Our plan, such as it was, was to pop in to see the town of Les Sables-d’Olonne, today. The sky above Billy was bright blue (my favourite colour) so we set off. Once we got beyond all the trees of our campsite and onto the roads into the exceedingly flat countryside, it became clear that fairly thick cloud cover existed almost everywhere but where we were. Our clear patch extended south towards La Rochelle; Les Sables-d’Olonne lies a little way north of us. Having found some sun we were not anxious to drive deliberately out of it so we changed tack to head south and check out La Tranche-sur-Mer instead.
La Tranche-sur-Mer turned out to be a typical French seaside resort town. We parked a little way out ‘cos I hate paying to park and walked in. We were really on the look out for some wi-fi ‘cos the blog postings are building up into a something of a backlog. One bar/crêperie claimed to have it but it didn’t open until midday. In the end, two extra trips back to the car to collect the laptop proved less appealing than a wi-fi-equipped crêperie so, rather than wait a little while, we skipped it and went on a necessary shopping trip instead.
After lunch, the sky had cleared up nicely and we had a lot more of that wonderful blue. So, we hopped on the ol’ bicycles again to try some more of the pistes cyclables (cycle tracks) and to investigate an interesting-looking estuary area called Pointe du Payré about 10 miles west of us. It looked as though it might be a good place for wildlife. (Aside: it strikes me that there is something decidedly perverse about an area that looks ironing-board flat – a mole hill would constitute a mountain around here – but that has the hilliest cycle tracks we’ve ever encountered.)
On the way we stopped to watch more people lying on a beach, yawned then continued. Another brief diversion up a side track found and impressive old abbey … which was "closed for work until 200-"! (Clearly somebody was having trouble with their project plan.) The headwind made some of the journey there a tad more difficult but we eventually reached our goal. A wooded area at the end of the road looked promising so we headed through it to … yet another beach with more people sunning themselves. We’ve seen black kites and the like cruising over some of the fields on the landward side of the main roads where there is some marsh habitat but this area’s focus is quite clearly sun-worshipping on the beach.
Cycling to nothing but beaches is good exercise though.