Winter Beach

Maurice and I made a quick trip to our beach place. Things are pretty dead there in the winter but it was a nice break. (This was before Christmas).

The local church was prettily lit.

A little jazz band was there playing Christmas music.

The Wednesday market was small compared to summer but the florist was still there.

I had a good seafood salad with a tropical twist.

There had been a big storm the week before we arrived and sand was piled up along the beaches. Some of this is protected sand dunes and I’m wondering if they will clear away some of the sand or leave it.

Another beach view. The fences are almost totally covered.

A little of the music that I recorded.

Along the Coast

We have made friends with a very nice French couple who, this is such a plus for me, love to speak English. He is a font of information about the area and they are always out exploring. He told us about the coast area north of la Rochelle so once nice, sunny day, Maurice and I set out to explore it.

We could see the bridge that crosses to Île de Ré and the coast of the island itself.

Saw this place just covered with junk, even a decorated Christmas tree.

This sign was in front. It wasn’t open but maybe it was a shop.

We crossed a bridge over this water running into the ocean as it was low tide-as you can see by the grounded boats-which wouldn’t be visible once high tide arrived. These extremes of tides are what make this such a good oyster farming area.

We were too early for lunch but this place is on my list to try sometime. It just looked classy.

We ate instead at a place with this view which had good food but really slow service which didn’t matter as we had no place to be.

It was time for the full moon which I missed that night but when I got up early the next morning, as is my wont, and it was still dark, I got to see it setting although not to totally into the sea as a marine layer hid it.

A Bike Ride

Since it is so flat around here, we bought some bikes to explore the area in either direction from our new place on the beach-Provence was a different story and I never rode a bike there.
We went way past where I usually manage to run and found some really nice homes reminding me of California beach towns, a little nature reserve with a path running through it and different views of the ocean than what we usually see. (I think we have the nicest view with a stretch of beach in front of the water). It was a cold day after a recent very warm day-spring is such a fickle season-but there was sun so we bundled up and headed out.

I’m particularly taken by these little shacks for fishing at the end of long, private piers. I’ve only seen them once before and love to photograph them. They are called Carrettes.

A closeup on one. Can you see that net suspended above the water? It is lowered into the water and then fish are pulled up, usually small ones.

A look down the coast.

Another look at a net.

You can see how long the pier is.

Something different. I love finding irises blooming.

Ile de Re

While we were on the Atlantic coast we made a trip to an Island I’ve heard about for a long time called Ile de Re.

It was a pretty little island not as I had imagined it, all rustic and nautical with old stone cottages, but very modern for the most part and full of what looked like expensive homes.

All sorts of salt products are for sale in the stores just as you might expect.

Always nice to find a heart shaped design. This was on a huge beach there.

I liked this too. There were many rocks out if the water. When the tide went out, it went way out and there were rock pools to explore.

A view of the harbor at night from the window in our hotel room.

A boy jumping from a very high way into the harbor. It was cold water too.