Since I left the town of Arcachon to travel south along the Atlantic coast I have seen little sign of life. The towns in this region are primarily beach resorts and although extremely popular and busy in the summer months they are deserted during the winter. Shutters are closed up at the seafront villas and ‘closed’ signs are hung in the windows of the restaurants and souvenir shops. I’m surprised that the surfers are not providing some out-of-season business but even the surf schools and shops are closed.
Although quiet in November, these towns offer an opportunity to experience the coastal beaches and salt-water lakes without small kids crying over dropped ice cream and sunburnt beach-lovers arguing over where to find the best burger. It’s nice to walk along the beach between the dunes and the ocean and only see a dog walker in the distance or a fisherman trying his luck beyond the crashing waves.
Of course, retired French couples in their motorhomes have also figured this out and so the best beach spots are still busy, especially those that provide electricity, without which they wouldn’t be able to keep up with their favourite soap opera.