Surfing // Messanges

After the initial storm swell began to die down a little, the surf got good, and I mean REAL GOOD (for me anyway)! As the waves got a little smaller, Matty and I were able to surf together more. And as a result, we had some of the most incredible surfs together we've ever had.

Clean French Mornings
We spent more time in the water than out, having 3 hour surfs in the morning or until we couldn't paddle anymore. We travelled up and down the coast, always following the swell, searching the beachies and breaks for that perfect fun wave, the further up the beach we went, the more secluded the spot.
Matty On His Way Out After The Wind Picked Up
We were lucky enough to find a break at one of our favourite beaches... Messanges, which has always delivered the goods every time I've surfed it! Depending on the swell, there always seems to be a different wave in a different spot. I absolutely love it here, there's so much choice, and the various sandbars give you the chance to escape the crowds and surf your own little peak!
We found the same peak in the morning and surfed it with just a father and son out (The son turned out to be sponsored by Volcom). We watched the young guy ripping along some tiny waves, both of us in disbelief of how much power he managed to muster from just a tiddler of a break.

We surfed until our arms were noodles and our legs like jelly, only leaving the water when the prospect of catching another wave became impossible. We set up camp on the beach complete with windbreak and all picnic essentials... baguettes, cheese, beer, fruit and veg. It was idyllic, bliss... Perfection!

Noodle Arms
The rows and rows of peaks lining the beaches provide a haven for so many surfers, and the best thing about it is; the further you walk up the beach, the quieter it gets! We had so many mornings where we had the break all to ourselves!

A Little Skinny Dip After A Cheeky PicNic!
Whenever there was a little bit of swell, we just packed our beach bags for the day, filled them all with food, drink and a wind break and off we went. We surfed in the early morning until our arms couldn't hack it anymore, or until the wind picked up and turned it all into slosh. We waited until the evening when the wind died down, and then we picked up our boards and surfed again and again.

We were treated to some stunning sunset surfs sharing it with just a few others out.

One night we decided to bail on the gas hobs and dirty dishes waiting for us back at the van, and treated ourselves to a meal at the Messanges Bar Snack De La Plage. (I don't think they have a website, but you can find their number and menu here) Here we plumped for deliciously tender steaks and frites whilst oogling at other people's plates piled high with garlic prawns. 

We drank a delicious, crisp bottle of rosé as we sat and watched one of the best sunsets from the trip. It ended up being one of the best meals we had whilst in France, which surprised us as we really weren't expecting much. The snack bar looks like your average seaside cafe from the outside, but the delicious food, combined with the wine, the views and the atmosphere around us, made us love every second of it. So much so we had to order dessert too!
Sunset From Snack Bar De La Plage, Messanges
We finished our meal and walked down to the beach to take some snaps of the setting sun. There were still a few people out in the water, and as the warm breeze swept across the shore I felt the happiest I'd felt all holiday. A day filled with surfing in the French sunshine followed by a delicious meal with my loved one and topped off nicely with an incredible sunset! It's safe to say I bloody love the South of France!
Messanges Sunset
Down The Steps To The Shore

Les Casernes

We woke in Les Casernes the next morning to the sound of the waves. The swell had well and truly kicked in and the waves were booming in. We cycled up to the beach to view it from the lookout point. There we saw 6ft bombs hoofing in, lining up the beach for miles. My legs felt a little jelly-like on seeing these thunderous beasts.

Matty bailed back to the van to get changed and in the water soon as. Being the wuss I am (I don't surf 6ft bombs just yet, I'm up to 5ft bombs, but give me a year or two and i'll be right there with yah!) I changed into my running gear ready for an early morning run, swim and stretch.

We both ended up running down the beach in search of peaks together. After about 20 minutes of cruising down the beach we stumbled upon a sweet left hand break. With star spangled eyes Matty leashed up and leapt in, making tracks for the peak where there were only a few others out there.

I continued running up the beach keeping a watchful eye on the surf. I ran until my legs couldn't carry me across the crumbling sand anymore. As the sun began to rise, the temperature really warmed up and the sight of the sea started looking ever-more appealing. After a sandy little workout I stripped to my swimming costume and cooled off in the shallows. I must have stayed there just splashing around for a while as the sun soon got pretty hot and with no suncream on, I made tracks back for the van to cook up a feast of a brunch.

After this first proper morning of sunshine, sea and sand, the days kind of blurred into one as the weather got better and the surf got a whole lot more fun! The only bad point was the fact that the pictures became fewer and farther between because I left my camera behind too many times. Instead of peering at everything through a lens, I was enjoying where we were and what we were doing, taking everything in with my bare eyes.

We became so caught up in this easy way of life. The early wake up, the surf check, the coffee and croissants, the exploring, the freedom, the sunshine and the waves. We were so caught up in it all that we forgot about technology, or rather we just didn't need it. After constantly having to check social media sites/the internet every day for work I was well and truly ready to give that up for a bit. It wasn't all that hard really...

We replaced the morning magicseaweed webcam for a surf check with our own eyes. Waking up our sleepy faces with a quick walk/skate up the road to the lookout point, accompanied by a blast of fresh Atlantic Ocean air was a perfect way to start every day.

Waking Up In Biscarosse

The next morning we woke with the sunrise, albeit a bit of a cloudy one. I opened the van to the sight of the pine trees towering overhead.

The aire de camping was busy but there were only a few campers up and ready and taking their first sip of coffee in the dewy morning.

We cycled up to the beach to check the surf, which was non-existent, we knew the surf was supposed to be picking up but that wasn't until later in the evening. A little downhearted, we walked along the beach breathing in the fresh morning sea air, which immediately lifted our spirits. We walked as far as we could until our belly's started gurgling and a cup of tea and croissant started calling.

We trundled back across the beach, enjoying the feel of the pillowy soft layers of golden sand crumbling under our toes.  Over a breakfast of tea, croissants, jam and fruit, we decided to continue heading further south, where a couple of our friends were camping.

After packing everything up, we set out down the coast for another substantial drive in search of surf and good friends.

We arrived at Les Casernes in the early afternoon where we met and caught up with our mateys. The surf had picked up a ridiculous amount since our morning in Biscarosse and was now too big for the beach breaks; closing out completely. We decided to grab a couple of beers and head down to the beach for the sunset all the while scouting out some surfable breaks for the morning. We found some old World War II bunkers and gaped at the vast expanse of golden beach up and down the coast.

Whilst enjoying a couple of beers in the sand below the bunkers, we watched the heavy closeouts crashing on the shoreline, and plotted our plan of attack on the French beach breaks over the next few weeks. I was well and truly ready for noodle arms, jelly legs, salt water in my hair and the sun on my skin.