The first time we ventured over to the coast from our house, it was to meet some friends who we do language exchange from time to time with. They suggested La Grande Motte, and we were to meet across from the casino. I thought when they said ‘casino’ they meant one of those casino grocery stores; but they really meant casino as in gambling hall. I didn’t even know they had that stuff outside of Monte Carlo here. Humph.
The beach was pretty small there. There were restaurants and ice cream shops lining the sidewalk in front of it, and a bunch of blow up slides for kids on the beach. Then there were wall-to-wall bodies on the small stretch of sand that was between two rock jetties. Nice, but not really our cup of tea for a full day. We’re used to the more wild and natural look of Juno or Jupiter Beach in Florida.
When we mentioned this to a friend she told us we needed to go to L’Espiguette. It has the more “natural look” she said.
We drove there, heading towards the signs that said “Le grau de roi”. Must be something that used to belong to the king or something. We saw real flamingos standing in the salt marshes and some of those white Camargue horses – pretty. Just before we arrived at the beach area, we passed several businesses that featured horses already saddled and ready, available to take to ride in the sand and through the ocean. I’m gonna do that someday.
We arrived at the beach parking lot and paid 5.50 euros. A friend told us later we can easily avoid that charge by staging a dramatic couple’s argument at the gate where my husband says we have a ticket already, asks me for it, I claim he was supposed to hold it, he yells that I was supposed to hold it, then we yell at each other how the other one always screws things up, I start crying, and then the gate guard to can’t take it anymore waves us through. I’m not sure how that would work if my husband and I were yelling in English – and us yelling in French would be more funny than sad, so I think we are destined to always pay until we bring our friends with us.
Anyway, we parked in a sand lot, passed through a barrier of dunes, and then found our spot on the beach. Umbrella up, blanket down, beach toys out – we were ready for some fun. I looked around and noticed some other sun bathers had brought their beach toys too. One couple, in their 70s probably were playing Kadima, that beach racket/rubber ball game. “Bap!”—–”Bap!”——”Bap!—- the ball zoomed between them. I wasn’t really paying attention, what with all the naked, leathery-tanned, flapping old lady boobs swinging around. What the?!
My head swiveled to the left.
My head swiveled to the right.
I panned one hundred and eighty degrees from left to right.
Apparently, our friend had neglected to tell us that this beach, was a topless beach. And it’s also where all the ladies who should hide their boobs, show off their boobs.
The good news: I felt a lot better about my body by the time we left; my son learned that he doesn’t have to sneak on the internet in the dead of night to see a boobie; and we had plenty of entertainment to keep us busy on the beach. I didn’t even have to stare. It got so crowded there were boobies EVERYWHERE. Except on my beach blanket.
So, my friends, if you want to go to a “wild” beach, with beautiful dunes, cool water, soft sand, and dark brown men hawking sandwiches, water, and beignets from wheely carts – all while exposing your boobies to the world, head on down to L’Espiguette. I recommend it highly.