Joy of joys - went to the seaside yesterday!
As the day promised to be fine, we set off in the batmobile, hood down, for Lacanau-Océan, on the far side of Bordeaux: round the rocade, turn left and keep going west until you hit the Atlantic. It's a "proper" seaside town: pink, yellow and blue paint in abundance; rows of small shops selling the French equivalent of "kiss me quick" hats; ice cream in every hue and flavour and every other shop a pavement cafe.
We found a seafood restaurant (paella good, sardines not so) and sat under an awning watching the world go by. In August, the town heaves, but now the pace is more leisurely; mainly the elderly and couples with toddlers have their pick of places to eat.
Afterwards we strolled down to the front. The beach is breath-taking. Look left and as far as the eye can see there is golden sand. Look right, and as far as the eye can see there is golden sand - just a small slice of the 150-odd miles of beach that stretches from the mouth of the Gironde to the foothills of the Pyrenees.
We bought a folding chair for Tod so he could sit and read while I splashed about in the small surf (yesterday was a quiet day), wading out to chest level and then attempting to swim in on the rollers as they broke, puffing and panting back out again with sea in my eyes and ears, feeling about 8 years-old. I splashed my way around the tourists learning to surf and enviously watched the instructors effortlessly catch the waves that took them almost to dry land.
Driving back, (for Tod's entertainment) we detoured across country to join the D2, the road that follows the Gironde estuary and weaves between the Grand Cru vineyards and chateaux. Under cloudless blue skies we turned south towards Margaux and Bordeaux. A journey up to Paulliac and the Chateaux Lafite Rothschild and Latour will have to wait for another day.
We arrived home tired and happy. It was a good day. I sat on the edge of the bed last night and brushed out the sand from between my toes.