Paragliding and parawaiting on the Dune du Pilat

Taking a wee break from Chamonix – (I don’t get out of the valley much) – Tim and I set off on a bit of a ‘boys tour’ to go paragliding.. 

Our aim: to soar the Dune du Pilat.

The car loaded with tent, camping equipment, an assortment of paragliders and harnesses, and enough Pimms to last at least the first day, we headed out of the Chamonix valley – and arrived at the Dune du Pilat a mere 8 hours and 600 km later…

The Dune du Pilat – or sometimes spelt Dune du Pyla – is the largest sand dune in Europe measuring 117 metre high, 3000 metres long and 500 metres wide.  It is approximately 60km from Bordeaux on the Archachon basin – not too far from Cap Ferret.

We found a fantastic campsite – the Panoramic – with its own paraglider take-off, a couple of bars, swimming pool, a nice restaurant, and a pitch for our tent with a view of the sea!!  Superb!

Sunset over the Banc d'Arguin (view from our tent)

Sunset over the Banc d'Arguin (view from our tent)

 

So, the next ten days were a succession of waiting for the sea breeze to kick in enough to go paragliding… and then paragliding…   …cooking fresh crab, Pimms, delicious Bordeaux wine, sampling the freshest oysters, swimming in the Atlantic, and generally chilling out and enjoying the view!

They were paragliding until the breeze finished – long after the sun had set… and twilight had dimmed to darkness.

Paragliding in the dusk on the Dune du Pilat

Paragliding in the dusk on the Dune du Pilat

But it wasn’t ALL play…  for example, this next shot is of me hard-at-work eating out whilst simultaneously doing menu research for next winter season!!  Chateaubriand topped with pan-fried Fois Gras…  so, who said blokes were no good at multi-tasking?

Simply delicious...

Simply delicious...