Day 11…

…was a cycle routastic day. Pretty much the whole day has been on off road piste cyclable, and most of that has been smooth tarmac- brilliant.
We set off at usual time after the usual flapping about, and made very good speed. We had quite a long plan, but the kms dropped off as we sped along the paths. The weather was dull, but not to cold, and apart from a short spell of rain it was comfortable for hard cycling. Apart from a bit of a detour looking for the cycle route through Lacanau we were virtually going in a straight line down the coast through the cool fir forests we have been in for a couple of days, possible the biggest forest in Europe if Pete is to be believed.
We got a bit of a shock as we discovered the ‘nature’ of a campsite we passed a bit too late. Approaching a group of cyclists from behind (thankfully) it was only when we got close that we realised they were not wearing clothes; where to look?
I think we stopped a bit too long for lunch and The Major got a bit itchy, but the addition of Jam to the menu was an excitement.
The cycle route took us straight to Cat Ferret where we had another water crossing. This time a much lower budget system with about 40 of us crammed onto a boat and our bikes thrown on top! It also meant a long wait/break which meant a late arrival at the campsite. Across the water, where were headed, you could see in the distance the largest sand dunes in Europe. The scale was hard to tell from the distance, but now that we are camped at the very bottom of it I can confirm that it is huge. A short ride from the ferry to the next available campsite bought us right to it. With nearly 100km of fast cycling behind me I did not have the energy of the boys who immediately ran up it. Some claim to have done it in 10 mins, my count was nearer to 25mins.
This, of course, means that everything is very sandy; not my favourite environment. This added to my need for food and rest at this time of day made negotiations tough because everyone else’s priority was running up and down the big sand dune. The final plan was to get take away food from the site cafe, and take it up the dune to watch the sunset. I do enjoy a good sunset, so it was a fair deal, although I feel like I am just a hinderance to everyone else a bit.
The walk up this big dune was torturous. My thighs were already aching and I just didn’t have the energy to push myself up. Some kids went up and down three times in the time it took me to get up once!
The view was amazing, in all directions, but at that point I was tired and hungry and was more interested in the cold pizza than anything else. It was good all being up there together so I am glad I did it, but after a day of more exercise than I normally do in a week I am still not sure if the view was worth it or not.
Getting towards the end people are asking what the highlight has been. For me, it has been sitting around in the evening playing cards or something. So I was glad that is how ended today.

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