Saturday 28 June 2014

Staying in a hippy commune - by mistake.

We've arrived at La Maison de la Plage for our 4 nights in Andernos-les Bains. Not quite what we were expecting - most unusual.

Our room is under the eaves with the blue shutters - obvious fire trap

The room.

The terrace

Our welcome tray.

The building is made of wood. The furniture is every style under the sun. Downstairs is open plan with kitchen, bar, lounge, breakfast and dining area, library, kids running all over the place and, fortunately, a bloody great Boxer dog to jump up at you when you pass through so that you don't feel neglected.

I explained about my drumming habit and this was taken as being perfectly normal.

The place is just like a big home. A hippy commune is the best phrase I can come up with to describe the atmosphere and the people who run it - a complicated extended family. It's the sort of building one imagines Ernest Hemmingway staying in on the East Coast of the USA - Key West or somewhere like that.

An horage (storm) is predicted for overnight so this may well be my last blog - I don't see this place surviving. Plenty of shutter rattling I suspect.

Drumming practice update:

Last morning at St Georges so up at 7am to go down to the beach for a practice session with the drum. Totally impossible, the tide was in even more than yesterday and the sea was wild.

But then I had an early morning brainwave. A lot of cabins that face the sea and have elevated deckings looking out over the sea are unoccupied at present. Surely I could use one of these decks to set up the drum and not disturb anyone.

Perfect and it made a nice change to have terra- firma under my stool.

Drummed away for an hour watching the ferries crossing to and fro on the horizon. We will be taking one of these later this morning  to cross the Gironde from Royan to Le Verdon.

The ferries
Last night's dinner:

Drove into Royan last night for dinner. The roads flowed with thousands of Harley Davidsons all heading for the ferry, like a black leather army on the move - more of this later.

Duck leg and chips.
Before dinner, I went to evening Mass at Notre Dame, Royan. Amazing stained glass windows I hadn't noticed before; that's hardly surprising, the building is so huge

Last night's Mass.


Miscellany 1:

There is some huge Harley Davidson convention taking place on the other side of the Gironde and on this morning's ferry hundreds more were queuing up to get on. Quite a colourful site I must say. Average age of rider: 60 years old.

Yet more champing at the bit to get into the queuing area.

On the ferry

Passing the sister ferry going in the opposite direction.

Below deck

Miscellany 2:

After the ferry crossing, we drove south to Andernos-Les-Bains. Half way down we spotted this "Brocante" - open air jumble sale - and I bought this HO scale Volkswagen Karmen Ghia (on a key ring) for 2 euros. Very pleased. Naturally, I'll chop off the key ring; and it also needs a good wash.

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