Part 3 of #OurSearch finds Jayce and Lyndon top and tailing the delights of northern and southern Atlantic France. We are sure they top and tail in the van as well.
Having a stint in France through out the winter was a first for us. We have both ventured to the shores of south west France many times, but only once have we been to the north western coast, the Finisterre. As we imagined the region of Brittany is very similar to Cornwall. With its quaint little villages surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches and isolated coves.
There are waves scattered all over the place from fun beaches to slabby reefs and back to long reeling pointbreaks. We were fortunate enough to have local surfer Ian Fontaine show us a few of his favourite spots and share his much needed local knowledge. One session stands our mind; Ian told us there was the potential of a really fun wave up north. After a gruelling two hour journey listening to Ian's Eurovision playlist, we arrived at the spot to see that Mother Nature had let us down. We were assured as the tide rose, not only would our ears recover but the waves would materialise. We put all faith in him despite the millpond – sure enough the lines started coming and we had one of the funnest surfs of the trip so far, it wasn't big or barreling but super playful, with only a handful of people out. Unique to Brittany is the ever changing landscape which gives you the ability to find clean waves in whatever wind direction you are given. It's unexplored, exciting and lacks the crowds of the southern coastline.
Despite this, the familiarity of Hossegor is a breath of fresh air. No matter how long its been, we are always greeted by great local friends we have surfed with over the years. However this coast will always be a mystery, no matter what the forecast, or how perfect the chart looks you can never guarantee those perfect sandy barrels. Although sometimes very frustrating when you think all things have lined up it makes the times when your not expecting it that much sweeter.
Having travelled France numerous times, we and possibly many others have found that despite the waves being world class in the south it can lack the traditional and iconic French culture. Amongst the corporate surf brands and towns set for holiday makers the culture seems forgotten and washed out, whereas Brittany remains unspoilt, it really felt like a refreshing journey among our search.
Having had another amazing trip in France, where we have had a very different experience its now time to leave our home from home and head towards the Basque Country and Spain. Here we expect new challenges with an even rougher coastline, lack of local knowledge and embarrassingly, an even greater language barrier.
Wish us luck!
Jayce and Lyndon