It is Friday, the sun fights its way back to the West coast and we have a couple of days yet to come. Girls like us should not be kept away from the sea for too long and thus we head for the famous Dune du Pilat.
6 km away from Arcachon downtown, a choice of camp sites waits for Linda and me to check them out. The yelloh! Panorama du Pyla camping is the only one with direct beach access and sea view at least on some places. While most areas spread out in the shadow of high trees on hilly ground, a hand full of places is located directly on the shoreline. Based on detailed analysis of wind, sun, view and further comfort factors, Hector settles down a few meters from the edge.
Not only do we have a 3-side panorama view on blue sea, blue sky and the enormous dune, we are furthermore surrounded by flying men.
After all we have seen those last travelling days (several camp-sites, cave of Lascaux, two castles, two cities and a lot of landscape), we now enjoy regarding the sea for quite a while. During low tide the oysters on the next sand bank are visible, while during daylight paragliders pass by above our heads. Every now and then we spend sunny hours at & in the pool, get suddenly stressed for keeping up with the ridiculous opening hours of the camping’s supermarket and go down to the beach. With the city of Arcachon being some kilometers away and with the steep, hilly landscape in between, we are fine with the lazy mode that slightly took over.
Right beside our campground, Europe’s largest dune piles masses of fine sand up to 110 meters. Thanks to our home-base, we do not care about parking fees or tourist crowds on wooden paths, instead we just take a side step and start our walk already on 2/3 level of the total height. With Saturday, sun and wind coming together, innumerable paragliders take off from the dune and fly up and down all day long.
We walk straight to the top and enjoy the sensation of an endless desert horizon.
It is a very particular surrounding, bringing both your mind to a rest and your head to the creation of funny ideas. While the sea-side already has a reasonable slope, the other side seems to fall straight down to the forested ground behind. One guy jumps down there and lets gravity take down his half-naked body for 30–40 meters. Due to the sand peeling, his chest is already shimmering red, but the smile in his face tells us that he does not care too much about it.
It is wonderful here: the landscape is so special, the sea lays bright blue at our feet and the fooling around in this endless sand box is a lot of fun. Linda jumps up, sails down, obviously carried away by life, the universe and everything.
The joy that brings a simple (but huge) quantity of sand is indescribable. We run down, step up, jump high and fall down again until we have a fling and change for a bath in the sea.
In fact, there is not a lot you can do around the Dune du Pilat. You can wander the dune up and down and across, you can swim in the unruffled sea, spend time at the pool and that is it so far. Unless you are a paraglider, then it is sort of a paradise with the most gorgeous view of all.
Finally, on our third day here, I remember my holiday mission: try out whatever is offered! Lucky us, the paragliders that offer tandem flights are right around the corner and we agree to fly with them later that day. Unlucky us, the strong wind decides to cease just that morning, destroying our flight plans. This eases our financial cash flow (most of the things at the camp-site have to be paid in cash with no cash dispenser being around) but is a bit disappointing anyway. We compensate it with perfect beach weather, delicious dinner, dancing at the beach and some profiteroles. And with the wonderful plan to come back some day.