I went to Dune de Pilat during summer, and when I was on top of the hill, I could see Cap Ferret, the headland that separates the Atlantic Ocean from Arcachon Bay.
All I know about Cap Ferret was minimum, but I know there’s a famous lighthouse to climb there, some nice beaches, and oyster farms village.
So I went back from Dune de Pilat to Arcachon, with the bus line 1, got off at Jetée de Moulleau, to take the boat to Cap Ferret. The boat is available every hour, and it took half hour to get to Cap Ferret.
Once I got to the port of Cap Ferret, I could see some nice calm beach lines facing the bay, a lot of people (it’s plain summer in August), some cafés and overpriced restaurants. I saw the bike rental, but I didn’t know if I would stay long or not, and I decided to explore the land by foot.
I know I was bit too sure of my self. Cap Ferret is not Kho Phi Phi where everything is within walking distance.
And plus I didn’t have map with me (I didn’t find tourism office or something like that when I arrived), so I just sniffed my way around. The beach was 10 minute straight forward from my arrival port, but I wanted to check out the lighthouse first before lounging at the beach. I realized that was not too wise thing to do, during the very hot weather (35 degrees), but I persisted. There were a lot of cars, children crossing, less pedestrians, I didn’t think that I’d survive biking with that condition. But given the fact that I get lost easily (and my google map failed me), walking was not the best thing to do either.
Anyway, after half hour walking and zig zagging reading road signs, I managed to get to the Lighthouse. 258 stairs up, and you have to pay 6 euros. There were quite some queues to go upstairs, and it was already almost late afternoon, and I haven’t been to the beach, and plus I’d have to catch up with my complicated transport back to Bordeaux (get the last boat at 19h40 to Arcachon, and get the bus to go the train station, and take the train back to bordeaux).
So I left the red Lighthouse and my dream to take great picture from the top… Sad. But I would be more devastated leaving Cap Ferret without having been to the beach!
I rammed the streets again, and this time I got smarter, asking people is way much faster than checking out my google map. Except that there are fewer people on the way to the beach. People scattered in the center where there are shops or cafés, but not around the big residential and villa areas.
The more I walk, I thought I was walking in the middle of Kerobokan/Seminyak Bali, the streets, the restaurant/cafe style, the shops selling bikinis, and printed fabrics…. the up scale – but trying to stay lay low – but to see and to be seen beach lounges – reminds me of snobbish tourist scenes in Bali. I can’t say that I’m impressed enough to stay overnight here. Or perhaps because I was running here and there and trying to catch up with two things not within walking distance, really irritated me.
I wasn’t blue for long, when I saw one of the beach sign – and I thought – I’d be happy to be see whichever beach!
I got to the Plage de l’Océan (Ocean beach), one of the main beach, by around 4 pm, extremely hot, and half ran to water. So happy to finally settle on the beach with my beach mat, taking off my clothes, and was about to swim. And the guys said that I could swim at my risk since it’s forbidden, unless I wanted to surf….
It’s ok, I was on the beach at the end, sunbathed, reading book, listening to my music, watching the waves (great waves, really), with the surfers on it, so I was happy 🙂
I wanted to visit oyster farm village, but I didn’t know where it was, and I didn’t want to risk walking another hour and miss my transport back to Bordeaux. Half day is really not sufficient for all my bucket list. Sadly I had to give up the oysters…….
While sulking not being able to have plates of oysters directly from the farm village, I found a bus stop for line 361 bus to Bordeaux, just 200 meter from the beach. Hm. I canceled my trip back with the boat and bus to Arcachon station (total 8,5 euros) and chose to take the bus line 361, costs only 2,6 euros. But then I didn’t want to spend time just waiting for the bus, so I started walking towards the port. And when I walked 300 m, the bus came, so I ran back towards the bus and panting hopping inside. And the good thing is, the bus passed the oyster farm village that I wanted to visit, and bad thing is, I could just see it from the window….Well, at least now I know where it’s located!!!
The down side with bus trip is that it’s taking forever on the way….It was peak hour out of the beach and people headed back to their homes/villa/hotels/cabin at the same time for dinner, and it took the bus ONE HOUR to leave Lège-Cap Ferret. Not to mention it had a lot of stops (well the locals used the same bus to go home), I counted more than 30 stops until we arrived in Bordeaux almost 3 hours later. In normal time, it takes only 2 hours.
Well with the boat, bus and train, maybe it would not be as fast either, if you have to count the waiting time for each means of transportation. So taking the bus at that time, was not a bad thing to do. Especially when I checked out my twitter, and I read the news that there was an accident on the railway of my train, so everything was delayed. I felt so lucky I took the bus 🙂
I think I will visit Cap Ferret again later if I have time, despite the pricey places and snob ambiance that I had (it’s the place for some crème de la crème, the movie stars, the haves and the parisians stuck up bitches…)(and i didn’t know that until I got there:p)(viva the research!)
I still want to mount the red Lighthouse, visit the oyster farm (ostreiculture, in French), to surf the waves, get around the Ville d’Hiver (the architectural houses), and enjoy sunset on the boat. Maybe later. Maybe not. Well. Where there’s a beach, there I go!