France has been fun. Like, really fun. But like I think I said earlier, it’s a lot colder than last year, and I didn’t pack properly. There’s been a bunch of stuff that’s gone on but I’ll just get right to it and rattle off some observations and experiences in the past week or so.
First, the sand on the sand dunes is really tiring. Most sand dunes have one little boardwalk in the center that is fine for walking on but the sand adjacent is deep and soft. And don’t get me wrong or take any offense to this if you’re French, ’cause I love the French, but they don’t seem to love me so much, and can come off as rude. I get its just their culture, but don’t expect someone to smile back at you or make eye contact when you walk by, let alone share the boardwalk, so I always end up getting stuck in the deep sand.
The riptides and currents when shooting from the water are really tiring as well. When trying to shoot water, you’ll never stop swimming. The only spot where you can sit and not have to worry about the currents is the last spot you want to be and a wave will break on your head. Just the other day was solid 8 foot plus on the sets with fat lips on what looked like a perfect right sandbar. It looked pretty easy to just float around with my housing and nail good photos, so in an effort to make up for the day before which I missed (I’ll get back to that), I swam out with CJ Hobgood. He showed me a relatively easy way out and only got caught inside for one or two. So I swam over to the inside where it looked like I should sit, and sure enough took 4 solid, thick lipped waves right on the head and got really worked. Out of breath from the beatings, and the cold from being in trunks, I decided to take a breather and swim a bit out the back. Immediately I was pulled out farther from a riptide and pushed down the beach. The next two hours was swimming with solid effort just to try and stay with the pack of surfers who weren’t getting pulled near as much when elevated from the water on their surfboards. I finally saw a long break in the sets and made a break for the shore, which was not far away but took a few minutes to get to with the currents pulling me back out. I was really happy to be back on sand after that.
The food over here in France is really good. But you already knew that, and you can find some hidden little stores that aren’t near as expensive as you’d think.
The nightlife over here is fun. Everyone gets a bit more friendly and it’s easy to have a good time. More on that soon in a separate post. Let’s keep it to the water this time.