They did their job, though, because the fire didn’t affect us, apart from a few street detours – we were in good hands. We got to see the Canadairs in action. Those are the airplanes that come and skim the lake, drink in the water, and then fly over the forest where they release it to extinguish the fire.
The commune of Lacanau is divided into different areas. Amongst others, there is Lacanau-lac, Lacanau Centre, Le Huga (come and give me a huga), and then there is this place called Le Moutchic. It’s pronounced moot-cheek, and comes from the word moustique, which means mosquito. I don’t think I would like to live there. It’s a reminder that the entire place used to be a swamp.
But that brings me back to the whole forest fire thing. There are tons of trees near the dry coastline, and there is a good reason for it, which I learned about from the guide at our resort, and from reading places like wikipedia.fr, and other websites, such as this and this.The coast used to be swampland, and people made a living as “wading shepherds.” They wore special boots to get through the swamps as their sheep grazed, and they used the sheep dung to fertilize what little crops they could produce in the swampy, sandy soil.
One of Napolean’s officials got the idea in the mid-1800′s to plant maritime pine trees that would soak up all the water in the swamplands and render it dry and fertile. Pines drink a lot of water. So they planted them, in spite of protests from the wading shepherds. The pines took root and they were able to create an economy from selling the resin and wood.
But there are frequent forest fires from this dry area as a result.
There was still another part of the hill to climb above the horizon.
The beach was incredible – such waves! It’s one of the international locations for surfing contests. And the sand is so fine and soft.
In the quieter section where we were, there was a problem of nudist bathers, which threatened to deflower the innocence of our children’s eyes. I kept yelling at the kids to come back to me on their body boards because the tide would sweep them over to the nudies with every tide.
“Let’s walk this way,” my husband said as we went to climb the dune to go home. “There’s another nest of them over there.”
but I’m sorry to say that the food was meh.
The grated cheese for the fish soup, and the cinnamon sugar for the dessert were both stale. The pear for the belle poire helène was not ripe enough – those are details you don’t neglect in a top restaurant. Maybe they were having an off-week? Everything else was good.
And the food was very good, with the exception of cold potatoes.
Lacanau is situated on the Côte d’Argent, the “Silver Coast” – in the region of Aquitaine and in the department of Gironde (bordering on Landes), for those who like the specifics.
Next up – a trip through Bordeaux, the Quai of Lights.