Replan – Gujan-Mestras, Nouvelle-Acquitane, France

Lola is now used to our routine I think, so after yesterday afternoon’s beach walk, she knew what was coming and was very excited to be out again for her morning walk. The tide was pretty high but luckily there was enough sand for us to walk a little way around the bay. The high water line reaching as high as the large gardens of the beachfront villas, but though the beach was washed clean overnight, it was full of the footsteps of other early morning dog walkers.

Morning dog walk on Arcachon Bay

We had decided to telephone the vets in Bordeaux this morning as the website contact form was obviously not monitored (even if easier in another language!). I tried to call as soon as they opened but however I entered the international dial code it would not seem to recognise the number. So we plumped for plan C, the 40 minute drive to the outskirts of Bordeaux to see them in person.

Thankfully we missed the early morning rush hour, so our journey was quicker than Google originally anticipated. We even managed on the second drive by to get parking of the street outside. Lizzy and I went in to investigate with her pet passport. As soon as I saw the large queue in reception, my hopes of getting a quick appointment were dashed. This is a referral centre with specialist vets, but obviously a popular one.

In a mixture of French and English I discussed with the receptionist getting an appointment with the eye specialist we had been recommended. The first appointment for a consultation we could get was not for another two weeks. After that session, we could be booked in for surgery, I took the appointment anyway as I was there. We had the ferry booked in 2.5 weeks, so I head back to the van to discuss further. We had anticipated a delay but we were not sure for how long.

There was large lorry trying to get into a gateway opposite where we were parked, so we ended up having to drive on. Our initial instincts were we should hold on and get the surgery done, but it meant quite a bit of replanning. We were not even quite sure initially where to head to that afternoon. Then gradually the plan took shape as we stopped at a pharmacy for a prescription, then the second to get what the other didn’t have. Then the supermarket next door for some fruit.

Before we knew it we were heading in the direction of Gujan-Mestras that we visited last November as the sun had come out and we knew it was nice there, whilst we made a longer term plan. So once we got settled in at the campsite, we rebooked the ferry for the end of April and rearranged a few things we already had planned for when we got home.

Lizzy in her winter coat

Then we sat out with the deckchairs for what felt like the first time in months. The van was reading 21.5 degrees C on the way over and despite a bit of a breeze it was lovely. Not used to sitting long like this, as soon as I’d had my lunch, I decided Lizzy our woolly mammoth Border terrier needed hand stripping. After being perfectly suited to the Alps only a week or so ago, suddenly she was decided over-coated and panting in the sun. It is always quite a big job for Lizzy, which she is not over fond of, but probably better to do it now before her possible op.

Camped up in the woods, good until it is really windy….

Early evening black cloud came out and some distant thunder rumbled, we retreated indoors. Overnight it was extremely windy and very wet, to the extent we were thinking about whether we had done the right thing camping in the woods!

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