After some lovely seafood the day before, we decided to head further along the coast to where the Oysters are produced. Bouzigues is a small and pretty village on the shore of the Étang de Thau inland sea. There is a direct cycle path, off road and through vineyards straight there. So we packed Lola and Lizzy to their cycle seats and we were off. On route we planned to visit a preserved Roman villa near Loupian, built on what was the road from Italy to Spain at the time, it has been inhabited for 600 years but is now a museum. Unfortunately we missed the turn on the way out and decided to press on into Bouzigues.
We could see the hundreds of oyster beds as we cycled toward the village, the sun glinting off the flat calm of the Étang du Thau. As you enter the village there of several large oyster producers, all with direct sale stalls and some with restaurants and there were quite a few people arriving to buy. We carried on into the village along the shoreline and there were several quaint little restaurants along the front, obviously all advertising their oysters. By now it was nearly lunchtime and our plans to stop for a coffee were soon upgraded to half a dozen oysters for Kevin (I am allergic).
Chez La Tchepe which we picked went from about 4 tables to taken to full within the space of the 20mins we were there. You had to go to the fish counter to order, here unlike Méze, you selected a quantity by grade / size plus they were significantly cheaper. The quality and freshness was though I am reliably informed much better. Tables were turning over quickly as it does not take that long to eat, though being France, even if only lunch everyone was enjoying some local Picpoul de Pinet wine with their seafood.
We had a wander and a seat along the seafront, in the sunshine after our lunch before heading back on our bikes. We finally found the Roman villa on the way back only to coincide with the 2 hour French lunch break and it was closed. So we headed back to Clouline and got some overdue housework done for the afternoon. We had a walk into Méze in the evening, though it was getting pretty cool as it got dark.
Unfortunately Lizzy was not well during the night with an upset stomach, which had not improved from the night before. So we all had another broken nights’ sleep. In the morning, we decided to delay our departure for another day so we could get some rest and also as there is dog walking right next to this Aire and the next couple of stops are in the middle of towns which will not be so handy.
Today we decided to follow Kevin’s moto of get it while it is good and head back to Bouzigues. After reconfirming the excellence of the oysters with a second larger helping we decided to follow on the cycle path around the other towns and villages along the Étand de Thau. We got along to Balaruc-les-Bains, but we quickly concluded it was much more industrial and less scenic than where we had come from and headed back. At least there was an enormous Carrefour supermarket so I was finally able to restock the vegan cheese and get Lizzy some supplies on the way back.
It being Friday, rugby watching is scheduled for tonight and indeed much of tomorrow as the autumn internationals are also on this weekend. We do plan to move on to Béziers tomorrow though all being well.