Friday, 27 August 2010


Mad dogs and englishmen go out in the midday sun. And to wind-strewn, spray-splattered beaches, or so it seems. Only one other family occupied La Plage Des Vallees today, and they were english too. But I'm getting ahead of myself, rewind a few hours.

The literature we read told us Friday was market day in Val Andre and the parking restriction signs in the main square told us where it would be. Destination: shopping.

Whilst rain may deter a beach trip, shopping is not so easily swayed, and we braved the wind and rain to walk the stall and more around the central parking place in Val Andre. It felt much more local and friendly than Saint Brieuc, and with a wider selection of good and things to browse. We were glad

I turned to see a vendor giving Staple Gun Girl all his patter. I smiled as she simply nodded and he continued, her unable to say she didn't know what he was talking about. By the time I'd walked back to 'rescue' her, they were happily engaging in English, for he hailed from Devon but had been here for many years. We stopped and chatted a while, taking food and drink and business cards from his stall (as he has rental properties here) before I moved on, called away by the scent of olives from a nearby stand.

The favoured clothes stores were once again called upon to provide things for all to view, before heading home for lunch and a change as beach time awaited.

The weather has grown increasingly unfair as the week has progressed, turning from warm sunny sun to heavy, moody clouds, rain and gathering winds. Today was probably the worst, so we did what any sensible English family would do and donned our swim gear and hopped to La Plage Des Vallees.

From the sheer emptiness, you could swear the beach had been closed. The tide was further out than we'd ever seen it, leaving a long, damp stretch of sand to wander. The bright yellow buoys lay forlornly on the sand, no longer dancing with the waves, feeling sorry for themselves.

As we meandered down to the water's edge, the magic of the beach really began to show itself. A slither of water on the beach did not melt away in to the sand, but rested on the surface, leaving a film, a thin mirror to reflect the cliffs and sky. Standing in the waves and looking back up and across the beach gave a magnificent view. Just stunning. The picture below does not carry the splendour at all, I'm almost embarrassed to add it here, but add I must.

The cold theme continued as the four of us took an evening stroll round the town, the girls in their evening wear and heels. Very pretty indeed. Very cold moreso. The short wander, hiding in shops and doorways to last as long as possible was a lovely way to finish our week. We will bring better weather next time.

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