Chapter Four: Sightseeing at the French Basque Country coast.
I reached Hendaye at about 10 pm. Knowing about the French obsession with height limit bars I decided follow the signs for the camping car parking. It turned out to be a small parking lot in front of the railway station. One of the few spots was empty and I parked here. I had to pay 10 Euros for this parking – which was just a parking without any facilities – just beside the road. Ridiculous. Even better when the first trains started to drive by in the early morning, making quite a bit of noise. But I had planned to get up before dawn anyway.
I drove to the Hendaye beach promenade at first light. Nobody else was there and up in front of the cliffs solid waves rolled in. The beach itself had closeouts all over. Knowing that this beach would be one of the few – if not the only – places in the area that could transform the prospected 7 to 8 ft @ 15 seconds swell into waves that I could handle, I hesitated for a moment. But the tide was wrong and I had to give my body a rest and so I continued following the plan for the day: sightseeing.
So I took the coast road and had a few stops. The peak of the swell was yet to come but the ocean was already full of energy. When driving down to Ciboure I spotted something on the other side of the bay. I stopped again, grabbed my binoculars and crossed the street to have closer look.