La Tranche-sur-Mer, Sunday, 30th October 2011


Today’s been a beautiful hot day and we’ve spent most of the afternoon walking on the beach, watching the big waves and the surfers trying to get beyond the swell and ride them.

La Tranche-sur-Mer during tide out

It was another quiet night in the woods at V.I.P. Pêche campsite, and, as the clocks went back last night, we had another hour to play with, except that out of habit, we woke up just after 7 am, as it would ha e been 8 by our body clocks.  So we were ready to leave by 8.30 am and, being so early on a Sunday morning, the roads were empty and it was all easy driving, except for the thick fog in places, where we couldn’t see beyond 50 metres or so.

We headed west on the N149/E62 towards Parthenay, D949B to La Châtaigneraie, where we took the D938T south and had a coffee break at Mervent, which looked charming, even in the fog and where I took some pictures to capture this eerie sight.  After Mervent, we joined the D208 southwest until it joined the D949 to Luçon and Pont Rouge, where we finally joined the D747 to La Tranche-sur-Mer.

We arrived just after 12pm and went for long walk on the beach to make the most of the sunshine, then we had lunch and a short siesta and went out again for a longer walk as it was too hot to be in van (29 C).  We drew curtains across and opened some windows to cool it down, but resisted the windscreen cover, as we like the beautiful light of la Côte de Lumière, just to the north of here.

La Tranche-sur-Mer with tide coming in

It was curious to see how the tide had come right in, as when we arrived 3 hours earlier, it was at least 300 metres out and lots of people were picking mussels, clams and other shell food.  I took loads of pictures, including more Nazi bunkers!  There’s also a very interesting and long stone wall in the sea built to facilitate the collection of seafood, something I’d never seen before.

We’re hoping to eat out at the sea-front hotel – Le Petit Bonheur – just a few metres down the road from this car park by the lighthouse, so I’m looking forward to enjoying some of that local sea food.

This car park is very full now, even as the sun is setting (6 pm) and the surfers are coming out of the water.  I wonder what it’d be like in the height of summer!


La Tranche-sur-Mer with tide right in

La Tranche-sur-Mer's sunset and surfers heading back.

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