Living and Building a home in the heart of France
5th July 2006
One of the reasons for moving to the centre of France was that it would be easier to explore some of the best parts of France, as well as northern Spain and Italy. As we've been somewhat busy building a house though, we really haven't got away much since we moved here nearly two years ago. Determined not to let the summer slip away without at least one trip, we decided to spend a few days at the coast. We pulled out the old tent, surely its 25th year as our faithful provider of cheap holidays (and it was second hand when we bought it) and pitched it on the lawn to check it only had holes where they were supposed to be. It's patched up, the inner tent is hideously sixties flower power naff, one leg is different from the others, but it still works.
In fact, seeing it pitched on our lawn, this looks like a nice place to camp!
So we set off for the island of Oléron, linked by viaduct to the mainland near Royan, on the Atlantic coast. It's a great holiday island, with long sandy beaches, dunes, rockpools, many campsites, a few hotels and lots of individual holiday homes, but also with large areas of protected forest criss-crossed with cycle paths. On the landward side are great areas of oyster beds and salt pans. We heard mostly French voices, very few English, Dutch or German - this is where the French come to relax.
We headed for La Perroche, half way up the 30km-long island on the Atlantic side. A 3-star site found on the internet, quiet enough to give some privacy, and just a short walk through the dunes to a beach of sand, pebbles, rocks and rockpools. And a short walk further round, this beach, long, curving, sandy, lightly blown by a warm breeze onshore and a great place to just sit and stare out to sea.
It's a calm peaceful place with space to breathe and distance to see.
One of many enticing paths to the beach.