Last day in Arcachon

Breakfast merged into morning coffee on this overcast day as we plotted next year’s trips. We have had the Orkney Islands on the list for quite some time so the current plans are: shoreline cottage near Wick for a week followed by a house on South Ronaldsay. This will be in early summer. En route we will catch up with friends in Inverness and Aberdeen. Later next summer, trekking on the volcanoes in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands is on the cards which will motivate me to get fit enough by then. At some point we will return to the Bassin and walk the Sentier Littoral, all the way around it. We had a foray to the shops near the port for some essentials and spotted the local Ferrari now under its custom-made cover (no old tarpaulin for him). On the way back it was lunchtime and we passed the local police station. Several police cars parked outside and a dozen or more policemen were sitting around a large table with the barbecue fired up. After lunch, I sat on the terrace with a coffee doing some choral society admin. as rehearsals start again on Monday evening. Two crows were noisily conversing and as the weather was improving, the neighbours were busy in their gardens.

Corner of the garden at Villa le Golf
Corner of the garden at Villa le Golf

By 4pm the sky was blue so a walk along the beach was essential, past all the people topping up their tans. The bay has a limited variety of shells, broken oyster shells, tellins, cockles and a few small scallops. I did find one piece of seaglass to add to my collection. Now it’s time to make the apartment bedroom look less like a Tracy Emin artwork and get packing.

Enforced laziness

It was raining when we awoke but had eased off by the time we set out to visit the market and purchase more supplies. The port was quiet but nearer to the piers, the police were out checking that no-one had been sleeping on the beach. A brave couple who perhaps had not seen the weather forecast were setting up their chairs down on the beach. Provisions purchased we wandered back through the shops as we have some presents to purchase for birthdays. The rain returned with a vengeance and the cloud was descending over the sea as we headed back to the apartment. The couple seen earlier were rushing back to the shore.
Basket of Figs copy
As we dried off and had coffee, our landlady appeared with a basket of figs for us from the tree I had admired the other day. An ideal partner for my goat’s cheese lunch and they have solved the need to look for desert for the rest of the week. My much smaller tree back home has so far, produced three figs to eat this summer. The rest of the day was spent decluttering my computer of old files and numerous copies of photographs, a task that has been long overdue. Tomorrow’s weather forecast is much better.

Lazy day in Arcachon

We woke at 8.15 and had a very welcome slow breakfast before heading out to explore. Walking towards the coast and the port, we saw only dog walkers and joggers initially and then some people emerging from their hotels. Many of the houses in the Ville d’Automne resemble those seen in Nob Hill, San Francisco (if they were made of wood and jammed closer together on steep streets). As it was Sunday, the port and fish market were very quiet. Closer to the piers and beaches, we had a coffee and it struck me that Arcachon is very like Santa Monica without the wacky factor: it has wealth, beaches, palm trees, people exercising on the boardwalk and lots of bijou boutiques but no hippies/new age people.
Bag on the beach 24 Aug 2014
The only homeless person we saw was sitting on a bench with his morning beer and in reluctant conversation with a police officer. There was only one busker (a guy playing the guitar) on the promenade. Such things are obviously policed quite extensively. Not so the parking on Sunday; if you cannot find a space on the street you park on the centre of the mini-roundabout.
Parking in Arcachon 24 Aug 2014
The market, surpasses any in the USA and we will not need to visit another supermarket on this trip. After a lazy lunch with a glass of wine back at the apartment, I sat on the terrace, soaking up the sun for a while and continuing to read Dayton Duncan’s ‘Miles from Nowhere: Tales from America’s Contemporary Frontier’. The chapter I am reading at the moment on the Navajo Nation and their governmental seat in Window Rock, Arizona and the Canyon de Chelly are particularly interesting and poignant as we visited the area last year.