Surfing in Biarritz 2004

I can’t find the words to sum up how great the past week surfing has been. Great surf, great food, lots of sleep and the most fantastic views from our balcony. A few memorables…

  • Two bakeries within 3 minutes of the apartment for Sarah to choose between for pastries and baguettes every morning.
  • Sarah’s brother Peter, standing on a surfboard within two hours of first being handed one (after much tuition from Sarah).
  • The sun setting over the sea, with the mountains to the left, and the surfers in the sunlight reflecting off the water.
  • Gin and tonic and the regional newspaper, trying to work out the story about the florists shop.
  • Fog descending on Biarritz one night, leading us to sit outside drinking whiskey-flavoured beer in a bar overlooking the ocean.
  • The lovely lady from the apartment rental agency who spoke no English, but welcomed us in basic French and addressed all her comments to me, bearer of the credit card, speaker of little French, instead of Sarah, bearer of no credit card and often the translator.
  • My arms aching so much that I woke in the night and took pain killers, catching a glance, on my way from the kitchen to the bedroom, of the moonlight on the ocean.
  • The sun beginning to set, as we caught the last waves of the day.
  • Eating lots and lots of Les Crocodiles, fantastic french chewy sweets we discovered last time and which taught me the French for crocodile. (It’s, um, crocodile.)
  • Watching Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra on French TV, with Sarah translating for me, and giggling whenever they talked about crocodiles.
  • Walking the walk of shame, past the professional surfers on our way to Cote de Basque, to practice our surfing just metres away from pro surfers warming up for a competition.
  • Following the wet footsteps of a diver, back from where we passed him, 400 metres to where he had pulled himself, implausibly, on to the road from a sheer rock face.
  • Eating tapas in a cafe, guessing the contents of the menu, drinking good wine.
  • British tourists, bringing me back to reality with a bump at the airport, with their refusal to try even the smallest amount of French to order a baguette with ham and cheese. Reminding me, horribly, of the officious people at Liverpool Street station on the outward journey.
  • Helping a French visitor at Stansted airport, and speaking just enough French to help her on her way.

And now we’re back, to the crowded broken tube, and our view of the squat. Sob.