I never thought I´d loved so much cycling in France.
I spent quite some time in this country because, well, it is not that tiny.
ROUTE (on the Atlantic coast):
- Lakabe – Saint Jean Pied de Port
- Saint Jean Pied de Port – Bayonne – Labenne
- Labenne – Cap de l´Homy
- Cap de l´Homy – Biscarosse plage
- Biscarosse plage – Dune du Pyla
- Dune du Pyla – La Porge Ocean
- La Porge Ocean – L´Amelie
- L´Amelie – Rochfort
- Rochfort – La Rochelle
After reaching the highest point on the Pyrenees exactly right after passing Roncesvalles I was finally lucky enough to “ride” for 30km down to Saint Jean Pied de Port. More than 1000m drop of pure paradise. Sometimes I also had to slow down and be sure not to crash against a tree but well, you can imagine how did I look on my bike when I got across other cyclists riding in the opposite direction (the “right” one).
Truly brave, it is so steep that you really need to be clearly motivated.
So well done to all of you who managed to ride from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles. Clap Clap Clap. Bravo.
I left the Camino de Santiago exactly where most of the pilgrims get started.
It was so funny to hear people speaking french all of a sudden, especially when the first french sign I could read was “fromage”. Quite french.
After my last Menú de Peregrinos I slept well for many hours in a row to wake up very early with all the others pilgrims who were heading to Spain.
Before crossing Bayonne, a colorful and a lively city on the ocean I got lost as usual into the french woods. Not funny. Lots of mud. Perfect location for Hansel & Gretel.
The Atlantic coast is very fascinating, changing fast, and quite empty in May during the week. There are many beautiful and calm spots for camping, close to long bright beaches. And you just need to follow the Velodyssey, the cycle route which will bring you directly to La Rochelle.
At Cap de L´homy I met my father who wanted to join me for a a week. It seems like if you want to take time you have to be either unemployed or retired. And here we go, daughter and father, unemployed and pensioner.
It is not worthy to wait for retirement, if you did not notice they keep telling us that our life expectation is increasing and to maintain economic health we need to work more and more. So we might need to retire at the age of 80 quite soon. Get there if you can.
Well, this is a choice, but I personally understood that life is no more than today, a continuous present. So, let´s make it worth.
During my trip I met many people on holiday who were just dreaming of a different life. A dream for their pension, they literally said that, 35yo guys saying “I will do that when I retire”. We all have the power to change things, and I decided to call dream what I see when I go to sleep, all the rest most of the times are feasible projects. You just need to act and do not be afraid to change or fail. Not so obvious I know.
Anyway, let´s get back to France.
I loved the Atlantic coast, wild and warm. I am not talking about the weather but people, food, atmosphere.
The nature is striking, it is a pity I did not do wild camping here.
Riding on the Atlantic coast was relaxing, thanks to quite flat paths and the fragrance in the air, no perfume, just Eau de l´Ocean.
We spent a couple of days at the Dune Du Pyla, an incredible 110m high sand dune in the middle of the vegetation. This spot is famous because people come here to do paragliding. If you climb up the hill that is what you will see together with a great 360° view.
We arrived there just in time to enjoy the dune, the sun and mount the tent because right after a thunderstorm came in with all its fury.
I never experienced something like that. The lightnings were exactly over our heads. It was laud, bright but dark and scary. To be honest, I was terrified.
Thanks darling tent, thanks for protecting me and to face that crazy wind (my father´s tent got swamped just so you know)
So well, get ready for unexpected changes in the weather conditions when cycling on the Atlantic coast.
🌬 🌩 ☔️ 🌧 ☀️ 🌈