My next beach stop along the coast was Royan, some 160 miles north of where I was at previously. At the moment we have a bit of a heatwave going on (in the UK too I hear!) and the heat makes the inside of the motorhome unbearable by around lunchtime, so in an effort to reduce the effects, I have been staying at paid Aires (they are almost all paid along the coast!) that provide both shade and electricity so I can hide from the sun and still have power!
There aren’t too many places like this that give good access to a beach and are reasonably priced (plenty more places if I want to pay campsite fees!) so I’m doing fewer stops and longer distances which suits me anyway as it gets tiring moving every day or two, not to mention the time it takes up constantly researching new parkups.
So, I found myself in Royan which is a pretty big town on the west coast. Usually I would not visit a place of this size but I figured I would be splitting my time between working on the motorhome and just chilling on the beach and I had no need to explore the town so it didn’t really matter.
The Aire is quite big and has a bit of a community feel to it which is nice. I’ve had quite a few different neighbours since I have been here and all have been friendly.
La Grande Conche Plage
The beach is a 1km walk from the Aire which isn’t too bad: 15-20 minutes depending on your walking speed. I have little legs so it takes me longer than most people 🙂
However it’s a nice easy walk and there’s no hills or sandy bits to struggle with which is nice in this weather. It’s so hot outside that the moment I’m exposed to the sun I just feel all my energy being sapped!
The beach itself is lovely, I’d say it is my favourite so far. The water is extremely calm which I like as it’s very relaxing to laze about in but also means I can swim about to get some exercise easily.
The sand is nice and soft which is good for sun bathing and the beach also goes down at a nice gentle gradient. This means at high tide you can go to the depth you want gradually and don’t take one step and find yourself out of your depth, and at low tide you can keep going for a while in shallow waters.
All the time I have been here the air temperature has been around 30° and the water temperature around 20°. They post the information daily on a nearby board.
One thing I noticed on my first dip in the water is that at low tide, a little way in, there is a layer of rich mud on top of the sand floor.
On my second day I was there very low tide and there was an area of the beach where all the mud was exposed so I decided to have a play!
It took a while to wade over there as it’s pretty deep in places and slippery but then I plopped myself down and just buried myself in mud! Usually I hate getting messy but I was at the beach so what the hell? I’d not need to go far to wash it off!
I don’t know how long I sat there for – quite a while! I just played with all this goopy mud like a 5 year old and got some very strange looks! I really didn’t care 🙂
Eventually I dragged myself up and into the water; I must have looked like some kind of mud monster 🙂 It took a while to rinse it all off but my skin felt great afterwards!
Unfortunately I don’t have any photos or video of this stuff as I don’t take my phone out when I’m on the beach. In fact, I don’t usually even take it with me, only if it’s the first time at a new beach and I am unsure of the way.