The loveliness of the Landes

Finally we managed to get away for a few days. This summer has been busy, as we’ve had Workawayers staying for three months (more about them later), and they’ve kept us on our toes.

We made a whirlwind trip to Spain for our friends’ 50th wedding anniversary – a 1,500 mile round trip in 4 days. The rain in Spain is said to stay mainly on the plain. However, while we were there it seemed to be focused on the coast. It did nothing to spoil a wonderful visit, where we caught up with friends and family, and the storms over the sea made for some dramatic shots.

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Once back home, we loaded the dogs and parrot and trundled the caravan down to the Landes, on the Atlantic coast.

Before leaving we encountered a technical hitch – the parrot’s cage wouldn’t fit through the door of the caravan, so I had a slight inspiration (!) and bought a collapsible dog crate. This provided a very large cage for Rafiki, who took to it immediately. She travelled in a cat box until we reached the campsite, and went very happily into her temporary home.

Wow, what a gorgeous, gorgeous part of the world. We stayed on an unspoilt site, in a grove of oak, pine and bamboo, and our only neighbour was a gentleman called Sarah who wore pink frocks.

The weather was deliciously mild, 27C most days, mainly overcast, which suited me perfectly. I burn easily, despite all those years in Africa, and wilt quickly in the heat. And despite the grey skies, not a drop of rain. As it was late in the season the beaches were almost deserted, and the dogs were able to run off the lead.

How beautiful are the beaches? I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

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After five days we moved up to the Dordogne, to a stunningly beautiful campsite in a wooded valley. Unfortunately the whole time we were there it rained constantly and sometimes torrentially. The campsite had a small bar/restaurant which was well-frequented by the local expatriate community. While we were there they hosted a ladies’ knitting and nattering afternoon, and a darts match. We don’t knit or play darts, so it really wasn’t for us. And there were two Mr Grumpies on site who walked around with permanent scowls muttering. In retrospect we wished we’d stayed on the coast. But hey ho! We enjoyed sitting cosily in the van reading, and there were good walks for the dogs.

This was the first time for a few years that we’ve gone away with the dogs – and the first time with the parrot. If they could talk, I’m certain the animals would agree that we all enjoyed ourselves very much. If we have a mild autumn, we might try for another break.

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6 thoughts on “The loveliness of the Landes

  1. Well I have to say I am very disappointed Susie.
    Lovely beaches, grey seas and all that is all very well but will I be waiting in vain for the photo I so wanted to see – the lovely Sarah!!
    I don’t know how you manage to find these characters or perhaps we just aren’t as keen-eyed as you.
    And as for taking your parrot on holiday . . . . .
    I feel another book coming on.
    Well, I hope.

  2. We lived on the edge of Les Landes for several years, sadly there was no-one like Sarah! You could walk out of the house and go for 10 km without crossing a road – sadly the new TGV line to Toulouse is planned to cut straight through it. I miss those walks, I miss being able to go to the sea so easily and the wonderful beaches but I do admit that I like being closer to people and the better social life you get from being iin a more populated area.

  3. Those walks must have been magical, wonderful for the dogs. A great shame that so much of the area will be destroyed by the bloody LGV, although it’s so vast I suppose many parts will remain untouched. I think we could be very happy living down there. If we were rich, Arcachon would do very nicely. 🙂

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