Having said goodbye to our vendange buddies yesterday, today it was time to say goodbye to Lamalou! After a month of grape picking, it’s time to pack up the van and slowly start to bimble our way home 😦
After a rather frustrating trip to the bank, where they were unable to give us our new bank cards so we could spend our vendange earnings – something to do with needing to verify a few things with head office, as we’re not official residents – we headed to the salon de thé one last time. Coffee drank and pain aux raisins demolished it was onto the market, to join the weekly gathering of GUB’s friends for white wine and oysters. It was lovely to catch up with people, some who we hadn’t seen since early-August, and enjoy a drop or two of wine in the sunshine. With the plan to set off early-doors tomorrow we made our excuses and head home around lunchtime to finish off the last few bits and make sure the blog was up to date!
We also made the most of GUB’s kitchen and enjoyed a slow-cooked lamb tagine whilst we had both space and limitless heat at hand! That’s one of the things we’ve noticed whilst on the road, you start to think about meals a little more creatively to minimise the cooking time! When it’s hot outside you want to spend as little time as possible in a small van over a hob – and there’s always a risk we might run out of gas!! I’m certainly looking forward to a bigger kitchen (and a toaster!!) when we finally make it home…
Up early we left Lamalou by 9 o’clock, with GUB waving us off before he headed down to the vide grenier (a French boot fair, which when translated literally means ’empty attic’) to bag a few bargains. With about six hours of driving ahead of us, we quickly got back into the travelling life with music, snacks and books (obviously not for Rob!!) all close to hand! We headed directly west of Lamalou, skirting Toulouse as we headed towards the coast and it was good to see a part of France we’d still not explored – although having spent about ten weeks in France this summer I’m not sure how!!
We grabbed a quick bite to eat near a lake, where a short walk to stretch our legs ended abruptly when a load of geese further down the path started hissing at us! Back in the van we soon began to see signs for Bayonne, Bourdeaux and Biarritz and before we knew it we’d arrived in Hossegor!
There were a few reasons for our trip to Hossegor – firstly as Rob loves to surf when he gets the opportunity and this was to be the board’s first outing this trip, secondly there was a Quiksilver Pro competition happening here this week and last, but definitely not least, an old friend from London was now living here with her family!! Our first stop was to see Ness and have a catch up after not seeing each other for nearly ten years, however with one of her boys poorly it was a rather quick hello over a cup of coffee (whilst also trying to play with her not so poorly twin) before leaving them to it for the evening.
We parked up the van in a quiet car park near Ness’ house and wandered down to the beach to check out the waves, the surfers and the sunset, before heading down to a beer festival we’d heard was on. I think everyone must have hit it hard the night before, as it was a rather tame crowd and none of the bands had got going yet, so we headed back to the van for food and a sleep after a long day on the road.