Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The Camaruge

On the south coast of France in the Rhone river delta is the Camaruge. It's an enormous mosquito-filled salt plain and marsh.

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It's noted for being a bird habitat, especially to PINK FLAMINGOS!

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Hundreds of them. This pleased me to no end.

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The first time I saw them fly by, I had to laugh. They looked so unlikely to be suspended in the sky like that.

Most of the land in this area was the protected Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue, but there were some nifty nature centers and trails. Mostly, the ferocious local mosquito kept this from being a leisurely pleasure walk and more of a harried slap-dance through the bush.

The region has a lot of salt-producing plains (a lot of French Sea Salt comes from this area) and delicious black bulls (the restaurants in nearby Arles specialize in gardiane de taureau) that they breed mostly for the bloodless bullfights traditional to the area.

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They weren't really something I were going to test my bravery out on.

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phare de la gacholle

There were amazing remote beaches. This one we walked 4km to get to.

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It was like a moonscape.

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Not too many other people had decided that taking a 4km hike to the water was worth a day at the beach, so it was declared a naked beach. How fun is that?

The water was amazing, by the way. Bathwater warm and gentle surf made the brutal hike worth it.

There were lots of pretty Camaruge horses to be seen. There are feral managed herds running free, but it's also the only domesticated breed of horse in the area.

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The foals are born brown or black, and gray with age.

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These guys were glossy and fat living on the bruised fruit from a farmstand.

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I did get some knitting done during all this running around:

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It was so hot and sunny there, the idea of ever wearing any knitware again was absurd.

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