Rosie and the boys
This time last year Matthew and I went on our first road trip together, with two friends, Hannah and Anna. (3 Girls, 1 boy ... Matthew coped well) We borrowed Matthews parents car and drove from France to Portugal, wild camping along the way. (Click here if you'd like to read more about that trip). It was a great experience, as we had to embrace the challenge of finding somewhere (free) to camp every night BUT it also sparked a desire to be able to do a similar trip but in a van (setting up a tent every night isn't always ideal...or fun...especially in the rain). Since then, Matthew has actually bought a van (I completely love it) which has enabled us to do just that. SO, this easter, we planned another road trip, with two friends, Will and Ivor. This time me being the one outnumbered 3 - 1. We met up in Bordeaux, where Matthews family lives and then headed South, in search of surf...
Our first stop was Biscarosse. This is one of Matthews favourite places ever and where we spend our summer whilst he lifeguards, so it was pretty cool to be able to share it with Will and Ivor. The surf wasn't amazing, due to it initially being tiny/flat and then by the next day ridiculously massive! But we still got in and had a few sessions (Will absolutely frothing for the tiniest ripple). The weather was lush and we spent time chilling in the forest getting our camp set up down. Vans positioned near a bench, to be used for mixing and cooking, and trees to be used for the washing line and hammock! Perfect!
We headed South to a more sheltered spot in Capbreton where we managed to get a few surfs in. It was cleanand smaller, but super crowded, especially for winter. It must get pretty rammed during the summer! We camped in a picnic area/forest near by, and chilled in the carpark by the beach during the day. Quite a nice spot to skate, trees to hang up wetsuits and a nice atmosphere with other people in vans obviously with the same idea as us. In the town there's a few good cafes, although I have to confess (and I feel terrible) Will and I got distracted and forgot to pay our €6 for coffee...Not cool! So we've vowed to pay if/when we ever return (which I'm pretty sure one of us will).
Our next stop, Mimizan. Here we met up with Bastien, one of Matthews friends who recently visited us in Swansea, as well as all the lifeguards Matthew works with in the summer. He had a 3 day camp doing various exercises/challenges, so we chilled and watched for a few days. We hoped of course for surf, but the swell was massive and the beach couldn't hold it :( The lifeguards usually do a sea swim which had to be cancelled due to the conditions which was a shame as I recon it would have been pretty interesting to watch. SO, we skated, chilled, drank lots of coffee and went to the bar with the lifeguards! Very cool to catch up with everyone and attempt to practice our French a little more (I have a looong way to go.) Oh, and we also took advantage of the beach shower (it was definitely long overdue) as the water was actually running unlike on the previous beaches.
By the time we got to Hendaye, which is right on the Spanish border, we were itching for a good session. It was late afternoon when we arrived and the tide was pretty high (it works best on a mid tide). Over the next few days the surf was smaller and clean so we surfed a lot, making up for the previous dry days. We met some German guys (Tim and Paul) who were also staying in their van by the beach. Although a little busy, there was plenty of space and I had my best surfs of the trip. We'd surf, get out to eat, film each other surfing, get back in, then eat some more! I loved Hendaye :)
Our last stop before heading home was Bidart. We ended up on a fairly secluded beach, which was really cool. A few of the boys got in, but it was maybe 10ft and not super clean. There was a lot of water moving around, with little reefs creating several rips. Whilst eating our lunch we noticed a young boy getting in with his fins and bodyboard, he looked like he was maybe 9 years old. I was surprised because the conditions we're pretty rough, but he paddled out confidently (I was on edge...his mum was on the phone and didn't seem to realise he was paddling out, also, he was soo tiny compared to the waves!) Matthew got ready to go and get him. Anyway, long story short, Matthew chatted to the boys mum, informing her of the dangers and went to get him. He was fine, pretty confident in the water but also completely unaware of the dangers and the fact that he was caught in a rip. His mum didn't quite seem to get it either, despite being told her son could have drowned had there been no one around to help, she was adamant that her son was like a little fish. Getting caught in a rip on a calm day is dangerous, so when there are 10ft waves, it's definitely not to be taken lightly.
The trip was a lot of fun, we drank coffee, skated, mixed, chilled in the forest, I drew, we explored Bordeaux, experienced the Hossegor Braderie (a weekend where surf brands outlet stores sell everything off cheap-thousands of people desperately buying everything they can get their hands on...it was a mad house) and we surfed! Perhaps not as much as we'd have liked but thankfully we actually like each other so we managed to have a laugh.
Travelling with 3 guys, never boring!