This year I got to have an two-week adventure in France with my daughter and it was every bit as fabulous as I had hoped. We started in Bordeaux on one of the hottest days of July.
Getting out of the city is often the most tricky part so we rolled the bikes on the Arcachon train and stayed there for a few days to mooch about and soak in the atmosphere. This deviated from the plan but made sense in the heat of the day and gave us time to explore the area at our leisure.
After a few days in Gujan-Mestras and the Bay of Arcachon we left for Biscarosse Plage. The route gets exciting here as you climb through pine forests adjacent to the great Dunes de Pyla.
The route to the lake at Biscarosse swirls up and down the massive dunes. It was quite busy with families and novices on the route looking like they were having fun! My daughter couldn’t resist a dip so we stopped next to the oh-so-on-trend Slow Village. White sands and very peaceful.
We fell in to a hotel with a bar and a swimming pool called Cote du Lac. Nice work. After a swim we took a Canadian canoe out on to the lake and I showed my daughter how to paddle (after we capsized!).
That night and the following day a storm raged (no photos). The next day we set out regardless. I got pains in my stomach from too much rich food and I had to be saved on the roadside by some helpful gypsy women. They gave me some medication and let me rest for a while by their caravan. It was an embarrassing but incredible experience. Needless to say that my daughter loved playing with the gypsy children and it was the highlight of her holiday!
Following that we got lost in Parentis went kms out of of way and ended up in Ychoux instead of Mimizan. Fortunately we got a train and ended up in Dax, a very sophisticated spa town crammed with shops, markets, hotels and restaurants.
We loved Dax so much we stayed two nights…
Using the train we rejoined the route in the south at La Benne and made our way north.
Capbreton and Soorts Hoosegor where the yachty, surfy cool young hang out.
Leon where we found a very cheap campsite surrounded by pines just 5 minutes from the lake.
Just north of Mimizan Plage where we found a campsite with a big Caribbean party – fun until 12 then just too loud for this slow-cyclist!
Mimizan to Gastes on the southern lake where we stayed for two days before going back to Bordeaux… See top!