Every morning, before heading out to face the waves, Mr French and I go for an 8 kilometer run around the marine lake that is the natural jewel of Hossegor. Just 500 meters from the sea, this salt lake is fed by the sea, with the accompanying tides and a sandy shore.
As the sunrises above the lake, the pines form a dramatic silhouette, looking like a Japanese wood block print. The egret and herons fly in for an early morning snack as the sky turns a dramatic pink. Within a kilometer we are at the Plage Blanche, where there is a day camp for the very young and a fantastic little Breton crêperie where at night, you can dine by candle light, enjoy the perfectly grilled catch of the day, your bare feet digging into the sand.
We push on, as fishermen cast their lines, and others run, swim, paddle their wide surf boards, or row their kayaks along the canal that connects the lake to the sea. Over the bridge, and back to the first bridge . passing the bridge that joins centre ville to the beach, we are half way there.
Back along the lake, there are catamaran and sail boat rentals and an oyster farm where cormorants guard the pier, drying their wings in the early morning sun. At the tip of the lake the oyster farmers are busy at their “production labs” preparing the days harvest for the hungry diners who will soon be flooding their lakeside stands for cheap oyster (5€ a dozen) and refreshing white wines.
At the same spot is La Station. A 1950’s American style gas station that really was a gas station until 3 years ago when it became an very trendy restaurant, serving cheap, but delicious tapas and grilled fish with broccoli to the hipper than hip Hossegordians.
We are now running south, at the foot of stately estates owned by the rich and I-don’t-want-to-be-famous who vacation here, happily avoiding the paparazzi on the Côte d’Azur.
In 56 minutes (my best time yet) we are back at the hotel, savouring yet another beautiful day in the Algarve (inside joke, I know I’m in the Landes)…