Basking in Basque

swimming is fun

After our brief stay in Paris we decided to head for the south coast to soak up some sun. On a recommendation from Carl and Brigitte we came to Biarritz, which is in the very south west corner of France, on the Atlantic ocean. I am loving it here: beach, sun, surf, French cuisine — c’est la vie.

We found a terrific campground just outside of Biarritz which is easy to get to by bus or on foot. It is end of the high season so we practically have the place to ourselves. The beach is secluded and empty compared to the main beaches in Biarritz or St. Jean de Luz. We have had sun the entire time. We would be quite content to stay longer if the campground wasn’t closing for the season in a couple of days.

our campground beach

During the day, if we aren’t hanging out on our beach, we’ve been hanging out on the beaches of Biarritz or St. Jean de Luz. In the mornings we usually do a little grocery shop at the farmers’ market, where we pick up the best croissants in the world for breakfast, and some breads, fruits, and cheeses to last the day. In the evenings we’ve gone out for affordable and scrumptious French tapas. Mark and I like to think we are gourmets like the French, but really I think we are gourmands (mass consumers of food).

les croissants mmmmmmm

basque tapas

A couple of days ago, feeling ambitious and excited watching all the other surfers, we rented a surfboard. Right now in several areas near Biarritz there is actually a pro surf tour event taking place. We really wanted to try and see some of the action — the world’s best surfers are all here competing. However, the surfing conditions are so unpredictable that they don’t decide where the heats will happen each day until the morning of. All the beaches where the competition takes place are an hour or so apart, and they start first thing in the morning. The location is only announced over the internet or through phone text messages. We would have required a car and a phone/wifi connection or made friends with a local surfer to make it out, none of which we were able to do, although we did make friends with an old ferry boat captain on a bus bench. Surfing wasn’t really his bag.

We also wanted to catch a rousing match of cesta punta. Cesta punta is the Basque local sport where opponents basically try to throw a ball at a squash court-like wall as hard and fast as they possibly can so that the other team can’t return it. They use big wicker scoops to throw and catch the ball or they just use their arms. It’s like glorified Red Ass. Sounds fun! Mark wants to try it out, but I can definitely foresee an injury there.

We are leaving today from this magical place and heading to Bilbao in Spain. We’ll still be in the Basque region, so we hope to still catch more sun and a game of cesta punta if were lucky. We aren’t saying goodbye to France for good quite yet though. We’ll probably be coming back through on our way to either Italy or Switzerland. A plus tard, France.


  1. Debbie Rosen

  2. Your descriptions make me soooo jealous! But so happy that you’re experiencing these wonderful places!! Love you both!

    Yummmmm! Miss you guys. Have so much fun. You are the two amigos…ridin the rails to Spain.

    yes L.L. that’s right, we’re riding the rails. You’re so dorky :p And you’re an amigo too. Mark’s the 4th Amigo. My little buttercup.

    Oh man, that last photo looks delicious! Looks like you guys are having a blast out there.

    Speaking of food, are you guys going to head do to Morocco while in Spain? I love Moroccan food.

    Thinking of you guys! Biarritz sounds wonderful. I’m glad you had such a lovely time in France. Looking forward to hearing about your Spanish adventures!

  3. Mother Goose

  4. Just thought I’d let you know it’s freezing in Kanata. So much so that Metric is on the bed everynight along with TEX no less. Love all your updates, please keep them coming. Wish you loads of fun in Spain. Lots of love… Mother Goose

  5. Inigo Montoya

  6. Meg, Speaking of Buttercup…from your photos (Biarritz and St. Jean de Luz) aptly titled (Cool stairs on the waterfront)…Looks very similar to where I attempted to avenged my father potential murderer. But it turned out to be the wrong guy. Oh well…on to the next “Hello my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die”.

    Sorry I missed you in my native land of Spain.

    Yes, speaking of Buttercup!

Leave a Comment

Your email will not be published.
Required fields are marked *.