Euro 2020: National Park Hopping in Spain. Part 2.

Euro 2020: National Park Hopping in Spain. Part 2.

Brittany to Lake Biscarosse for some wild camping

Read Part 1 here.

Today began not with riding, but with a bit of engineering. My rucksack was strapped to the back seat of the GSXR and due to its size, around half of it was hanging over unsupported. This weight had decided to transfer itself through the plastic fairing surrounding the rear light and it looked like a bit of plastic had broken off from the exertion. Everything was still pretty tight and it probably wouldn't have gotten any worse, but just in case I took out my tape, taped over the broken bits and with the precision of a surgeon, pen-knifed the tape around the shape of the brake lights so that they could still be seen. I would have preferred to cable tie it for extra strength but that wasn't possible without drilling holes so the tape had to do.

There are two well known bikers that have taken GSXRs around the world. I seemed to remember teapotone fracturing the sub-frame on his GSXR1000 due to the weight of his luggage on the rear. 7days1shower on the other hand seemed to have been marvellously lucky (read well prepared) without any major issues from touring with his GSXR.

I had set off pretty late today, sleeping through the bleating of the neighbouring goat and cherishing my last night in an actual bed (and a comfy bed it was). It dawned on me how many miles I would have to munch today and tomorrow. It would be long, but after a few days off the bike in Brittany, I was looking forward to riding again.

The day's riding was largely uneventful. The roads were shall we say comme ci comme ca. So I was pleased to finally make it to the Gascogne Natural Park where I had decided to overnight.

The French roads weren't great so here's a photo of Gix in a French parking space.

Around 6pm I started looking at options and generating ideas on where to camp, keeping an eye out for anything exceptional as I rode by. The area was teeming with official camp sites so I felt unstressed because I could use one of them as a fall back if needed. But what I really fancied after a long and sweaty day in the saddle was a spot by one of the lakes, a quick swim and bathe to wash off the sweat and a good sunset to enjoy as I kicked back and go ready to sleep.

The light would start to fade around 8pm and I would need my camping set up ready by at the latest 9pm for a smooth set up without the need for a torch. So as soon as it hit 7pm, my only mission was to find a camping spot. I was close enough to that day's target destination (Mimizan, which was now a mere 10 miles away). I decided to take a smallish looking road by one of the larger lakes - Lake Biscarosse. I got lucky. The very first side road I explored led to a quiet path right onto the sandy lake shores. There were some people walking by every now and then and a girl was bathing in the distance but after casually loitering and swimming in the area I decided it was suitable to set up camp as the crowd fizzled out.

My spot for the night

I took a short walk around the area to scout out any better campsites and get my bearings of the immediate area. It all seemed fine and there were no other spots nearby with such a great view of sunset on the lake. Feeling satisfied with myself, I started to doze off soon after I got back to my home for the night.

I wish it ended there for today, but it doesn't. At 11.30pm I was woken up by people talking loudly and the light of an extremely bright torch. I was sitting up by the time the light was directly pointed on to me. The pointers seemed as startled by my presence as I was theirs. After both I and them decided we were no threat to eachother they diverted their path to another bit of the lake shore where they would play music for a few more hours. Even though I was trying to sleep, it didn't bother me much. I was just relieved that neither of us minded the other's presence much - having to pack up in pitch dark now and move somewhere else would have been painful.

Interspersed with spells of sleep and stargazing, my thoughts that night dwelled on the long ride ahead tomorrow...

>> Continue to Part 3 >>