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D 'n A tandem encore
10th Jun 2017 - 11th Jun 2017
S.S. back to France, St Jean de Luz (37 km)

Being back on the bike seems comparatively easy after 2 weeks of beginner Spanish!  Plus we are retracing our steps along the EV 1, so all the twists and turns seems familiar.  The 2 week break was enough to put the saddle soreness behind us (so to speak), so this time we appreciated the views of the Atlantic as we rode along the cliff top road.

We are spending 2 nights in St Jean de Luz, which is a charming town, a blend of traditional basque maritime heritage and a lively coastal resort of manageable size.  Surprisingly long history, for example where in 1660 Louis IV (the 'sun king', Versailles, Canal du Midi, longest reigning monarch in European history, etc, etc) married his cousin Marie-Therese, of Spain, as part of the treaty that resolved 30 years of war between the two countries.  The church is still there, conveniently close to the Place Louis IV outside the town hall.

Today we took a long walk along the coastal track north of here, great views of the wild Atlantic, a Botanic Garden, and a top little casual restaurant for a lunchtime bite.  

The first round of the French parliamentary elections also occurred today and Declan was especially keen to see how it all happened on the ground.  Around the town hall polling station it was hard (for an Aussie) to notice the national elections were in progress - no supporters handing out how-to-votes, no sausage sizzles.  Just a big numbered board around the corner with one poster per candidate, 13 in all.  Inside, the voters just pick one of the 13 different slips of paper from the official's desk and put it in their envelope.  Done.  Closes at 6pm, counting all done in the hour.  National results about 8pm.  Top 2 candidates here are Vincent Bru, the Macron candidate, 38%, and a Republicain candidate, 16%.  They'll be in a run off election next Sunday.  Voters who couldn't be bothered voting: 43%.

The real action was outside the town hall, in Place Louis IV, where a Basque music and dancing festival was in full swing.  Very colourfully costumed performers gave numerous different displays of traditional Basque dances to a very appreciative crowd, many seated outside the surrounding bars.

Next: SJdL to Urt (47 km), then Dax (51 km)
Previous: Two weeks in San Sebastián with a day trip to Bilbao

Diary Photos
10th Jun 2017  France sign in Basque language

10th Jun 2017  Our picnic stop - Château-Observatory Abbadia, Hendaye

11th Jun 2017  Saint Jean de Luz beach

11th Jun 2017  Cliff top walk, Saint Jean de Luz

11th Jun 2017  Botanic Garden

11th Jun 2017  Saint Jean de Luz, town

11th Jun 2017  Basque dancing

11th Jun 2017  Basque dancing

11th Jun 2017  Basque dancing

11th Jun 2017  Basque tradition

11th Jun 2017  Polling day

11th Jun 2017  Election posters

11th Jun 2017  Polling station (town hall)

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