Moliet et Maa – Cabreton (just north of Bayonne) (48 kms)
I had failed, last evening, to find anyone to pay for my stay and I was anxious to ensure the legitimacy of my accommodation. At exactly 08.00 the café opened and I not only settled my account but enjoyed a very substantial breakfast.
I had provisionally arranged to rendezvous with Alan at around midday and had chosen to do so before reaching the hustle and bustle of Bayonne. I have to admit to lacking the confidence to successfully locate him in a busy town. Thus, I had plenty of time to wander along the last few kilometres and take an unpressured surveillance of the countryside. Sadly, it was predominantly trees that were in evidence punctuated by numerous, now closed, very large campsites which offered everything for a jolly family holiday!
More interesting from my viewpoint was an eight kilometre (at least) long stretch of beach on which the surf pounded. Although hidden from view by extensive and quite steep sand dunes, access to the beach was provided by numerous steps and boardwalks. I later discovered that the surf here is so good that international events take place on a regular basis – but not today although there was no lack of surfers and their hangers on.
Needless to say, I arrived two hours early and resigned myself to a long wait alongside the river enjoying the sunshine; an area I shared with a constant stream of runners, dog walkers and fishermen. For the first time on this coastal ride, I did see fish actually caught and kept, presumably, to eat.
My phone rang at around 11.30 and, not unexpectedly, I and my man, were not in the same place! Carefully describing where each of us was, and deciding it was easier for me to move with a bike, than Al with a car, we finally met by the beach. I was both pleased and relieved to be reunited but also sad that another ride had ended. I look forward to the next one and hope that, on that occasion, it will be another shared undertaking. Throughout this trip, Alan had assured me that he was only ever about four hours away and this thought did provide a comfortable assurance that I was never isolated. However, sharing experiences is so much more fulfilling even if one does have to make inevitable compromises! My thanks also to those of you who encouraged and commented on my short venture and I look forward, as ever, to continuing this blog in the future.
(Mentally and physically strong, a love of life, and an enduring spirit of adventure - I am so proud of you. As we're over 70 next year, can we do a Saga all inclusive cruise!!!!! Ed.)