Monday, 6 May 2019

Garden Inn by Hilton (Bordeaux, France)

Up early this morning to catch the train to Arcachon. After breakfast, a shower and walking to the station I was on my way to Arcachon and the Dune of Pilat (Dune du Pyla).

I arrived in Arcachon in less than an hour. Since I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to get to Dune du Pyla, other than a bus from Arcachon, I walked towards the nearest bus stop that I assumed would take me to the dunes. The local bus schedule was not available via Google.

As I stood at the bus stop I realized that the bus ride would take about 30 minutes and wasn’t sure when the next bus would be by to pick me up. I decided to look for a Uber to take me. As it turns out the only Uber available had just dropped off someone in Arcachon and was now available. This I found out after he picked me up.

When I arrived at the park I still had no idea where to go, but I knew I was hungry. There was a food stand nearby, along with a few souvenir shops. I ordered a chicken baguette sandwich and a glass of pressed orange juice. Then, after using the men’s room, I was ready to climb a dune. Or at least I think I was.

It wasn’t too long of a walk to the dunes. As I walked through the forest and got closer to the dunes there was more and more sand on the path. Some people started taking off their shoes, but I decided to keep mine on. It became more difficult to walk as the sand got deeper.

As I came into the clearing and saw the dunes I also saw a long staircase that was built along the side of the largest dune. I don’t think I could have made it up the dune without the staircase. Of course the young kids who were there had no problems running up the dunes.

I took my time on the stairs and eventually found myself almost at the top. I still had to walk a bit further up the tallest dune. From the very top you could see for miles and miles in all directions. What a great day to make the journey. It was all worthwhile.

It became time to head back. I walked down the stairs and through the forest to the park area. I used Google to find the nearest bus stop and it was at the park’s entrance, which was quite a walk from where I was. I eventually found the bus stop and a few people there waiting. A group of young girls, speaking English, told me that it would be about 30 minutes before the next bus arrived.

I was lucky to get a seat on the bus. A woman let me sit next to her. Her husband who showed up later said he would stand. It was a very full bus! On the way back to Arcachon I received a call from my brother who was checking in with me. I’ll meet him, his daughter and her son in Paris on Saturday. I asked if I could call him back from the train station.

There wasn’t much else to see in Arcachon. A very nice small city, but my goal was to see the dunes and I did. I had time to talk with my brother before the next train arrived. Good to connect and further define our plans.

After I got off the train I looked for the grocery store where I picked up a baguette when I arrived a couple of days ago. When I got to the store’s checkout, where the baguettes were located, the shelf was empty! The clerk said he could go into the back room and get me a freshly baked one! My day was now complete. (Think I’m getting addicted to the baguettes.)

By the time I returned to my room I was dead tired. I finished up some correspondence and then took a nap. When I woke I ate some of the baguette, cheese, an apple and a banana. I was also texting Paula and Prean about my visit to London starting on May 18th. Paula will be south of London starting the 25th of May and Prean will be in Wales. Both have invited me to stay with them. So much planning left to do. I’ll say this again: I’m going to be ready for a rest from traveling while I’m in Edinburgh.

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