Bonjour 🙂 We have just spent the past 5 weeks kicking back in Southwest France at an epic Surf Lodge in Vieux Boucau. Such a rad time! We have both been to Paris before so didn’t feel the need to re-visit, choosing to spend our time oceanside instead 😀 *Sidenote: A few pictures were courtesy of the media team that stayed for a week-merci beacoup! The dodgy/fuzzy looking pics are taken by an iphone most likely in control of someone under the influence of wine*
If you find yourself in this beautiful part of France be sure to stop by The Atlantic Surf Lodge! They provide surfing lessons, yoga, accommodation and meals generally for 1 week but a few guests would swing by for a little less, a few for 2 weeks and maybe some even a little longer (Ilse :P). We stayed in a cosy caravan and helped out in exchange for free food and accom. Sweet deals right?! Andddd we surfed… A LOT. Summer is generally the time for no swell in most of West Europe but we managed to score rather nicely…
We had so much fun and got to meet so many awesome people, you know who you are! Generally the guests are from Germany/Switzerland, so yep a little crazy learning German words in France but that’s ok 😛 Genau, genau, genau! We did get to meet 2 French girls though-and they are hilarious! Thanks for teaching me all the French curse words 😛 Tu dechire! Hope to see all of you wonderful people in some other parts of the world, with good surf of course! 😉
There is a bike track (that quite possibly follows the whole west coast of France) and woods all around- right next to the ocean- so cool! Spent many an afternoon chilling out/stretching out/eating delicious French treats/snoozing in the forest 🙂
A general day in the life, wake up and go surfing, come back have breaky/do our chores, either back to the beach pending surf conditions or into the forest or chilling in the backyard of the lodge before Dan would start with prepping dinner and I would (try to) head to yoga at 6pm 🙂 Danke Ela! Her lessons are both dynamic and restorative and a lot of attention spent opening the shoulders (exactly what most surfers need!) Such a fantastic teacher! Mega grateful. After that head home for dinner then if we have any energy left head to the beach for sunset beers or ginger tea 😛 or hang out at the lodge 🙂 The sun doesn’t set till late (dark at about 10.30pm) so there are plenty of daylight hours and time for activities 🙂
Hossegor/Capbreton is about 25/30mins south so we visited a couple of times, Hossegor is a lot more touristy but it’s nice to see and Capbreton has plenty of surf spots along the longgggg stretch of beach.
Just so happened that we were in France for Fete de Bayonne. Jodie and Uli (Lodge owners) took us out for a very French lunch (thanks again!) and then we made our way to Bayonne for the opening. What a hoot. Everyone wears white with red, very very surprisingly my shirt escaped the night with only 1 splotch of red wine on it 😀 I think I must’ve played a pretty convincing Frenchie as so many people were trying to talk to me in French! Je ne parle pas le Français! Haha! One guy looked at the bottle of red I was wandering about with and told me no, no no, this is not a good wine….. in my defence it was very cheap (€3) haha! Alcohol is SO cheap in France as well as cigarettes if that’s your thang. You can get a good bottle of wine for like €6…I needed a bottle with a screw top so had to stoop low. Hannah, Teca, Dan and I (fellow volunteers from Austria and Brasil) had a grand ol time.
Awesome times with awesome people. Missing the early morning (on those occasions when I actually did get out of bed) surf missions in the VW beast, cranking the Flower Power CD! Team Aus/NZ/Austria/Brasil – good vibes, good times 🙂
We even stayed on longer as guests once our time was up. That’s how good it is 😛 A big swell was coming and Dans’ friend Sheep made his way over from Barcelona for 2 days of surfing! La Graviere where they hold the WSL was quite possibly the biggest waves I’ve ever seen that still held their shape-insane! 2 guys out getting towed in..Sorry there are no pictures of this but wholy guacamole! We went a little further South to La Piste (Capbreton) where it was possible to paddle out and the waves where still decent. This part of France is all beach breaks and they are quite spread out, if you’re here chasing waves then a camper would be ideal or at least a car 🙂
The surf gets quite crowded in Vieux (mega crazy insane crowded by my Sunshine Coast standards) but there are a few spots around that you might only have to share with a handful of others. Strange sensation wearing a wetsuit when the air temp is hot 😛 but sometimes on the really really hot days with no breeze you could get away with a wetsuit top or just bikinis/boardies.
Sometimes while surfing I get annoyed after a few bad waves or if it’s too crowded but then after a few (long) minutes I can finally work out what day of the week it is and 5 times out of 7 (lets be honest 7/7) the answer is give me all the bad waves you got, this time a few months ago I would’ve been at work! And ain’t nobody got time fo dat 😛 The sticker in the VW van sums it up nicely:
Would you believe that I spent only a tiny bit more money during a month in France than I would on public transport in a month for my daily work commute when I was living in Perth? (Less if you equate €1 to $1!). The opportunities are out there if you search hard enough! Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive…We found this opportunity through the workaway.info website (which I stumbled upon by complete accident!). Jump on and have a look. Here is our how to use post about it: Workaway. There are also numerous other websites out there too! If travelling is what you really really want to do deep down, then there are SO so so many ways to make it happen.
Really grateful for such a fun time, no doubt we’ll be back for another summer 🙂