Over the Hills and Far Away -4- Beautiful Biarritz
The weather worked its charms for us in Biarritz, and we also dropped on a fabulous parking area provided by the local council. It promised all the motorhome facilities, including electricity, for 10 euros a night. Looking for somewhere to pay, we discovered a sign that informed us that a police representative would come round to collect the fee.
Getting settled in, we took the bikes off and headed into Biarritz itself. The coastline there is simply beautiful, with rock formations that have weathered over the millennia to create islands and archways that give it a truly unique appearance. The harbour is another amazing creation, it has been built in and around these formations in such a way that it is difficult to tell which parts are man-made and which are naturally occurring. Miki’s head was on permanent swivel as she identified motif after motif that would suit her artistic needs! Seeing that she’d be otherwise engaged for some time, I left her to it and headed into the town in search of a WiFi spot. This involved stopping the bike every now and then, getting the laptop out and scanning the available networks. As luck would have it, I found one fairly quickly in the center of town.
Biarritz was fairly buzzing, it seemed we’d arrived during a special market week, when the main stores of the town set up tents outside their shops and offered huge discounts, between 50 and 70%. This sounds fabulous, but of course, Biarritz is a mecca for the bold and the beautiful, to paraphrase an awful American soap, and consequently, you are expected to pay top dollar for everything. Therefore a pair of jeans ridiculously priced at 200 euros and ‘massively reduced’ to 125 euros is still, well, ridiculous frankly. I began to wonder if rich people are inherently stupid, or simply feel that they have to pay these sort of amounts because it’s ‘the thing to do’.
The weather might have been warm and sunny, but I’m sure the Atlantic ocean, cheerfully washing up on Biarritz’s beaches still had a wintery cast to it. Nevertheless, this didn’t seem to deter a number of mentally unhinged surfers and swimmers from risking heart attacks by immersing themselves in its waters. Mad dogs and Englishmen may go out in the midday sun, but I can confirm that the French bathe in subzero temperatures.
Heading back to the harbour, I played our very own version of “Where’s Wally” entitled “Ou est Miki?” Eventually, I found her, perched precariously on a crumbling harbour wall in order to get the best view of her subject. I decided against calling out to her, in case she was startled and fell in, preferring instead to sneak up unawares and shout loudly in her ear to see what would happen, camera at the ready. Unfortunately, these Pyrennean women are made of stern stuff, and she remained unmoved, and disappointingly dry.
We were so happy with what we’d seen of Biarritz, we were resolved to hang around for some days, and decided to cycle back into the town tomorrow….