It was good, but we missed some good tortilla chips. We continued on north through pine forest, but got closer to the beach. We learned later that there are over a million square hectares of pine forest on France's southern coast. The beaches are natural and the resort areas have simple wooden structures. These are definitely not Italian beaches.
Just south of Archachon, we saw the largest sand dune in France. It is just over 100 meters tall and is a dramatic sight on the coast.
The bay of Archachon is unique in having an outlet to the sea. We had ridden around several lakes on the way north. In the past, they had been open to the sea, but the rivers flowing into them were not strong enough to keep the sandbars from forming and closing off the lakes from the ocean. However, the river flowing into the bay has a strong current and the tidal flow in and out of Archachon is significant. We arrived at high tide when the bay covers 150 square kilometers. When we left on Thursday morning it was low tide when the bay only covers 40 square kilometers. Wow! Boaters really have to plan their outings according to the tides!
Thursday was a long day (96 kilometers), but we had a tailwind for nearly 33 kilometers. We ended up camping next to small chateau that was a chambres d'hotes. There was no room at the inn, but the owners graciously allowed us to camp on the grounds.
Friday morning we had a nice breakfast in the chateau before heading towards Paulliac in the heart of the Medoc region north of Bordeaux. The chateaus along the road were breathtaking.
Chateaus fairly dotted the countryside. They stuck out on the skyline, here, there, everywhere. Tonight we are in Pauillac, just south of some of the really famous wine chateaus. Tomorrow we will go without luggage to make a circuit of some of the most architecturally interesting chateaus.