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Little adventure and big emotions in Cordouan

Walks, River, Nature, Heritage . Walks. River. Nature . Inheritance

I must admit, when climbing aboard La Bohême, on the quay of Port Medoc, I had serious doubts about my proposal to go out to the Cordouan lighthouse to my aunt Clotilde, 71 years old. Because well, Cordouan, everyone knows it here, it's more than a simple "outing". She, for her part, displays a radiant smile and she keeps repeating how much she is TOO happy with this birthday present. So come what may, on to the adventure! As soon as we left the port, the maneuver was full of surprises: a barge came up to us, the sailor joined us on board and La Bohême towed this second boat. Aunt Clotilde takes out the sunglasses and the hat, like a star on the high seas, she savors this moment, her head raised towards the spray, surprised that Royan, on the other bank, seems so close.

Little by little, the lighthouse gets closer and a first group is transferred to the barge. On board, we were stunned by the incredible spectacle offered by this boat finally fitted with wheels: we discovered it just when we thought it was about to hit the sand!

It's our turn. The boat first crosses the waves then approaches the rocks. Great moment when we are well shaken. Great moment of fun. We landed on a stone jetty. There, the captain of the boat looks at his watch and shouts to us: “Attention, return to port in 1 hour and 15 minutes, before the tides, be on time, and enjoy your visit! ". Arriving in Cordouan is a bit like attacking a fortified castle: you cross the last steps to enter the enclosure, to be welcomed by the lighthouse keeper. Impatient, Aunt Clotilde launches into the enclosure of this incredible maritime lair.

Le phare de Cordouan
Le phare de Cordouan

Each floor is richly decorated: this beautifully cut stone justifies the nickname "Versailles of the Seas" which is often given to the lighthouse. Arrived at the top, we do not lead wide: we are out of breath, but happy. What a landscape, what a landscape! Pointing out to me the air of nothing that for her age, she is in better physical condition than me, Clotilde loses her gaze on the rolling waves and the azure sky to infinity.

Back at the base, we give up our turn to another group. A cool moment, where we quietly savored our sandwiches, our eyes constantly turned towards the waves attacking the rocks. It is that we would not see the time pass! 

As I am about to board the barge again, what is my surprise to see Aunt Clotilde, usually so reserved, take off her shoes, pull up her trousers and guide other members of the troop, her face illuminated by this journey out of time.

While walking, knees in the water, we can't help but take pictures. Behind us, the stone giant. Ahead, sandy surfaces and shimmering waters. We play hide and seek with small fish that flee as we approach. In short, until the last moment, we simply felt like explorers.

But all good things must end. The sailors cast off the moorings of the barge and take the direction of the tip of the Médoc. Arrived on dry land, Aunt Clotilde, with red cheeks and sparkling eyes, holds her hat which almost blows away with the wind, and looks at me, shouting, as if she were alone in the world: "That's birthday!”.