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16 October 2014
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France Trip

France Trip - November 2005 with Caws, Eards and Dan...

France Trip

Eards bought a new van, so we thought we'd christen it with a surf safari... we gave it a test run to Pembrokeshire, filled up the tank, printed off the forecast, threw in our boards (well... placed neatly) and did the overnight crossing from Portsmouth to Cherbourg.

Drove off the ferry early morning and popped to Mont St Michel for brekkie. Decided to head down to the Vendee region, knowing that the direction of the swell wasn't the best for Brittany.

van packed! Once we got there that afternoon we decided to check out La Sauzaie - a highly regarded reef.

This wasn't working so hopped back into the van and drove ten mins down the road to Les Dunes, where we had our first session in punchy 3ft surf.

Being a bit knackered, we lasted an hour, found a campsite near Les Sable d'Olonne and went to stock up our coolbox with munch and wine from E-Leclerc.

Got up early, checked the nearest beach and found the swell had dropped a little, so thought we'd drive down the coast a bit.

After checking Stormrider, we figured heading to Ile D'Oleron would be a good move and check out the consistent break at Vert Bois - Les Alassins.

The wave turned out to be smaller than hoped, but was a nice paddle in the sunshine and we caught a few decent rides amongst the local crowds.

alassins We then decided to head into St. Pierre for munch and look for a campsite. Couldn't find the latter, and came across a decent restauraunt / bar so thought, sod the camping, lets have a slap up feed.

Couple of vino's later, we introduced the infamous 'shithead' card game to the bar manager Stephane. After we'd necked a few beers he thought he could get the better of us and and tried pulling a few moves.

When we still beat him he got irate and challenged us to round the clock darts. Still beat him, and he wasn't best pleased - blurting obsenities in French and calling us 'Rost Beeefs'.

We made our exit after he led us to a dodgy club, then crashed in the van for the night.

Dissapointed with the smallish surf from the previous day, and hoping the forecast of decent swell coming into the Bay of Biscay over the next few days was true, we decided to drive down to the Gironde area and camp it up around Lacanau.


Drove past the famous surf club building and we were greeted by a biiig swell - albeit onshore lumpy uglyness. Frustrated we weren't gonna get wet today.

We headed into the caff next door to the Banana surf shop, had a feed and met a local surfer who said we'd be better off heading down to the Basque Coast, as the swell had a northern hint to it and would be producing better surf down there.


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