13. The rain in Spain stays mainly on the Plain… nearly! Itxaspe Spain, to Labenne France!
Updated: Mar 5
Sunday 13th September
After a weird nights sleep (when I was sure I was rolling out of bed…but the slight slope was in the opposite direction) we reviewed the weather. Rain had been forecast, but was downgraded to showers so we decided to do a 3 mile circular walk from the campsite along the strikingly beautiful Basque coast. This area is notable for its cliffs and coves.
We were at the junction of horizontal black Flysch rock, which resulted in huge wave cut platforms,
Then we suddenly decided to say goodbye to Spain and drive into France.
One hour later we were pulling into a carpark in St Jean de Luz, just south of Biarritz.
St Jean de Luz is a beautiful town that has had good fortune throughout the years. Firstly it became a wealthy port due to lucrative fishing in Newfoundland. Naval wars in the 16th and 17th centuries put an end to this, but the armed ships were put to use by the naval Corsairs .. legalised pirates one might say. They brought great riches back to the town, and many grand buildings were built, including the unbelievable church, with its 3 tiers of galleries!
This was also the church where King Louis 14th married Maria-Therese the daughter of the Spanish king, in 1660. This was to seal a pact between the 2 countries and end years of war, which also meant St Jean de Luz was no longer attacked and pillaged from both sides!!
The town’s last wave of glory was between the World Wars, when it attracted the rich and famous from around the world. A cubist casino was built and some super grand villas. It is a beautiful town and we really enjoyed walking out onto the cliffs, and then back along the mile long promenade to the port. Ice creams were obligatory!
The old town centre is very pretty,
Espelette poivrons (peppers)
We would definitely like to return here. There is an aire but it was crowded and noisy. Another time we would consider Camping Cote de mer in the next bay, but today we drove north another 40kms to Labonne Ocean where there is a large aire. We chose this because it is just a few miles from the Marais d’Orx bird reserve that we want to visit early tomorrow morning.
Despite the shower, I am pleased to say that it is still warm enough for shorts, and today is the 20th day in succession I have worn shorts! I want to live in a warmer climate!!!