La Dune Du Pilat


We decided to take a day trip out to the Cote D’Argent on the West coast of France, to a place I had read few people know about – Arcachon Bay, known for it’s sand dunes, and huge waves.



The Bordeaux area we drove through was full of huge wineries, with broad expanses of grape fields and winery mansions in the distance. Later we entered a thick forest that went right to the water’s edge.

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It was an easy drive once we got on the main highway with a speed limit 130 Km per hour, but it was twice as far as we thought, and we didn’t want to leave the dogs alone too long, so we began to rush.



What a surprise when we got there. First of all, there were hundreds of people, so it obviously wasn’t much of a secret! 


Second, it was a long walk from the parking lot through thick sand.

Ankle-deep sand is not easy to walk in.


We were hungry, so first we stopped for lunch. Expensive again, as usual, but it was good to have some fresh fish and seafood: mussels, calamari, shrimp and fish.

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Walking along the deep sand path, watching people stop to rest, including me, suddenly looming beyond the trees, there appeared a round cream-coloured silhouette high in the sky.



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Then we saw it: La Dune du Pilat. A massive sand dune as high as a sky scraper, 1700 feet high, and three times that long. It was so gigantic you could not see the sea on the other side.



Kids and adults and dogs were rolling down the sand hill with glee…



Running down…



Sliding down…



Being pulled down….




Falling face first in the sand…



Had we known how much fun the dogs would have had, we would have brought them with us.



Consisting of approximately 60 million cubic metres of sand, the Dune du Pilat is about 115 metres high, 500 metres wide, and almost 3 km long. Very impressive.

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We still had not seen the sea though, which was the Arcachon Bay off the Bay of Biscay, off the Atlantic Ocean, so we took a quick drive a few kilometers down the road to see the water.


After we parked a long distance away and started walking, we came across a closer parking lot, so T went to bring the car down closer and I continued walking toward the sea. We agreed to meet either at the seaside, or in the parking lot.


While waiting for T to park the car and come down to the seaside, of course I took photos of the beautiful bay…

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I was awe-struck by the depth of blueness of the water…DSC07747~ DSC07746~


Then I started looking around for him. And looking and looking… 


An hour later, we were still looking for each other.  


I had left my purse in the car, so I didn’t even have any money or passport or anything with me. I was getting desperate. I was exhausted from walking all over looking for him.


Once, I saw him in the distance, but he disappeared behind a building. He was too far away to hear me call. I jumped up and down waving my arms on several glimpses of him through the forest of trees, to no avail. 



For some of the time I walked back and forth through the parking lot, looking for the car. Eventually, he will come back to the car, I thought, but I couldn’t even find the car. Turned out he parked in a different lot.


Finally, we met up near the forest, both scared and exhausted. He had walked further through the forest and down a steep sand bank to another beach. When he couldn’t find me, he worried that I had fallen somewhere. He was ready to call the police. I was overlooking the beach on the other side of the little forest.



We agreed not to separate like that again, or at least have a more definitive meeting place.


Now, it was even later, and we were really worried about the dogs. Going on the 130 km highway back, we should get home fairly quickly. We took off down the little highway, but when we got to the main highway, traffic was backed up for miles…



We inched along for a good hour before we finally found an exit that would skirt us around the backed up highway and on our way, later than ever…



We got back much later than we wanted to… 



But the dogs were very happy to see us, though Squeak said, “It’s about bloody time you got home…”
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Ok, they were happier to see T…



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Originally posted 2014-05-16 13:16:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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2 Responses to La Dune Du Pilat

  1. Maybe you need walkie-talkies if not cell phones….not fun to be ‘lost’. The sand dune is truly amazing. Oh, and that blue water is gorgeous. Had you left the dogs indoors, or were they free to roam? Funny ‘sacked-out’ photo near the end 😉

  2. travellittleknownplaces says:

    Yes, we only have one cell phone – two would be better, though mine doesn’t work here anyway. The sand dune was shockingly huge, really surprised us. I had heard about the blue water, but could not imagine the deepness of the blue. The dogs were in the house – sometimes they escape the fence outside. I meant to put up a different photo of all three dogs sleeping with T on the couch, but this one pretty much sums it up too. Thanks for commenting!

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