Monday, October 10, 2011

A few days off: The Soca / Hendaye coast road

After the excitement of Bayonne and Biarritz we stopped on the coast road which afforded a fine cliff top view of the sea.  There is a parking place for people to get to the cliff edge, admire the view, and a sign which pointed to a coastal path which herself suggested would make a good walk. 

We went a few hundred metres along it until we reached a little bay and looked at the rock formations, drift wood, bits of flotsam, jetsam, shells and other dead animals one finds on most seashores. Heading back up the beach I turn back towards the road, she is inclined to continue along the path. The look on my face seemed to say ‘I’d rather sit in the sun with a beer’ (I am rather good at that particular expression) which prompted her to suggest that we do the walk tomorrow morning before heading off. This is a compromise I am happy to accept. Many a slip and all that.

Back home, Tricia runs a local walking group, the Amblers. It comprises walkers who do not want to yomp over hill and dale but prefer to stroll from a car park to a tea shop a few metres away but taking a diversion of several kilometres through fields and things. That way they park, walk, have tea and their cars are just a short stroll from the tea table.

Personally, I don’t get the ‘walking’ thing. When I hear of people going on walking holidays my first thought is ‘Why?’ For me walking is a way of getting from one place to another if you don’t have a car, bike or tractor. It is a means, not an end. I have tried many times but the best it ever gets is ‘OK’. While we are at it I don’t really get the tea shop thing either. A bar yes, tea shops don’t do it for me. But I digress.

We decide that this parking place is suitable for an overnight stop. It As the evening proceeds we do the beer thing, have something to eat and wonder what the hell is going on in the fields up the road where blokes in high visibility vests are building what look like toilets and putting up flags in an big field. I suggest that it looks like preparations for a boot market which could be part of the fete which is advertised for the next day. Tricia then becomes convinced that they will close the road and evict us from the lay-by at silly o’clock at night. I manage to persuade her that we will be fine and that the boot market . I only take one photo of the view (above) and spend the rest of the evening watching a mouse-like rodent of some sort scuttling about in the field next to the road.

Cut to 7am. We are spark out. It is still dark. There is a VERY LOUD knock on the door, a man in a high visibility vest says they are closing the road for the fete and we have to go NOW! 

The chagrin of being completely wrong and herself being completely right is mollified by the fact that we do not have time for the walk – shame.

Verdict: It is an ill wind indeed that blows no good.

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