In Hyères-Plage: the Route de Sel again - Three Seasons Around France: Autumn - CycleBlaze

November 18, 2022

In Hyères-Plage: the Route de Sel again

Hyères has always been on my list for the last leg of the tour.  We stayed here for two nights back in 2018 on our retirement ride from Dubrovnik to Barcelona, and our exhilarating walk out the Route de Sel still feels fresh in my mind as one of my favorite memories of that tour.

I’m going to save some time and space here and refer you back to our previous visit for a description of this place, since it hasn’t changed in the meantime - it even has a single curlew like we saw last time, maybe even the same bird.  Like then we biked to the base of the spit, locked up our bikes and walked out to the end along its barricaded road, open only to walkers, bikers, dogs and the like.  

Four years wasn’t too soon for a return visit.  It felt just as exhilarating this morning as it did then, perhaps even more so with these clear skies and the constant buffeting winds.  Four years from now if we’re still lucky enough to be doing this sort of thing and are in the neighborhood we’d probably come once more - if we can find a safer way to bike into and out of Hyères, that is.

And if we did, we’d want to stay at Hotel le Méditerranée again, a place we really enjoyed for its own sake and because it’s so conveniently located, close to both the spit and the marina with all its restaurants.  

And if we did and if it’s still here we’d definitely walk down to the far end of the marina and eat again at Ô Cap Couleurs, a place we liked well enough yesterday that we returned today for seconds.

And as we walked out the spit we’d have our eyes peeled for that lone curlew.  They can live upwards of twenty years, so perhaps?

Staring at Mont des Oiseaux at the start of the ride, a good omen for a stroll along the lagoons.
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Doing the flamingo two step.
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Flamingo groupie.
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Along the west side of the Route de Sel. It’s a dramatic time to be here, with 30 knot winds making me feel like I might get blown down off the berm.
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The shallows at the northern end of the lagoon are full of birds - gulls and peeps of some sort, but it’s hard to look at them or get a focused shot because the winds are so strong.
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Looking back toward the coastline, and up the gap we biked in through yesterday.
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There are a few spots where the gap in the berm is low enough that the sea rushes through.
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In spots the dunes are fenced off and protected from wind erosion. The short lengths of fencing in the sand are at the entrance to walkways between the beach and the road.
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Another look back toward Hyères. I think Rachael stayed on the pavement the whole way, but I went back and forth between the road, the beach, and the top of the berm. I preferred the berm for the views and exhilarating feeling from the wind, but would eventually feel too wind-battered to stay up any longer.
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Keith AdamsA frisky 30 knot breeze will definitely test your limits, won't it?
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1 week ago
Severely hunkered down, with not a head in sight. Well, Ok - one head.
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In formation. I wonder if there’s a name for this position.
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Keith Adams"At rest", maybe?
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1 week ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesSsshh, according to Encyclopedia Britannica they are asleep.
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5 days ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesI think so too, but I think there’s more to it. The entire flock is oriented exactly the same way, their heads tucked back away from the wind. It’s like the fifty names for snow. There’s sleep, in endless variations.
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5 days ago
This bird is just barely hanging on, and will get blown off its perch seconds later. He’s so distorted by the wind that he’s hard to identify - a stonechat or redstart?
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I wonder if this is the same Eurasian Curlew we saw here four years ago? They can live 10-20 years, so it’s possible.
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At the end of the spit we dodge the puddles and walk out to the windsurfer launching pad.
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Kites soar above Bird Mountain.
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Cranes and gulls.
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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like de fence might also be punny...
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1 week ago
On the way back I told Rachael that I thought the puddles were receding and the tide must be going out, until we got back to this point again. It’s worse than it was on the way out.
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The wind isn’t as ferocious as it was this morning, but it’s still enough to ruffle some feathers.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesEven an elegant bird like that can have a bad hair day!
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5 days ago
It’s a good thing we booked our hotel early here, because it’s full to capacity. The 2022 European ILCA Senior Championships are on all week and have flooded the resort.
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ILCA = International Laser Class Association. I had to look it up - lasers are small, single mast dingys. The bay is filled with them this afternoon, but this morning’s events were postponed because the 30 knot winds were too severe.
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Kathleen ClassenLasers, the best way to scare the heck out of yourself going 5 knots!!!! So much fun. So many capsizes.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Kathleen ClassenI have to admit, they do look fun. In my next life.
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1 week ago
Kathleen ClassenI am going for kite surfing in my next life. The shoulders I have in this life wouldn’t manage it, but isn’t it fun to watch?
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1 week ago

Today's ride: 4 miles (6 km)
Total: 1,884 miles (3,032 km)

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