First thing this morning we bad our fond farewells to Steve and Rosemary who were up à bonne heure packing their camping gear ready for their drive north to Arçais. They are spending the following week in a gîte belonging to our mutual friends, Mike and Linda Eaton.
Carol and I settled on a bike ride back into Marseillan to see if the oyster festival that we spotted yesterday was looking any livelier today. It was. Today the trestle tables and cunningly placed packing cases (as tables and chairs) outside the seafood stalls were being well used by an enthusiastic public.
Bizarrely, Woburn in Bedfordshire, which is about as far away from the sea as it’s possible to get in England, has an annual very well-attended oyster festival in early September. We are usually travelling at that time and sadly tend to miss it. Having happened across Marseillan’s welcome offer of an alternative, we were not about to pass it up and settled down to celebrate Carol’s birthday weekend a second time. Marseillan does seem like a more natural venue for an oyster festival since the Bassin de Thau, on which Marseillan stands, is full of oyster farms. We shared a dozen large, plump oysters, and absolutely excellent they were, too. We both agreed that these were in the running for being the best oysters we have tasted.
Cycling back was tough going into what seemed like a Mistral-like northerly headwind. We found a sheltered, cross-country VTT (Vélo Tout Terrain) route which turned the slog into a more enjoyable experience. I much prefer the French term for “mountain bike” – “all terrain bike” seems like a more apt description to me.