wheeled motorbike from Canada – looks like a converted Skidoo!
Due to prejudice I'm not sure you'd ever see a magazine cover like this being advertised in the UK - I just don't know what people have against beards!
Due to prejudice I’m not sure you’d ever see a magazine cover like this being advertised in the UK – I just don’t know what people have against beards!
Stranded at low tide
Stranded at low tide

I nodded off on Charlie’s bench and when I woke up at 2pm I was covered in sweat, Dave was like an oven. After a spot of lunch we grabbed some reading material, drinks and our picnic rug and headed to the beach to seek out some shade. The rest of the day was spent lounging about under a tree – it was bliss.

My view for most of the afternoon
My view for most of the afternoon
Charlie and I chilling in the shade
Charlie and I chilling in the shade

Throughout the afternoon the water slowly returned and by 6pm the beach had disappeared and the Bay was full enough to dip our toes in it while sitting on the beach wall.

As the tide comes in the birds return
As the tide comes in the birds return
Getting deeper
Getting deeper
Blue skies at Taussat
Blue skies at Taussat
Finally the tide is in, time for a foot dip to cool off
Finally the tide is in, time for a foot dip to cool off

With the day cooling off a bit we headed back to Dave to find an email from Jamie and Rosie. Having read our last few updates they suggested we take a little holiday from blogging, sightseeing and racing around Europe and have some ‘us’ time. Having returned from travels themselves a time or two they know how hectic things will be when we get back home. I have to say it’s very temping, but we’ve now got a sort of vague plan (aren’t they always) of where to go and a definite plan to make the most of our last three weeks of freedom.

Ju x

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1 Comment

  1. you cant only have three weeks left! what will I read if not your blog of a dark August evening in Blighty! we also have a short stay in the Arachon basin and climbed the sand dune – wish we were there now!!!

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